The 2018 midterms are shaping up to be very competitive, especially in the House. It should come as no surprise that President Trump isn’t taking the midterms lying down. The president has been making a number of stops across the country. In a recent stop in Iowa, Trump blasted Democrats: “The Democrats have become too extreme, and they’ve become, frankly, too dangerous to govern. They’ve gone wacko!”
Over the course of seventy-plus minutes, the president railed against the Democratic Party. Some analysts believe that Democrats could stage a massive comeback in the House, potentially gaining a majority. If so, they’d be able to halt Trump’s agenda. A few even suggest that Democrats could take the Senate. If so, the road to impeachment would be open.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, in particular, drew the president’s ire. Many point to Warren as perhaps the front-runner in a crowded Democrat field for the 2020 Presidential race. For his part, Trump is hoping that she runs. Why? In his words, Democrats “have gone so far left that they consider ‘Pocahontas’ a rational person. ” It seems that he thinks she’s too far to the left to be a credible challenger.
Trump also argued that if Democrats take control of Congress, they will turn the country into Venezuela. The oil-rich South American nation has become a failed state, struggling with immense inflation, a collapsing economy, and shortages of staple goods.
Trump isn’t limiting himself to national contenders either. Fred Hubbell, who is running for governor in Iowa, also found himself under fire. Trump accused Hubbell of wanting to raise taxes and destroying the local ethanol industry. Trump also declared to Iowans that Hubbell would ultimately “devastate your farms and businesses.”
My Take: Civility is Gone
Trump also took some apparent shots below the belt. Instead of calling Democrats by their official name, or even the common shorthand “Dems,” he called them “Dims.” As in they are intellectually “dim.” This was an apparent play on the supposed intelligence of Democrats.
There are a lot of interesting ways this argument could go. For example, the more educated a person is, the more likely they are to vote for Democrats. Yet the far more important question is why we even have to have the argument at all.
“Dumbocrats,” “Repukecans,” “Libtards,” “Dumbocrats,” “Dims,” “Conspiritards,” “Re-thug-licans,” so many insults and they cut both ways. No side can claim any moral high ground. The loss of civility is reflected by the hyper- partisan nature of our government. It’s a team battle and the enemy must be defeated simply for the sake of defeating an enemy.
Policy has largely gone by the wayside. Actually important political issues, like the surging deficit, have been forgotten as each team lines up to beat the other team, regardless of policies. The attacks are increasingly personal and petty but that doesn’t matter. Just. Beat. The. Other. Team.
It’s fair to wonder if America can ever get back to good governance if we continue to muck through these hyper- partisan battles. The president fueled the fire with his insults, and in the days ahead, Democrats will almost certainly do the same. Why formulate a rational, factually grounded criticism of the president when you can simply mock him as “Drumpf” and call it a day?