They had just rolled out a campaign on economic issues, but only a few tweets from Trump has turned them to the culture war.
That Donald Trump would be a champion in the culture war seems strange. But it does line up with the influence of Pat Buchanan. In addition to America First, Buchanan is also famous (or notorious) for raising a battle cry for the culture war at the 1992 Republican Convention. The media sneered and Republicans accused Buchanan of being divisive, but Clinton’s lead in the polls was temporarily reduced from 17 points to merely three the next morning.
Donald Trump may have baited Democrats to damage themselves.
Trending: Hillary Clinton: More of the Same
This week, Democrats unveiled an agenda for the midterms that carefully avoided any mention of the issues that had led to accusations they’d been playing “identity politics” in recent elections. Their message, party leaders said, would be all economics, all the time.
But President Donald Trump is — and has always been — a culture warrior.
And he made an aggressive move to elevate those issues to the political forefront Wednesday by announcing via Twitter that he is banning transgender Americans from serving in the military.
It is reminiscent of George W. Bush political adviser Karl Rove’s efforts to push a same-sex marriage ban in 2004. Gregory T. Angelo, the president of the Log Cabin Republicans, said Trump’s move “smacks of politics, pure and simple.”
This time, though, top Democrats say they don’t fear that a political debate over transgender rights will damage them in the Rust Belt. And some Democratic senators running for re-election in red states were sharply critical of Trump’s move.
“Democrats need to show — and can show — that they can simultaneously fight for a society that is both more fair and more prosperous — and drive home the fact that Trump is delivering neither,” long-time Democratic strategist Ron Klain said in an email.
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