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By Joshua Belhumeur

With a Biden nomination likely, Democrats have a new challenge ahead

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said: “In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party.” She’s right. Alas, our two-party system coalesces power in a way that forces dramatically diverse views under one tent. But whether we had 2 parties or 10, a democracy still requires coalitions to be built around shared goals to get things done.

This November, we need to be building a defeat Trump coalition. But that doesn’t mean the message “defeat Trump” will get it done.

Telling Bernie Sanders supporters to “get in line” is condescending and feeds into the anti-establishment narrative. Calling for “party unity” will not resonate with someone who does not feel any sort of emotional connection with the party to begin with. And for a group that already holds mainstream politicians in incredibly low regard, focusing on the idea of a “better choice” will in no way be motivating.

I think Doug Hattaway put it best, so I’ll let him do the talking:

Social movements that equip us to look beyond political and cultural divides and recognize our shared humanity help us achieve our full human potential. The key to truly changing hearts and minds is to enable people to see your cause as an opportunity to live up to their aspirations for themselves. Touch their hearts with well-told stories. Use words that remind them of their own hopes and values. Offer information and ideas that help them think it through on their own terms. When they reach their own conclusion, they have changed their own minds—and likely they have changed them for good.

To reframe the challenge of defeating Donald Trump, the question we should be asking is: what stories are going to touch the hearts of those voters that otherwise fundamentally dislike the idea of a Biden presidency? Let them make their own connection rooted in their own hopes and values.

If we solve this problem, we inspire the turnout we’re looking for from the progressive left and make our coalition the strongest it can be.

We’ll be working on this one over the next few months. Ideas are welcome!

By Joshua Belhumeur