Liberals created and keep fueling the MAGA movement

Liberals created and keep fueling the MAGA movement.


Donald Trump is amidst his third straight presidential run. Conservatives split between those wanting the former president to regain power and those singing Bob Seger’s “Turn the page.” Liberals uniformly oppose Trump for a litany of reasons. Many liberals see Mr. Trump as Frankenstein’s monster. Lacking self-awareness on this issue, these liberals fail to realize they are Frankenstein. They created Trump, nurtured him, and continue eight years later to feed, fuel and motivate him and his “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) movement.


Understanding Trump’s initial rise requires returning to 2011. President Barack Obama’s presidency was flailing. Fear of economic collapse that swept him into office in 2008 had not dissipated. Flowery words about hope and change drowned under a tidal wave of tough events. “Yes, we can” became “No, he couldn’t.” Governor Mitt Romney promised a brighter future. In their first presidential debate, Mr. Romney cleaned Mr. Obama’s clock. Obama’s campaign realized a positive reelection campaign like Ronald Reagan’s 1984 “Morning in America” or Bill Clinton’s 1996 “Bridge to the 21st Century” would fail. Obama ran a slash and burn campaign that stripped Romney’s humanity.


Romney in 2012 was considered one of the finest, most decent men to ever seek the White House. Obama’s team successfully painted Romney as a racist sexist heartless plutocratic vulture capitalist who enjoyed firing people. Romney’s handlers hurt matters by insisting he offer gentle rebuttals to Obama’s Chicago haymakers. Obama verbally decked Romney repeatedly and punched his way to a second term.


Republicans seethed, but it was their own fault Romney and Senator John McCain before him pulled punches out of fear of criticizing America’s first partially black president. With Hillary Clinton in 2016, Republicans faced the same quandary.


Romney was a polite Midwesterner. Republicans needed a street brawler. Only three GOP brawlers existed, all hailing near greater New York. Rudy Giuliani underperformed in 2008.  New Jersey’s Chris Christie likewise underwhelmed in 2012. They opted out in 2016. Only Donald Trump remained.


Republicans overruled concerns about Trump’s behavior and policy positions solely because he was as ferocious a counter-puncher as they came. He would not be cowed by Obama’s race or Hillary Clinton’s gender. When hit, he hit back 100 times as hard. No blow was out of bounds. Rosie O’Donnell learned the hard way. She started a needless feud with him for laughs. He made her cry.


Trump’s campaign was also a fist in the eyes of smug late night comedians. Seth Meyers roasted him at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, calling Trump a “joke.” John Oliver dared Trump to run. Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel openly ridiculed him. They were not laughing after he won.


Yet the biggest gift American liberals gave Trump was a clear policy lane. Trump kept speaking to forgotten American workers. He hammered his two themes of trade and immigration. His undisciplined personal style aside, Trump was remarkably disciplined on policy. Voters felt economic angst, and he stuck with the same themes he had addressed for over 30 years. He knew exactly what he believed.


Democrats meanwhile kept obsessing over abortion, gay rights and climate change. Voters understood abortion was legal and gay marriage was law of the land. Climate change continued to register at the bottom of opinion surveys. Only a few rich white liberals cared.


During the campaign’s final week, Trump spoke in the calm, measured voice Kellyanne Conway taught him. His bombast took a vacation. He was on message and on teleprompter. Hillary Clinton and Liz Warren screamed their lungs out on their self-titled “Nasty women tour.” Bill Clinton, as brilliant as they come, begged Hillary to get away from Warren. Outside of deep blue areas, Warren was politically toxic.


On election day, Trump campaigned in Wisconsin. Hillary partied with A-list celebrities in Philadelphia, her only Pennsylvania campaign visit. She never visited Wisconsin. Trump’s victory equated to “Caddyshack” Rodney Dangerfield defeating Ted Knight’s Judge Smails. The slobs beat the snobs.


Eight years later, a majority of Democrats still have not learned. Some prop Trump up under the belief he cannot win. A more plausible explanation is they simply cannot ignore him. The more President Joe Biden fails, the more Democrats frighten voters with “Orange Man Bad.”


Voters are not stupid. Karl Rove, who led George W. Bush to two presidential victories, repeatedly reminds politicians that “The masses are not asses.” James Carville, who led Bill Clinton to victory twice, beseeches Democrats to shut up about gender pronouns. He knows “woke” language and behavior is hated. Carville penned the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid.” Trump still understands this. No evidence exists that Biden’s cabinet does. Telling blue collar coal miners to embrace green economics is telling them to go to hell. That is arrogance, not leadership. Endless Covid lockdowns and mandates add fuel to the fire.


Democrats openly mocked Trump, his policies and his voters. They still weaponize government against his voters. Most Trump voters are not racists, sexists, conspiracy theorists or insurrectionists. They just want a better life.


The more Democrats refuse to recognize that Trump, and more importantly Trump voters, are human beings, the more Trump exploits that condescension. Democrats created Trump’s movement by dismissing his voters as society’s filthy dregs. Trump reminded these voters that their lives matter as much as any other lives.


With spiraling inflation, food and fuel prices, and crime, Democrats need better answers than blaming Trump. He offers to fix problems. Even those questioning his policy prescriptions concede that at least he has them. Democrats simply care more about climate change and gender issues. Attacking voters as anti-gay bigots seeking to murder Mother Earth gives Trump his opening.


Had Democrats paid attention to what voters care about and ignored identity politics, Romney would have served two terms. Trump would have spent a decade building bigger and better golf courses.


A 2024 Trump win would not be because he is that spectacular. It would be because enough voters believe Democrats, just as in 2016, are still that indifferent and awful.

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