Okay, let’s make the obvious explicit here: There’s no way CleanTechnica is going to support Donald Trump/Drumpf for president. He is apparently one of the remaining, extremely fringe, genuine global warming deniers out there, and he has been hating on wind power for years. There are other reasons to oppose his run for president of the USA, but I’ll leave those off the table here and stick to matters of focus for CleanTechnica.
With Hillary Clinton essentially sealing the deal on the other side, I have two tips for Hillary Clinton (which I’m sure she’ll read and assimilate 😉 ).
1) Have fun.
Seriously. Don’t try to have fun. Don’t try to act fun. Don’t forcefully smile more. Let go and have a bit of fun. We’ve seen a little bit of this in the primaries against Bernie Sanders, but she needs to get into it much more.
Many of us vote on the policies, on specific past history and decisions made, but much of the population (dare I say the majority) votes on superficial matters. The character of candidates and how they make viewers feel is one of the most important factors in a candidate’s campaign and likelihood of success.
There are plenty of other reasons for their success, but look at some of the successful (by various measures of popularity) US political leaders of recent years:
- Bernie Sanders
- Donald Trump
- President Obama
- Ronald Reagan
- Bill Clinton
- George W. Bush
These guys have all been quite good at having fun while campaigning and speaking in person. Their smiles don’t look faked, and often weren’t that forced. They were having a good time up on the stage, and that helped the viewers to have a good time, which translated into viewers liking them and voting for them.
I’m not asking Hillary to become an entertainer. And, again, I think if she just tries to “become more entertaining,” she’s not likely to move the needle much. I think she needs to let loose a little more and genuinely have more fun, and that will do the rest of the work for her.
With decades in the spotlight and being bashed by the GOP media and politicians, as well as a number of poor choices, addressing one of her biggest hurdles — likeability — isn’t an easy matter. But having fun and making people laugh and see you as a cool, normal person (even if you’re a racist, sexist billionaire) can go a very long way in getting people to overlook your flaws and vote for you.
Obviously, Hillary has an excellent team of talented advisors, and she herself is an intelligent and thoughtful person, but she lost to Obama despite a large early lead on the newbie, she nearly lost to Bernie Sanders in an unprecedented campaign that shunned Big Money and raked in record amounts of small donations … for a social democrat! And now she is going up against a reality TV star who almost no one inside DC thought could become the Republican nominee.
2) Be more progressive.
The second bit of advice isn’t about the campaign season. It’s about what happens after she presumably wins and becomes the first female president of the United States of America. Hillary Clinton is very progressive on some issues, but she also has a history of issues related to fossil fuels, the banking industry, and military issues. It should be as obvious as the fact that the Earth circles the Sun that Bernie Sanders got a tremendous amount of popular support because he’s unhappy with and unwilling to support serious threats to global warming, growing inequality in the United States, and excessive use of military force in dubious situations.
There is the clear possibility that Hillary could carry on without much shift from her past flubs if she is elected president. An “all of the above” energy strategy. Waiting to see if the big banks need to be broken up. Not being more reserved in her approach to military operations overseas.
On the CleanTechnica plate is the energy matter, so I’ll leave the others alone.
Hillary Clinton needs to not just support the renewable energy and electric vehicle industries, she needs to stop supporting fossil fuels (which are threatening the human species … and countless others), and she needs to find every angle she can to move cleantech forward faster than Usain Bolt (not just do the easy things).
Democrats have reveled in the self-destruction of the Republican party. Yes, GOP “leadership” in Congress and the media have brought it on themselves. But Democratic leadership also invited and even stimulated the progressive political revolution that brought us Occupy Wall Street, made Elizabeth Warren a superhero, helped make “a change we can believe in” such an effective slogan, and almost brought Bernie Sanders to a national competition against The Donald.
To assume that this movement is going to dissolve with a few concessions slightly to the left would be a massive mistake. To assume it isn’t going to grow bigger and stronger and potentially much more disruptive to the Democratic party if the party doesn’t reverse its decades-long trend toward the right would be a massive error in judgement.
Progressives should help elect Hillary Clinton in November. But Hillary and team need to become considerably more progressive if they are going to keep the Democratic party from jumping into its own civil war. And on the energy front, that means no concessions about the security of the planet and the human species.
But yeah, I’ll just drop this here:
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