Facing a pandemic with historic health and economic consequences, a rising China, and domestic strife over rapidly changing race and gender norms, voters of all ideological backgrounds are looking for political leaders ready to fight for them.
Despite President Biden’s superficial calls for unity and bipartisan deal-making, his administration is already pushing the nation’s environmental, tax, spending, and regulatory policies sharply to the left. Biden is doing so via executive actions, legislation that can be passed on a party-line vote through the reconciliation process, and liberal appointments. Democratic voters see their party’s control over the White House and Congress and are demanding aggressive action. They have been agitated by a steady diet of grievances fed to them by a media convinced that Donald Trump posed an existential threat to American norms and democracy itself.
In turn, Republican voters are increasingly alarmed by the radical policies coming from Washington and their sudden loss of power. Rising Republican leaders, especially those looking to the next presidential election, must demonstrate to these voters they are ready and willing to fight for them. Unlike elections not so long ago, when George H.W. Bush promised a “kinder, gentler nation,” George W. Bush promised “compassionate conservatism,” and Bill Clinton promised to invest the “peace dividend,” today’s voters are looking for political warriors. America is no longer the world’s sole undisputed superpower. Today, peace abroad and prosperity at home do not seem as assured.
Voters have ironically often turned away from actual military heroes such as John McCain, Bob Dole, and George H.W. Bush. They want candidates promising to do political battle on their behalf. That means Republican leaders must project their constancy in the face of the expected media onslaught and express their willingness to suffer ridicule and personal sacrifice on behalf of their constituents. Even as they expect to be rewarded by voters with their loyal support. The question thus is not whether to fight but rather whom to fight…
Read More: Washington Examiner