Governor Bob Ehrlich Commentaries
Political Predictions Rarely Come True, But Here’s 1 You Can Take to the Bank
Political predictions are a dime a dozen. There are typically few if any consequences for incorrect, dumb or embarrassing prognostications made in the heat of a campaign.
Indeed, as time marches on, millions of Americans will forget how far off base the pundit class was about the 2020 election, as they do after every election. And yet here I am willing to make a prediction you can take to the bank.
I’m so sure about this vision of the future because we have heard this promise before – four years ago to be precise.
Then, as now, the Democrats pledged to listen – to rework their agenda in order to address the needs of a long-neglected, beaten-down American working class. But the commitment was quickly jettisoned by a progressive leadership intent on dismissing the last remnants of its New Deal coalition.
Henceforth, there would be no more pretending to care about all that working-class angst. And that is precisely the way it has played out. Today it’s all about the coasts, all about Big Tech, all about Wall Street, all about a return to globalism (read: China).
In this world, the verdict has been rendered, and the deplorables have been found guilty of nativism, among endless other isms. And so no more best-selling testimonials (“Hillbilly Elegy”) or New York Times analysis pieces devoted to this easily forgotten group. They had their chance at restoration, and all they did was double down on the bad man Trump. Even worse, they grew, from 63 million to 74 million.
This unforeseen growth has been the object of much scorn by woke analysts since election night 2020. Their conclusion: Trump’s base survived four years’ worth of media brutality because – you guessed it – Trump voters are racists (and forget the 48 months of inspired conservative successes).
This conclusion was given added perspective in President Barack Obama’s recent election analysis – a review that reads in part much like his past indictment of small-town, small-minded, dispossessed folks who “cling” to “guns or religion” or “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.”
But the former president has added a new indictment reserved especially for millions of Hispanics who somehow saw fit to support the alleged racist Trump. Specifically, despite Trump’s racism – “[evangelical Hispanics] think that’s less important than the fact that he supports their views on gay marriage or abortion.”
A new batch of deplorables is hereby branded – this time “redneck Hispanics” happily clinging to their traditional values and hating all things socialist. The circle will be complete once Hillary Clinton issues a vicious attack on this newly minted group. But one can only hope.
Back to the empty promise. Recall Democrats circa December 2016 lamenting the loss of working-class voters.
In interview after interview, they vowed to win back those same blue-collar workers who had fallen on hard times – and who had twice voted for Barack Obama in the expectation of real hope and change.
Two dozen newly elected House Democrats from purple seats echoed the commitment, and then America watched as those same politicians spent the next four years following an extreme agenda wholly at odds with working-class values – all the while pushing every anti-Trump button available to them.
Today, the old promises are especially hollow and have even less staying power. You see, facts on the ground have changed. Joe Biden (presumably) won an election without a majority of the great unwashed. Indeed, his new administration looks increasingly like Obama 2.0 – and that’s bad news for the deplorables.
Accordingly, Mr. Biden will jettison the “America First” rhetoric. It’s just not what Wall Street wants to hear. Besides, leading from behind is so much easier – and the Europeans (and Chinese and maybe even Iran) will like us again.
So it’s back to Paris, Tehran and most of all Beijing. Americans will no longer be exposed to tales of intellectual property theft or reminded that China unleashed a virus that shut down the entire planet. The NBA has jerseys to sell, dontcha know.
You can also forget about Appalachian poverty and idle factories in Canton, Ohio, and frac sand mining in the Iron Range. Those agenda items are now officially written off as the property of 74 million deplorables of no special relevance in Joe Biden’s brave new world of collectivism and internationalism.
The blue-collar covenant is now officially broken. Free agency has arrived for the working-class voter. Republicans need to close the deal.