In the Tuesday elections, the Republican party won the Presidency, and held onto the Senate and the House of Representatives. Republicans also hold a majority of governorships and state legislatures.
How did this happen? Did the Democrats not paint all of their opposition as racist? Yes, they did. Did the Democrats not paint all of their opposition as sexist? Yes, they did. Did the Democrats not paint all of their opposition as Islamophobic? Yes, they did. Did the Democrats not paint all of their opposition as homophobic? Yes, they did.They said all those things. That’s how they talk about Republicans.
But this time, the American people did not accept the normal caricature of Republicans. This time, the voters decided to vote Republican in every possible race, in overwhelming numbers.
Rich Lowry of National Review explains:
Yet again, Democrats breathlessly declare the Republican candidate a Nazi — and wonder why no one is listening.
The Republican nominee for president is a racist, sexist threat to American democracy — and this time, we really mean it.
In a nutshell, this is the Democratic argument against Donald Trump. In a wild, topsy-turvy political year, it is the one exceedingly familiar piece of the political landscape — because it is a version of the argument the Left makes against every Republican nominee.
That this line of attack is so shopworn, just when Democrats think we need it most, has led to self-reflection and regret from one of the harshest commentators on the left. The HBO host Bill Maher said the other day that “liberals made a big mistake” when they attacked George W. Bush “like he was the end of the world,” and did the same thing to Mitt Romney and John McCain.
Maher himself was a prime offender, with no hesitation about resorting to Nazi analogies (he compared Romney’s aides to Adolf Hitler’s dead-end loyalists, and Laura Bush to Hitler’s dog).
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been touring the country saying that Trump isn’t like past Republican nominees, even though they were attacked in exactly the same terms.
George W. Bush was a man of deep faith who did all he could to reach out to minorities and soften conservatism’s edge. Yet right out of the gate in 2000, the NAACP ran an ad accusing him of being all but complicit in a hideous racist murder in Texas. His botched handling of Hurricane Katrina wasn’t portrayed as a mistake in trying circumstances, but of his disregard for black people. He was called a fascist, a war criminal, and a would-be theocrat.
Obama now says Romney was only “wrong on certain policy issues.” This is rank revisionism. His campaign’s entire approach in 2012 was to disqualify Romney as a person, basically for being too coldbloodedly rational and prim and proper (i.e., the opposite of Trump).
Romney was not, as an Obama ad put it, “one of us.” He basically killed people with his heartless layoffs. He posed a real and present danger to Latinos with his policy of “self-deportation.” He was waging a “war on women.” One prominent piece of evidence for Romney’s unhinged sexism was his entirely anodyne, if awkward, comment that he asked for “binders full of women” when making appointments as governor of Massachusetts.
Harry Reid infamously alleged, with no evidence whatsoever, that Romney didn’t pay taxes for a decade. When the Republican candidate released his returns, it turned out he had overpaid. And so it went.
It has always been the case that Republican leaders are retrospectively deemed statesmen by the Left when they are dead or retired. It has happened to Ronald Reagan, who went from a warmongering right-wing radical to a statesmanlike moderate; to George H. W. Bush, who was an out-of-touch elitist and now is the epitome of class; and to George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, who now are getting their revivals.
This isn’t about the softening passage of time so much as opportunistically using past Republican politicians as a bludgeon against contemporary Republican politicians.
Genuinely alarmed by Trump, Bill Maher apparently realizes how tinny it sounds to lodge against him all the accusations routinely made against any other Republican. It was just a couple of years ago that Paul Ryan – an earnest policy wonk who operates in the inclusive style of the late Jack Kemp – was attacked as a racist for commenting on men not working in troubled inner-city neighborhoods.
If this isn’t crying wolf, what is? Confronted with Trump, Democrats don’t have any radioactive denunciations in reserve. They have all been deployed against a couple of generations of Republicans whose politics and characters were starkly different than Trump’s. And will surely be deployed once again – the charges never change, just the target.
The problem is that the blame for the election cannot be placed on Republican voters being motivated by racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc. This election result was caused by two things: 1) the Democrats inflicted 8 years of failed social policy, fiscal policy and foreign policy on the American people, and 2) the Democrats ran the most entitled, secretive, corrupt candidate who has ever run in any American election.
The problem is that the average Democrat voter has not been following the news closely enough to understand how damaging the failed policies of Barack Obama have been, and how bad their candidate really was.
The average Democrat voter:
- does not know about Benghazi being blamed on a Youtube video.
- does not know about the disasters in Libya and Egypt following our military interventions.
- does not know about our failure to support pro-democracy forces in Syria, arm the Kurds, give anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, and give missile defense to European countries.
- does not know about the details of the Iran nuclear deal.
- does not know about the running of assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels.
- does not know about the handing out of taxpayer money to green energy companies run by Obama bundlers.
- does not know that Obama doubled the national debt from 10 to 20 trillion.
- does not know that Christian business owners are forced to celebrate gay marriage and cover abortifacients in the health insurance plans they offer to employees.
- does not know about illegal immigrants killing Americans after the federal government fails to deport them.
- has not watched the Center for Medical Progress videos showing Planned Parenthood officials optimizing abortion procedures in order to maximize profit from organ trafficking.
- has not watched the Project Veritas videos showing Democrats talking about organizing violence at Republican events, and organizing voter fraud.
- does not know about terrorist attacks committed by Islamic refugees who were fast-tracked to green cards while skilled legal immigrants had to wait in line for decades.
- does not know that Obama blocked construction of the Keystone pipeline, and that labor force participation is at a 30-year low because of Obama’s anti-business policies.
- does not know that thousands of veterans have died waiting for healthcare, while VA bureaucrats falsified records and collected big performance bonuses.
- does not remember how Democrat politicians wanted to give space to BLM rioters to break the law.
- does not understand how Hillary circumvented information security policies to hide her emails from her employer, and how the Clinton Foundation accepted donations from foreign donors in exchange for access and favors.
- believes that Obamacare is working as designed, and that everyone kept their doctor, kept their health plan, and is now paying less premium, with a lower deductible.
The average Democrat voter is not well-informed, and does not realize that the average Republican voter is aware of all of these things and more – and that this is why the average Republican voter voted for a clown like Donald Trump, rather than vote for a corrupt politician like Hillary Clinton. They voted against Hillary because she intended to double down on policies that we all know have failed catastrophically.
In my experience, the Democrats I know never ask me to explain my views, nor do they read any new source or scholarly work that contradicts the caricature they have of Republican voters. Republicans are familiar with the views on the other side, but Democrats believe caricatures. At some point Democrats have to put truth above their need to feel superior to others, and get informed. Laughing at people who differ with you on serious issues for substantive reasons does not lead to irenic discussion.
The real losers of this election are the celebrities, entertainers and the mainstream media. They have lost their authority to scare Americans with caricatures of Republican political views. I am not happy at all with a Trump presidency, he has just done too many things to burn bridges with me: false accusations against Cruz, slandering George W. Bush, petty insults against Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, etc. But I am glad that Hillary Clinton lost the election and I am glad that the Democrats wasted so much money trying to get her elected. I am happy that the mainstream media lost. I hope that the people like Stephen Moore, John Bolton, Trey Gowdy, etc. who are on board with Trump (I’m not, I’m a #NeverTrump Cruz supporter) are able to punish the Democrats and shrink the size of government. That would be a really good thing for America.
My advice to Democrats is this: pick up a book by Thomas Sowell and read it. Try “Basic Economics”, which will teach you how different economic policies have actually worked out in different times and in different places. Then maybe you will have a more accurate picture of reality which will help you to understand what motivates the people who disagree with you on public policy.