The Center Holds
That's my prediction for 2016 in a nutshell. We have two extremes in our politics today. On the right are furious populists, on the left socialist misfits. Neither represent a majority. As always, the center is the key.
Kasich and Rubio are mainstream conservatives. Kasich's record and Rubio's rhetoric line up quite nicely. Either of them will have natural appeal to the center, where elections are won. The other plausible candidate, Ted Cruz, is essentially a mainstream conservative. If he is extreme it’s because of his style and the measures he advocates, not the outcomes he seeks. The Church Lady and other pundits worry that the Trump purported appeal to nativism will tarnish the Republican brand. Nonsense. The winning candidate will be the brand.
While the Republicans will not nominate an extremist, the Democrats will. Like Wilson before him, Obama has taken his party far to the left, too far. The political pendulum is just starting to swing to the right, but Obama will demand that the Democrat candidate resist, and run for his third term. Hillary, Biden, and Sanders will comply with his wishes, or lose the essential black vote. This is a recipe for disaster. Centrist voters will have a clear choice. A center-right conservative vs. a hard core leftist.
And hardcore the Democrat will be, we are assured of that. All the whack jobs on the left are becoming more shrill and militant, and Hillary and the others feel they have no choice but to embrace them. The D's have endorsed Black Lives Matter, and there's a great chance that could blow up in their face. Soros money is at the ready to spread on the flames, and the next police shooting of an unarmed black, justified or not, could be turned into another urban conflagration. Law and order has won elections before.
They kowtow to the earth-worshiping econazis, who are wildly out of touch with the American people. Their global warming fraud is seen as such by ordinary Americans. They respond with heightened hysteria.
The Democrats cater to pro-abortion extremism, cheerfully celebrate the war on men, and sympathize with the mentally ill who complain of micro-aggressions. The fanatical prosecution of college boys who have sex with drunken coeds will not win the hearts of regular Americans.
Gay marriage is the tip of the iceberg of the homosexual agenda. They will always want more. They want their lifestyle celebrated, and the D's will gladly comply. Forcing little girls to share a bathroom with some confused little boy will not win many votes.
The war on coal is just the start of a campaign to seize total control of the energy industry. They want to eliminate fossil fuels, and to hell with the consequences. The war on white and Asian men that masquerades under the euphemisms of affirmative action and disparate impact widens in scope. HUD plans to disrupt residential areas it deems too "homogeneous", as in affluent white. The smothering regulatory state marches inexorably on, laying waste to private industry. I could go on, but this gets depressing after a while.
The point is that the Democrat is going to have a hell of a time appealing to the center, which the Republican can do effortlessly. The progressive left is intellectually exhausted. It is out of ideas, and is playing defense. ObamaCare, the regulatory state, affirmative action, and wealth redistribution are all under assault, and the Democrat Party is now a reactionary force. All the ideas and energy are on the right.
I try to pay attention to the other side, keep an eye on them, watch how they think they're going to win. The whiz kids at 538.com are always good for a laugh. Right now they’re trying to predict Trump’s prospects by using “…regression of name recognition against net favorability.” I’m serious. It's all mechanics, and statistics, and social media, and turnout models, and demographics, money, and race. That's all they've got. They don't have any issues. And they don't have any candidates. They've got nothing to brag about, and a lot to defend.
They've got nothing. And no prospect of getting anything. The trifles they do have on offer will be flotsam in the tide.
I have to say this. How can we lose this one? How can we possibly screw this up? It's all set up to fall into our hands, as long as we don't blow it. Political ineptitude has cost us before, as in 1948. But I don't see that happening. I haven’t felt this confident in 35 years.
And 1980 was a very good year.