A sticker. A little sticker of Joe Biden pointing his finger with the words “I did that” underneath started appearing in 2021 as gas prices were rising. It was stuck on gas pumps nationwide. Like a viral meme but in real life, everyone knew it was true — everyone, including Biden voters. It’s one thing to argue that 2020 Biden voters didn’t know that would happen (maybe they don’t listen to their own candidates or read the coverage), but every Biden voter who got gas a few months after he took office knew the sticker was right.
Trump voters would pull up to the gas station, see the sticker, laugh, and then look around, waiting to see if there was some Biden voter with his credit card out, ready to swoop in and pay the difference for the single mother who can only afford $10 on pump two. With more than 81 million Biden voters, not one was ever going to do that.
Why are we blaming Biden? He repeatedly told his voters he would “end fossil fuel” and “kill Keystone,” and in a debate against Trump, he said, “I would transition from the oil industry, yes.” It’s not his fault, it’s the people who voted for him.
Trump voters know the flip side of this. We have been called out since 2016 as being for rape, misogyny, and white supremacy, as well as climate deniers, warmongers who wanted to end NATO and the United Nations, and on and on. Biden voters should have spent 2021 standing in gas stations and either apologizing for their vote or telling customers that green energy is the future so they should just suck it up and pay more.
When Trump voters watch Democrat mayors whine about illegal immigrants overrunning their cities, we hear John McClane in “Die Hard” yelling, “Welcome to the party, pal!” Trump warned Democrats in 2020, but more importantly, Biden told Democrats what he would do if elected.
Why are we mad at Biden? He didn’t lie about where he stood on the border. We should rightly affix blame to the ones who voted for Biden and his policies. Eighty-one million voters who should now share their homes and dorm rooms, sponsor an immigrant family, educate their children, and pay for their health care. For all the lies politicians tell, what about when they tell the truth and we get served that truth in gas prices, food prices, mortgage rates, crime, and illegal immigration?
How many cable pundits and newspaper editorial boards told us in 2015 that Trump would start World War III if he were to win office? If he had actually started a world war, do you think those same people would tell us it wasn’t really Trump’s fault? That the war was just happenstance, nothing to do with Trump? Never. With Biden, it’s the opposite. It’s always accidental or happenstance even when the candidate himself told us what was coming. His voters have gotten the same pass.
The 2024 election is not the same as the 2016 election, and there are no excuses. Assuming a Biden-versus-Trump rematch, each side knows exactly what their guy will do. We can compare and contrast the known conditions under each presidential candidate for the first time in more than 100 years, the last time a former president stood for reelection against the candidate who prevailed the first time. What we are seeing is a replay of Benjamin Harrison versus Grover Cleveland, and now, like then, voters are eyes wide open as to what each candidate will mean to American life. It’s the ultimate A/B test marketing people love. Cleveland won reelection, and current polling suggests Trump will do the same.
Biden and the Democrats have already made this transition from maligning Trump to maligning his voters. The first time was when Hillary Clinton put “half” of the Trump supporters in the “basket of deplorables.” Today it’s “MAGA extremists” (without saying how many of them there are), and by November it will be “MAGA voters.” More than 70 million voters will be considered extremists in this next election cycle, bet on it.
Trump Should Talk Directly to Voters
Conservatives, including Trump, should stop railing against Biden and start talking directly to his voters. If a Biden voter accidentally catches a clip on CNN of Trump saying, “Biden is destroying our country with his open-borders policy,” they tune it out. But it hits totally differently if he says, “Is that what Biden voters really want? An open border, cities flooded with people who are using the aid meant for American citizens who need help? I hope not, they have a chance to fix it in November.”
Insulting voters isn’t smart, but talking directly to them about change or options in a positive way on the issues can bear fruit. It also reinforces that they, the voters, are the reason these Biden administration failures exist. Fool them once, OK, but conservatives need to implore Biden voters who care about basic life in America not to be fooled twice. To be sure, there are Biden voters who prioritize hating Trump over the damage of four more years of Democrat rule, but the great news is conservatives don’t need to win over a majority of Biden voters to win back the White House — just a small sliver in the swing states.
The main political goal of the “MAGA extremist” label is to put Trump voters in a box together, as if the person adorned in MAGA gear who attends every rally is the exact same as the person who detests Trump but can’t afford Biden’s America. The thinking is that the middle-of-the-road conservative is susceptible to this kind of scorn. Conservatives need to resist the temptation to do likewise. There are plenty of 2020 Biden voters who don’t like and don’t want to double down on the policies of this administration. Let’s be smart enough to give them an off-ramp by addressing them directly instead of railing against Biden.
When gas prices fall back to 2020 levels under Trump in February 2025, let’s hope the sticker companies don’t run out of Trump “I did that” stickers.