Why November May Spell Doom

Since the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, Democrats have been giddy, while Republicans have tried to conjure some reason—any reason—why the PA-18 result is a fluke.

Such people point out—not incorrectly—that Conor Lamb is a highly implausible hero for Democrats and arguably belongs more in President Trump’s Republican Party. This is as much true for his liberal positions as for his deviations from the Left’s intersectionality-obsessed playbook.

Sure, Lamb was personally opposed to abortion, though legally on the side of Roe v. Wade. But Trump has never been exactly fluent on behalf of the pro-life cause. Sure, Lamb favored expansions of gun control, but so did Trump during his televised negotiations with Democrats. Yes, Lamb was in favor of universal healthcare, and so was Trump, once. Naturally, Lamb was pro-union, but so is Trump. The one area of serious departure between Lamb and the president is, indeed, the Trump tax cuts, and since those formed the cornerstone of Lamb’s opponent’s campaign, he could hardly be expected to endorse them. Unlike Republicans, Democrats understand the problem with aping their opponent’s platform with no strings attached.

Get Ready for Pain
Given that Lamb was such an improbable candidate, the defenders of Republican prospects in November tell us, his victory is not repeatable. After all, Lamb didn’t have to face a primary that would have dragged him to the Left, whereas most other Democrats will. Surely that’ll immunize us, right?

Wrong. Lamb won in a district that voted for Trump by 20 points, and that was rated R+11. Democrats don’t need to beat that kind of uphill climb in most places to take back the House majority.

Face it. November is probably going to hurt. A lot.

Why? Not because the United States has suddenly decided to embrace the finer points of polysexual queer POC feminist theory. The #woke paradigm is still a loser for Democrats when it comes to attracting independent and crossover votes, and if they run on it, they may well snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

But the reason why the #woke paradigm is such a loser is not the disastrous nature of its philosophical underpinnings. Rather, it is that practically speaking, it will only exacerbate the very state of affairs that will turn many otherwise Democrat-skeptic voters into drops of water in the blue wave. To summarize that state of affairs, allow me to remind the reader of one little-remarked-upon statistic that I believe holds the key to Republican weakness and Democratic strength.

In November, the American Psychological Association uncovered an extraordinary statistic: 63 percent of Americans reported feeling stressed about politics, a more significant figure even than those who were stressed about money. Further, this number had gone up since the last time it was measured, in February 2017, when 57 percent of Americans reported feeling stressed.

With today’s political conditions, this circumstance, this would have been unthinkable in years past. The economy was, and is, roaring. Jobless claims are coming down. Consumer confidence is at an all-time high. On paper, the past year and change looks like the dawn of a new golden age. Many seem convinced that this is what will blunt the blue wave. “But tax cuts!” they yell.

Yes, the tax cuts probably got us some goodwill. But as I have already noted, the economy was roaring in November of last year, too, and Americans were still stressed about politics more than they were stressed about the usual problems. What do people do when something is causing them distress and anxiety? Simple. They vote to change it, and they vote to change it in droves.

Given that a majority of both parties reported the stress, but a much larger majority of Democrats than Republicans, we can expect those change votes to come disproportionately from the Left.

“A Return to Normalcy”
Unlike a lot of the NeverTrump types, I’m not going to lay this at the feet of President Trump’s rhetoric. The cultural Left has also given people plenty of reasons to feel hounded and terrified of humiliation or disgrace for taking one step outside the #woke party line. But far from encouraging this, it is all the more reason why Democrats in the Conor Lamb mold are likely to crush their opposition effectively: because when both parties seem to suffer from a fever, Americans will vote for the people who seem best positioned to break one party’s fever. Given that this is, as 
Henry Olsen continually points out, still a Democrat-leaning country, one suspects that a majority of Americans are glad to see their preferred political party begin to recuperate by nominating Lamb-esque figures.

But the Democrats have no message! Yes, they do, and it’s the same one Warren G. Harding used to crush Woodrow Wilson: A return to “normalcy.” Come to that, it’s the exact mirror image of the message the Tea Party ran on to crush Democrats in 2010. “Vote for us, and we’ll slow everything down. We’ll stop everything changing so fast. We’ll stop the car rather than let one party go on taking it for a dangerous joyride.”

In fact, President Trump himself capitalized on this sentiment. His 2016 campaign message amounted to, “The world is scary and America is getting weaker, but I will stop it and make America rich, great, and safe again.” When you get right down to it, the Tea Party, President Trump, and the #Resistance were all arrayed against what they see as radical, destructive change. Small-c conservatism is fickle, and this time, it is working for the Democrats.

All the whataboutism and finger pointing in the world will not blunt the desire of Americans to live in a world where the volume is turned down, and where every day is not a constant battle with stress. Which is why President Trump and the Republicans need to figure out a way to steal the mantle of what’s normal from the Dems.

Trump has already shown he knows how to do this. In the closing months of the 2016 campaign, he delivered speeches from teleprompters and mostly steered clear of controversy. Contrary to what NeverTrump and the “Stop the tweeting” brigade would have you believe, this had nothing to do with his handlers controlling him. Bannon and Conway had been put in charge of the campaign by that time.

No, the reason Trump reverted to being interesting, but safe, was that he trusted his handlers to keep the heat on his opponents, rather than having to do it himself. He felt safe delegating the pyrotechnics to others, which freed him to focus on saying the things America wanted to hear in the way voters wanted to hear it, rather than in the way that would make the biggest splash. Trump followed this strategy to similarly devastating effect in the immediate few weeks following his State of the Union address, as well.

With any luck, now that Trump seems to be finally getting the White House aides he wants, this pivot is soon to come. It most definitely is needed. Trump is fighting for his political life. To his credit, his policy choices have improved and become more Trumpian, thus blunting the ability of Democrats to run against the GOP as the party of Paul Ryan the granny slayer. Working against him is the fact that his administration and communication with the American people has looked erratic—hardly the image to project to a country already on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

President Trump needs to offer America a Prozac, and show that it is the Democrats pumping stimulants and bath salts into the national bloodstream. If he does not, the Left will have pulled off the greatest case of Munchausen’s by proxy in American political history.

About Mytheos Holt

Mytheos Holt is a senior contributor to American Greatness and a senior fellow at the Institute for Liberty. He has held positions at the R Street Institute, Mair Strategies, The Blaze, and National Review. He also worked as a speechwriter for U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, and reviews video games at Gamesided. He hails originally from Big Sur, California, but currently resides in New York City. Yes, Mytheos is his real name.

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9 responses to “Why November May Spell Doom”

  1. Sorry, this is a farce in which I refuse to take part. The Republican party establishment is part of the swamp and does not want to win in November. They, as swamp creatures, in good standing want Trump gone. For proof look no further than the comments of Republican Senate leaders about McCabe’s firing. When they say they would not have fired him before he was fully vested, they are virtue signaling to other swamp denizens. They are admitting that perjury, breaking your oath to the Constitution and your oath to the FBI are not worth of punishment if you are serving the swamp.

    The Republican establishment will lose this election for the sole purpose of putting a stop to Trump rebuilding America. They despise and fear a return of individual freedom and Liberty as much as any Obama voting Democrat.

  2. Unaddressed in Holt’s article is the full collusion of the media with the left. If people feel stressed it would make sense to look at the cause of the stress–the continued hype by Main Street Media of Trump’s alleged unfitness for office coupled with the fake hysteria that the Republican Party is a party of hate. Lie Big and Lie Often works and works well.

    The biggest lies by the MSM consist of sins of omission–the failure to fully report on the day’s happenings. In regard to McCabe, for example, Major Media fail to report or gloss over McCabe’s lies to Congress and his lack of candor as a well entrenched Never Trumper conspiracy as part of the FBI and DOJ hierarchy. Instead they push that his firing was a political move by Trump to undermine the Mueller investigation. The recommendations were internal and based greatly on the IG’s investigations and findings.

    Another is the Media’s absolute reluctance to fully report on the overt racism and anti-Semitism of Black Caucus member’s association with Louis Farrakhan. Or how about the failure to report on the security breaches by Awan and his associates with Democrat IT and computer systems? The list goes on and on.

    It is one thing to do battle on the political front in election races, but to battle the media at the same time certainly gives the left a distinct advantage on the battlefield.

  3. It might be a good idea to emphasize how the D’s are constantly pushing the US in the direction of war with Russia. There are plenty of crazy Democrat quotes out there. There’s also the recent history of the Dems siding with jihadists seeking to overthrow secular regimes. That strategy didn’t work out well in Libya and Syria.

  4. Sorry, but America can’t “break the fever” by voting Democrat. Returning the House to Democrat hands means impeaching a duly elected President for crimes that are yet to be discovered.

    That’s not balance, that’s a coup.

  5. People would have to be complete idiots to think that the answer to relieving stress generated by a Democrat party that refuses to accept election results when they lose is to just let them win. Turnout is the key. PA voters did not switch who they voted for from one election to the next. GOP voters simply didn’t bother to vote which also cost them in AL and VA. Dems are going to turnout because it’s part of their unending tantrum. GOP voters need to wake the hell up and vote.

    • You said it yourself” Of course people (en masse) are complete idiots. In any area not completely dominated (and some, apparently, that are) the question is which set of idiots shows up on election day.

  6. Mass psychoanalysis seems a bit of a stretch. I tend to agree with turnout being key. The minority party is energized by the Trump election. The majority was formerly energized in response to Obamacare. The minority will try to make each election about Trump. The majority need to make it about Pelosi. The Republicans need to run attractive, moderate, and articulate candidates to run on the economy and other local issues and, of course, the need to keep Pelosi on the sidelines.

  7. It’s just math, 62 million votes for Trump, 145 million eligible voters didn’t.

  8. As long as Republicans act as they normally do, we have a problem.