A Moses-like redemptive voice is a scarce commodity on today’s politcal landscape in Michigan. It’s worse for Democrats because the gubernatorial nominee, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, has already been successfully typecast as “the angriest mayor in the country,” something that lately hasn’t been embraced as a term of endearment for Democrats.
They are, in fact, running away from it because Democrats now feel they have to be perceived as a party that is strong, calm, collected and full of reasoning, sound judgment and diversity as opposed to the Tea Party of the gubernatorial campaign with an “angry” candidate running his mouth incessantly, like a typewriter.
What’s wrong with having an “angry” candidate?
If that anger is channeled toward sound reasoning and a vision for the future, Democrats should not be running away from a definition that has the potential to help them win this election. It is foolish to abandon the use of the term “angry” when, if properly contextualized, can help them win over voters who are angry over losing their homes and the big banks sitting on taxpayer loans and refusing to help families. Anger itself in a political sense is a form of righteous indignation, a sign of refusal to go along just to get along, and demanding that something happens for the better. But it has its time and place for use. And what better time than in an economy like Michigan’s, which has been in the toilet despite the gradual growth we are witnessing.
The Republican flag bearer, Rick Snyder, the self-described “nerd” from Ann Arbor, sought to make a distinction between himself and the rest of the GOP candidates. He entered the fray calling himself the “nerd” who would work to bring businesses to the state and create jobs.
There were many people laughing at Snyder because choosing the term “nerd” was so unpolitical and unconventional that his chances in the campaign earlier were ruled out by analysts.
But if Democrats are good students of history they should know better — that unconventional campaigns have more of the propensity to win votes than the usual milquetoast campaigns that lack political fortitude for major change.
The Obama presidential campaign is the most effective political play book to study. The campaign was non-traditional, and everything that came out of the strategy room took people by surprise.
So why are some Democrats in Michigan now resigned to faith that Snyder will eventually win because their nominee, Bernero, is the “angriest mayor” and that definition doesn’t diate future?
Which voters are they talking to? Obama rode on the anger of millions of voters, fed up with the Bush presidency and the business manipulation of Wall Street to the White House.
I am almost inclined to believe that Democrats are skapegoating themselves by playing “the anger card.”
Bernero and Snyder are two clear choices, even though the Republican nominee does not make it easier for Democrats by embracing a moderate conservative ideology. The bigger question is, can the Democratic ticket win in November?