If this is the message the Democrats are running on now, they are doomed.
“Donald Trump was a punishment.
Conservatives saw him that way, and Trump saw himself that way, too. After his upset victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, some conservatives started to respond to any perceived liberal excess with a simple phrase: “This is why Trump won.” If that was a convenient deflection, a way to rationalize Trumpian malice as the left’s responsibility, it was also a concise expression of Trump’s appeal to them. …
Trump was not a successful president. But as a form of punishment, he was everything conservatives dreamed of, and they loved him for it.
Biden’s rescue bill uses the state as an instrument of broad prosperity rather than as one of vengeance—according to an analysis from the Urban Institute, the legislation could cut the poverty rate by more than a third. In the process, it stands to address the economic distresses that Trump exploited and the grievances he inflamed. And by making the bill’s benefits so broad, Democrats may also make them enduring, insulating them from future efforts to repeal them. …
The Democrats are no saints, but they’ve come to believe that both the viability of their party and the sustainability of American democracy depend on their capacity to broaden their appeal to right-leaning voters. Trump wanted to punish his enemies; Biden must convince Trump supporters that he is not their enemy. Defeating Trump was but a battle; defeating Trumpism is the war. …
The future of the Democratic Party depends on Biden’s ability to show that this catastrophism was false; that even when the Republican Party loses, Americans who vote Republican do not; that defeat is not destruction; that their compatriots do not and would not seek such an outcome. …
The American Rescue Plan Act is an important economic measure; it is also a down payment on a future in which the stakes for American democracy are less existential. But it is only a down payment—one that will be forfeit if Democrats allow the rest of their agenda to be held hostage in the Senate. More than just legislation, it is a leap of faith that Americans of all political backgrounds will reward a party that seeks to make their lives better, rather than one that simply manufactures new targets for scorn. In that, the measure expresses a greater confidence in the decency of the Republican base than Trump or his acolytes ever displayed.”
Let us count the reasons why:
- The one time $1,400 stimulus check isn’t going to change anything especially when it is coming from the Democrats. It is essentially a pain reliever. The effect will disappear fast. Democrats spent last summer rioting against Trump after he gave them a $1,200 check. Why would Republicans change their minds about Democrats after getting a $1,400 check?
- Trump voters haven’t forgotten that Trump gave them $1,800 and more people qualified for stimulus checks when he was president. The $2,000 was also Trump’s idea. It wasn’t Biden’s idea. He was opposed to it until Josh Hawley, Bernie Sanders and Trump forced the issue.
- It was Donald Trump, not Joe Biden, who broke the ice on the redistribution of wealth by supporting the first stimulus check. It was more revolutionary when Trump did it coming from the Republican side. This is the third check. It is not going to perceived by Republicans or Independents as a novel policy that Democrats deserve credit for coming up with.
- The child tax credit is great and is already extremely popular with White working class voters. It will almost certainly become so popular that it will become permanent. Democrats are probably right that Republicans won’t have the political support to oppose it and will have to concede defeat on the issue. This will hardly change everything about our politics though.
- After the child tax credit becomes permanent, we will have the same culture war politics with a popular new entitlement. American families will be better off though.
- It is hard to say that the Democrats are the party of “prosperity over vengeance” after delaying the stimulus check which was supposed to go out the door “immediately” in order to impeach Trump a second time after he had already left office.
- The Democrats are presiding over a military occupation of Washington, DC and have built a razor wire fence around the U.S. Capitol that looks like something out of Baghdad.
- The Democrats currently have the entire U.S. military standing down in order to root out “extremists” in the ranks. They are imposing a political litmus test on the military.
- The Democrats have Merrick Garland in charge of the DOJ threatening people and invoking the Reconstruction era. We haven’t seen yet what will come of that.
- The party of “prosperity over vengeance” deplatformed Trump from the entire internet and banned hundreds of thousands of his supporters from social media in order to silence them. Unless they figure out a way to disenfranchise them, this could backfire on the Democrats because angry people don’t go away when they are banned from Facebook and Twitter. They are just pissed off.
- The polls show that the top priorities of Democrats are Trump supporters and “White Nationalism” because the media has spent the last two months ginning up a panic about a non-existent “insurgency.” Over 70% of the country expects political violence will surround future elections because of the drumbeat of non-stop hysteria in the media.
- The message from the Democrats for the past two months has been that Trump supporters are “far right extremists” who have succumbed to “misinformation” and “domestic violent extremism.” In reality, it is Antifa that have resumed their attacks on the federal courthouse in Portland.
- In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, the Democrats and the media redefined the term “racism” to mean “systemic racism.” Joe Biden used the phrase in his inaugural address. Essentially, every White person in America is now guilty of “complicity” in systematic racism.
- The Biden administration has gone woke and now pushes “racial equity” in executive orders which is a departure from the Obama era.
- The top priority and concern of Trump voters is the assault on their rights and immigration. Joe Biden came into office and one of his first acts was to unleash a new migrant crisis on the border. In other words, he has repeated the very same mistake that led to Trump in the first place.
- Are things going to change now that the Biden administration and Democrats are pushing comprehensive immigration reform again except this time with no border security measures whatsoever and in light of the fact that the politics of the issue have shifted?
- Are things going to change now that the Democrats have passed the George Floyd Act, HR 1 and the Equality Act? Is there a groundswell of support for this legislation?
- Are Democrats going to win over Trump voters by passing a new gun control bill?
- Are the Democrats going to win over Trump voters by focusing on climate change extremism and raising gas prices?
- How about the incredibly popular “trans women” in women’s sports issue?
- The Biden administration is distributing the vaccines that were developed by Trump’s Operation Warp Speed. No one is changing their minds on COVID.
- COVID which was the issue that got Joe elected will soon be behind us too. Immigration and crime which are issues that brought Trump to power are increasing again in salience.
- Black Lives Matter has also unleashed a major crime wave in urban areas. The politics of last summer have flipped. Only 38% of Americans now believe George Floyd was murdered. Far more people support the police now than Black Lives Matter which is losing support among Whites and blacks.
Is any of this going to stop “far right extremism”?
Is Adam Serwer winning the war against Trumpism?
No, not even close. The so-called “far right” has always been populist on economics and the COVID relief bill only further shifts American politics in our direction and away from mainstream conservatism. The intensification of political correctness/wokeness, the surveillance and censorship of ordinary people, the budding crisis on the border and so on also moves people in our direction. Finally, Trump losing the election by such a narrow margin moved millions of his supporters in our direction too. The riots of last summer and the advent of woke supremacy have activated White racial identity in a big way. We’ve been strengthened because millions of new people have been persuaded we were right.
COVID interrupted a transformation which ultimately has little to do with Donald Trump. It exposed the fact that Trump didn’t know how to handle COVID and was given bad advice. This created an opportunity for Democrats who got lucky. Before COVID, it looked like Trump was about to be reelected because Independents genuinely do hate open borders. We continue to see that in the polls. The middle of the country is populist on economics, restrictionist on immigration, culturally conservative and anti-woke. The Trump constituency had been gestating for thirty years before the 2016 election.
What exactly was Donald Trump a punishment for in 2016? Why did we elect Trump in the first place even if we did later sour on him? He was a punishment for the push by progressive activists for comprehensive immigration reform and the 2014 migrant crisis on the border in Obama’s second term. He was a punishment for political correctness. He was a punishment for decades of free trade which had hallowed out the interior of the country while enriching out of touch coastal elites. More than anything else though, Trump was a punishment for arrogant, condescending anti-White elites who were drunk on power.
Note: Joe is president is because a critical mass of former Trump supporters decided that he wasn’t the guy to get the job done. He wasn’t strong or tough enough. He wasn’t populist or competent enough. He was too accommodating of the conservatives he defeated in 2016.