|November 20, 2020|
Good evening! Today's Evening Edition includes:
- A sharp political divide
- Down-ballot elections not getting the attention they deserve
- Texas still seeing red
A SHARP POLITICAL DIVIDE
There’s seldom been a sharper divide in America over the views of an election. Trump’s people claim he really won in a landslide and was cheated by massive vote fraud. The Democrats and the media brush that off as crazy, unfounded conspiracy talk and irresponsible, un-American rhetoric that undermines faith in a free and fair election.
I’m deliberately not taking a side on issues that I don’t know the truth about. I made my view clear early on, and caught flak for it, in calling on Joe Biden and the Democrats to simply agree to work in a bipartisan fashion to audit the vote to reassure voters that they could trust the results. If there was nothing amiss, then they should be eager to prove it, dispel the suspicions and move on.
Instead, the accusations have devolved lower every day (“You’re crazy!”/”You’re a thief!”), and a new poll shows how corrosive this has already been. A recent Rasmussen survey found that 59% of Americans think mail-in ballots will lead to more voter fraud (that’s 86% of Republicans and even 36% of Democrats.) Now, a new Rasmussen survey of likely voters finds that 61% think Trump should concede to Biden. That includes 84% of Democrats, 59% of Independents and 37% of Republicans.
But here’s the weird part: even though 61% think Trump should concede, 47% think it’s likely Democrats stole votes or destroyed Trump ballots to win, while 50% disagree. That means that not only do nearly half of voters not trust the election results, but as many as 14% apparently believe or suspect the election was stolen, but Trump should concede anyway.
Democrats are rushing to blame this apparent loss of faith in elections on Trump refusing to concede and making wild accusations of fraud and conspiracy. But they’re conveniently overlooking their own part in preparing the ground by spending four years making wild, unsubstantiated claims that the 2016 election was rigged by Russia and that Trump is an “illegitimate” President. They even made a party leader and celebrity out of Stacy Abrams, who has yet to concede her loss in Georgia in 2018. She’s currently leading their drive to win Georgia’s two Senate seats, even as prominent Democrats openly call for liberals to move temporarily to Georgia and commit voter fraud by voting in the runoff.
It’s not healthy for this nation to have so many people start to believe – whether that belief is accurate or not – that they can’t trust our election process. It’s like ignoring a crack in your home’s foundation. Restoring their trust is going to take both parties working to pass bipartisan reform to make our elections more secure. One top priority should be an end to the push to simply mail ballots to every name on unvetted, out-of-date voter lists, which even 39% of Democrats see as an open door to vote fraud. That’s how we treat junk mail, and ballots are not junk.
Unfortunately, as Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko points out, the House is already poised to do the exact opposite if the Democrats win the Senate. They will ram through HR 1, a bill that federalizes election laws to remove most safeguards, including banning voter ID laws and legalizing ballot harvesting. This is why it’s so vital that the Republicans win those Georgia seats so the Senate can put the brakes on incredibly irresponsible bills like these.
Now is the time to tighten election security and reassure Americans that the system works, not undermine their trust even more. Anyone who would fight even the most basic, common sense laws to insure that every vote is secure and legal is signaling a lack of concern for the disenfranchisement of legal voters and prioritizing the pursuit of their own power over the good of the nation.
DOWN-BALLOT ELECTIONS NOT GETTING THE ATTENTION THEY DESERVE
While the presidential race is spinning into surreal territory, the down ballot races are getting less attention, but they carry serious national implications as well. For instance, there was the “blue wave” that didn’t appear (Republicans were supposed to lose House seats, not retain and flip so many that they came close to retaking the majority, which AOC apparently thought they did.)
Another monumental story that’s been largely overlooked was the election results for state legislatures, where redistricting lines will be drawn that will shape the House for the next decade. Democrats were salivating over grabbing that power, but Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com points out that not only did Democrats not flip a single state legislative chamber, Republicans shocked them by flipping both the House and Senate in New Hampshire. Now Republicans have a huge advantage over redistricting. He wrote:
“Republicans are set to control the redistricting of 188 congressional seats — or 43 percent of the entire House of Representatives. By contrast, Democrats will control the redistricting of, at most, 73 seats, or 17 percent.”
Of course, legislators aren’t supposed to draw districts to their parties’ advantage, but it happens. That’s how we get Congressional districts that look like a chalk outline drawn around a dead centipede. When Republicans do it, it’s called “gerrymandering,” and when Democrats do it, it’s called “fairness.”
TEXAS STILL SEEING RED
Another big election story that didn’t pan out was “Texas turning blue.” At the link, “Beto” O’Rourke writes about what Democrats learned from this race and why Texans didn’t fall for what they were selling (my terminology.
As usual with liberals, he misses the point again and again. Whenever the left loses, it’s always because their “messaging” wasn’t effective enough. Having billions of dollars in both paid advertising and free friendly media to promote their economic and social policies just wasn’t enough to overcome the lies of the Republicans playing upon the fears of the poor, uneducated voters (quite a ringing endorsement for public schools, by the way.)
He cites as examples “lies” like “Biden will kill your oil and gas jobs” and “Biden will close down the economy” (two things Biden specifically said he would do, before looking at the polls and backtracking furiously.) He forgot, “Hell, yes,” the Democrats will take away your guns, which is what he famously said. I’m sure that played well in Texas.
He almost came close to getting it right when he said the national party had ignored Texas border districts and were shocked when Trump got such a high percentage of the vote there. But he misreads the reason. It’s not because the Democrats didn’t put in enough ads or outreach or canvassing. It’s because, as always, they assumed racial groups think monolithically, not as individuals. Latinos living along the border are on the front lines of suffering the negative effects of illegal immigration, including drugs and gang violence. Why would they vote for the “open borders/defund the police” party?
You’ve heard the saying, “When you ‘assume,’ you make an ‘ass’ of ‘u’ and ‘me’”? That was part of the Democrats’ problem in Texas. They assumed that all Latinos think alike and their votes belong to the Democrats by divine right. But in Texas, most Latinos are hard-working, God-fearing, law-abiding, church-going, patriotic, pro-family and pro-life. It’s not that they didn’t hear the Democrats’ message, they heard it loud and clear, found it terrifyingly radical, and rejected it. No amount of slick ads could put enough lipstick on the pig the Dems were trying to sell them.
And if you insist on putting people into categories, at least get the category right. Texas Latinos have their own proud heritage dating back to before Texas was a republic. It’s called Tejano, not Latino, and certainly not the annoying PC invention, “Latinx.” The Democrats’ leftist policies went over with them about as well as they did with Cubans in Florida.
One of my writers who lives in suburban Dallas provided a perfect example. He said the person he knows who is most adamantly opposed to illegal immigration is a lady who moved here with her husband from Mexico City. It infuriates her when illegal aliens come to them for jobs in their construction company, assuming she’ll hire them because she’s Mexican. She said she and her husband followed the laws, waited their turn, studied, took tests, paid fees and swore an oath to become Americans. She considers it an affront to her beloved adopted homeland for people to break its laws and demand the same rights they worked so hard to earn. What would the “one-size-fits-all” identity politics left make of her?
While it’s sadly true that the Democrats are making inroads in Texas, many Texans are seeing what allowing them to take over the big cities has led to and are recoiling in horror. Leftists have taken over Austin, and between the homelessness, trash, defunding the police and huge spike in violent crime, they’re turning the city’s motto from “Keep Austin Weird” to “Make Austin Unlivable.” The biggest problem Democrats have in selling their policies is not that their messaging isn’t effective enough; it’s that their policies are disastrous and anything they gain full control over, they destroy. Their biggest opponent isn't Republicans, it's reality.
“Beto” is right about one thing. He said: “People are smart. They smell a focus group-tested message, talking points derived from polls, a campaign driven by consultants, from a mile away.”
But their real problem is that there are also a lot of things about leftwing governance that people can smell from a mile away.
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