November 21, 2020
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.