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2024 Is Shaping Up To Be The ‘We Were Right About Everything’ Election

Crime, Covid, the economy, immigration, foreign policy, education — Biden’s poor ratings show voters are starting to ask if Democrats have gotten any issue right in the last four years.

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Last week, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul ordered the National Guard to start patrolling the subways of New York City to deal with the city’s crime problem, which has been metastasizing for years now.

There was a lot of guffawing from the online peanut gallery, and understandably so. In the summer of 2020, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., had written a New York Times op-ed suggesting the deployment of the military to quell the rioting that destroyed dozens of cities and did billions of dollars in damage. Though polls showed Cotton’s suggestion had popular support, the Times’ own staff revolted against their employer, with several employees publicly reciting some version of the mantra that publishing Cotton’s op-ed put “black people in danger.”

But now? Mara Gay, a member of the Times’ editorial board who had been quite vocal in her opposition to publishing the Cotton op-ed, has now authored a column headlined, “The National Guard Might Help Subway Riders Feel Safer.” (For what it’s worth, Mara Gay is not related to disgraced former Harvard president Claudine Gay, though Times columnist Roxane Gay, who also opposed the Cotton op-ed, is.) In four years, we went from Democrats essentially saying we had to tolerate the lawless devastation of dozens of American city centers to fully endorsing armed 20-year-olds rifling through your bag before you use public transportation to deal with the ordinary criminality they allowed to fester.

And no, they do not care that this is profoundly hypocritical or that Cotton’s reason for deploying the National Guard was far more reasonable than Hochul’s. In this regard, the blasé attitude toward Hochul’s deployment of the National Guard is alarming — deliberately allowing a criminal underclass to undermine existing order and then using the resulting lawlessness as a pretext to extend government control over law-abiding citizens is textbook tyranny.

The murder rate during Covid lockdowns went down in nearly all of the Western world, but it spiked in America because Democrats actively supported political violence they perceived would help them win an election. At the same time, local political authorities defunded police departments, threatened citizens who tried to defend themselves in the absence of law and order, and even valorized despicable criminals by falsely claiming they were victims of racism. The current crime problem in America is a result of the fact that Democrats knowingly unleashed a crime wave and, four years later, can’t put the genie back in the bottle and have left Americans saddled with ultra-left-wing district attorneys who refuse to prosecute.

However, the more immediate context of this whole episode is pretty revealing. Democrats simply can’t wrap their heads around what’s happening in the current election. A lot can happen in eight months, but for some time now Trump has been definitively leading in the polls, which is a marked reversal from 2020. And this is not just about the fact that Joe Biden is feckless and senile.

Democrats are simultaneously hitting the panic button and desperately casting about for explanations as to why Trump is winning, but the answer is at once simple and overwhelming: They haven’t reckoned with the fact that the electorate, including a lot of traditionally Democrat constituencies, are starting to notice that in recent years the default right-of-center position on just about every major political issue has proven correct, where the left-wing ruling class has been quite definitively wrong.

The List Is Long

Obviously, making this broad observation is not necessarily an endorsement of Trump or the GOP, and there are probably some finer policy points where you can plausibly disagree. But on just about every issue that has dominated the public discourse post-Trump, the pro-Democrat establishment either staked out a fringe position or was proven wrong by subsequent events. It’s hard to even know where to begin.

On Covid, it’s abundantly clear that red states that refused mass shutdowns and excessive regulations didn’t see any worse health outcomes — and the damage from the shutdowns and Covid mandates is still lasting. The idea that our strained health care system was laying off people for refusing to take a “vaccine” that we now know doesn’t prevent you from getting the virus has been a disaster, to say nothing of our strained military, in the middle of a massive recruiting crisis, forcibly ejecting thousands over vaccine mandates.

Then there’s the fact that Covid killed off 200,000 businesses in just the first year. How many businesses could have been saved with more reasonable Covid regulations? Then there was the distrust sewn with the public through all of the coronavirus propaganda and social media censorship. Your posts could be banned from Facebook for even speculating that the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, an outcome that the government now acknowledges is more likely than not.

The worst outcome, however, might have been the Biden administration irresponsibly outsourcing its Covid policy on schools to the teachers unions, who fought to keep schools closed for more than a year in some places, followed by an insistence on ineffective and difficult-to-enforce mask mandates on children. Even left-wing publications now openly acknowledge Covid school closures were unnecessary and disastrous for America’s kids, but by the time they found the courage to say what was abundantly obvious to the rest of us, the damage was done.

The bottom line is that the Covid response fundamentally eroded trust between citizens and the government like no other issue in generations, and Democrat lawmakers were pretty clearly on, as they like to say, “the wrong side of history.”

Of course, the school closures issue was just emblematic of the long-running decline of American education, which is almost wholly a result of teachers unions. Their enormous donations to Democrats effectively serve as protection money, and for decades, this unholy alliance effectively made even the most basic education reforms impossible.

Post-Covid, however, Americans who were forced to see what their kids were learning via remote schooling have largely woken up to the fact that education has been politicized beyond repair. In just the last three years, West Virginia, Arizona, Iowa, Utah, Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Indiana have all passed school-choice legislation, and more states such as Texas are likely to enact it soon. The good news is homeschooling is skyrocketing in popularity, and private and religious schools are popping up everywhere.

Meanwhile, large urban school districts are failing in ways that should be a national emergency. Washington, D.C., high schools have a 60 percent chronic absenteeism and a 47 percent truancy rate. (You read that correctly.) In 53 Illinois schools, not one student can do math at grade level, and there are reportedly 30 where no one can read at grade level. If Democrats cared about kids, they would be moving heaven and earth right now to fix these schools. They don’t care about educating kids, but Democrats and their union funders will fight a national political battle to make sure your kids can access pornography in schools.  

As for the economy, which is typically the biggest issue in any given election, the reaction from Democrats has been… disbelief. For months now, leftist pundits have expressed incredulity that Joe Biden is not being given credit for an improving economy. After all, who isn’t reassured when the president says things such as, “We have among the lowest inflation rates of any country in America!”

Meanwhile, his own Treasury secretary is apologizing for saying inflation was “transitory,” and food prices are still 21 percent higher than when he took office. The average 30-year mortgage rate is near 7 percent, after hovering around 2-3 percent during Trump’s presidency. While Biden didn’t inherit the best economic situation coming out of Covid, there’s zero doubt that his absurd spending policies, including the erroneously named Inflation Reduction Act, are largely to blame, especially considering the White House spent the first several months of Biden’s term gaslighting anyone warning they were about to trigger runaway inflation.  

That brings us to foreign policy, where it’s hard to know where to begin. Trump had the distinction of being the first president since Carter not to get the U.S. involved in any new conflicts, and the Abraham Accords were a stunning step toward peace in the Middle East no one thought possible.

Under Biden, war now threatens to consume Europe and the Middle East, six American embassies around the globe have been evacuated, and Biden handled the exit from Afghanistan so poorly that during his recent State of the Union address, the father of one of the 13 service members killed in a terrorist attack at the Kabul Airport was arrested for protesting. (Try to imagine the media meltdown if a Gold Star dad was arrested during a Trump speech.)

During his first month as president, Biden removed the Houthis from America’s list of officially designated terrorist groups. Currently, the Houthis are basically in control of global shipping routes after numerous terror attacks in the Red Sea, including the sinking of a British oil tanker that has created a large environmental disaster. In response to this, Biden has just undone sanctions on Iran, even though Iran is the major sponsor of Houthi terrorism. Incredibly, at the same time, the Biden administration is sanctioning Israel in the middle of a defensive war where they are fending off Houthi attacks, and Democrats in Congress are openly trying to meddle in Israeli elections. Do you feel safer than when Trump was president?

Then there’s the not-insignificant matter of immigration, which is so bad that it has actually surpassed the economy as voters’ No. 1 concern in many polls. Allowing a whopping 10 million people to cross the border was a deliberate choice; Biden bragged about repealing all of Trump’s border controls on day one. Even Democrat strongholds and proud sanctuary cities such as Chicago and New York are now crying about being overwhelmed with the influx of migrants. Aside from the fact that the horrific crimes committed by illegal immigrants are now national news stories, migrants are also driving down wages, and “most of the post-pandemic job gains the administration continuously brags about have gone foreign-born (read immigrants, mostly illegal ones) workers.”

Finally, there’s a whole bucket of issues broadly related to the “Great Awokening” that seem to be starting to backfire. Democrats staked their claim on transsexuals being the next big triumphant civil rights battle — but polling shows that, unlike gay marriage, “trans rights” are actually getting less popular. There’s overwhelming support for basic protections of women, such as not allowing men to compete in women’s sports — even though the Biden administration has proposed using federal power to stop local schools from enacting bans on men in women’s sports. And at the college level, the White House wants to redefine Title IX to cover “gender identity,” even as female college athletes are launching federal lawsuits.

Similarly, the fever is breaking on “diversity, equity, and inclusion” and “anti-racism” — the Harvard scandal was nothing less than a national embarrassment. The Supreme Court’s decision overturning affirmative action had significant popular support. Even Disney told investors they had gone too woke, resulting in a “misalignment with public and consumer tastes and preferences for entertainment.”

When You’ve Lost San Francisco

One could go on at length about the many, many ways in which Democrats have undermined themselves by adopting and defending extreme and unworkable policies, but the public revolt is plainly evident. Guess which city very recently rejected a slew of progressive leaders, voted to drug test welfare recipients, restored police powers that had been taken away, and overturned the local schools’ policy of refusing to teach algebra before high school because “racial equity”? That happened in San Francisco!

Democrats and their public relations officers in the corporate media are very good at driving false narratives for political advantage, and they’re not accustomed to losing. However, there comes a point where having the media in your pocket might actually be harmful to Democrats — they started believing their own press, which was working overtime to downplay how bad things were. Now the problems are so obvious, they can’t ignore them. They’re being forced to fight a war on reality on dozens of fronts, and they’re showing up late to the fight.

Abortion is almost the sole issue where things are complicated for the right, and we probably shouldn’t underestimate the Republican Party’s ability to lose winnable elections. But for now, politically things are pretty stark. It’s not a mystery why Trump is leading in the polls; in very evident and practical ways, the lives of Americans were safer and more prosperous during his presidency. You can quibble with how much credit Trump deserves — Ron DeSantis certainly had some qualms with how Trump handled Covid. But while the focus is often on Trump’s temperament rather than his policy record, things are so bad he’s quite clearly an avatar for the more sensible path America could have taken.

In short, Trump gets to campaign on being right, and Biden has to defend being wrong.


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