Don’t Confuse Messaging Vs. Record In the Midterms
As I write this on Election Day, we don’t have any returns or results, yet. Maybe it won’t age well. But here’s what I’m thinking right now:
A number of news outlets are taking the angle today of gently scolding the Democrats, who are presumed to be in for a beating, but saying that their messaging for the midterms was poor. Was it? Were they just a few tweaks off?
The theory goes like this: Democrats chose to talk about some things, and angrily dismissed other things. They chose Dobbs and J6. Dismissed inflation, gas prices, crime and education. We care more about those latter ones. If they had talked about those things with us, we would’ve rewarded them with an extension of their political franchise.
With all due respect, that’s bull.
They chose and rejected topics not in some kind of “oopsie” way, but because the issues most on the mind of American voters are policy failures for the Democrats. In fact, I’ll go further—they’re not failures, they’re by-products of these last two years.
After 2020, people had a new set of concerns about these perennial issues. Inflation was a direct reaction of throwing trillions of paper dollars into the economy. Gas prices soared in reaction to Democratic promises and rhetoric about ending fossil fuels. The images of rioting in 2020, permitted in places where no other gatherings were. And followed by a wave of dangerous, “woke” prosecutors. Something worse than crime stats—a palpable feeling that you weren’t safe in places that used to be. People of all party stripes dread that. After being on the wrong side of school closures, those same closures inadvertently exposed millions of parents to the actual curricula and instructional ideologies—to their horror.
Anyone who disagreed or dissented was demonized, and not just by politicians, but with the brazen alliance of federal law enforcement and Big Tech.
You can argue with me about the causes, if you want. But you can’t argue the reality. The problem for Democrats, with a few exceptions, was not that they didn’t address them. It was that they authored them and then denied them.
If it’s a drubbing, and we don’t know yet, it’ll be because of their choices—their record—not because they lacked good slogans or appealing social media.