What happened?- by Amanda S. Green
That’s the question so many of us have been asking since last week’s election totals began rolling in. It is a question we’ll continue to debate over the next two years. We need to look at the close races as well as the races we should have won. What went wrong? Then, in those races we shouldn’t have won but did, why?
Let’s get one of the reasons out of the way right now. The first is that we saw a standard mid-term response to the party in office. Historically, the party in power loses ground during mid-term elections. So we should have anticipated at least some of the shift we saw. “In midterms since 1862, the president’s party has averaged losses of about 32 seats in the House and more than two seats in the Senate,” according to Mary Jordan in this post for Politifact.
Part of the reason for this is because fewer people, often far fewer, vote in mid-term elections than in presidential election years. Another part is the “X-Factor”, X being whoever the president is. We saw it during the Obama administration and we are seeing it now. It is especially prevalent when you have a president who actually does something, whether it be good or bad. With Obama, we had it with Obamacare and some of his other policies. With Trump, we have it with his economic policies and with his personality. That “X-Factor” tends to motivate folks to the polls, as it did this time.
There might have been a record number of voters for a mid-term election in a number of areas around the country, but those voters were not conservatives or libertarians in all too many instances. Too many sat back and rested on the wave of votes that brought Trump into office. The liberals, on the other hand, used Trump as the motivator to get the votes out (legal and not).
But there are things we, as conservatives and libertarians, need to be aware of and watch out for in the future. One of the reasons the Democrats managed to get so many folks to the polls (and I mean living, breathing folks and not the dead and buried) is because they put forth candidates that enticed younger voters. They beat the gun control drum as well. They talked about issues young voters, without any real life experience thought sounded “awesome” but never talked about how they’d pay for those issues. Because so many of our youth hasn’t figured out politicians lie, they bought it hook, line and sinker.
How else do you explain someone like Occasional-Cortex—sorry, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—winning not only her primary but the election? Here is a young socialist bitching and moaning now because she can’t afford an apartment in DC until she gets her first congressional paycheck in three months. Where is all the affordable housing? We have to take steps to make it more affordable for the pols to live. Whine, bitch and whine some more.
The younger set is eating it up. Why? Because they aren’t looking at the fact that Occasional-Cortex quit her bartending job a year ago to go on the campaign trail. How did she live during that time? Oops, let me rephrase that. She lived on other people’s money, just as she plans to now.
I don’t know about you, but she is the perfect example of what we need to vote out of office and keep as far away from any political office, or classroom, as possible.
Then we had Beto O’Rourke. As a Texan, I can only thank God he wasn’t elected and it was a damned close thing. Beto came out as an everyman. He wore jeans and rolled his sleeves up. He wore ball caps. He rode skateboards. He was the “young” candidate, the voice of our youth.
Except, he is only one year younger than Ted Cruz. But to look at them, to listen to them, you’d think there was at least a decade difference in their ages.
The Republicans fell down on the job—hell, let’s be honest. They were asleep at the wheel—where Beto was concerned. They didn’t bring out his history, criminal and otherwise. They let him be this generation’s JFK, exactly what the DNC wanted. And it came too damn close to working.
Instead of reminding folks, especially those in El Paso where Beto started, that he married into money and, as a city councilman, voted on issues that at least seemed to benefit his real estate developer father-in-law, they let him be the boy child. The Republicans forgot history, specifically the 1960 Presidential election.
Now, I’ll admit there were other issues with Cruz. He doesn’t come across as warm and fuzzy, far from it. That might play well against most candidates, but not against someone like O’Rourke. He needed to loosen up some.
But let’s not forget the real issue: voter fraud. There is fraud in every election. But it appears to be at a record high this year. One Georgia county had twice as many votes cast as they have registered to vote. Yesterday, while at a concert, I received a news push from our local ABC affiliate that almost half the provisional votes in Fulton County would need to be tossed out. There were hundreds of duplicate votes. There were votes cast by people who didn’t live in the county and then there were votes by those not eligible to vote.
And people wonder why we need Voter ID laws.
There are some who want to count votes by those who are not only NOT citizens of this country but who are here illegally.
Yeah, there’s a problem and we need to deal with it. Not only do we need to apply the law, to its fullest extent, to those who vote illegally, we need to do so to those who facilitate them in doing so. [Hanged, cut down before death and their entrails burned before their eyes? –SAH asks eagerly.]
If the Republicans are smart, they will take a long, hard look at what happened in this election and be prepared for much the same in two years. They will learn from campaigns like Beto O’Rourke’s. They will encourage the liberals to put Pelosi back in as Speaker of the House. She is one of our most effective weapons because she is so disliked, not only by conservatives and libertarians but by many in her own party. Let Maxine Waters keep running her mouth. She’s another one who will, eventually, do her party more harm than good.
But we need to take a page out of the other side’s playbook. We need to quit being the nice guy. While I don’t encourage public displays like what we’ve seen at Tucker Carlson’s home or at the country club with his daughter, we do need to stay in the face of the Dims who have been voted into office. Every time Occasional-Cortex opens her mouth, we need to point and laugh. She really can’t help herself. She provides such good comedic fodder.
We also need to keep an eye out on those candidates like Beto who lost but who were so clearly being groomed for bigger and better by the Dims. [I am sure that includes Occasional Cortex, sadly. –SAH] Whether they continue to tout their golden boy in the future is something we will only have to wait to see. If we’re lucky, they will tell him to go back home and figure out what he did wrong. At the same time, they will run someone like HRC or Biden for president. Both wouldn’t argue if offered the nomination.
The Democrats made the play for the young vote and, for the most part, got it. Again, much as they did in 1960 with JFK. While what they do in 2020 is important, it isn’t the most important. That falls directly at the feet of the Republican Party. They can’t wait to respond to the DNC, as they pretty much did this election. They have to get out in front now. Analyze and plan, learn and implement.
If not, heaven help us all.
(I will be back the end of the week with the regular book review/commentary. No, I’m not going to do Michelle Obama’s book. You guys don’t buy me enough booze for that. Also, apologies for the break in posts but family obligations had to take precedence for a while. – ASG)