On November 8, 2016, the Democrats lost more than an election: they also lost their sanity. They’re still coming to terms with their loss more than three years later, progressing slowly and with great reluctance through the five stages of grief. It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for them.
Loss can come in many forms. In my own life, I’ve experienced plenty of personal tragedy and grief, from the death of a loved one to frustrated ambitions and failed plans. Moving forward is difficult. It requires strength and courage, as well as reflection and introspection, to progress through denial, anger, bargaining, and depression in order to finally reach the point of acceptance.
Coping with loss takes time—though usually less than three years—and as the Democrats’ public grieving process shows, setbacks are common.
First, liberals went through denial, holding onto the forlorn hope that they could somehow get the Electoral College to defy the will of the people and deny the White House to Donald Trump.
Next came anger, in the form of violent, destructive protests that started on Inauguration Day and have continued sporadically ever since.
It wasn’t long before the Left experienced its first setback, though. Just months after President Trump took office, they regressed back into a state of denial.
Beginning in May 2017, when Robert Mueller was named special counsel to investigate alleged “collusion” between the Trump presidential campaign and the Kremlin, Democrats clung desperately to the hope that the probe would show once and for all that they hadn’t really lost the 2016 election, and that the outcome was engineered by an international criminal conspiracy.
As if living out the famous definition of insanity, the Democrats, in their denial, keep doing the same thing over and over again while hoping for a different result. The president’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, for instance, forced them briefly to confront the reality of Trump’s election, sending them into unhinged fits of rage.
When the Mueller report debunked the “Russia collusion” fantasy, Democrats got even angrier, lashing out against President Trump and anyone associated with his administration. Just recall the vitriol Democrats hurled at Attorney General William Barr after the Mueller report’s release.
Now, with the launch of impeachment proceedings, they’ve finally reached the bargaining stage—only the midpoint of their psychological journey!
As anyone who has gone through the five stages knows, bargaining is the point at which mourners first begin to accept the reality of their loss, but still hold out hope for some kind of miraculous deliverance. Democrats seem to think that if they impeach President Trump, the ordeal they’ve been through over the past three years will disappear like a bad dream.
Of course, a politically motivated impeachment based on spurious allegations does nothing to change the fact that tens of millions of Americans voted for Donald Trump, and still support him today—but then, bargaining isn’t a rational response to grief, even if it is a normal part of the grieving process.
Once bargaining inevitably succumbs to reality, the next stage is depression. The Democrats are rushing toward that phase at the frenetic speed of Representative Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) House Intelligence Committee star chambers. Although they’ve given up on the ambitious Thanksgiving deadline that they initially floated, many Democrats are still hoping to hold an impeachment vote in the House of Representatives before the end of the year, which would put them on pace to qualify for a Prozac prescription by Valentine’s Day, assuming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn’t drag out the trial.
How long it takes them to reach the final stage—acceptance—is much more difficult to predict. The Democrats can only get over their 2016 election defeat if they’re able to acknowledge, in their own minds, that President Trump is the legitimate choice of the American people, and that his election reflected widespread public frustration with corrupt politicians and career bureaucrats in Washington.
The tens of millions of voters who elected Donald Trump will not be disenfranchised, but until the Democrats learn to mourn their loss and accept their collective reality, we can expect more irrational, politically motivated attacks on Donald Trump. The silver lining, of course, is that their destructive grief mindset is a gift for President Trump and the GOP, driving record fundraising and unmatched enthusiasm among the Republican base.