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In the 2018 mid-terms, should the Democrats campaign on impeaching President Trump?

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From the pages of In Business magazine.

Welcome to "Political Posturing," featuring opposing views on current issues important to Wisconsin's business community. In this column, Wisconsin Business Alliance Board President Brad Werntz and conservative columnist David Blaska offer their opinions from the left and the right, respectively.

No, that kind of campaign plays into Trump’s hands.

By Brad Werntz

The 2016 elections proved something that behaviorists have always known: It’s easier to get humans to respond to feelings of hate and fear than it is to get them to respond to messages of hope and love.

Okay, granted: Maybe our candidate didn’t inspire hope and love, but there’s no doubt that our 45th president trumped up as much hate and fear as he could, and rode these emotions into office. While by the math this wasn’t a victory, per se, he does sit in the chair.

As a species, we’re hard-wired for the dark emotions. Deep in our animal brains, hate and fear have kept us alive since before we were even human. It’s why we automatically identify the “other” on sight, and it’s also why we can’t look away from a train wreck.

As much as our president likes to play the “other” against one another — and we can’t look away from this ongoing train wreck of an administration — as a country and as a species, we need to appeal to our higher natures and stop letting this man define all the talking points. When they go low and we meet them in the gutter, we lose. It’s
not fair, but that’s the way it is.

When we talk about this man, we make him stronger. To his passionate base, he’s either as God ordained, or far exceeding expectations. Even if he’s in an orange jumpsuit and a straightjacket, wheeled off to Leavenworth frothing at the mouth, if people are still looking at him and talking about him, he’ll win because he’ll always be able to incite the dark emotions that he rode into office. These emotions will continue to divide us, and divided we can’t win.

This next cycle of elections needs to be about something other than this man’s crap show. Simply put, we need to offer a better vision of our future than the one he offers. That should be pretty simple to outline, though admittedly it’s a harder message to make stick.

By all means, let’s get him out of office, too. But our campaigns need to be about something else.

Brad Werntz is a small business owner in Madison.


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