Salena Zito has a new column out that throws significant light on not just the presidential election but also the state of the nation.
Titled “No Matter Who Wins, There Is No Exit From the Roller Coaster Anytime Soon,” the column spells out what is at stake in 2020 and concludes that if Joe Biden is elected, voters will have an immediate and severe case of buyers’ remorse.
Here is the central premise of Zito’s argument:
“He has no idea which candidate he’s going to vote for next month.
The 36-year-old registered Republican and conservative found President Donald Trump’s comportment so distasteful in 2016 that he voted for Hillary Clinton. Since then, he found himself reluctantly liking Trump’s accomplishments and started leaning toward voting for Trump in 2020. But he puts the brakes on supporting Trump every time the president says something he thinks is outrageous.
“I just want this chaos to end,” he [a Pennsylvania voter] says in frustration. “That is what I am going to vote for: no chaos.”
This suburban voter, like many others who might decide this election, now leans more toward Joe Biden. He is not alone.
Many voters going into this election next month believe if Biden wins the presidency, the constant disruption, chaos and social unrest will recede because Trump will no longer be president. Some of them are actually hinging their vote on that. Those exasperated voters and every reporter who spins that reasoning are as wrong about that as they were in their belief that the 2016 election was all about Trump. It never was.
So, Zito states plainly what many of us have noticed as well — that if Trump loses the election, it will not be because people disagree with his policies, but because they find him to be disagreeable
A loss by Trump therefore will be a loss for the majority of Americans who despise the political system that Trump has heroically attempted to clean up like Hercules in the Augean stables. As Zito notes:
Trump was never the cause of the conservative populist coalition that put him in office. He was the result of it.
After decades of voters’ dissatisfaction with both political parties, institutions, government and culture, they voted for themselves and their communities over both parties’ establishments. It wasn’t about voting for Trump.
A lot of very smart people keep missing that critical nuance.
Which smart people in particular? The media, of which both Zito and I are members, but not part of the coastal elites. Zito delivers a devastating takedown of these scoffing know-it-alls who know practically nothing about the American people.
If Trump’s opponents, or those who cover him, were to spend any time listening to voters and not making fun of them, categorizing them as a cult, racists, stupid or whatever word of the day, they would understand that.
I don’t mean parachuting in for a day at a diner and calling that understanding of a community but walking in their shoes and their community’s streets to see how government has either failed them or passed their community by. It wouldn’t hurt to stay in town for a couple of days, attend church with people, go to work with them or watch them coach Little League.
Look someone in the eyes while standing on the very ground they walk on, not from the bubble of your life experiences, and you might experience a little empathy.
But, Zito concludes, that is unlikely to happen, nor will the voter who wants to avoid chaos get his wish. In fact, it will just becomes worse.
The hard and very vocal left will demand climate change legislation, defunding or deep restructuring of our nation’s police forces, free college tuition, a $15 minimum wage, “Medicare for All” and a restructuring of our education system to include radical lessons like The 1619 Project as part of the curriculum.
The left will take its demands to social media, the streets and Washington until they get what they want. That is not a threat; that is just a reality. Biden is not the far left’s candidate, but he is the means to an end of Trump. Once elected, there is a valid expectation of a far-left reward for voting for Biden.
The moderate Democrats, independents and suburban Republicans who may put Biden into office won’t willingly go along with sweeping government changes to satisfy activists, or with higher taxes needed to support those changes. They won’t take to the streets, but they will silently move away from the coalition in which they had decided to dip their toe. The result will be an instantaneous shift back toward Republican candidates for the 2022 midterm elections, and the continuation of the wildly swinging wave elections we’ve been experiencing since 2006.
In short, there is no exit from the roller coaster anytime soon.
We keep sending Washington a message with our votes every two years, and Washington keeps misreading the results.
From here in Montana, that sure sounds right.
I suspect Zito didn’t write the headline, because she doesn’t write like it doesn’t matter who wins the election. Indeed, if President Trump we’re re-elected from the depths of his 17-point deficit, despite the constant drumbeat of negative press coverage, that might send a message so loud that even the blindered, ear-muffed media in Washington DC would get it.
We can hope for that outcome, but if the unthinkable happens and Biden gets elected, we had better have a game plan to make it through the next two years, so that we can take advantage of the 2022 midterm elections and take or hold majorities in both houses of Congress in order to set right what has gone wrong.
As Zito suggests, the war will not be over. Think of this as the political equivalent of the Battle of Britain, an air campaign waged by the Nazis against England in World War II. It wreaked considerable damage on the United Kingdom, but did not destroy its spirit. Eventually Britain and the United States prevailed over the forces of darkness.
With Churchill, let us repeat, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
Or as he said a year earlier, after the devastating defeat at Dunkirk, “Never surrender.”
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