Republicans Need to Start Learning From Donald Trump

On the day the new Congress, fully controlled by the Republican Party, was sworn into session, President-elect Donald Trump took a couple of pointed shots at one of the legislature’s primary targets. In two tweets on Tuesday, Trump slammed the Affordable Care Act, which he and his party have committed themselves to repealing.

“The Democrat Governor of Minnesota said ‘The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is no longer affordable!’ – And, it is lousy healthcare,” Trump wrote, referring to comments Gov. Mark Dayton made last year.

He continued: “People must remember that ObamaCare just doesn’t work, and it is not affordable – 116% increases (Arizona). Bill Clinton called it ‘CRAZY.'”

Trump is once again proving that he knows what the rest of his party doesn’t, which is that public messaging is every bit as important as political maneuvering on Capitol Hill. Without having served a day in public office, Trump understands better than veteran congressmen where Washington, D.C. gets its power from: The people of the United States of America. Most Republicans only remember this central truth when running for re-election.

Good governance simply isn’t enough. Can anyone really make the case that Barack Obama was a good president from 2009 to 2012? The very idea is ludicrous. But he won re-election because he was so much better than Mitt Romney when it came to selling his agenda and record to the American voters.

Let’s get serious here: The majority of Americans could not name five facts about the Affordable Care Act off the top of their heads. Same goes for virtually any major law or policy. There’s no judgement behind this assertion; it’s just the simple truth that most of us are a little too busy with our own lives and our own problems to keep a watchful eye on politics.

For years, Republicans have counted on conservative media outlets like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to get their message out to voters. That strategy works to a point – it has built up an energetic and passionate conservative base that has helped the GOP dominate the Democrats in several consecutive midterm elections. But it has not helped them be an effective opposition party to President Obama.

A lot of critics have mocked Trump for continuing to campaign after winning the election. Why is he still fighting so hard? He won!

Well, it’s because he knows that the real fight is only just beginning. Republicans are up there in the Capitol acting like it’s all over. They won, the Dems lost, and now they’re going to push their conservative agenda through to the president’s desk without the slightest trouble.

Meanwhile…there’s a story in the paper every other day about how Obamacare’s popularity is growing. Whether or not that’s true, it will BECOME true if Republicans don’t get out in front of this. Then what happens? Are Republicans going to stick by their guns if doing so means electoral doomsday in 2018? History would suggest not.

Republican lawmakers should be on their knees thanking God for Donald Trump every day. And in between prayers, they should start learning from his example.