The Big Lesson of the Youngkin Win
It’s the pandemic, stupid.
I’m not calling anyone stupid. This is actually a call for greater understanding and respect. Here’s why I say, “It’s the pandemic, stupid.”
Have you heard the advertising advice KISS — Keep It Simple, Stupid? A bit of ancient history: Political strategist, James Carville, knew that phrase. He would repeat a matching mantra, “It’s the economy, stupid.” He did this to keep the 1992 Bill Clinton campaign on track. The candidate liked to go “full-wonk” and lose focus.
The phrase, “It’s the pandemic, stupid” is offered in that same spirit. It’s political counsel to the political left — to Democrats — following Republican electoral progress here in November, 2021.
Even swing voters are worn out by your COVID-19 policies.
I watched about 20 minutes of CNN covering the election returns. They couldn’t find their words. (Where’s Trump when they need him?) Ultimately, they said there are always losses for the party in the White House in the next year. They based that on 2009’s election results in VA and NJ. In other words, the Republican victory was without actual meaning.
But it’s the pandemic, stupid.
The lockdowns. The lies. The lab leak.
The mask and the vax, made mandatory.
Distancing at the airport, before packing passengers like tuna into planes.
The bankrupt businesses. The censorship. The inflation!
Closing schools, then re-opening them with masks, and now vaxxing 5-year-olds.
The anti-scientific downplay of natural immunity, topped off by the siccing of virtuous Americans against the unclean.
And the obvious fact that all of these Faucist interventions were so successful we’ve suffered four waves of pandemic!
The political left just couldn’t get it through their heads that Americans are different from other places; a significant number of people would’ve preferred to make their own choices during an infection wave and “get it over with.”
Suppressed elsewhere, some Americans burst through in one place they could still be heard — school boards. That was a surprise. Previously, even the board members struggled to get a quorum to these borefests. Then, the Attorney General of the United States issued a public letter that appeared to threaten these Americans’ ability to speak at school board meetings too.
It matters not whether you dislike, let alone disagree with these people. What matters is that you haven’t found a way to listen to and live with them. Your team’s actions from Silicon Valley, the capitols, and media row have activated and unified them.
If you want to break them, let alone get them to return to docility, you’re going to have to back off on the ‘rona regulations.
You’ve been told to return life to normal, ASAP.
Two Notes: Of course, the reasons are more complicated than just this simple answer. There’s always nuance. There’s even a progressive version of these election results where the Democrats lost because they were too weak to deliver on the Build Back Better plan. Space does not permit covering why this is not the best explanation. Suffice it to say, the political management of the pandemic is a large part of why Republicans gained ground. The political left will likely ignore this insight at their peril in the midterm congressional elections.
Also, I’m not a Republican, and I didn’t vote for Trump. My ability to transcend Red vs Blue and not simply be purple helps me see that politics is the worst way to solve a problem.
Instead, I offer you a more “golden” way forward. If enough Americans recognized the foundational Principle of Human Respect and then practiced the Zero Aggression Philosophy, we’d attain social harmony at levels that’d be hard to imagine right now.
Jim Babka is the host of The Exit Network.