Has Donald Trump Led Democrats Down the Primrose Path?


It has become almost conventional wisdom among the professional left, the wizened media, and now many Republicans, that Democrats will be sitting in the catbird seat if the GOP nominates Donald Trump for president a third time. Because of the bullseye on his back among foes and former friends alike on top of his exhaustively chronicled baggage, the thinking goes, Trump will not be able to attract support beyond his hardcore base, and thus, if he is nominated, even a weak incumbent like Joe Biden will be reelected.

On top of midterm results that shocked even Democrats themselves, Biden and his comrades on the left are acting giddy at the thought. While they continue to try and drive a stake through the heart of Trump, they are at the same time convinced they can beat him again. But far more important is that they are interpreting the midterm bullet they dodged as evidence that the electorate is perfectly satisfied after all – not nearly as worried about the economy, inflation, crime, and the border crisis, and more concerned about abortion than the experts thought. Therefore, they need not change their ways as they approach 2024.

Republicans can only hope so.

Let’s engage in a simple thought experiment to illustrate why Democrats affirming their status quo is so perilous to their health as a party – and so beneficial to conservatives. Trump might or might not actually win the Republican nomination, but suppose he actually decides to entirely and permanently withdraw from politics, or is incapacitated well before the 2024 election. What would the Democrats have left without Trump to kick around? How would their sharp leftward turn stand up to voters’ scrutiny, absent the satanic figure who stands as the singular unifying force in their party? How would they defend their radical views, which would come front and center after being subsumed by their singular – and successful – obsession with Trump?

Life in a World Free of Trump

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

What will remain once Trump is no longer an issue – for the first time in more than seven years – is a party that made the fundamental decision to tack far to the left during the Trump era, believing it must offer a worldview that is not just a contrast, but the polar opposite, to the reviled orange man. In a Trump-free political climate, the Democratic party will be left holding the bag on their reckless, inflation-inducing economic policies, cancel culture, crime, the disappearing border, Afghanistan – and every other issue buried by the media in deference to their single-minded focus on Trump.

The resulting problem is acknowledged in a prominent post-election piece in the left-wing bible – aka The NY Times – entitled “Trump Was a Gift That Might Not Keep Giving,” which effectively serves as a wake-up call to self-satisfied Democrats: “The 2022 midterm election revealed dangerous cracks in the Democratic coalition, despite the fact that the party held the Senate and kept House losses to a minimum.”

One of the leading indicators of a party’s health is the enthusiasm of its voters, as expressed in how many of them actually cast ballots. And the numbers for Democrats are not pretty. In Philadelphia, the largest, most Democratic city in the vital swing state of Pennsylvania, turnout dropped by a full one-third from 2020. But even more alarming for Democrats is the disparity between Philly and the geographically predominant red portions of the Keystone State, the “stark divergence between Philly turnout and the rest of the state compared to every federal election since at least 2000,” per the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Demographic Destruction

New banner Memo - From the Desk of Senior Political Analyst Tim Donner 1Similarly, turnout was down 15% in other Democratic strongholds – 15% in Chicago, 10% in Cleveland, and 8% in New York, among others – since the last midterms in 2018, when Trump was president. With Trump not in office or on the ballot for the first time since 2014, are voters just now coming to see the soft underbelly of a party whose message for six years is essentially that Trump is evil, they will do anything to destroy him, and will embrace cultural Marxism and full-on socialism for good measure?

Of course, the cities where low voter enthusiasm prevailed are largely populated by the key demographic groups upon which the party relies to maintain power. And the outlook there is equally alarming for the left going forward. According to exit polling, support for Democrats was down since the previous midterms by as much as 7% among black voters, 10% among Latinos, and a whopping 19% among Asians. Will Democrats be able to win those voters back when they can no longer play the Trump card?

Take the 45th president out of the equation, and how does the Democrats’ house of cards remain standing? The identity of any political party among the electorate is of abiding significance, and while a reckoning may or may not come for the party of the government in 2024, it certainly will going forward. Strip away the anti-Trump, virtue-signaling veneer, and all that will be left for Americans to see is the most left-wing version of the Democratic party in American history.

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