Not enough analysis has been devoted to the 2020 unicorn voter. You know, the self-identified right winger/Republican who nevertheless cast a ballot for Joe Biden.
Note that I’m not talking about the RINO who regularly crosses the aisle or the Democratic “moderate” who typically resets to familiar territory despite misgivings about the direction of his party.
No, I’m talking about the pro-gun, pro-life, pro-school choice, pro-border wall conservative who in the end voted for the candidate whose 35-year Senate voting record and presidential campaign rhetoric were directly at odds with those positions.
I engaged numerous of these folks during the campaign of 2020. Such engagements were typically maddening — guaranteed to raise my blood pressure and contribute to many sleepless nights.
Some discussions were with friends. A few were with neighbors. A number of them were even with people who worked for me in past political lives.
Without exception, these dissenters possessed an intense dislike for President Trump’s language, brashness, hyperbole and salesmanship.
Yet, many (though not all) expressed general support for the president’s policies, including the notion that the Trump agenda had placed America on fundamentally better footing going forward.
Alas, two months into the Biden administration, there are signs of buyer’s remorse.
I hear complaints about a Pentagon more interested in progressive gender doctrine than military preparedness, an energy policy that shutters pipelines and gas fields while repudiating the notion of American energy independence, and an immigration policy that simply nullified Mr. Trump’s successful handling of illegal migrants and now encourages migrants by the tens of thousands to simply show up at the southern border.
I hear about a security state that requires photo identification everywhere except the polls, a gun-grabbing leadership that always seems surrounded by people with guns, and teachers unions more interested in defunding the police than teaching our kids.
I hear about progressives who bemoan violence against Asian-Americans but remain silent while college admissions officers discriminate against the same group, a media that daily plays the race card but hardly acknowledges the daily carnage inflicted on African-American children in our inner cities, and an “environmental czar” who continues to use private jets while ensuring us we only “have nine years left” before we are all toast.
This last entry takes me back to the old Henny Youngman joke: “Guy walks into a doctor’s office. The doctor says, ‘You have six months to live.’ The patient says he cannot afford the fee. The doc gives him another six months.” Ba-da-boom!
That there are so many expressions of surprise at the administration’s sharp leftward turn rekindles my blood pressure issue, but that’s beside the point.
Per President Obama, elections have consequences.
He who occupies the Big Chair (and controls Congress) gets to do really big things, including spending trillions of dollars we don’t have on the largest expansion of the welfare state since the Great Society, appoint activist federal judges and reframe the First and Second Amendments.
The Biden-Harris administration is able to do all this (with much more to come) because a relatively small number of otherwise GOP-leaning voters decided they could not abide the ways, means and personality quirks of Donald J. Trump for another four years.
The fact that some are now reaching for the reset button is of little comfort to about 74 million of us.
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