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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Take that Michelle Obama -- Democrats go low even when Trump goes high

How ironic it is that two years ago tomorrow then-first lady Michelle Obama delivered the line that defined the 2016 Democrat convention: “When they go low, we go high.”

Liberal partisans went wild as lady Obama synopsized what they all believed to be true in their hearts, namely that the Democrat party encapsulates the will of the American people -- and the GOP, as embodied then (and Michelle Obamanow) by the loutish and morally uncouth Donald Trump, was emblematic of everything wrong with the republican system of government created by the bigoted Founding Fathers and their perpetually backwards Constitution.

Keep in mind Obama’s words were spoken about a month and a half before Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton labeled one-quarter of the country (i.e. half of Trump voters) as dwelling in the “basket of deplorables,” meaning one out of every four Americans was a racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-immigrant miscreant.

In so doing Clinton demonstrated what “going high” looks like in Obama’s Democrat party; anyone who disagrees with their policy aims is ignorant and dangerous, destined for herding into ideological holding pens to await public ostracization and political assassination.

One wonders whether Democrats view themselves in the same light today, especially since President Trump has reached a high point of popularity in his 18th month in office. Josh Siegel of the Washington Examiner reported, “President Trump’s approval rating reached an all-time high this month buoyed by strong support from Republicans...

“Of the four previous presidents, only George W. Bush, after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, had a higher approval rating with his own party at the same point in his presidency, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The poll was taken over a four-day period that started July 15, a day before Trump’s meeting and joint news conference with Russia President Vladimir Putin in which he questioned the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Therefore, some of the polling days covered the aftermath of Trump’s much-criticized handling of the Putin meeting.”

In other words, conservatives and Republicans are rallying around Trump in the face of the media’s heinous president-bashing after Trump’s face-to-face with Putin last week. It seems leftist commentators (and their #NeverTrump companions) at MSNBC and CNN couldn’t dislodge Trump’s loyal support with more posturing about how Trump the candidate was so in love with Russia that he sold his soul to the enemy to defeat Clinton unfairly.

The above referenced poll also revealed a majority of those surveyed (51%) disapprove of the U.S./Russia relationship and that increasing percentages believe Russia did interfere in the 2016 election – yet Trump’s approval numbers continue to rise thanks to near record backing from the GOP faithful. Siegel also reported only 9 percent of Democrats approve of Trump today.

So there you have it – conservatives and Republicans love Trump and Democrats can’t stand him. Nothing really new here and with the 2018 midterms now just a little over a hundred days away, opinionmakers continue with their back-and-forth speculations on how well the parties might do with such a polarizing president occupying the White House.

What does it all mean? A couple things. First, the establishment remains steadfast in its opposition to Trump. To the elites, the outsider president once again committed an unthinkable and unacceptable blunder last week, all-but throwing the Washington deep state under the bus by accepting the hated Putin’s assurances that Russia didn’t meddle in the 2016 election.

To the DC ruling class such heresy is poison – they only recognize the narrative that Trump is an illegitimate president elected by unscrupulous means and Putin serves as the perfect rogue for the whole scenario. The tag team of Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein (de facto head of the Justice Department after Jeff Sessions’ recusal) and fired eternal-bellyacher James Comey haven’t produced anything concrete about “collusion” with Russia yet about half the public is still convinced something went on there. Why? Because that’s what they’re told happened.

No wonder Trump can’t stop tweeting about it; he simply wants to cleanse his name after it’s been dragged through the filth by the establishment’s reputation ruining gestapo.

Would releasing the documents in question finally convince the skeptical that Trump is innocent and the establishment is to blame for all the hubbub? Doubtful. With less than one-in-ten Democrats acknowledging the merits of Trump’s job performance there just aren’t enough people on that side of the spectrum to make a dent in the public opinion wall.

Which brings me to my other point – liberals and Democrats aren’t listening anymore (not that they ever were). All the positive indicators in the American economy and in the international realm (with Trump’s more assertive representation of the country’s interests abroad) haven’t swayed his opponents one bit. These are the folks who base their views on the New York Times’ opinion page and take cues from late night TV hosts on how to remain popular in social circles by thumping on an otherwise wildly successful president.

The public opinion divide shows up in unusual places, too. The other night I struck up a conversation with a gentleman while awaiting a flight at the airport, a man who (at first) reluctantly stated his support for Trump and then decried the rancorous nature of political debate in this country. By the muted tone of his voice I could tell he was working hard not to sound too positive about Trump in an open room lest a leftist seated nearby expose his true feelings and attack us in plain sight … it’s been known to happen.

This individual was clearly one of the nearly 90 percent of Republicans who appreciate what Trump is doing for the country, forging a clear path despite the left’s repeated attempts to dehumanize and demonize our duly elected chief executive. As our conversation continued the man showed himself to be extremely well-informed on current events. The message is getting through to those with open minds and who bother to inform themselves of the facts.

The more people see of Trump the more they like him.

But the left doesn’t even make an effort to accept Trump and the media’s take on Russia provides them every excuse necessary to sustain their outlandish behavior. It’s almost like a reversal of Michelle Obama’s lofty statement from Philadelphia two years ago – Trump is going high and the Democrats are the ones going low.

Some think the minority party is becoming so desperate to break Trump that the discourse will only get worse from here on out. Victor Davis Hanson wrote at American Greatness, “Democrats privately acknowledge that Obama wrecked the Democratic Party—losing Congress, the presidency, state and local offices, and now the Supreme Court. But they must praise the forces of that wreckage and seek to trump them by becoming the party of hyper-identity politics. In other words, the Democrats know what sort of agenda might bring them back into power as it did in 1992. But they feel that Clintonesque cure is worse than the disease of being in the purer political wilderness without power.

“So, for now, they rant, they rave, and they stew, accepting that they cannot do what might save them and therefore they only do more of what is destroying them. Out of that lose-lose dilemma was birthed Trump hatred. Without a persuasive argument, progressives came up with the mantra that Trump is a traitor, and that all they needed to do was to explain to supposedly dense voters that their current economic renaissance was actually jackbooted National Socialism.

“How far will the Left go? I fear that we have seen nothing yet.”

Could it possibly get worse? After Democrats smeared Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before he was even announced and then moved on to sniping about the president’s trip to Europe and meeting with Vladimir Putin in the past couple weeks, one would be hard pressed to predict what they’ll do next to top themselves. After all, it was only a month ago liberals were feigning outrage over the plight of separated illegal alien families. Where’s that issue now? Are all the families happy now or did liberals suddenly acknowledge that the public wasn’t biting?

Liberal attention spans aren’t long enough to focus on anything for more than a few weeks. Before Justice Kennedy announced he was handing in his black robe there was a lull in the news cycle – so Democrats dredged up footage of illegal children in cage-like structures (from Obama’s year of 2014) and blamed Trump for it.

That’s what the leftist base expects and Democrats are more than happy to oblige. In the process they’ve lost touch with the white working class that once constituted the foundation of their party. Most experts have written off this demographic as a permanent Trump constituency but there are some delusional liberals who still believe they could be wooed back.

Juan Williams wrote at The Hill, “The Democrats’ political fortunes in the 2020 presidential race hinge on winning back the white, working-class voters in the middle of the country. At the moment, [Joe] Biden is the best Democrat to speak to those voters…

“Right now … working-class whites in the Midwest and the south are feeling economic pain caused by the trade wars Trump has started.

“Retaliatory tariffs have raised prices on American exporters — particularly agriculture, but also on cars and manufacturing. Harley-Davidson, a white working-class favorite, is moving jobs overseas to avoid the trade wars. And Trump is criticizing the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates.”

Reading Williams’ columns always provides comic relief since he conveniently ignores every bit of positive news to weave a narrative that things are awful in America today and Trump will suffer consequences at the ballot box accordingly – both this November and in 2020. Williams touts the potential presidential candidacy of none other than “Uncle Joe” Biden, a failed retread pol who Obama felt sorry for in 2008 and tabbed to be his number two -- probably because he didn’t want to take on Hillary Clinton.

Williams joins the establishment #NeverTrump crowd in predicting doom for Republicans due to Trump’s emphasis on tariffs. This line of argument is a fallacy because one, very few people even know what a tariff is and two, hardly anyone will recognize the costs involved with them. While it’s true tariffs, if left in place long-term, could cause people to pay more for certain things – but who says they’re permanent?

In today’s multi-faceted world economy markets will invariably adjust. Producers will recognize the costs and plan for them by buying less expensive raw materials or goods from some other source. Every country is expendable on the world market. Likewise, consumers will alter their purchasing habits if prices rise too high on certain products. The only losers will be the export-dependent nations that have bent the trade laws to their favor all this time and can’t pressure the political leadership to change.

Americans also recognize what Trump is trying to do – force other countries to play fair – and will give the president political leeway to achieve the end goal, freer and fairer trade for all. The polls certainly play it out – remember, almost 90 percent of Republicans support Trump.

Democrats can’t win on the issue regardless, primarily because the media isn’t telling the whole story. George Neumayr wrote at The American Spectator, “All of the ‘free trade’ lectures from the media are aimed not at the combatants in this conflict but at its most passive chump. By ‘free trade,’ the media means unfair and irrational trade at America’s expense. Trump isn’t committed to permanent tariffs. But the Western elite certainly is. They want a world of tariffs, just not one in which America can exact any.

“Trump has been offering countries such as the United Kingdom and Germany ‘zero tariff trade deals.’ How does this make him the bully? If anything, Trump is trying to end a trade war that he didn’t start. His peace proposal deserves a hearing. But the media won’t give it one, as that would undermine its bellicose caricature of Trump and retard its anti-American globalism.”

Conservatives and Republicans honor free trade but have touted the party line for far too long. Trump campaigned on promoting fair trade and he’s living up to his promises. Isn’t that what “going high when they go low” is all about?

Democrats aren’t doing a very good job of “going high” as Michelle Obama advised them to do two years ago. The party’s lack of substantive policy ideas forces Democrats to defend defenseless positions and relentlessly bash everything Trump does. Will voters make them pay?

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