The Democrats deserve to lose these midterms more than any party has deserved to lose since Republicans got clobbered after Watergate. The corrupt Tom Delay-led GOP Congress during the Bush years was pretty bad, but that was just the elected officials. The whole Democratic Party has disgraced itself along with “the resistance,” the news media, Hollywood, academia and social media for two full years.
This is hardly a new or original interpretation. Lindsey Graham, as close to an ethical member of Congress as I could name, put it pretty clearly squarely in his perfect rant during the Kavanaugh hearing: these people want power so much they will do and say almost anything. Over the past two years, they have relentlessly engaged in fearmongering, while accusing Trump of fearmongering. They have engaged in intimidation, defiance of democratic traditions and institutions, and rejection of core values that are bulwarks of democracy while accusing Trump of being a fascist. By enlisting the mainstream news media as a partisan ally when it is critical that journalists remain objective and neutral, it has crippled the integrity of a crucial component of what makes a democracy work. Graham accurately described this part of the tragedy as well:
“Well, one of the things we’ll learn from Kavanaugh is how in the tank the media really is for the other side. I don’t think they’re the enemy of the people. They’re just allies of the Democratic Party. If a Republican had done to a Democratic nominee what they did to Kavanaugh, it would be front page news everywhere. If Barack Obama’s jobs numbers were anywhere close to what we’re talking about, they would stop the Earth from rotating to make sure everybody heard about it. So the bottom line is it doesn’t work anymore. MSNBC and NBC have become one when it comes to the news cycle. Saturday Night Live is making fun of a guy who lost his eye in Afghanistan. There is a backlash growing in this country from the over the top effort by the left to portray everything conservative as bad and mean and un-American.
The news media deserves to lose the mid-terms, and imagine where we are when that statement actually makes sense.
David French, a NeverTrump conservative pundit from the National Review, pretty much summed up my feelings in one respect:
Ask your Democratic candidate if he or she is willing to publicly condemn New Jersey senator Robert Menendez — tried for public corruption and admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for doing favors for a wealthy contributor in exchange for lavish gifts — the way that so many conservatives condemned (and ultimately rejected) Roy Moore…Look at your Democratic candidate’s actions regarding Brett Kavanaugh. Did they credit facially implausible gang-rape allegations? Did they presume his guilt and declare they “believed survivors” even without substantiation and in the face of contradictory evidence? Did they participate in a campaign to destroy a man’s life and career, only to drop the whole matter the instant he was confirmed?
Democrats decry Republican extremism and alarmism….Ask where your Democratic candidate stands on Hillary Clinton’s rejection of civility, Cory Booker’s call for protesters to “get up in the face of some congresspeople,” Eric Holder’s declaration that “when they go low, we kick them,” or Maxine Waters’s ominous demand that “if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
And while you’re at it, ask your Democratic candidates if the challenge of Donald Trump is so grave that they’re willing to moderate their positions on abortion, immigration, health care, gun rights, or religious liberty even in the slightest to win your support….
I don’t claim that every Democrat fails the test of character and policy, but I do know that the Democrats in general have. They demand public hygiene even as they’re responsible for much of our political filth. They decry extremism even as they stampede to the left. And there are voices — even on the right — who would help this deeply flawed party even as it demonstrates its own profound moral bankruptcy.
In the rest of his column, French makes an argument I have made for literally decades:
I have a simple test for voting: I will vote for individuals of good character who share my political values. If both candidates meet that test (and they rarely do), then of course I vote for the person closest to my views. That means I evaluate the individual whose name is on the ballot, not the president who isn’t yet up for reelection. Nor does the rejection of one candidate lead automatically to a vote for his opponent. Each candidate has to earn your vote, and if no one has, it is entirely acceptable to write in a name or go on strike — to stay home until the political parties can produce a candidate worth your support.
Exactly. Except that there are always exceptions, and I believe that the conduct of one whole side of the political spectrum has been so loathsome, so divisive and so frightening, frankly, that nothing short of complete failure will shock them into changing their current path, which is one that will lead, I fear, to violence and the dissolution of our nation.
Hollywood celebrities accurately reflect the mindset and rhetoric of progressives, based on my conversations, reading and experiences on social media. Here are some examples:
- “Tuesday is my 72nd birthday. I want one great big gift that can only come from you. Vote. Like our lives depend on it. Because they do”
- “It will be unendurable and probably the end of the Great Republic…I am 72 years old and won’t be here when the water runs out. YOU’RE GOING TO BE AWFULLY THIRSTY IF YOU DON’T VOTE AS THOUGH YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT!! THIS ELECTION AND EVERY ONE IN YOUR LIFETIME!! VOTE!”
- “If Trump wins, he will cast it as a complete endorsement of his most undemocratic behavior. If you’re 18, and that happens, you stand a very real chance of not living in a Western-style democracy for part or all of your life.”
The antifa. Restriction of conservative voices on campus. The #MeToo hypocrisy. Never-ending schemes to overturn the election. Demands that freedom of speech be curtailed. Elimination of due process protections of the accused. Coordinated censorship by tech giants. Bullying and harassment of non-conforming citizens in the public square, academia and social media. Big Lies and demonization by race and gender. Name-calling. Escalating denigration of the Presidency and its occupant That has been the Left’s script for the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, and they dare to talk as if they have been the victims, when they have been the aggressors.
History says that the Democrats can’t lose this time, as much as they deserve to. If they do lose, however, I will want to write, and shout, and post on social media,
GOOD! GOOD! You asked for this. All you had to do was to be sane, patriotic Americans and level criticism when deserved and praise when appropriate, and you couldn’t do it. You couldn’t be fair, you couldn’t be responsible, you couldn’t be respectful and you couldn’t be ethical. You proved yourself untrustworthy, and now you are untrusted. GOOD Let’s see if you learn anything.
That would be, however, petty and vindictive. It would only serve to inflame and anger, when healing and reconciliation is desperately needed.
So I won’t. I won’t. It would be wrong, and I won’t, that’s all. I’m better than that. I’m better than them.