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Assault on America, Day 358: Trump expands GOP base while Democrats pander to radicals

Biden and Steyer
With the 2020 election set to dominate news cycles in the upcoming year -- at least once impeachment is removed from the critically short attention spans of the establishment media -- there will be a lot of talk about party “base” voters, independents and the persuadable versus those who’ve already made up their minds about the candidates well in advance.

Ever since Donald Trump ran for president four years ago the “experts” lectured he was single-mindedly preoccupied with inciting and provoking his “forgotten Americans” base to exercise their political might and “send a message” to the powerful class. They derided him as a “populist,” a dog whistle blower and a rabble rouser, but these insults paled in comparison to what the snobs snickered about his backers, who were portrayed as little more than mind-numbed simpleton rubes who couldn’t recognize a race-based sell-job when they saw one.

Hardly. Trump’s people are those who’ve been bypassed in the global economy, the victims of both parties’ elites’ open borders immigration policies and bad trade deals that saw their jobs shipped overseas, never to return. With Trump, they only wanted to determine their own destiny, not have every decision made for them by faceless bureaucrats in far off marble buildings.

Trump is their champion. He never was intimidated or awed by institutions. He spoke his mind and used terminology that shocked the stodgy establishment purveyors of the status quo. They called him brash and uncouth, and, gulp, “unpresidential.” They detested his nicknames and criticized the way he spoke truth to power and refused to apologize, even when he occasionally crossed the line of taste and decorum. Trump turned off a lot of people quickly. Liberals hated him from the get-go and old blueblood Republicans never warmed to him either.

Then there’s his “base,” many of whom rallied around him at the start, the supporters who respected his hit-back mentality and ate-up his in-your-face style. Trump’s “base” appreciated the fact he wasn’t a typical politician and admired how he broke matters down to the basics of winning and losing. Now, the question for some in the commenting class is whether Trump will expand his “base” next year… or if he has the numbers to pull off another election win just counting the people who already love him. The debate rages on. Some argue he’s not even attempting to attract new voters.

Professor Bill Schneider wrote at The Hill, “Most presidents aim to expand their base. Not Trump. He governs by catering exclusively to his base. He sees the world as ‘us’ versus ‘them.’ He denounces his critics as traitors, implying that their criticism of him amounts to disloyalty to the country. He calls the Democrats running for president ‘a group of socialists or communists.’

“Trump’s base is about one-third of the electorate. They are the 34 percent of voters who, in the mid-December Quinnipiac poll, said they ‘strongly approve’ of the way Trump is handling his job as president. That’s enough to give him control of the Republican Party. But it may not be enough to win re-election.

“Trump will have difficulty expanding his base for two reasons. First, he shows little interest in winning over voters outside his base. And second, his strategy of deliberately dividing the country is widely resented by voters outside his base. Other presidents have been divisive, but Trump is the only one who has pursued division as a deliberate strategy.”

Division as a deliberate strategy?” Is this true? Trump does employ a lot of divisive “us” versus “them” rhetoric, but it isn’t necessarily intended to be a partisan contest between Republicans and Democrats. No, the “us” side is the People (yes, capital “P”) versus the swampy establishment, the uncontrolled and unaccountable ruling elites who assume they know better than everyone else about how to lead worthwhile lives. The ruling class seeks to use their superior knowledge about the way things ought to be done to put the “deplorables” in their place and pass laws and regulations that don’t make sense in the abstract but are supposedly best for everyone concerned.

Culture is their weapon. Demonize those who favor traditional values or religion or basic common sense as backwards and prejudiced -- you know, the racists, sexists, homophobes, xenophobes, etc.

Trump stands opposed to rule by the elites -- they’re the “them” in the equation. He may have once been a charter member of the esteemed class by default (he’s an awfully rich and successful guy) -- but his attitudes are most definitely more reflective of the working stiffs in society today. Trump’s often been described as the “Blue Collar Billionaire,” and it’s not a stretch to declare he feels most at home with people who strap on boots in the morning before heading off to work.

They are just a part of Trump’s “base.” The others are limited government conservatives, national security/defense conservatives, evangelical “moral majority” voters and the people who make up the Tea Party. Surveys show Trump’s “base” is a unified Republican party -- well over 90 percent are behind him now.

So if he’s not trying to add voters to his “base,” what is Trump doing? In the alternative, are the Democrats trying to broaden their own coalitions by impeaching a successful president because they don’t like his modus operandi? Or are they winning converts by pressing high-minded themes like “climate change”, universal government provided healthcare, free college tuition, free childcare and slavery reparations?

Two of the Democrat presidential candidates are billionaires -- Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg. To some degree, both offer radical proposals to reform the economy to stall or reverse climate change. Steyer’s even got a one-minute commercial (called “Save the World, Do It Together”)  running where he touts his “climate change” credentials, prominently featuring a snippet from a recent Democrat debate performance, where he declared, “I’m the only one on this stage who will state that climate is the number one priority for me.” He further says, “It’s a state of emergency and I would declare an emergency on day one.” Steyer finishes with, “Do you think that would pull America together? I do.”

Seriously, Tom? Pull us together over government mandated windmills and solar panels? Steyer also said, “We could use it to rebuild and reimagine what the United States is.”

Steyer’s a real base builder, ain’t he? Can’t you imagine citizens across the country waking up everyday and worrying about climate change? Heck no! Steyer, Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg… all of them… are speaking directly to the Democrat base these days, liberals and leftists who obsess over the notion of transforming and reimagining what our country should be.

Their “out there” plans to confiscate firearms from law-abiding gun enthusiasts aren’t about adding voters to their big tent, either.

To those who pay attention -- or would at least crack open their consciences to the facts and some semblance of practicality -- would see Trump constantly appeals to the non-political to join his fight to “Keep America Great.” His “America First” foreign policy places the interests of citizens ahead of the desires of foreigners. His nationalist appeal isn’t racist, sexist or backwards. His calls for NATO allies to pay their committed shares to their own defense aren’t unreasonable, either.

But despite this, there is more Trump could do to broaden his base level of support. Many have proposed that he offer another tax cut to sustain the economy’s already impressive growth rate. And there are issues like school choice to puff up the big tent. Parents trapped in failing schools would appreciate hearing ideas about improving their kids’ educations and opportunities instead of more pontificating and grandstanding about “climate change” and “saving the planet” from an invisible conceptual threat. If their kids aren’t well grounded in the basics, they aren’t about to give a hoot about whether the country is joining international climate accords, that’s for sure.

Only the elites talk about such things. Unlike Trump, the Democrat presidential candidates aren’t speaking to the needs of working people. During last week’s debate, for example, Joe Biden all-but swore he didn’t care about the livelihoods of millions of Americans working in the energy industry. And Bernie Sanders has repeatedly indicated he’s willing to tax the wealthy into oblivion. Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, too.

People want inexpensive gasoline and manageable power bills. They don’t care about “climate change” fixes that can’t be proven one way or another and would hike all of their out-of-pocket expenses.

Trump’s speeches and “populist” governing platform is mostly about pocketbook issues and kitchen table concerns like jobs, law enforcement and protecting Americans through immigration reforms. Democrats are the ones dividing everyone into subgroups and pitting people against each other. They say if you’re not freaking out about “climate change” then you’re a denier. Or if you aren’t wild about gun control then you don’t care about safety. Or if you don’t believe in abortion on demand then you’re against women’s rights. It goes on and on.

Democrats are the ones who aren’t expanding their base. Need proof? Matt Margolis reported at PJ Media, “Joe Biden may be the national frontrunner, but it doesn't seem as though he's inspired excitement amongst Iowans, at least according to [a photo] of a town hall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa, from Des Moines Register reporter Stephen Gruber-Miller…

“The American Mirror estimates from the photo that only 98 people turned out for the town hall event featuring the former vice president.

“The Des Moines Register published dozens of photos from the event, but all are tightly composed, making assessing the attendance impossible. The photo published on Twitter was taken from the media section in the back, and clearly shows the entirety of the room's occupants.”

To be fair, the room really wasn’t that big. But it’s not like Joe’s packing ‘em in with standing-room-only crowds. Margolis also included a glimpse of an October, 2018, Iowa Trump rally with an arena full of adoring backers. This is the “base” that Schneider wrote so condescendingly about in his opinion piece above.

Biden is struggling to bring out big crowds because people just aren’t excited about him. He may be viewed as the most “electable” Democrat, but voters would rather see a good show -- like Trump’s -- then listen to the same regurgitated elitist nonsense that Joe’s peddling.

The bottom line is both parties’ candidates pay a lot of attention to their base voters. It’s a myth to claim that Trump isn’t even trying to expand the GOP base -- he does it all the time through outreach to various interest groups and ethnic constituencies. In 2016 he said to black voters, “What do you have to lose?” It still rings true, and will likely be reflected in the 2020 election results.

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