It was palpable, the transformation that occurred overnight on November 8, 2016. Was it possible to imagine any more of an about-face for this nation than Barack Obama being replaced in the White House by Donald Trump? Or any greater seismic shock to the body politic than this bombastic billionaire securing the highest office in the land against all odds?
The morning of the 2016 election, The New York Times mirrored most all other establishment media in giving Hillary Clinton an 85% likelihood of victory, Trump 15%. They were entirely unprepared for what was to come.
Trump’s historic upset not only changed the country in the twinkling of an eye, much like when Ronald Reagan took down Jimmy Carter, but – as when Reagan was elected – it froze the left in place, in a state of shock, disbelief, and most importantly, denial: that first of the famous five stages of grief which they have yet to shake. Witness their three-year religious crusade – that’s exactly what it is – to deny the legitimacy of the 2016 election: the very thing they warned us that Trump would do if he lost.
Torn Between Past and Future
And so, paralyzed by their own denial of the reality of that never-to-be-forgotten November 8, Democrats have divided into two camps: the ones who want to return to the world of November 7, 2016, and the ones who want to exploit the outrage unleashed on November 9 of that year, with a revolutionary manifesto. Trump, all the while, is living in a November 8 world, one where the American people have registered their disgust with the ruling class and kicked the bums out in favor of a riverboat gamble on the most unconventional and controversial candidate ever to come down the proverbial pike.
What exactly do we mean by a November 7 or November 9 world? Well, think of what happened after 9/11. Some people immediately adjusted to the September 12 world that emerged from America’s dark night of the soul. Others preferred to live with the memories of September 10 and the world that was. This is an apt analogy for the state of the Democrats circa 2020.
But let’s rewind to that fateful November night. A total of just 70,000 votes separated Trump from Hillary in the three states which famously swung the election – Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, states the Democrats had owned all the way back to the 1980s. A party in control of its faculties could have immediately seen the message from the people who abandoned them – like those in the 200 counties that voted for Obama twice and then for Trump.
Message Not Received
They could have said, message received, we get it, we paid no attention to you, we abandoned your cause, but we won’t do it again. You’re our voters, and we will win you back. They could have done a mea culpa, fallen on their swords, and admitted to understanding the desperation of people so frustrated and angry at the discredited political establishment that they were willing to roll the dice on a total wildcard full of sound and fury, which may or may not have signified nothing other than campaign rhetoric.
Of course, that is not what happened. Trump has fulfilled, or advanced the ball, on almost every one of his campaign promises and has delivered dramatic reforms – and impressive results by any objective standard. But the voters had no way to know whether he would or wouldn’t do what he promised when they voted. Think about it. The guy had never even held political position and was running for the highest office in the land and leader of the free world. Talk about rolling the dice. That’s how thoroughly dissatisfied the voters were.
Instead of trying to come clean, though, and win back the people who had reflexively voted for them for years, the Democrats buried their heads in the sand, did everything in their power to overturn the will of the voters and discard the results of the election. And we are now witness to the resulting wreckage in their one legitimate shot to get rid of Trump the old-fashioned way, through the ballot box.
We know the poster child for a return to the world of November 7, 2016: Joe Biden, his campaign now on life support, waxes nostalgic day after day for the good old days of the Obama administration. Back then – when we were, apparently, at one with the world – he and his fellow Swamp-dwellers were large and in charge, the globalist vision was advancing, political correctness went largely unchallenged by those in power, and a stagnant economy was the new norm.
The result of Joe Biden’s campaign? A fourth-place finish in Iowa, fifth place – with eight percent of the vote – in New Hampshire, with weak opposition. The dogs simply won’t eat the November 7th dog food.
Then you’ve got the November 9 crowd, embodied by Bernie Sanders, so incensed by Trump’s victory that they believe the answer to this quintessentially uber-capitalist, racist, misogynist, deplorable president is to go to the opposite extreme: socialism, revolution, scrapping the economy and starting all over. They want government-run health care, the end of private insurance, open borders with free healthcare for illegal immigrants, and the biggest kahuna of all: the Green New Deal, which would take us back to the dark ages.
It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that what the people want is what they actually voted for on November 8, 2016. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have elected Trump any more than they elected Obama twice. They don’t want the world of November 7, a world gone by. Or November 9, when denial and resistance came to define the Democratic party.
The immortal words of Marlon Brando playing a washed-up boxer-turned-longshoreman in the classic movie On The Waterfront come immediately to mind when contemplating the fate of the 2020 Democrats: I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.
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