democrats are in a bit of a rut, to put it mildly. Donald Trump was elected largely because blue-collar workers didn't think the party was for the working class and Republicans were. When you look at the facts objectively and honestly, this isn't true. However, convincing the working class of this will take Democrats reclaiming their own message.

Democrats let Republicans control the narrative

In any issue between the two parties in the last 30 years, Democrats have always let the Republicans control the narrative and played on their turf. Take for example the ever-present issue of laws regarding businesses.

Republicans started calling them "regulations". Regulation is a spooky word. The use of this word has been used to make any law on business conduct sound scary, hard to understand, and totally unnecessary. They have convinced large portions of America that before the government started getting involved, we were in some Halcyon period where everyone thrived and nothing bad ever happened. It has gotten to the point whereto some people believe we should do away with child labor laws.

Democrats, for their part, have rarely done much to change this narrative. They have never attempted to drag the Republicans to their battlefield. Even in places where the laws and agencies have proven themselves necessary, Democrats rarely do a lot to point it out.

Case in point, North Carolina where several rural communities are in a situation not unlike Flint, Michigan's after a major coal ash spill. However, the party has done very little to capitalize on it on a national level even as many party figures talk about the urban-rural divide. Could you imagine if N.C. Dems ran ads featuring people who couldn't drink from their own wells as often as they ran ads about not being the other guy?

Perhaps the election could have turned out differently.

Republicans better at marketing than Democrats

One thing that Republicans have going for them is marketing. Even without conspiracy sites, their marketing machine is top-notch. Consumer protections that most people agree with on a fundamental level have become "burdensome regulations." Treating minorities (racial or otherwise) with basic human decency is now "political correctness." It's gotten to the point that the Affordable Care Act is now known as Obamacare to people who actually benefit from the ACA.

Many people from coal country didn't actually know that their current black lung disease coverage was contingent on the ACA until after the election. Parents of disabled kids didn't know that the ACA helps them keep their kids out of nursing homes (which are almost always abuse-filled cesspools). People don't even know the full extent of what Medicaid does.

Democrats, rather than developing a better marketing machine, continue to rely on white papers buried in candidates' websites and simply not being the other guy. Rather than forcing Republicans to their battlefield, they've formed a "Resistance" with very little in the way of a coherent message beyond not being Donald Trump. This didn't work last time.

Rather than speculate on what did or didn't happen with Russia or make wild claims about Donald Trump's mental health, they should focus on a broad message. Don't let the other side control their platform. They should remind people why we have things like the EPA or financial regulations. It wasn't because government officials were bored. It was to protect people.

Protection needs to be the Democratic Party platform. People need to know why we have the things we have. Otherwise, it's easy to convince them to let others take it away.