I still vividly recall the early morning hours after Election Day, 2016, as I, alone in a timeshare unit in a resort destination familiar to me, witnessed what I considered to be a history changing moment.
November 9, 2016 was not a day that would live in infamy. This was when establishment network news anchors, exhausted from hours of relaying election results from state X and state Y that confirmed their dream of another Democrat presidency had turned into a nightmare, finally conceded that Donald J. Trump, the bombastic New York outsider who nobody but those who’d followed his campaign believed from the beginning, including myself, had pulled off a “miracle” and beat Hillary Clinton to become the next President of the United States.
The shock among the political class was tangible as Trump, surrounded by family and close political allies, stepped to the microphone to deliver his acceptance speech. The address itself wasn’t notable for a whole lot -- as I recall, he was gracious in victory as he was throughout the GOP primary season, and promised to get going on the quest to Make America Great Again and return the government to the people.
To the degree that Trump was capable of graciousness and uttering standard political-speak, this was the occasion. What else would he do? Trump had to know that he had a monumental task on his hands, namely to try and unite a country that had been split apart by racial and partisan rancor during the awful tenure of Barack Obama. The lifelong real estate developer who specialized in building new and beautiful things would need to somehow bring an attitude of know-how to a badly broken political system.
For my part, I remember thinking, ‘We’ve got four years to get enough of the MAGA agenda enacted to make Trump popular to the extent people will drop their animosities and vote for him again.’
I was reminded of Benjamin Franklin’s famous 1787 quote regarding the fragility of the new governing compact. Upon exiting the Constitutional Convention, he was asked by a bystander what form of government the delegates had just created. Franklin candidly replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
That morning in 2016, I wondered whether we could “keep” the new Trump-fostered MAGA government that the voters had just given us. That was the eternal question. Four years of incessant finger-pointing, Democrat obsession with revenge, blatantly false accusations, establishment media complicity, impeachment and a number of RINO detractors from his own party proved to be too much for the prospect of more Trump. Was the 2020 election stolen? Perhaps. The evidence is strong but needs additional research and study.
Now, with Joe Biden’s popularity dangling by a thread, it certainly appears that Democrats are the ones on the way out. Will this lead to a permanent or semi-permanent Republican majority? Or will it merely prove temporary only to swing back the other way in a couple years’ time?
In a piece titled, “Ping-pong Politics Is the New Normal”, Charlie Cook wrote at the appropriately named Cook Political Report:
“The Democratic Party has moved so far to the left and the Republican Party so far right that not only is the center of gravity in each party heading toward the extremes but the parties are each getting narrower; the ideological distance between the most liberal in the Democratic Party and the least liberal is not that great, just as the distance between the most and least conservative elements in the Republican Party continues to shrink. As a result, candidates and policies that were once on the fringes of each party are now squarely in their mainstreams, and what used to be in the mainstream is now the fringe. The parties have each become so self-absorbed, with so little self-awareness, that they seem not to recognize how much they have become caricatures of themselves. Democrats are becoming what Republicans said they were 30 years ago—and vice versa. What were gross exaggerations not that long ago are now appearing more prophetic.
“This game of political ping pong is likely to continue, with policy ricocheting from the left to right and back in two- and four-year intervals, with each party taking turns absorbing the hits until they are thrown out of power. A helluva way to run a country.”
Yes, indeed. It is a helluva way to run a country, but in essence, it’s not necessarily just the voters’ fault. The chronic dissatisfaction that seems to be a permanent fixture of American public opinion is brought about by ideological insanity on the part of one of the two major political parties and a liberal media establishment that is so bent on preventing reform that it lies, cheats, steals and covers for everything Democrats do.
And the Republican establishment usually stands cowardly by and lets them do it.
No wonder the “wrong track” poll number across the administrations never moves a whole lot -- unless you’re talking about Joe Biden’s presidency. The bumbling senile dunce half-century swamp dweller from Delaware has demonstrated a remarkable singular ability to turn people off. It’s gotten so bad that many people who voted for the Democrat ticket have inexorably turned against him. The old crows on ‘The View’ still love the Bidens, but real people plug their noses whenever his mug flashes on TV.
The speculation on whether senile Joe will run for another term continues and shows no sign of abating. And ticked off American voters appear more than ready to kick Nancy Pelosi out of the Speaker’s chair and return ultra-annoying, nasally voiced elitist “Chucky” Schumer to his former perch as chief senate complainer and whiner on Capitol Hill.
But is Cook correct, that this year’s impending electoral correction is just the latest batting of the power ping pong ball across the proverbial net, to last only as long as public opinion allows and inevitably swings the other way and returns Democrats to power as it did in 2006, 2018 and 2020?
Recent political history would suggest this is the case, but there are also a number of signals that point to a more lasting switch in party control. I disagree with Cook that both parties are gravitating towards their polar extremes and becoming more socialist or conservative, respectively. While it’s true that the GOP, under Trump, made strides to throw off the shackles of big business and the country club establishment Republicans, sadly the changeover has been slow and dissatisfying in principled conservatives’ estimation.
Democrats, on the other hand, have almost completed a full conversion to Bernie Sanders’ version of the big government dark side. The party under Biden, Pelosi and Schumer no longer pretends to be “moderate” and for the working man and woman; no, they’re too busy praying at the Al Sharpton/George Floyd altar of “woke” racial extremism where even proposing to punish criminals leads to accusations of disloyalty and threats of violence.
There is no “moderation” in the Democrat party any longer. West Virginia senator Joe Manchin comes as close to the center as Democrats get these days, but ask your typical leftist agitator what he, she, or “it” thinks of Manchin and you’re likely to be harangued with negativity. Democrats managed to pass a $1.9 trillion COVID “relief” bill and tack on a $1.2 trillion phony “infrastructure” package last year, but it’s not enough for the kooks to sit back and count their cash.
Democrats have also designated their cultural hills to die on -- namely, the idea that “birthing humans” have a right to terminate their pregnancies up to the moment of birth (or beyond) and the notion that biological females can declare themselves men and vice versa. One can’t switch TV news channels without seeing some leftist fringe nut vowing defiance and predicting doom for the country if Roe v. Wade is overturned. And if these same people had their way, you’d believe that every other person is gay or bisexual and contemplating transitioning instead of a minutely small percentage of the population claiming the status.
Decent Americans are fed up with the Democrats’ taking over of normally non-partisan institutions and making them “woke”. Think about it; the left owns the bureaucracy, academia, culture (Hollywood and music outside of country music), corporate America (anyone want to buy Coca Cola these days?) and nearly all of the country’s major cities. Even the once semi-conservative medical profession has been infiltrated and taken over by statists.
I believe that the COVID episode changed folks politically. As more facts come out about the virus’s origin and how the government authorities mishandled the matter, ordinary Americans are seeing through the ruse Democrats concocted. Not only did liberals not eradicate COVID, they spent trillions to wipe out something that couldn’t be swept away. And they lied about it. And they’re STILL wearing masks! Voters don’t want unrealistic pie-in-the-sky promises that can’t ever be accomplished. That’s what Democrats offer. How would anyone “cure” climate change? How do you “lower prices” in a private economy like senile Joe has repeatedly promised? It all smacks of more government control and more subsidies. Republicans, for the most part, guarantee only that they will expand energy production and try to limit taxes in order to inspire economic growth.
Democrats want to “give” it to you, paid by someone else through high taxes. And they’ll be “woke” while they’re doing it, too. Will anyone want to go back to the way things are at present?
American voters have always been fickle and the “ping pong” nature of politics has tended to switch partisan control back-and-forth often. But one can’t help but feel the overzealous Democrats have really done it to themselves this time. We can only hope people grasp the significance.
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