Letter to the Editor:

It is reality check time for Democrats if they are honest about their desire to deny Donald Trump a second term. And to that end, they need to start prioritizing the issues that will probably matter most to voters and eliminate the noise.

With so many candidates already announced — and more on the way — there is a danger that a singular campaign “message” will be fractured into an incoherent wish list of policies and grievances, each tailored to a particular constituency: Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, reparations, packing the Supreme Court, free education for all, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, abolishing the Electoral College and so on. Many of these ideas are worthy in their own right, but they are largely distractions from the only thing that really matters.

At this point in American history and for the coming election, the only thing that really matters is to prevent the re-election of Trump. This cannot be overstated. Another four years of Trump will effectively doom any fair hearing of a progressive agenda.

Trump is the most corrupt person to ever hold the office. He is the most dishonest, the most incompetent and the most dangerous to anything resembling adherence to democracy. This needs to be made abundantly clear. His policies, which are no more than a combination of personal delusion and whim, and those of his subservient Republican Party are intentionally widening income inequality, exploding the national debt, isolating this country from its real allies internationally and not so slowly, refashioning a constitutional republic into a constitutional monarchy.

These are the themes that must be the guide to 2020. The distractions will exacerbate what is fast becoming the overriding attack from the right: that all Democrats are socialists bent on turning America into Venezuela. Like it or not, that theme will resonate with the millions of voters who cannot distinguish between North Korea and Norway. 

My advice: stay focused on what matters.

Jeff Laadt 

Eagle River