Someone asked how our neighbors still support Trump. To me it has always made sense. He spoke directly to what they wanted to hear, feel, and see be done to others who they felt had done something to them.
Well, think about it. If the Democratic Party had not vacated rural America, there would not be such fertile ground for someone like Trump to take advantage. It’s no surprise that they feel as if they know him; he was in their living rooms for decades selling the other big cons of his narrative . . . that he was a strong leader, that he was successful at business.
Just firing people for ratings isn’t strong leadership. It’s good marketing. People love to see someone go down in flames because they can at least know it isn’t themselves. And, if it’s someone they feel has disrespected them for their entire lives, it’s all the more rewarding emotionally. At least it can be for some folks.
On his clown car show, Trump fired people that most people knew or at least thought they knew because they were celebrities. It felt as if he was putting them in their place. They ate it up. The suspense of the board room. The humor in the criticism. The backstabbing amongst the competitors, bringing them down to our mundane level.
Many supporters still claim he cleaned up Washington. Where? By getting rid of all of the remaining moderate Republicans that actually did something more for their constituents than absolutely nothing?
I think I see it pretty clearly today.
When have any of these rural communities seen an elected official do anything for them? Remember, in our rural communities, only Republicans are in charge. So, have they ever seen a Republican do anything? It’s why the entire political strategy is to blame someone else, somewhere else that they cannot vote for or against. They will go to Springfield or Washington and put them all in their place. It’s really a big show. Kinda like in the Emerald City with the “Great and Powerful Oz” being a fraud the entire time. It was all just for show.
This show is only possible because the Democratic Party decided to vacate rural America after they got walloped by Reagan and inflation. Instead of challenging these false, failed economic policies that the Republicans still trot out every election cycle, the Democratic Party just went along with the messages because they resonated with the public. There are words to describe this but one of those words is not leadership.
That’s the thing about simple talking points. They can oversimplify complex problems. Oversimplifying solutions and problems is a common pitfall in representative government. It’s why many politicians avoid even the discussion of solutions or the problems by relying on blaming someone else entirely. If the voters are angry at someone, somewhere else, and the blame game message is never effectively, consistently challenged every day, there is no reason for those politicians to change tactics and messages.
After a few election cycles, even after a single election cycle, voters can accept and adapt to a new reality in America. It has happened many times. Examine marriage equality.
When Joe Biden made a public statement in support of marriage equality while he was Vice President, and, importantly prior to President Obama’s reelection in 2012, there was a sense of doom inside liberal enclaves. How could Obama win reelection now? Biden had been honest about his evolution and support on the very wedge issue Republicans had used over the previous decade to keep their base coming to the polls and pulling the levers for Republicans up and down the ballot. It was frustrating to witness a political party use marriage and family in such a divisive, disruptive way to millions of Americans lives through targeting my LGBTQ community. It’s not as if those Republicans were being forced into gay marriages.
Republicans were just forcing their beliefs onto the fewest number of citizens in every community in the nation. Which, of course, they are doing again by weaponizing the trans issue. Which is a great example of a very complex issue that requires more than simple solutions. Republicans, yet again, are politicizing a divisive issue involving children and families that should be a private issue. Since it’s a sliver of the population, they feel and know they can get away with it for another decade
Fortunately for the nation and for families everywhere, Biden’s honesty didn’t create the worst consequences that Democratic supporters feared. In fact, it started a national discussion that created the space necessary for the Supreme Court to rule in favor of marriage equality in Obergerfell without a great deal of upheaval. Thankfully, a lot of people had been working to build bridges in every community in this nation. PFLAG, HRC, and numerous other organizations filled with people wanting to help others not feel isolated alone. All of that effort for all of those decades finally paid off with that decision. Now, even Republicans are considering allowing a vote to make marriage equality the law of the land. We won the argument. We wouldn’t stop standing up for each other.
Instead of getting out and actually winning these economic and social issue arguments, the Democratic Party has continued to trot out failure after failure after failure, showing they cannot achieve any of their objectives, nor adapt their vision for the country given new information.
How many years did we have to hear about a healthcare solution that isn’t actual legislation and never has been? I’m talking about the popular government program that progressives adopted wholesale by just slapping ‘For All’ onto the name like we were visiting King Friday and Lady Elaine in the neighborhood. They couldn’t even come up with legislation to back it up. It remains a working word document, basically. That’s more than Republicans ever developed in their secret non-plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. How quickly voters forget that Republicans never had a plan at all.
How about this assault weapons ban? It’s never going to survive SCOTUS. NEVER. They’re ridiculous to think it will. 20 million AR-15s have been sold to Americans since Columbine. Why would you target any object that so many Americans own and in such a constantly failing manner? It’s like the other “violence prevention” items they managed to get passed. If you combine those with what the fringe has demanded for years, there isn’t going to be a significant downturn in the violence on the streets. Even if they passed what they wanted, it will fail to do as promised. It’s not rocket science. Why deliver another victory for the opposition?
And, let’s look at how Democrats have chosen to argue about abortion rights. They have made it about only women. Thankfully, Kansas shows that even this extremist step is too far for rural America. However, winning in Kansas will never win Texas. What Democrats need is a constitutional and political strategy to bring these rights to every American, not just women. As long as you make this about women it leaves half the population on the sidelines. And, we all know all women have very different opinions on this issue, as they should. It’s their body, it’s their choice, it’s insane to believe that anyone doesn’t have the right to make these choices with their doctors and within their families, not with Republicans and their death panels.
Republicans have been running on this divisiveness for 50 years because they can get away with it in about 60-70% of the counties in this nation. They had a legislative and judicial strategy coupled with presidential campaigns and another gift from Democrats. Those Democrats cut out the filibuster for judicial nominees for Obama, even though he had filled hundreds of positions. After they killed the filibuster for these judicial positions, Obama only got another 50 or so judges.
What did we get out of breaking the filibuster? Well, because Democrats immediately lost control of the Senate, Republicans decided to open the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, which is how we arrived at the elimination of Roe.
Despite these quite recent lessons, Dems have not learned anything. Even when they have a 50 vote hold on the Senate, and that is precariously hanging on us having a Democratic President in the White House and no Democratic Senators resigning or dying. How foolish would it be to wipe out the filibuster any further for any reason? The consequences would be dire because Republicans would takeover at some point and get back to what they know best- implementing their worst ideas. No one has challenged those ideas in decades. Now, the Democrats are succumbing to these same mindless trends of never learning, never adapting, never expanding the tent.
When Republicans have their way again, we know there is hell to pay for all of us. Think about it. Think about all the massive failures that led to all the deaths. No, I’m not just talking about Covid. Think about it.