"Stronger Together" is a great campaign theme. It counters Trump on the idea of strength and it repudiates his racial and religious divisiveness all in two simple words. The Democratic approach is stronger because progressivism means working together, while Republicans are about "I've got mine, go screw yourself," and Trump specifically is about white identity politics and appealing to white racial/cultural anxiety.
Stronger Together is about Americans working together across racial lines, and it's about a policy approach based on, yes, "It Takes A Village," as well as the ideas President Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have been emphasizing for years, ideas encapsulated in the argument that even the most successful entrepreneurs "didn't build that" all by themselves, they needed infrastructure and educated workers and a robust legal system and all other things we, collectively, created as a society.
In her interview Sunday morning with Chuck Todd on "Meet The Press," Hillary Clinton presented the slogan Stronger Together as the rationale, the main theme of her campaign. However, she talked about it in the wrong way. She said, in part, that it meant "trying to get the Republicans to do what will actually help produce more jobs," and also talked about a "bipartisan or even nonpartisan foreign policy." Chuck Todd zeroed in on this, asking how she -- whom he characterized as "a polarizing figure" -- would be able to unify the country. In response, Clinton listed a number of occasions when she worked with Republicans.
No. No. No. In this instance, Hillary fell into the mainstream media's Broderish/Gergenish bipartisanship fetish. If "Stronger Together" is going to be presented as "I'll work with Republicans" it will get nowhere with voters, and certainly not with the Sanders voters Democrats need to attract in what is -- as all national elections are these days -- a base election. Besides, any voter who prefers a reasonable candidate will already be voting for Hillary over Trump anyway. Finally, as Barack Obama learned, it is impossible to get Congressional Republicans to do anything that will help produce jobs or much of anything else if a Democratic president proposed the idea.
Stronger Together can work beautifully, if Hillary presents it the right way. The Republican Party represents the rejection of community. Its hyper-individualist, Ayn Rand approach to economic policy imagines a society of completely atomized individuals, while progressivism centers on the idea that we rise and fall together, that investing in one another improves everyone's chances for success. Additionally, Donald Trump takes to a new level the GOP's long-standing strategy of playing on the racial, cultural, and religious fears of white Christian Americans. He throws away the dog whistle in favor of an ALL CAPS approach to divisiveness.
Please, Hillary, don't dilute Stronger Together. Unity isn't about Republicans and Democrats having a kumbaya moment. We have powerful ideological disagreements, and only one party relies on hate. Please use Stronger Together as a way to highlight those differences, to emphasize that the slogan itself represents what Democrats stand for, and what Donald Trump and his party stand against.