Americans Tired of Being Taken for Granted
The election results from Nov. 3 are historic, to say the very least. And the high voter turnout – the highest in over a century – explains why a Gallup poll from last month indicated almost 80% of registered voters believed the 2020 election results would matter more than any previous presidential campaigns.
It wasn’t hyperbole to have predicted such, nor was this election’s gravity lost on the American people. Not since the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, this election indeed marked the starkest choice between two very different visions for our country. One vision of optimism, opportunity and prosperity. The other of doom and gloom, higher taxes and lawlessness.
But the Democrats also lost the heart and soul of the American people because they didn’t have much to offer our country in the form of any concrete proposals to improve our lives. Instead, they ran on a platform lacking inspiration, and that was lazy in thought – that the Republicans are worse than we (the Democrats) are.
For millions of Americans, that didn’t mean a whole lot.
Maybe it’s because so many Americans reject the proposition that Democrats are all good and Republicans are all bad. That they understand that anyone who rejects the idea to “Make America Great Again” or seeks to diminish American sovereignty in the world simply doesn’t have the best interest of the American people in mind, or the cause for freedom at heart, for the billions living around the globe under tyranny.
Maybe it’s because more Americans know more of the facts than conventional wisdom might suggest. They know the Democrat Party has always been the party of slavery and voter suppression, from poll taxes to literacy tests to racial segregation. They have been the party of the Ku Klux Klan and opposed the civil rights legislation of the 1950s and 1960s.
Most Americans see how Democrat machine politics have destroyed most of our largest inner cities, creating ghettos, generational oppression and sky-high incarceration rates. They understand how Democrats seek to dismantle the U.S. Constitution and politicize the court system through activist judges, who will legislate from the bench. They can look at the record of arguably the least effective (and corrupt) presidents of modern times – all hailing from the Democrat Party – from Woodrow Wilson to Lyndon Johnson to Bill Clinton to Barack Obama.
This may help explain why so many Democrats say that they didn’t leave the Democrat Party, but the Democrat Party left them. Part of that is because the oldfashioned idea of party precinct captains actually talking to people in their own party, about the issues important to them, is nearly extinct. Instead, polling and focus groups determine what needs to be said (or not said) to simply harvest more votes, regardless of whether such represents the majority of their most loyal (and local) voters.
That’s a big mistake, though. Tip O’Neill (the Democratic House speaker during the Reagan years) would often say, “All politics is local.” And he would tell the story of the first time he ran for Congress, and a very close family friend and neighbor (Mrs. O’Brien) told him she would vote for him even though he had failed to ask for her vote. O’Neill says he was taken aback. He thought, “Why was it necessary for me to ask such a close, family friend to vote for me?” Mrs. O’Brien explained, “Tom, let me tell you something. People like to be asked.”
And therein lies perhaps the most telling point of how the Democrat Party lost the hearts and souls of so many Americans this election – they stopped asking. Stopped asking about the issues important to the voters, and started expecting (or demanding) their votes instead. (Remember Joe saying, “you ain’t black” if you aren’t voting for him?) It’s as if the Democrat Party sees its voters as merely a means to an end, just another cog in the wheel of a political party machine more concerned with power than people.
That’s why the African-American and Latino vote for Trump was at historic levels – they were finally tired of being taken for granted.
I’m sure he will be blamed for it, but President Trump didn’t cause the Democrat Party’s demise. But he did expose it.
And while I wrote this column several days before the Nov. 3 election, I could be wrong about who is president right now, but I don’t think I am.
For whoever is being inaugurated in January, he will be president of a country whose voters have been forever changed by this election, and whose eyes are more wide open than ever before.
Regardless, and in the words of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration speech, “(L)et us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”
May God bless America.
Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.