Flat White

Is a red wave coming in?

12 October 2018

8:21 AM

12 October 2018

8:21 AM

Is it too soon to say that in November, the Democrats will be lucky to see a blue ripple?

For a while, I’ve been contemplating the possibility of a Republican Party win at USA’s November mid-term elections. In 2016, a large number of polls indicated that Trump would not win the Presidential election. But he did, and it still tickles my sadistic funny bone to watch the shocked reactions of the US media on YouTube. Will that be repeated?

Trump was anti-establishment, and an underdog. Derided by the mainstream media, the Democrats, and even many Republican “never-Trumpers”, he had what scarcely any other candidate would have been granted: continuous free media attention and a support base convinced that their votes would be needed.

Working in his favour was that his message got through. Most anti-Trump arguments were ad hominem. No one told me why a southern border wall was a bad policy; they just called him “stupid”. No one explained to me why GDP growth could not possibly reach 3 per cent per annum; they just said he was “stupid” (and now that it’s reached 4.2, who looks like the idiot?). The whole time, it was his policies that everyone remembered and discussed. Most people probably don’t know what policies Obama took to his 2008 election, but people all around the world know Trump’s “build a wall”.

My cautious prediction for this November comes from the question, “what has changed?” Despite being the highest power in the establishment, Trump still seems anti-establishment. Despite being top dog, he still seems like the underdog. And the left dominated mainstream media, the judiciary blocking his executive orders, the crazy protesters… they only have themselves to blame. Every obstacle they put in his way has only prolonged his underdog status. His successes have not yet become “business as usual” and “just doing his job”, they are victories. And, amazingly, the left-wing commentariat still just don’t get him and they just don’t get his voters.

But my prediction has been cautious. First, at the 2016 elections there was another element that is absent this time: Hillary Clinton. Among the pro-Trump votes, many were anti-Hillary votes. One reason was that on the flip side of the ad hominem fallacy of the anti-Trumpers, was the ad hominem fallacy of a pro-women argument. Playing the oppressed woman card was a dreadful move. It wasn’t a credible stance for one of the most powerful women in the world to take, and it failed to address the most important question for the electorate: why should I vote for you? “Because I’m a woman” just doesn’t even answer the question. The “basket of deplorables” gaffe was icing on the cake. So trump voters had a dual push: toward him, and away from Hillary. And let’s face it, a bit of anti-Hillary was needed to overcome Trump’s own gaffs and character flaws.

Due to non-compulsory voting, USA vote predictions are complicated. It’s not enough to know who people will support; you also need to know who will bother to vote. After two years of continuous cyclic Trump-hysteria, the “boy who cried wolf” syndrome sets in. The media’s hysteria comes from a sense of duty; they are motivated to sensationalise news for ratings. But there has been enough time for voter malaise to develop in everyday Americans; every day you wake up, have breakfast, the media tells you what Trump has done wrong now, and then you go to work and make money and come home and feed the children and watch a movie and…

And then Christine Ford happened.

The timing, execution and outcome could surely not have been worse for the Democratic Party. And it’s not about whether she is or isn’t telling the truth, but what it revealed about the Democratic Party and their supporters.

The Social Justice Warriors came out in force to try and prevent the nomination of Justice Cavanaugh. They showed a contempt for American values, and the Democratic Party showed a willingness to support them in their contempt.

For me, it was the slogan “Believe Women” that took the movement to a new low. The phrase displays utter contempt for justice. I’m not the first to ask, what happened to presumption of innocence? In contravention of all Western legal principles, they walked up to lady justice, ripped her blindfold off, and said, “look, the accuser is a woman, but the accused is not—what more do you need to know?” And this Western legal principle is aligned with a biblical notion of justice: Deuteronomy 19:15 “A single witness shall not suffice against a man for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offence that has been committed. Only on the evidence of two or three witnesses shall a charge be established” (for obvious reasons, I might add).

As I read the news and watched excerpts of the Senate committee hearings, the emperor’s clothes fell off. The event made abundantly clear that the left were incapable of seeing the importance of truth because they were so blinded by the importance of identity. The Social Justice Warriors are not supporting justice, so we should call them only Social Warriors. Hang on, weren’t they also anti-social, with the elevator ambush and screaming in the Senate? Perhaps they are just Warriors. Or perhaps they should agree with Jim Carrey and unapologetically call themselves Socialist Warriors.

The ridiculous notion that all women should be believed poured fuel on smouldering embers that have been sitting in the shadow of #MeToo for a while. Along the #MeToo trail, some things have seemed a bit unfair, but this… this advocated injustice. Blatantly.

What is the likelihood that this breaks through political malaise and re-invigorates the electorate? Even in Australia, the effect was strong enough that it’s not just political junkies and crazy basement-dwelling twitterers, but everyday people sitting around lunchrooms at work, shaking their heads. Thank you, lefty media, you just platformed your enemy. Again.

I think that the worst aspect for the Democrats is that this didn’t involve Trump. 2016 was a battle of Trump versus Hillary. But the mid-term elections are not about the presidency; they are about Republicans versus Democrats. Part of the Democrat’s campaign has been for an anti-Trump election, a hope of impeachment. But this incident—it was about justice, not personality. The president’s tweets and speeches hardly mattered. The face of the Republican Party was not Trump, but Lindsay Graham, and Mitch McConnell, and Susan Collins, and what adjectives did they earn? From what I saw: composed, consistent, rational, determined, principled, and passionate.

A good week in politics is not one where you are successful at preaching to the converted, but when you are successful at preaching to the agnostics. A fantastic week is when you even reach the infidels. The establishment media don’t seem to get that. Otherwise, they’d bother to try understanding the deplorables. At the fringes of the left, the #WalkAway movement is a token of the fragility of their grasp on popular culture. How far has that disease spread? Surely with some more slogans like “believe women”, even the emperor will have difficulty believing in his clothes.

Five weeks is a long time in politics, so I’m still a cautious predictor. I’m also sure the pundits who have been predicting a blue wave have a better understanding than I do of which votes matter where.

But they’ve been wrong before.

Nick Kastelein is a Christian and a conservative who grew up and lives in Adelaide where he works for an engineering consultancy.

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