In the first part of this series we covered the changing political environment for Republicans and the need for the GOP to take a more tactical approach to politics. We now get a bit more critical and make the case for true believers in the rank and file to put away their secret decoder rings and cavort with reality. To wit:
Stop Worshipping the President: Donald Trump is a good president, perhaps even on track to be a great one. His combative fury is a tonic to those of us who suffered through the low red meat Bush years. His results are nothing short of spectacular, especially per the economy. But he is merely a man and a politician at that. For further instruction read the pertinent part of Psalm 145:2.
Thus when I see on social media shots of the president being anointed for office by Jesus Christ, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Laughter at the very absurdity of it or tears that those I probably vote in alliance with are prone to a cult of personality. Superb chief executive so far? Yeah. Given his past predilections political and personal, chosen by heaven on high to rule? C’mon guys, no. You’re thinking of Elizabeth II. Common mistake.
We cognoscenti know he’s more of a Batman character. Weird rich guy saving the metropolis and all that. Of course that would make Mike Pence, Robin. No way that plays because tout le monde knows he is absolutely Dr. Quest’s helper Race Bannon.
A tad fanciful? Yepper. But so were those Red Tsunami pictures you saw prior to the election. They were hokum of the first order.
Objective analysts knew predicting a GOP rout of the opposition this last cycle was like standing on a cliff on Oahu on the morning of December 7, 1941 and marveling that the U.S. Army Air Corps had repainted their aircraft to confuse the Japanese.
It wasn’t hard to tell that there was no bloody chance there would be a political storm that benefited the Republican Party. Polls, that granted had been wrong before, didn’t show it. More importantly, history, the best poll, didn’t show it. Yes, the president defied history in 2016. But it was an easy call to see that lightning wasn’t going to strike twice. The best we could have hoped for was averting defeat by barely holding on to the House. All the analytical and empirical evidence led to this conclusion. But there were conservatives who should have known better confidently predicting a GOP landslide, letting confirmation bias run roughshod over reality. Must have given the Dems a hell of a laugh.
So in the spirit of denying them mirth, repeat after me: just because I want it to be true doesn’t make it true. And the corollary to that, uncredible sources make incredible idiocy.
Then there are the naïfs who are convinced Communist pederasts run the country (Wrong. They run the Catholic Church. Get your conspiracy theories right, okay?), 9-11 was a CIA plot, pizza parlors sell kids as a side dish, we didn’t land on the moon, “Q” is legitimate insider knowledge, Michelle Obama is really a guy (she admittedly has the shoulders for it), and that, naturally, the Jews control the weather. But don’t worry; in that belief they have impressive company.
Had enough? Nahhhh, I don’t think you have.
Here’s part of a November 17th Dem gloat piece in the Washington Post, “…In the last two years on his page, America’s Last Line of Defense, Blair had made up stories about California instituting sharia, former president Bill Clinton becoming a serial killer, undocumented immigrants defacing Mount Rushmore, and former president Barack Obama dodging the Vietnam draft when he was 9. ‘Share if you’re outraged!’ his posts often read, and thousands of people on Facebook had clicked ‘like’ and then ‘share,’ most of whom did not recognize his posts as satire…”
Liberal prankster Blair puts out the crazybait and certain conservatives eat it up.
I know the Post isn’t quite a bastion of objectivity. But check it out. I did. It is sadly true. If you’re a conservative and on social media look at Facebook right now and I venture you will see the same stuff in spades. This material is wacky on the face of it. But there are those who treat it like gospel and share it. Conservatives engaging in this type of behavior play right into every liberal stereotype of themselves as uneducated racist knuckle-dragging rubes who voted for a sexually assaulting orange-hued protofascist.
Does it sting? For some it should. But not just out of pride or ideological loyalty.
When this happens it damages the GOP, the conservative brand, and our chances at election time. If our voters think there is already a landslide coming for us they may be complacent about going to the polls. If those planning campaigns think this they may deploy resources to the wrong place at the wrong time in the mistaken notion the fight will be easier than it is. It’s like telling Lloyd Fredendall not to worry about Kasserine Pass.
After the overly optimistic disappoints, voters may become bitter and feel taken over a sure thing that was never sure at all. This will not increase their motivation to vote GOP or their confidence in any GOP supporter who promulgated glaring nonsense. Likely, just the opposite.
But the basic reason this is wrong is that conservatives should be better than this. We are not the idiots running amok with out of control emotions that easily can turn into gullibility. Those are the other guys. We’re supposed to be grownups who have a commitment to reason and critical thinking. This kind of thing should just be infra dig to us.
The last reform needed to promote success in 2020?
We need to recalibrate our whining attitude toward the media, understanding that an objective press in this country was last seen several decades ago, and act accordingly. More on that soon, in the last installment of this trilogy.