What about the current state of affairs in America is making a “blue wave” midterm election inevitable? What is happening on a policy level that has voters ready to sweep Republicans out and replace them with Democrats?
I’m not asking as it pertains to fully-committed, Donald Trump-hating, far-left Democrats. I’m asking as it pertains to that large cohort of so-called independent voters who, as we are endlessly told, decide elections.
What, exactly, is going so wrong that these voters are going to run Republicans out of town next month?
Perhaps it’s the weak economy. No, wait. The U.S. economy grew at 4.2 percent in the third quarter – more than twice the average rate for the entire eight years of the Obama presidency. U.S. economic growth hasn’t been this strong in decades.
Perhaps, then, voters are going to punish Republicans out of deep frustration at the lack of job prospects. Well…no, that can’t be it either. According to the most recent data from the Department of Labor, there are 7.1 million job openings in America but only about six million unemployed.
Yes, but voters are upset that those good job statistics don’t apply to minorities like African Americans and Hispanics. Yes! That’s it! Minorities are suffering. But wait. Unemployment among African Americans, Hispanics and women is at its lowest levels since 1969. For African Americans, it’s the lowest on record.
Well, it must be confidence then. People just don’t have a good feeling about the future and they blame that unease on Republicans. Except…confidence today fairly permeates the air. Consumer confidence as measured by the Conference Board stands at an 18-year high.
So what else could it be? Fear of terrorism? That seems unlikely. Terror attacks on the order of what we experienced on a near weekly basis during the Obama presidency simply aren’t happening these days. ISIS, once the leading worldwide author of terrorism, has been severely crippled as a result of Trump administration policy.
So why, then, are independent voters going to sweep out the Republicans in favor of the Democrats next month? Is it less about what they’re opposed to and more about what they favor? For example, are they for repealing the tax cuts that fattened up their net paychecks? Do they yearn to go back to living on less?
Are these concerned voters demanding a return to policies that made China’s economic and military eclipse of the United States seem inevitable? Are they fed-up and itching for the chance to vote for politicians that will help return us to the days when North Korea was lobbing missiles over the Sea of Japan?
The essential questions are these. Is disdain for Donald Trump so strong as to prefer the international chaos and domestic stagnation of the recent past over the increasing international calm and robust growth of the present? Are Donald Trump’s tweets really that offensive? Are Democratic policies really that attractive?
Answer these questions how you will. My answers are no, no and no.
I think Republicans will do well in the upcoming election, and that Donald Trump stands a good chance of securing a second term, but beyond Trump, what? Another in a line of feckless Republican presidents (Democrats in slow motion), or a socialist Democrat government that, once in power, will by whatever means necessary insure that it wins eveyr future election? As government constantly adds dependents, in time, maybe sooner than we think, the makers will be outnumbered by the takers. Jobs, a strong economy, personal freedom, etc. are cherished by those who work. Those who don’t work, those who get their income from the government, and those who do work but work within the government or education swamps–that class doesn’t care if there’s a good job market or a strong economy. They get their handouts in good times or bad. What they want and are voting for is a bigger government that, they imagine, will give them more and more.
Legitimate concerns, Buddy, but be of good cheer anyway. Among the many things that Donald Trump is accomplishing is the wringing out of fecklessness from the ranks of Republicans. The Paul Ryans, Jeff Flakes, Bob Corkers, et.al. are fading away. Have you listened lately to Mitch McConnell? He’s starting to sound like an actual conservative. If we’ve learned nothing since June 2015 when Donald Trump rode down that escalator, we’ve learned that even though “things have always been this way,” they’re not necessarily that way anymore. Conventional wisdom of long-standing is not holding up like it once did.
Buddy, you don’t think Mike Pence is just going to return to Indiana and clip coupons do you? He will follow the Donald’s coattails just like the elder Bush followed Reagan’s two terms in the White House.
“What is happening on a policy level that has voters ready to sweep Republicans out and replace them with Democrats?”
Recreational rah-rah about “sweep” (or not) is just noise.
RE policy: Data, from two prominent pollsters — one for the Dems, the other a GOP vendor — dang-near in unison, at Wall Street Journal event last week: “Preexisting Conditions” is, far-and-away, THE issue across The Fruited Plain.
Unsurprising, because so many families are impacted; and because once you give something to the American people, lotsa luck taking it back.
Two other items both offered:
1. Incumbent Republican senators are not touting Tax Cuts on the stump. THEIR polling: PERCEIVED AS “a tax cut for the rich.”
2. Kavanaugh “win” has galvanized both sides; would’ve been better for GOP if it came closer to election.
All good points! If this were a presidential election year, President Trump would almost certainly be re-elected by a larger margin than 2016. He was elected on a platform that he is faithfully fulfilling; almost unheard of in modern politics of both parties. Nothing has changed that would jeopardize his second term. My concerns for this mid-term election are complacency of Republican voters, how the electoral map is drawn in certain congressional districts, and the willingness of Democrats to use any dirty tactic available to regain power. Historical precedence favors a more energized party opposing the party of the sitting president, as well as a general sentiment for divided government. The party in control of the executive branch is usually more complacent and thus not as energized or as likely to vote. However, every single patriot in this country should consider very carefully the terrible consequences of a Democrat congress; these unhinged anarchists will feel more emboldened if their shameful behavior is rewarded. Just think about the “rogues gallery” that would occupy the Democrat leadership positions; if that does not motivate one to get to the polls, I do not know what would! In spite of the headwinds, I share the optimism that Paul expresses in his commentary.
Things have a way of working out.
Excellent column Mr. Gleiser.
The main thing to do in my humble opinion is this… “vote and vote straight Republican” and let no one deter you from casting your ballot this Election 2018 as it is critical for President Trump to secure and sustain all of the many major accomplishments going forward.
In start contrast, all the Democrats have in mind is to “obstruct, resist, and to derail” our duly elected President, wrecking all of the positive policy changes his administration has achieved– a U.S. manufacturing renaissance, 4% GDP growth, and a jobs & economic boom with the lowest unemployment rate [3.7%] in nearly 50 years!, something the previous president said could not be done. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS DONE IT along with the invaluable help of the good men and women Republicans of our legislative branch. 2 Supreme Court Justices confirmed, major TAX CUTS, and the abolishing of needless regulations which have done great damage to small businesses both in existence and those would be entrepreneurs seeking to form new enterprises, just a small sampling of the 289 major accomplishments President Trump along with the legislative teamwork of fellow Republicans.
Everything I have named above are achievements the Democrats could have NEVER done nor do they even have the desire to do as their entire world view is skewed, warped, and wrapped up in globalism, whereas Republicans and President Trump are firmly rooted in an AMERICAN view — BIG difference.
I am enthusiastic and I will be voting Republican and NOTHING is going to deter my enthusiasm of getting out to cast my vote. In my view, it is imperative that I support President Trump, by voting for Ted Cruz, and Louie Gohmert without fail, because they are working for a more prosperous United States of America, for us all.