Don’t Get Too Distracted by @realDonaldTrump’s Russia Scandal

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2017-03-06 – Sometime in 1973, I wrote a letter to my congressman asking for tickets to the Nixon Watergate impeachment trial. The congressman wrote back telling me to cool my jets. No tickets were yet available since no impeachment resolution was even being debated yet in the Congress. It would be a year before Congress got that far. And no impeachment was ever voted on. Nixon resigned, effective on my birthday: EightOh9.

We’re at a similar point now in @realDonaldTrump’s Russia scandal. We don’t even have a cute name for the scandal that will be referred to for decades to come, like Watergate or Teapot Dome. But it is exciting for folks on the political left. It’s always a thrill when the bad guy gets caught.

But let’s not get too distracted by @realDonaldTrump’s Russia scandal.

Yes, Vladimir Putin and his apparatchiks may have tipped the scale in the election of Donald Trump, but a more important question for Democrats is: why was the scale so evenly balanced in the first place. Vlad wouldn’t have had much effect if things weren’t so close.

The Donald is a grifter.

But grifters aren’t successful without some understanding of their marks. The Donald understood.

And I’m not talking just about the “deplorables.” I’m talking about the forgotten white working class. They are not all stupid and racist, you know. Most are downtrodden and invisible. Trump made them visible.

I’ve been talking for some time that lack of access to the American dream is shared by whites, as well as blacks and browns. Ignoring the white working class does not help blacks and browns, but making common cause would. I’ve been saying for years that ignoring the white working class is a grave peril to Democrats and to the country. The recent election made that point loud and clear.

And so now we have this juicy scandal that has the potential of partially undoing the election. So why wouldn’t we write for tickets?

But the real scandal is the forgotten voter.

We can’t just go off on this merry chase. The lesson of the 2016 election is not (just) that our elections can be hacked. The real lesson of the election is that our nation is most imperiled when we stop listening to its citizens—when one side of a political debate stops listening to the other.

We must listen to all people black, white, and brown.

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