by Jeffrey A. Rendall
It’s always curious when political pundits and media figures use terms like “waves” to describe forthcoming or just concluded elections results. According to the dictionary, a “wave” (used as a noun) is, “a long body of water curling into an arched form and breaking on the shore, or, a gesture or signal made by moving one’s hand to and fro.”
As we move ever closer to election day 2018 it’s become clear American voters already dismissed the possibility of the first type of Democrat “wave” to leave room for a “gesture” or “signal” to the minority party (we’ll leave it to your imagination as to which “gesture” is most appropriate). If anything, the ocean-type “wave” the pundits love droning on about is now headed back out to sea, never to reach the sandy shores of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
By all appearances the same phenomenon that produced the election surprise of the millennium (to some folks at least) in 2016 is sweeping over the entire country again this year. Once confident Democrats are now pulling back their grandiose predictions that Republicans will be brutally kicked out of the Speaker’s and Majority Leader’s offices in Congress. Democrat candidates’ fortunes are receding just about everywhere thanks to the over-the-top antics of a comparative few Democrat senators during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.
Republican voter enthusiasm is way up as a result. At the same time Democrats are having difficulty rousing several of their key constituencies, such as young voters and Hispanics. The latter group are particularly lukewarm towards Democrats these days. Melanie Zanona reported last week at The Hill, “Democrats are hoping to harness the outrage in the Hispanic community over Trump’s immigration policies, which have called for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, ending deportation protections for so-called ‘Dreamers’ who were brought to the country illegally as children and separating migrant families who were detained at the border.
“The majority of Hispanics are unhappy with Trump, with 65 percent of registered voters holding an unfavorable view of the president, according to an Oct. 7 poll conducted by Morning Consult.
“But Democrats need that displeasure to translate into high turnout at the polls, and running on an anti-Trump platform alone is not enough, according to Democratic strategists, who say the top three issues for Latino voters are wages, immigration and health care costs.”
It’s safe to say every “wave” requires momentum and kinetic energy to sustain itself and right now Democrats are in short supply. Recent government figures revealed the national unemployment rate is the lowest since the late 1960’s and it’s never been better for Hispanics and African-Americans in the job market. Democrat politicians bloviate all they can about the dire condition of minorities under Trump’s presidency but when people look out the window they don’t see a scene anything similar to what Democrats suggest is there.
While Trump’s immigration policies and rhetoric certainly play a role in Hispanic attitudes it doesn’t tell the whole story. And yes, there is largescale group sympathy for the so-called “DREAMERS” but Hispanics also recognize Trump offered a compromise where the effected souls were to be granted legal status in return for other systematic reforms – and Democrats tossed the deal back in his face (anyone remember the #Schumer Shutdown?).
Democrats chose to use the plight of illegal aliens as a political football to be punted back-and-forth or disguised during a “trick play” whenever it seemed advantageous. Should the minority party retake the House there’s no way anything will be done to solve the crisis either – the fate of these folks is too vital to the Democrats’ overall electoral viability to actually solve the “undocumented” immigration problem and help them out.
Besides, many of them would credit Trump for actually getting it accomplished. Only fair, right?
It’s the sorry state of American politics where one of the two major political parties rely solely on its voters remaining patently uninformed as to what’s going on. Contrary to the Democrats’ dire predictions there aren’t federal paddy wagons rolling through Hispanic neighborhoods rounding up people at random with ICE-sponsored one-way tickets to Mexico and central America tucked away in their storage compartments. The groups most effected by the Trump administration’s deportation policies thus far are criminals and repeat offenders.
If anything Trump’s immigration policies have been too lenient, especially when it comes to matters like family separations at border crossings. Reality is a lot different than what the media depicts it – the average Department of Homeland Security “processing” time for asylum claims has been drastically cut and there aren’t large warehouses full of sobbing (temporary) orphans clutching soiled teddy bears wondering where their parents have been taken by mean men and women in uniforms with American flags on them.
That’s a figment of Democrat imaginations but they and their media pals sure produced a ton of political hay over telling the public little children are being ripped out of their mothers’ arms. Human traffickers and drug smugglers use these kids as pawns and props to gain access to the United States – it’s been proven. Where’s common sense here?
People don’t appreciate being patronized and that’s exactly what Democrats are doing in this year’s campaign. Democrats advance a notion (namely that Republicans are racists, anti-Semites and sexists) a mild wide but only an inch deep. Dig below the surface of these stupid unsupported allegations and there’s no foundation there – only a sandy bottom shifting with the political tides. Sooner or later the structure collapses and washes out to sea.
Hispanics citizens — or those who are here legally — know the truth. The “undocumented” ones can’t vote (supposedly) and it doesn’t matter what these folks’ thoughts may be regarding immigration. Economic conditions are good for Hispanics as a whole and if wages are truly the group’s number one voting concern, Democrats are in for a rude surprise on November 6.
Trump and Republicans’ tax cuts and regulation slashing paved the way for businesses of all sorts to expand and hire more people to keep the “wave” of economic activity rolling. News story after news story shows companies having a hard time finding enough workers to operate, which ultimately resulted in wages rising and the unemployment rate falling. It doesn’t take a genius to figure if Democrats crawl back to power they’ll do something to toss a wrench into the well-oiled economy machine. What else are they good for?
Further, if Democrats don’t receive the level of anticipated support from Hispanics and African-Americans next month their “wave” may end up more like a ripple – or dead-flat calm. If there’s evidence such anti-Republican anguish still exists post Kavanaugh, I’d like to hear about it. No one wants to see rabid leftists pounding on the doors of the Supreme Court building or taking to the streets shouting and gesticulating as though all h—l broke loose in the government.
It hasn’t. In “normal” times Americans of all races and religions would swell with pride at the new and positive direction of the nation since Trump took over. Such displays would be bad news for Democrats like Hillary Clinton who last week said “civility” won’t return to the country until her party has congressional majorities. Again, Hispanics aren’t stupid – do you think they’re willing to be seen as fools and their votes taken for granted just because of their skin color and ethnic origin?
The same logic goes for black voters. Rapper Kanye West (who happens to be black and a voter) paid a visit to the Oval Office last week and it sent liberals into a tizzy. Jordan Fabian reported at The Hill, “The mercurial rap star then launched into a 10-minute, profane monologue touching on his own mental health struggles, the pitfalls of the prison system, the 13th Amendment, ways to improve life for African-Americans in inner cities, his relationship with sports apparel giant Adidas and a hydrogen-powered plane he said could replace Air Force One.
“West’s fans are no strangers to his disjointed speeches, which he frequently delivers at his concerts. But Trump appeared surprised by West’s display inside the world’s most powerful room, sitting with his arms folded as he listened to the rapper speak…
“The White House said the meeting was called so that Trump and West could discuss manufacturing, urban revitalization, tamping down violent crime in Chicago and criminal-justice reform.”
The beauty of West’s visit was in its honesty and passion. Perhaps because the rapper is used to rattling things off the top of his head West sustained his talk like boulders rolling downhill – or a wave crashing on the beach. Talk about kinetic energy. The press photographers practically wore out their camera shutter buttons as West moved about telling his story.
West devoted part of his monologue to his businesses and his desire to hire Americans to work for him — and how leaders like Trump were making it easier for him to do. Somewhat thankfully West didn’t lapse into rap song mode though there was no shortage of bleeps for the media outlets carrying the session live.
As we all know Trump is no stranger to that type of “locker room talk,” another unique feature of the outsider president. Can you imagine Mitt Romney welcoming such heartfelt interaction?
In terms of policy considerations the optics of the occasion certainly trumped the content. West was there to tell his fans – and perhaps fellow African-Americans – it’s okay to like Trump and wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat won’t burn scars into your scalp. West isn’t a traitor to his race for sitting across from Trump either – if anything it reinforced how the president is someone who gets the average person even if he’s lived in luxury his entire life.
Granted Trump was never a reefer smoking “choom gang” member – like “Barry” Obama was – but his years as a celebrity certainly gave him familiarity and comfort among the popular sort. Politics must be staid and boring compared to chilling with famous stars – but give Trump credit, he handles it well and doesn’t act out of place with the “cool” set half his age. (As a side note, why was it okay for Obama to toke it up as a high schooler but Brett Kavanaugh was considered an abusive alcoholic because he liked/likes beer?)
How does all this relate to the so-called “blue wave” in a month? It supports the notion Trump isn’t toxic to those who would normally be assumed to be Democrats. West’s had his own tenuous relationship with Republican politicians in the past, having accused President George W. Bush (after Hurricane Katrina in 2005) of not responding faster to the suffering in Louisiana because “he doesn’t like black people” – a charge West now claims was due to his “welfare mentality” at the time.
For his trouble don’t expect West to be invited to share his views at the next NAACP convention – or a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus – his viewpoint is dangerous to their mission to forever change the nation’s culture. If West is truly articulating what many African-Americans are feeling in their hearts it could be a very difficult election for Democrats in three weeks. One rapper’s opinion won’t cause entire demographic groups to change their minds but again, only a small percentage of black voters leaving the Democrat Party would eat a sizeable chunk out of their chances to take back the House.
Democrats will have a hard enough time getting beyond the “breakwater” mistakes they made during the Kavanaugh confirmation circus. Daniel J. Flynn wrote at The American Spectator, “However one wishes to explain it, the reality that poll numbers dropped noticeably after the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings seems hard to deny.
“Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and other Democrats pushing the scorched earth Kavanaugh policy reside in deep-blue cities in deep-blue states. Their constituents may appreciate them fighting the good fight and they appear immune from any consequences from overreach. But most of the states up for grabs fall in red or purple areas of the country. The drooling, shiny-eyed face displayed by Democrats, and their sandwich-board wearing supporters, during the hearings alienated independents and electrified Republicans.
“Beware of Blue waves that break early. They create a terrible undertow.”
It’s true. One wonders how or why Democrat leaders like Schumer and Nancy Pelosi believe all the leftists’ phony emotion and caterwauling would pay dividends for party candidates – especially in red states where the momentum is already against them.
Do you think voters in Montana, Missouri, Indiana and West Virginia want their beer drinking high school days put under the public microscope for censure almost four decades later in life? Would Kanye West approve of his younger years being dissected for flaws?
Democrats seriously blundered by forecasting an ominous “blue wave” would clean Republicans out of Congress simply because of Donald Trump’s personality. Americans aren’t gullible – don’t be surprised if the Democrats’ “wave” turned out to be more akin to a stagnant algae-filled millpond on a windless day.