COLUMN: The lament of the Never Trumpers

COLUMN: The lament of the Never Trumpers

In his 1966 ballad, singer Jimmy Ruffin asked, “What becomes of the brokenhearted? Who had love that’s now departed?”

If they’re Republicans from the Bush administration or Romney and McCain presidential campaigns, they’re likely aligned with the Lincoln Project, instigators of devastating ads, columns, books and Twitter feeds attacking for betraying their beliefs.

Democrats, meanwhile, have employed a pillow fight.

Small government? Free trade? Fiscal responsibility? Civil liberties? Longtime Republican strategist Stuart Stevens writes in “It Was All a Lie,” the GOP has been usurped by evangelicals, oligarchs and “conspiracy kooks.”

The GOP, he writes, is now “the de facto White Party of America.”

Stevens cites Blacks bolting from the “Party of Lincoln” following Barry Goldwater’s opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Republicans extolling “white grievances.” It predated that.

In a 1981 interview, former Reagan operative Lee Atwater explained how to use “dog whistles.” By 1968, politicians could no longer openly use racial slurs (Atwater was specific). “That hurts. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff.”

Atwater’s not-so-secret sauce helped George H.W. Bush overcome Michael Dukakis, D-Massachusetts, who had a 17% poll lead in July 1988. Ads damned Massachusetts’ weekend furlough of murderer Willie Horton, who committed rape and robbery.

Stevens compares Ronald Reagan’s Trumplike exaggeration of a Chicago “welfare queen” with GOP silence on corporate welfare — Tesla, $3.5 billion; Google, $766 million (since 2000); Apple, $693 million (since 2009); Facebook, $333 million (since 2010); and billions to wealthy farmers.

He cites Republican efforts to suppress or peel off Black voters, knowing if 90% voted Democratic, assuming a normal turnout (see Clinton, Hillary), the GOP was doomed.

It resembles the Nixon administration’s 1971 “Dividing the Democrats” strategy calling for funding a Fourth Party of the far-left and disenchanted Blacks to diminish Democratic votes continues.

Trump got a lower popular vote percentage (46.1%) than Mitt Romney (47.2%) in 2012 as many Black voters stayed home in 2016.

Green Party candidate and Russian apologist Jill Stein (after dining in 2015 with Putin and future Trump adviser Mike Flynn, she got a Russian bot assist) peeled off liberals, while 12% of ’ backers supported Trump. (How did that work out, far-lefties? Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett.)

What now? The Trump campaign got Kanye West on the ballot.

As for fiscal responsibility, in two years, pre-COVID, Trump raised the deficit by $2 trillion.

Trump’s cumulative trade deficit with China through August was $1.332 trillion. During a comparable period in Obama’s second term, it was $1.255 trillion. But, hey, Trump also triggered higher consumer prices and depressed farm income.

As for the Lincoln Project, Ruffin sang on, “I know I’ve got to find some kind of peace of mind. Maybe.” It will soon find out.

Saul Shapiro is the retired editor of The Courier, living in Cedar Falls.

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2020-10-18T02:50:00-05:00October 18th, 2020|Categories: United States|Tags: , |
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