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They say insanity is not contagious. Medical professionals insist that you can’t catch it merely by being near insane people. After watching the second evening of the Democratic presidential primary debates, I have my doubts.
Anthropologists like to study the subjects they write about from up close and personal. Researchers go to Africa, or the South American jungle, or Samoa to watch the natives, trying to decipher their culture. And so, on night two of the debate, I became Margaret Mead. I went to a Joe Biden debate watch house party. Yes, for real.
While everyone there was very pleasant, friendly and gracious, the Biden campaign organizational aspect of it was decidedly underwhelming. I am in a deep blue suburban part of Maryland, and yet the nearest Biden party was 40 miles away—one of only three in the entire state. No Biden campaign organization is evident in my state, possibly because it is late on the primary calendar, or maybe because the Biden camp figures it will all be over, one way or another, by the time the primaries get to Maryland.
The number of people who showed up could be counted on the fingers of one hand. (And if you lost a finger in a prior industrial accident, that’s fine—I didn’t need them all.) Nationwide, there were more than 800 Bernie debate watch parties, more than 500 Elizabeth Warren parties, and—at the other extreme—22 Kirsten Gillibrand parties. Biden had 170 such parties nationwide—not awful, but not terribly impressive either, for a supposed frontrunner.
Are watch parties a relevant metric of “enthusiasm,” or even a predictive metric at all? I don’t know how many people showed up to a typical Bernie debate watch party, or a typical Warren party. Still, it’s hard to see this particular Biden party—and yes, it’s only one party—as evidence of a vast pro-Biden movement.
Watching the actual debate made me feel like a baseball-sized tumor in my brain was about to explode. Under normal circumstances, after 10 minutes, I’d be reaching for the remote. Heck, I am not sure I’d last even 10 minutes. Did the people on that stage (except Bernie, obviously) know that they were signing onto utterly insane proposals that the absolute majority of the American electorate flatly rejects? Did they know right there and then that they are writing Republican attack ads for them? Did they know that Nancy Pelosi was turning over in her grave (well, OK, technically she is still alive—in the coffin she usually sleeps in), wondering how she was going to keep her House majority?
But I wasn’t there to watch the debate. I was there because I wanted to know what genuine Biden supporters thought of it. And from a few casual questions about what the group thought of Biden’s performance, and from their less-than-cheerful answers, my suspicion is they knew in their hearts that the USS Biden was destined to run aground. Speaking for myself, it didn’t feel like Biden’s debate shakiness was inherently fatal—but he certainly didn’t cover himself in glory, either.
Biden’s uninspired performance didn’t help the “electability” or the “inevitability” narrative—and “my” Biden voters knew it.
An interesting moment came when Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) tore a chunk out of Biden’s hide on the issue of his trafficking with segregationists and busing. Biden’s unpreparedness was peculiar and his response strange. Why did he want to re-fight the battles of 40 years ago, today? But the Biden supporters around me didn’t react to it with “That Harris bitch! How dare she attack our Joe?!” Their reaction was more “Yeah! There is somebody who knows how to fight! I like her!” These Biden supporters sounded ready to switch to Harris, should Biden stumble—and they were more impressed with Harris than with their own standard-bearer.
More interesting moments came when the candidates all signed on to open borders (re-named as “decriminalizing illegal entry”). The reaction in the room? Glum. Did they know it was a loser, electorally speaking? Did they understand the consequences for the country, even aside from the implications for the 2020 election? Or, being Biden voters (and presumably somewhat more centrist), they just weren’t hard-left enough to swallow it?
Nor did I sense any great enthusiasm for “Medicare For All” that Bernie was peddling, and that all the others more or less got on board with. “My” Biden supporters probably knew this was a loser in the general election. No one spoke up in support of free medical insurance for illegals.
None of this means that Trump can convert these people. They may be privately disappointed in Biden, but what unites them is their hatred for Trump. These people will not vote for Trump even if he were to walk on water and feed all the hungry. But Trump doesn’t need to convert them to win—indirectly, these Biden voters pointed the way.
And so, after the Joe Biden Debate Watch House Party experience, I will offer President Trump advice that he hasn’t officially asked for (yet): Mr. President, your enemies gave you a detailed road map to victory in 2020.
First, forget Robert Mueller and his report. It’s yesterday’s news, nobody cares anymore. Don’t mention him again. Ever.
Second, forget Hillary Clinton, her emails, and her corruption. Yes, she is a rancid, toxic, corrupt, greedy old hag. Yes, she is a criminal. Yes, she should be wearing orange, and yes, her very existence is a travesty. But Hillary is last year’s news. You are not going to win Michigan, Wisconsin or Pennsylvania based on Hillary’s emails or her shady Uranium One deals or her poisonous complicity in the Russia collusion Hoax. If you want to win, forget her, too, because nobody cares about Hillary anymore. The 2020 election will be about the future, not about the past. The good news is: Democrats just gave you something much better to work with.
Third, it doesn’t matter which particular Democrat proposed which particular insanity—they’re all the same. All of them are infected. And all of them are insane. Whether they privately believe in it or not, they all raised their hands. That image is priceless—use it over and over. It doesn’t matter if Biden manages to out-woke the hard-core crazies, or if he sinks into oblivion by October. It doesn’t matter if Harris, or Warren or Mayor Pete is the nominee—there is no difference. You stand between the American voters and the madness. You are the guy on that wall, facing the demon horde. Find the words to convey how apocalyptic electing a Democrat—any Democrat—would be. They just gave you all the ammunition you need.
Fourth, Democrats are now officially the open borders party. There are 7.5 billion people on Earth and roughly 6 billion of them want to crawl, swim, climb over, or burrow under, the border, to be here. All the Democrats raised their hands because they want those 6 billion people to come here. But this is our house and we did not invite them. Our house is getting overrun by mobs of illegal aliens swarming over the border, while the Democrats dither and sabotage enforcement. Your voters did not invite them in. Independents did not invite them in. Voters in the Midwest did not invite them in—and they will vote for you, once the choice is clear.
Fifth, don’t buy the Democrats’ manufactured outrage about “border detention conditions” or “children in cages” or people drowning in the Rio Grande while attempting an illegal entry. Your voters don’t care because those people shouldn’t be there in the first place. Democrats fabricate this nonsense and pretend that all Americans care. We don’t—certainly not enough to let in millions of illegals from shithole countries, who will then live on welfare for generations, at our expense. Do not fall for the Democrats’ baloney.
Sixth, Democrats want to take away private health insurance from hundreds of millions of Americans, and replace it with a government bureaucracy. This is a loser of a proposal—so beat them to death with it. “Democrats are trying to steal your medical insurance!”—say it over and over. Americans do not support this folly. You’re on “the right side of history” there.
Seventh—and this one is a beauty—Democrats want to give free medical insurance to illegal aliens. This is the very definition of insanity. Americans do not support this lunacy, so make sure everyone understands that every Democrat raised their hand in favor of this. This will not sell in Michigan, or in Florida, or in Arizona—regardless of who they nominate.
Eighth, reparations. The Che Guevara-Leon Trotsky wing of the Democratic Party loves the idea, but find me even one white or Latino single mother working her ass off as a waitress, who thinks she owes reparations to star athletes or Hollywood celebrities, just because their distant ancestors were slaves two centuries ago. Find me a single autoworker in Michigan who wants his tax dollars to go to those multimillionaire black athletes or to narcissistic movie stars living in Beverly Hills mansions. This proposal was born a loser, and it should die a loser. But Democrats support it. You should be out there telling voters why this is an absurd, grotesquely unfair plan. You are on the side of the working men and women. They are on the side of the multimillionaire athletes and entitled, condescending Hollywoodsters. This is how you keep the working-class voting Republican in this election.
Ninth, the economy. Every time you feel tempted to talk about Mueller or Hillary or Nadler or Schiff (and I know you’re tempted!), talk about jobs, raises, better job security, and low unemployment. Democrats offer some unspecified B.S. about how the economy “isn’t working for everyone.” But it’s working just fine for your voters—make sure to remind them of that.
Tenth, taxes. Democrats officially want to raise taxes. How many candidates got elected by promising to raise taxes? So every time your lips start forming the word “Mue….”, say instead “Democrats want to raise your raises to pay for 20 million illegals living on welfare! And I want to lower them!” You won’t convert life-long Democrats, but you will motivate the Republicans, while many wavering independents will vote “R”.
Eleventh, climate. Don’t argue details or science with them—you can’t argue science with religious fanatics. Your argument is simple—with their insane climate plans, Democrats want to take away your jobs, your cars, your vacations and raise your utility bills by 500 percent. That’s your argument.
Twelfth, Twitter. Mr. President, I’m begging you, please don’t tweet so much. I’ll vote for you regardless. But trust me: less is more. Even a little less Twitter will go a long way towards sealing your 2020 victory. Please, just 20 percent less tweeting. Please.
Mr. President, the Democrats have gone insane and they want to infect everyone with their insanity. You must be the man who stops them—that’s what the 2020 election is about.
Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images