Will Progressives Re-Elect Donald Trump?
Turns out Pauline Kael, the late film critic of the New Yorker, didn’t actually say what many of us have long believed. For decades we’ve reveled in the absurdity of her supposed observation about how “I don’t understand how Nixon could have won. I don’t know anybody who voted for him” – a remark that supposedly demonstrated how elite liberals like Ms. Kael live in a bubble insulated from the outside world where … ugh! … stupid people and other Republicans live.
But she did say this: “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon.”
Close enough, don’t you think.
Nixon voters, she went on to say, were outside her “ken,” her cognizance, her awareness, her knowledge. Then the final knife in the side of the unwashed: “But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”
Yes, Pauline Kael, brilliant writer of film that she was, was also an elitist who could “feel” those deplorable dopes if they were so much as in the same movie theater with her.
You will be excused if you think not all that much has changed with the liberal elite since 1972.
Today, the reason just about every Democrat and her cousin is running for president is because every one of them believes that all he or she has to do is win the party nomination and -- bingo! – they’ll become president of the United States. After that it’s a breeze; beating Donald Trump, they figure, is a given.
Like Ms. Kael, they live in a “rather special world,” these elitists. She barely knew anyone who voted for Richard Nixon; they barely know anyone who voted for Donald Trump. Trump people aren’t in the progressive “ken” to use Ms. Kael’s word. But while residing inside the progressive cocoon may allow them to feel comfortable and safe, it may be giving them a false sense of invincibility regarding 2020.
It’s true that America is in a “soak the rich” mood at the moment. At least that’s what the polls tell us. Most Americans are gung-ho for raising taxes on just about anyone who makes more money than they do. But come crunch time will they really be in the mood to fundamentally change America, not just economically, but culturally too --- as so many progressives are anxious to do?
Let’s start with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, a pie-in-the-sky progressive wet dream that would bankrupt the country. In its original form it contained guaranteed “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.”
Crazy, right? So why did more than 70 Democrats in the House and about a dozen in the Senate sign on to this nonsense?
When it became obvious that people who actually work for a living weren’t about to support a presidential candidate who was in favor of giving money to people “unwilling to work” – Ocasio-Cortez and the gang said, Oops, sorry, and yanked it from their plan.
When voters find out that there aren’t enough rich people in America (or the whole world, for that matter) to pay for this Green absurdity, and that the sainted middle class would have to pay their“ fair share” to turn the dream into a reality, would they still vote for the Democratic candidate?
And then there are the progressives, including Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, whose hectoring convinced Amazon to abandon its expansion into New York City. The hard left didn’t want Amazon to get a $3 billion dollar tax break – even though it was estimated that the city would get $27 billion in new taxes as a result.
You could argue that governments shouldn’t give tax breaks to any corporation, but that’s the way the game is played these days. If New York didn’t come up with the tax break, some other city would.
What city wouldn’t want a company to come in and hire thousands of workers and pay them an average of $150,000 a year? And what about all the blue-collar folks who would build the new structure and the ones who run diners and restaurants in the area, and how about the nannies and housekeepers who would also find work?
But progressives put a bullet in the plan and it’ll be interesting to see if Ms. Ocasio Cortez -- darling of the hard left as she is -- can even win re-election in 2020 after scaring off so many jobs.
It’s a safe bet that Donald Trump – if he decides to run for reelection (something I’m not convinced he’ll do) -- will remind voters that if they elect a left-wing Democrat for president, the economy, which has been doing quite well under his presidency, is likely to head south under progressive tax and spend economic policies.
And there’s also abortion. As you probably know by now, the governor of Virginia, who is also a pediatrician, told an interviewer that if a late term abortion went awry, he would deliver the baby, keep it comfortable while he consulted with the mother on what she wants to do next.
That’s a nice way of saying he’d ask her if she wants the baby to live or die
Where was the outcry from the progressives running for president? Which one said, “No, this is too much, this is just plain wrong!” When you’re beholden to the pro-abortion rights lobby, you don’t speak up against a “woman’s right to choose” even if that means the right to choose to have her doctor kill her newborn baby.
When Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska introduced a bill requiring medical care for babies actually born alive after failed abortions all six Democratic presidential candidates in the Senate voted against it.
Maybe, as Michael Barone, the wise political commentator puts it, Democratic presidential candidates “don’t seem to understand their vulnerability on issues like reparations, ninth-month abortions, and the Green New Deal.”
Add to that list, impeachment. If the base pushes Democrats in the House to initiate impeachment proceeding against President Trump, his poll numbers likely will go up while theirs go down. It happened when Republicans impeached Bill Clinton.
Still, while Mr. Trump’s most loyal fans don’t like to hear it, he’s got an uphill road ahead of him (as I say if he decides to run for reelection) -- especially if he winds up running against a relative moderate like Joe Biden. Mr. Trump would have to win the votes of just about everybody who voted for him the first time around. That’s not going to happen. Some voters were willing to give the brash businessman a shot once, but won’t do it twice. For a lot of Americans four years of the Trump show are enough. Time to change the channel.
But if one of the many hopefuls on the left wing of the Democratic Party wins the nomination they will give Donald J. Trump the best shot he has to win a second term.
Americans may want change. But do they really want the kind of change a progressive Democrat beholden to a hard left base would bring? Do they really want to fundamentally change America? Especially if the Trump economy is still strong and making their lives better?