by Tom Evslin
We vote our fears more than our dreams. The margin to elect Donald Trump in 2016 came from voters afraid of immigration, immigrants, and crime.
Biden’s election would have been resounding if it were not for the fears raised in both Black and White voters by calls for banning the police and leaving people exposed to crime. The relative trouncing of the Democrats in House elections owes a lot to fear of mayhem. On the other hand, fear of what Trump might do after his dangerous and disgraceful refusal to accept the election results cost Republicans the two runoff elections in Georgia which determined control of the Senate.
Newsom probably would have avoided recall in heavily Democratic California; but polls at first showed the race surprisingly close, possibly because of the blatant hypocrisy of his unmasked dinner with lobbyists in an expensive restaurant after he’d banned such gatherings for others. Polls show voters in California alarmed by rising crime rates and homeless sprawl. IMO the race turned quickly when Larry Elder, the Republican who likely would have replaced Newsom, said his first action in office would be to repeal Newsom’s mask and vaccine mandates. People are really afraid of the virus! There was also partisan flood of money into the state, much of attracted by Newsom’s wise decision to run against Trump rather than Elder.
I‘m for vaccination mandates; I don’t think we’ve gone far enough yet. But it is frightening how quickly we are willing to give up civil liberties, especially other people’s civil liberties, when we are afraid. Unless something new shows up to frighten us, the two parties will present these frightening views of each other in 2022 mid-term elections:
Democrats are in favor of eliminating police protection and coddling criminals, illegal immigrants, and rioters of the left-wing variety.
Republicans are in favor of letting people die of COVID, insurrection, and protecting rioters of the right-wing variety.
It won’t be pretty. Especially since neither description is entirely inaccurate.