Although I have never met him, I wish to give a mazal tov to Rabbi Gary Slochowsky on being an honoree of Yeshiva University’s Chag HaSemikhah. I tip my cap to HAFTR for publicizing this accomplish of its alumnus by putting a full-page ad in the Queens Jewish Link. It has been a difficult last thirty days, so it is good to be able to comment on a joyous occasion.
On to my main part. There were winners and losers from November 2 election.
Moderate Swing Voters: The progressives and the Trumpians may make the most noise but it is the moderate swing voters who make the difference. They made the difference in the presidential election, and they made the difference in Virginia.
Traditional Republicans: Glenn Youngkin showed that you can win an election by relying on traditional Republican principles, and you do not need to kiss Trump’s ring to win. Youngkin made sure to stay as far away from Trump as possible. He did not want him to come to the state. Likewise, the Republican candidate for New Jersey Governor, Jack Ciattarelli, whom Trump did not support in the Republican Primary, came very close to beating the incumbent governor.
Elections: For months, Trump and his followers have repeated the big lie that the election was stolen and that they need new laws to protect election integrity. Some of the new laws make it harder to vote and give more power to partisan political hacks. Virginia had one of the most generous rules as it related to voting. Many more people voted and a Republican won. I don’t hear any of the Trumpians complaining this time. What it showed is that it isn’t the system that’s the problem; it’s the candidate. Trump lost because of who he is and not because of any fraud; likewise, Youngkin won because of how he was seen by the voters and not because of any fraud.
Infrastructure Bill: After Tuesday’s disaster for the Democratic Party, President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally did what they should have done months before: They pushed the infrastructure bill to the floor and dared the progressives to vote against it. The Squad did vote against it. However, most supported it. With minimal Republican support, it passed. Now the President and the members of Congress can show that they were able to get something passed that Trump was unable to do in four years.
Defund the Police: In Minneapolis, the proposal to abolish the police department and set up a department of public safety went up in flames. Fifty-six percent of the voters voted against the proposal, which was supported by the local member of Congress Ilhan Omar and Attorney General of Minnesota Keith Ellison.
Progressives: They lost the referendum in Minnesota and their candidate in Buffalo lost to a write-in by eighteen percentage points. Their policy of holding up the infrastructure bill to pass the Build Back Better was seen as a reason for the loss in Virginia and other places and an almost-defeat in NJ. Likewise, their “woke” ideas were shown to be unpopular. I recommend you watch James Carville, who managed Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, on the November 3 PBS News Hour, where he tears into progressive woke ideas.
Not surprisingly, many of the progressives have not gotten the message. For example, MSNBC, which has become more to the left than CNN, has labeled some of Youngkin’s supporters as racists. MSNBC is referring to those who voted for Youngkin because he is opposed to Critical Race Theory (CRT). Likewise, Saturday Night Live, in their opening skit on November 6, had someone asking the cast member playing Youngkin what CRT is, and he says he has no idea, but it won him the election. Whether CRT is technically taught in Virginia schools is not the point. There are other initiatives that have similar ideas. I will explain it so those at SNL can understand.
The approach of this “school of thought” is that America is and always has been a racist country whether in the public sector, government policy, government leaders, economy, housing, law enforcement, incarceration, etc. That is why they are now going after the founders of our country such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and even Abraham Lincoln. I will not address the issue of the historical accuracy of such, since that warrants its own column, but I will point out that you are not going to draw working class and other moderate white voters to your party when you label them and their ancestors as being part of a racist society. Also, calling these people racists because they do not support your race theory of American history is nonsense. It fits into the narrative of woke, that if you do not agree with me, I will do my best to cancel you. It is counterproductive because it will turn them and others against you, and when there are legitimate claims of racism, they will be ignored. It will be like the boy who cried wolf.
It was reported that the biggest group in Virginia who thought that parents’ choice in education mattered were women without a college education. SNL, in the same opening, mocked these people. This is why so many people hate the “east coast elite.” Just because someone is not college-educated does not make them a dummy. It does not prove that they don’t care about their children’s education. I would figure that most of those who are college-educated descended from ancestors who came to this county without a college education. They wanted their children to have a college education. These immigrants were a lot smarter than those arrogant individuals at SNL who decided to put this in their opening.
Trump: The Democrat Party’s strategy was trying to tie Youngkin to Trump. It did not work. Trump was a non-factor in the election. The voters did not care about him. Youngkin made it clear he did not want him to come or if he would come, Youngkin would not be seen with him. In other words, Trump became Mr. Irrelevant. Other Republicans who were scared to cross Trump now see that it can be done with success.
Sometimes, it may be a mistake to read too much into a year when the contest is only for state and local offices. I think it is a wakeup call for Democrats that to follow the progressive approach is a recipe for disaster. They should have realized that when Biden beat Sanders for the nomination. Also, hopefully, this will be the beginning of the end for Trump’s grip on the Republican Party. The Republicans have the blueprint to win back the Senate and the House of Representatives, and it does not include Trump.