Would Progressive Economics Win Over Trump’s White Working Class Voters?
Mike Konczal

It’s not simply about being more progressive, it’s about seeing the commonality in humanity and messages and using them to change minds. For instance, progressives aren’t anti-immigration, but do see the damage of broken trade agreements. Take the right’s “they are hurting us” and turn it so it points to where it really belongs — multinationals and the elite that are running them and using foreign workers as leverage against us. Progressives believe that government has a positive role, but we also agree that there is massive regulatory capture. Take the right’s “government is bad” and redirect it to — government as it stands is “captured” and needs to be fixed.

Granted I’m oversimplifying it, but it is true much of what the left and the right are ultimately ranting on about comes from the same concerns, it’s just how each side has views what the fault is. The key is to find the common concerns and bring them to agreement on fault and thereby to our side.

It’s critical though to do so though by winning their hearts and minds. You can’t just throw policy at them and somehow expect them to find the commonality themselves. We’ve got to start talking to them as if they aren’t the enemy, which they aren’t. We need to start talking to them as compatriots in this quest to fix things, even if we might not always agree about what the best way is to actually do that.

I realize there is a lot of ugliness right now that makes it almost impossible not to decide that Trump supporters are some different species. It’s more convenient to just call them “racists” and be done with them, however here’s something to ponder — what is it that we hate about “racists”? Well, one thing is they use labels and stereotypes to dehumanize people. They put people in a box that may as well be marked “worthless” on the outside.

Well, when we call someone a “racist” haven’t we “labelled” them? Haven’t we “stereotyped” them? Haven’t we put them in a box that could be marked “worthless” on the outside?

Doesn’t seem like we’ve gotten very far from the original problem. Maybe it’s time to start talking to our disagreeable neighbors and figuring out how to change their minds, not through epithets, but through empathy and reason.

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