The recent spate of angry reactions to President Trump's zero tolerance policy is all well and good but, at the end of the day, it's just a waste of some well-deserved outrage. Those of us who oppose Donald Trump and everything he stands for have got to understand one thing. He doesn't care WHAT we think about him. He feels that he won the last election without our approval and he fully expects to win the next election without it too.
There is one simple reality at play here. Donald Trump and the Republican Party and the whole Alt. Right movement regard Democrats and liberals as ineffectual weaklings who are much better at rolling their eyes in frustration than they are at getting out the vote when it really counts, namely Election Day.
Those of us on the political left have to understand that our opposite numbers of the political right always keep their eyes on the ultimate political prize which is winning political power. They don't waste their time on silly discussions about political procedures or esoteric philosophies, they concentrate on the simple goal of winning elections.
From my perspective, the key issue in the up-coming mid-term elections isn't going to be immigration policy, taxes, health care, gender equality, or the status of women. The key issue, as it always is, will be power...who has it and what they do with it. Bottom line? Conservatives understand power. They crave it. They will fight tooth and nail to get it. And they won't flinch one tiny bit when it comes to ruthlessly exercising it either. One can sum up the conservative approach to power in just one word, ruthless.
The unfortunate reality is that Democrats and liberals are going to have to adopt the same tactics and strategies employed by their conservative Republican opponents, even at the risk of becoming eerily similar to the political right. They are going to have to become relentless in the pursuit of political power and they cannot recoil in horror at the prospect of having to exercise it.
The first hurdle in this pursuit, of course, will be the mid-term elections. My first bit of practical advice to my brethren on the political left is to ditch your obsession with political polls. Polls are very good marketing tools. They can tell you the hows and whys as to whether your message is getting across. But they are horrible at predicting election outcomes. Unfortunately, every time some goof ball poll comes out with even the slightest bit of encouraging news, the minions of the political left get all weak in the knees and breathless with excitement. That's fine as far as it goes, but ultimately all polls are essentially irrelevant. There is only ONE poll that counts and it's taken on Election Day. Liberals, remember one thing about political polls, the pollsters don't factor in the margin of error for nothing.
Which brings us to turnout. Turnout is one of the great unknowns in the world of politics. You can have a poll which tells you you're getting 70% of the vote and you can still lose the election if a goodly portion of that 70% is sitting around at home on Election Day, texting about how horrible Donald Trump is. Politics is a game of numbers and the only number that ultimately counts is the number of winners you have on your side of the ledger when all the results are finally in. In that way politics is a lot like sports. It really doesn't matter how good you look when you're playing the game, just as long as you win it.
I read some place that a great many people are looking at the mid-term elections as kind of a referendum on President Trump. And, to a certain extent, that's true. But the only way the political left can win this referendum is if it out-works, out-thinks, out-organizes, and just plain out-votes Donald Trump and his Republican Party. So liberals and Democrats, if you want to repudiate the results of the last election, you're going to have to energize your base and actually show up on Election Day. Otherwise, expect to be disappointed yet again!
Filed under: Politics