In the wake of Donald Trump's surprising win in the Presidential race, the progressive left has been searching for how it will respond in the President Trump era. They seem to have found their example in North Carolina and the downfall of NC Governor Pat McCrorry.
Public Policy Polling, the national polling outfit based in the state, jumped the objectivity shark last week by publishing this story on its website where it gives sole credit for McCrory's downfall to the Moral Mondays movement that staged regular protests at the NCGA against everything the NCGOP did in Raleigh. After relaying a bunch of polling stats on issues, many of them obscure. PPP gives all the credit to the Moral Mondays protesters and offers this advice against a President Trump.
"Pushing back hard on McCrory worked. The seeds of his final defeat today were very much planted in the summer of 2013. And it's a lesson for progressives in dealing with Trump. Push back hard from day one. Be visible. Capture the public's attention, no matter what you have to do to do it. Don't count on the media to do it itself because the media will let you down."
When was the last time you saw a polling company offer advice on how to influence its polls? This one article alone is enough to discredit PPP and its national numbers for quite some time.
What's even more interesting is that this line of thinking seems to be part of a coordinated effort already. At about the same time this story went up, another story with the same logic showed up on The Nation, a staunchly progressive publication. This one penned by none other than Rev William Barber, the Godfather of the Moral Mondays movement.
In light of the widespread protests that sprung up across the nation immediately after Trump's victory it's easy to see where this is going - all protests all the time.
The question is "will it work"? The answer is likely to be "not nearly as well", and here's why.
Trump is not McCrory.
McCrory was a milquetoast when it came to confrontation. He never pushed back against the push back. He allowed the classic protest tactic of "personalization" to work against him. Moral Mondays made him personally responsible, made him the "face", for everything they could when in fact the real power and responsibility rested with the faceless NCGA. That made the moderate McCrory look like he had inexplicably become radically more conservative after his 2012 election.
Those factors won't apply to Trump.
Rather than shy away from confrontation Trump will relish in it. Over two years of campaigning Trump proved himself master of the news cycle and controlling the narrative. He had everything possible thrown at him, and it did not work. Unlike McCrory, Trump ran on positions that infuriated progressives, and he won anyway. On many issues, if his positions change it will be to become more moderate.
There's no doubt Democrats and their allies on the progressive left will fight back hard against Trump. What's a lot less certain is if the tactics used against McCrory will work.
Bonus Observation: Those on the political right have a different take on why McCrory lost. They believe it's the fault of Republicans who dropped him because of issues like tolls. Check out this article from Redstate.com. This NC based writer for the publication is absolutely livid her fellow Republicans in North Mecklenburg did not pull the lever for McCrory over a thing like tolls.