Democrats, especially congressional Democrats, need a coherent and down-to-earth economic message, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says.
And it’s a message, he adds, that must successfully counter simplistic notions pushed by the congressional GOP and the hatred of minorities and Moslems pushed by several leading Republican presidential hopefuls, notably business tycoon Donald Trump, he adds.
Trumka brought his criticism of the Democrats’ message – actually, lack of it – to the House Democrats’ retreat in Baltimore at the end of January. He praised party members for sticking with workers to beat back anti-labor measures fostered by Congress’ ruling Republicans. But he said that’s not enough to win workers to their sides in this year’s election.
“In too many races,” in the 2014 off-year election, “the Democratic candidate lacked a coherent economic message that made sense to regular working people – union and non-union,” Trumka said. “This is not about casting blame. It’s about working together and finding solutions so we can better communicate with our shared constituents.”
The AFL-CIO, he admitted, sometimes lost the message war, too, so it’s “been looking for new ways to reach out to America...to union, non-union, and never-heard-of-union” people. The fed’s extensive messaging research shows values, not policies, move most people, he said. On policy, the U.S. majority agrees with labor’s positions on good wages, affordable health care and retirement security. But they don’t feel values behind those stands.More ...