Can the Dems Find Their Soul and Take Back the Senate?

Peter Himler
4 min readNov 9, 2020
Jon Ossof and Rev. Raphael Warnock

The short answer is probably not. That is until the Democratic leadership recognizes a significant shortcoming in how their brand is perceived and the urgent need to mount a communications plan to fix it.

Sure, “one America” resonated loudly with an electorate that was tired of four years of division and demonization by Trump, his GOP enablers, and the pernicious and pervasive right-wing media apparatus. Then why didn’t the highly anticipated Blue Wave materialize? It’s simple: the Democrats turned over the reins of managing their brand identity to the Republicans.

In Florida, Cubans and other Latino voters shuttered at the idea of “socialism” in America should the Democrats prevail. The Miami Herald concurred: “Republicans’ drumbeat of socialism helped win voters in Miami.”

Elsewhere, Republicans were lock-step in promoting the danger of “radical leftists” or, God forbid, “progressive liberals” seeking to “defund the police.” From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Effective messaging, political shifts helped fuel Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s landslide win.” Frank Luntz was in pig heaven.

Trump himself took every media opportunity to crow about “the radical Democrats.” As incompetent as he is, he knew enough to derisively call out the name of the party that voters would see when filling out their ballots.

From The AP:

They failed to fight back when Republicans labeled them “socialists” aligned with the party’s most liberal firebrands.

Other than Joe Biden occasionally proclaiming “I’m a proud Democrat,” Americans rarely heard any Democrat publicly extoll the actual accomplishments of their Party, let alone the word Democrat itself. Is there not enough historically defining material from which to draw between FDR, JFK, LBJ, or Bill Clinton? What about Obama and Biden who steered America back from the economic calamity that “W” and the GOP left us in.

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Peter Himler

Founder, Flatiron Communications; President, PCNY; Editor, Medium; Blessed w/ 3 exceptional sons & a most fabulous wife; Music & tech; Maker of the sauce. #NYC