When Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, Democrats spent the next four years ridiculing, denouncing and opposing virtually everything he did. The left tried to stigmatize Reagan’s presidency through constant negativity just as they are Trump’s now. Liberals are nothing if not persistent.
In Election ’84 the Democrats offered Walter Mondale. Reagan proceeded to thump Mondale by winning nearly 60% of the popular vote. The president won 49 of the states while poor Wally managed to hang on to his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia. It was like the Crimson Tide on a junior college.
Reagan succeeded because his policies worked. He also had a sunny disposition, spoke and acted positively, and got things done. Reagan was the right man at the right time and is now regarded as a top tier president by historians willing to look at facts instead of prejudices.
Reagan was aware of what he called the Silent Majority, the large bloc of voters who knew what he was trying to accomplish and quietly supported him. They understood he had their backs; they also had his.
Liberals underestimated Reagan for years but also poorly determined the will of the American people. They miscalculated the size of the Silent Majority and overestimated their own appeal in the eyes of the voters. Visible results can trump phony altruism disguising socialist expansion.
Now, Reagan’s reelection success certainly doesn’t forecast a similar result for President Trump next year, but it should remind us that voters pay attention to results far more than propaganda, endless negativity, and sulking. Also, polls at this point mean little.
Indeed, I suspect Trump stands far taller in the eyes of voters than the left can admit. Plus, I sense no groundswell for Liz Warren and the like. Where’s the excitement?
Nevertheless, nothing should be taken for granted. One should never underestimate the influence of dirty tricks, the effectiveness of the smear, or the determination of those denied too long the power they crave. Controversy can be created from nothing as we have witnessed.
It is not too soon to be thinking about what the Democrats will do should they win. Keep in mind moderation on that side no longer exists.
Understand if Trump loses next year, a mandate will have been handed to the left. Winning will unleash them.
Democrats will push their agenda harder than ever. For some of these aging hippies, it is their last chance to create the socialist nirvana of their dreams, and they will vigorously pursue it.
Rolling back the Trump tax cuts would be tough for them because that would amount to an income tax increase which is never popular. Instead the liberals may roll out a grocery list of new federal taxes on gasoline, sugar and anything else they deem under taxed (virtually everything).
They may pursue a surtax on the wealthy based on the liberal insistence that some have too much. No one should have more than what the left deems, no matter how hard one works or how carefully one plans. They know what’s best for your money, and they want it.
You may have noticed political/media yap concerning our southern border has eased for now. That’s because public opinion shifted to Trump. Without Trump and the Republicans to hold this essential defense, the left will find reasons to no longer fund border controls or will allow them to fall into neglect. They do not see illegal immigration as a social and economic problem but as political opportunity for them.
International policies will return to apologies, giveaways, pointless entanglements and the further eroding of our prestige and autonomy. America will again be the world’s biggest sucker.
The left will begin anew their push for single-payer health care, suffocating environmental controls and related taxes, growth in government, and the further erosion of our heritage and institutions.
They will bring us closer to socialism with their boring lectures. With their war on cows. With their putting us in our places.
You get the idea.
Do your citizens’ duty next year with the understanding results could be far worse than you can presently imagine.
Without Trump at the helm, they will be.
Larry W. Anderson is a retired educator.