HOW LOSERS BECAME WINNERS

The Democratic party, they of little brain and less brawn, managed to cede the country and Congress to the Republicans in 2009. They had a lot of help.

But what they haven’t yet learned, it seems, is that the Winners, they of no brain and nothing but muscle, have put themselves into an identical situation: losing. Losing big.

And if the Democrats are lucky, and the Republicans continue to be stupid, 2016 will be the year the GOP implodes.

Here’s why.

If you spend eight years screaming “No!” at the tops of your lungs, people are going to notice. The man on the street is neither deaf nor dumb. Nor does he forget. The Republicans would be happier if he did, nearly the entire eight years.

Because the ordinary voter has come to believe, rightly, that the Republicans are a party in permanent opposition to anything he or she wants.

It is too late in the season for the Republicans to play nice, as lately they have begun to do. Legislation of meaningful heft has actually been passed. Voters would reward this if only they could believe that change is real.

But now we come to a crisis even Mitch McConnell couldn’t have foreseen. Arrayed on the steps of the capital of South Carolina are thousands of “good old boys” willing, no, actually aching to display their affection and devotion to the Confederate Flag and everything for which it once stood. And guess what? These guys are the remnants of Nixon’s Southern Strategy.

Undying, unreconstructed, unable to understand why their loyalties are being attacked so viciously. We’re talking about Black People here. We’re talking about slaves. Poverty, field hands, drugs and more kids than you can shake a stick at. These are not our people. Well, sure, once in a while we’re forced to see one or listen to one on television. But that’s all for show. Underneath, things haven’t, don’t, aren’t going to change.

As the rest of the country watches what happens in South Carolina, what we viewers are not going to have handy is a list of players, a program. Nor will each player be identified by a number or a name on the back of his sweatshirt. We’re not going to be able to say to ourselves, “Well, what do you think? There’s good old Uncle George. You know how he is.”

The men, women and children on the sidewalks of the state capital will also not have programs identifying that man as a Republican or that as a Democrat. There won’t be team colors. Nightly newscasters will be forced to identify the make-up of the crowd some other way. The struggle for P.C. will be mighty and hard.

Of course, players could deny they belong to any party at all. But with ninety per cent of America’s voting population in favor of gun control measures, ignoring who chooses to use their “right to carry” at these outings may be difficult.

And as each week passes, and another Donald Trump takes the stage somewhere, even if he allows that “some” of those people might be O.K., the grave deepens.

Regardless how it sounds, the Donald is in fact echoing the Republican underline every time he speaks. And if, during a “debate,” the Donald faces off squarely with an opponent and demands to know how that candidate’s views are really any different than his, there’s carnage in Phoenix, or Philadelphia, or even Christie and LePage’s Portland, Maine.

Realizing that elections are not won by voting blocks but by the undecided and uncategorized “middle” to whom each candidate must ultimately play doesn’t make running a campaign any easier. Complain as people will about men and women catering only to portions of their “base,” pandering is still the name of the game. Worse, in order to keep their ships afloat, politicians must keep a weather eye on the big spenders, as well.

What this ultimately means is that there is, in all likelihood, no candidate brave enough to speak about what he or she cares for.
Which means, simply, that we’re voting blind again. We don’t see a hero in the distance emerging (although we’d love to be able to do so). We’re voting to hope again. And as the saying goes, “How did that work for you last time?”

After eight years of hearing “No!”, we have no one positive and experienced enough to be certain of where he or she can stand solidly and strongly.

We doubt the next year and half will change this.

Which is how the elephant’s nose became its tail.

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