Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Inauguration Week: Democrats Still in Denial

“I Don’t See Trump as a Legitimate President.”

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)

Lewis (picture) is a civil rights icon who marched at Selma in 1965 into a horrible beating at the hands of racist Alabama state troopers. Now Lewis is boycotting the Trump presidential inauguration, leading as of today nearly one-third of his fellow Democratic congressmen to follow.  Lewis said Russian hacking (previously discussed here) makes Trump’s election illegitimate.

Democrats find it hard to accept that Trump won, because Clinton beat him in the popular vote by 2.9 million.  After all, for Democrats Al Gore made George W. Bush an “illegitimate president” in 2001, and Gore won the popular vote by a measly 500,000.

But look at the popular vote trend line over the last three presidential elections, shown in the following chart:

In each election, the Democrat received fewer votes than in the one before, and the Republican gained more.  Yet in each election, the Republican candidate was less attractive than in the election before.  John McCain (2008) was a war hero and one of the establishment’s most beloved Republicans. 

Mitt Romney (2012) was a decent human with a wonderful family, but unlike McCain, Romney found himself separated from average Americans by wealth, religion, and by the sentiment behind his “quote of the year” statement that:
"There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what...who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. ...These are people who pay no income tax. ...and so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” 
Donald Trump (2016) is hands down less attractive than either McCain or Romney. But Trump received more votes than any Republican ever.  Hillary Clinton may have garnered 2.9 million votes more than Trump, but she lost not only the vote that matters — the electoral vote — by a significant margin (77 votes; Gore lost by only 5 in 2000), but unlike Obama, Clinton also lost the popular vote outside California (see above chart).

John Daniel Davidson, in the conservative “Federalist,” describes why Trump’s victory proved such a shock to Obama:
Obama was uninterested in debate, still less in persuasion. If you didn’t agree, you were on the wrong side of history. In this, Obama [shaped] the dominant ethos of the Democratic Party .   .   . the basis of Clinton’s campaign: we are on the winning side. The “deplorables” who support Trump, who aren’t on board with the progressive agenda, are “irredeemable.” Why bother reaching out to them? Why compromise, when victory is certain?
Obama’s shock goes for most Democrats. The progressive world doesn’t have room for Trump and his followers. Writing in the leftist online arts magazine “The Baffler,” Jacob Silverman pointed to the cult of celebrity as a prime reason Hillary lost:
pleas for celebrity attention seem to reflect a liberal desire to see their politics validated, even given a halo of glamor, by fellow elites. Clinton’s pithy tweets and Jay-Z concert appearances appeal to the already converted while offering nothing to the millions of American workers wondering if, just maybe, the woman who gives secret $250,000 speeches to bankers lacks a common touch.
Conservative Victor Davis Hanson of Stanford’s Hoover Institution would help progressives understand what happened, if they would only listen.  Hanson writes:
Donald Trump captured the twenty-first-century malaise of a rural America left behind by globalized coastal elites and largely ignored by the establishments of both political parties. Central to Trump’s electoral success, too, were age-old rural habits and values that tend to make the interior broadly conservative. That a New York billionaire almost alone grasped how red-state America truly thought, talked, and acted, and adjusted his message and style accordingly, will remain one of the astonishing ironies of American political history.

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