Bryan Griffin: Voters Aren’t Buying It | WAMC

Bryan Griffin: Voters Aren’t Buying It

Sep 2, 2020

There’s a great divide in this country.

The Democrats spent most of their recent convention trying to make the case that the divide belongs solely to the President.

That hyperbolic finger-pointing is disingenuous. The news cycle of Trump’s first term has been one Democrat-led fight to the next.

Russia. Ukraine. Obstruction. Action. Inaction. Closing the borders down too firmly (pre-COVID). Not closing the borders down firmly enough (post-COVID). You name it.

It’s the anti-Trump coalition that has ushered in the modern political landscape by utilizing extreme tactics that are designed to make voters believe that a full half of the country—their political opponents—have opposing motives, not just methods.

Like used-car salesmen, so many want to sell the President, Republicans, and conservative thought as the root of all evil—by whatever means necessary. But their message is a lemon. They smile and slap the trunk and the bumper falls off. 

Americans just aren’t buying it.

After the Republican National Convention, Trump got an expected boost in the polls. But the President’s favorability jumped 60% among black Americans.

Former Democrats gave stirring accounts of how the Democratic party either left them behind or ousted them for their lack of conformity. Black Democrats, such as Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones, and black Republicans—including U.S. House candidate Kim Klacik of Maryland, Attorney General Daniel Cameron of Kentucky, and U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina—welcomed those who doubt that today's Democratic Party is the only venue for addressing the pressing concerns of black Americans.

The straw-man-argument that every motive of a Republican or the President is racism rings hollow to many voters.

So does the argument for progressive solutions to those who live in battle-torn progressive cities.

Chicago, one of the most violent cities in America on an average day, hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1927. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, a progressive, has seen months of destructive unrest in his city. Like his progressive colleagues in Seattle, Baltimore, LA, and New York, his response to problems within his city has been to double-down on his city’s already progressive policies. Yet life has not gotten better for residents in America’s most left-leaning metropolises; people are leaving Democrat-run cities and states in droves.

Biden’s latest interview included the claim that Trump “foments violence.” It’s a stale and empty claim. Trump has angled himself as the law and order President. He’s been incredibly reserved in awaiting Portland to request federal assistance in quelling their mobs (how terribly un-fascist of him), but frequently condemns the lawlessness. Trump was clear in his message from the White House’s South Lawn last Thursday:

“When there is police misconduct, the justice system must hold wrongdoers fully and completely accountable, and it will. [...] In the strongest possible terms, the Republican Party condemns the rioting, looting, arson.”

Democrats also really want to sell the idea that Trump deserves to have every COVID-related tragedy laid at his feet.

Here again, people see through the partisanship of Coronavirus politics.

Trump acknowledged the horrific reality of the COVID landscape, and was honest about its nature: it’s a “once-in-a-century pandemic”, he said, that will take the full brain power of the country, working together, to overcome.

With the Democrats’ previous three years of balking at Trump’s tightening of border restrictions, who can honestly believe they would have kept us safer?

Perhaps the greatest fraud in the Democrat line of products is the idea that more government is the solution to problems that have been treated with more government for years.

A government-inflated healthcare industry is too costly? More government!

A government-designed education isn’t the best quality? More government!

A government-grounded environmental policy isn’t working? More government!

All of the Democrats’ products are really the same thing: bright new packaging for a bigger and more pervasive government, in every sector of American life.

“At the root of the Democratic agenda is the belief that America is driven by envy, not aspiration,” said the Vice-President last week from the courtyard of Fort McHenry.

The next night, Trump asked the right question.

“At the Democrat National Convention, Joe Biden and his party repeatedly assailed America as a land of racial, economic, and social injustice. So tonight, I ask you a very simple question: How can the Democrat Party ask to lead our country when it spends so much time tearing down our country?”

How many times can a voter be told that they are too greedy, too uncaring, and too un-woke and still be expected to elect their accuser as the answer?

How can a man who has been in government for nearly 50 years be the answer to our problems?

Voters aren’t buying it. 

Bryan Griffin of the London Center for Policy Research is a lawyer and author who specializes in American policy in the Middle East.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.