Richard Moore

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(Update: I was right!) In latest poll, Walker leads 50-43; 
Richard explains why it's just the latest bad news for Burke

Republican sweep interrupts media narrative on GOP

Posted by Richard Moore Nov. 6, 2014


Call it Narrativus Interruptus.

Ever since Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, and especially since he was re-elected in 2012, the state-run media narrative has been consistent and insistent with respect to the future of the Republican Party: It doesn’t have one.

According to the story line, the GOP is an exclusive club of aging white men who have alienated women, alienated young people, alienated Latinos, indeed alienated all minorities, alienated gays, and so on and so on. Indeed, this viewpoint holds, this small cult of white elders has alienated everybody but themselves, and they will soon be dead.

As such, the media reasons, the only thing that could save the Republican Party would be for it to abandon its conservatism and become liberal like everybody else. That the party hasn’t done so – indeed, that it has moved in the opposite direction – has had the media scratching their collective heads. 

And then the 2014 mid-term elections happened. No matter what you hear, it was a Republican wave, with the GOP capturing the U.S. Senate and increasing its margin in the U.S. House of Representatives. In all, the Democrats lost at least seven Senate seats – and the final tally could be nine – while Republicans increased their majority in the House to levels not seen since the administration of Harry Truman.

Not bad for a dying party.

Of course, signs that reality was different from the media narrative have been legion, both observably and statistically.

Take polling data, for instance. Once a year, the Gallup organization asks Americans which is the biggest threat to the United States: big government, big business, or big labor.

In the last survey, a record 72 percent said it was big government. That compares to a previous high of 65 percent in 1999 and 2000. In 1965, only 35 percent said it was big government.

In other words, over time the American public has been moving toward the limited government philosophy espoused by the GOP and away from the big-government ideology the Democrats embrace. That would appear to put the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party, in peril. 

If one wants to use actual voting data, there’s plenty of evidence there, too. For example, the mid-term 2010 elections. Somehow the dinosaurs were able to take control of the House of Representatives, but that didn’t deter those driving the media narrative. That election, in which the Tea Party supposedly confused the electorate and distorted Dear Leader’s benevolent policies, was merely the exception that proved the rule, the pundits assured us.

They seemed vindicated in the 2012 presidential election, but now the 2014 mid-terms have washed that down the drain with 2008. You can bet the media will again assure us that 2014 is the exception that proves the rule of inevitable GOP extinction, except that would make two exceptions to prove the rule, and two exceptions aren’t allowed.

As a wise man once said, an exception repeated is not really an exception (Richard Moore, circa 2014). 

Then, too, the 2014 mid-terms exposed the lie of the GOP being the party of old, white men. 
There are no doubt too many of them, but surely we are not advocating discrimination against old white men, are we?

More to the point, if we look at the observable evidence, it would seem the Democrats are the party of old people, period. White, black, men, women – they’re all old. Just look at the party elders and prospective presidential candidates – Harry Reid, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton. There’s not a young one, or even a middle-aged one, in the bunch.

Leadership for tomorrow? There isn’t any. Sure, you can spit out Andrew Cuomo’s name, but he’s just his liberal father’s shadow without the brains. Even that darling of the progressive left – Elizabeth Warren – is old.

And she wouldn’t want to be called darling, either, just for the record.

Sure, people can say potential Republican candidate Jeb Bush is the mirror image of Hillary, and he is. The difference is, there’s nobody beyond Hillary on the Democratic side. Among Republicans, though, the tank is brimming with youth: Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindall, Nikki Haley.

The GOP problem might even be that it has too much youth in the top tier right now and is in need of a seasoned presidential candidate. 

A congressional race in upstate New York provides the quintessential example of the youthful zest emerging inside the GOP. In the 21st congressional district, in an open seat held by the Democrats since 2009, 30-year-old Elise Stefanik, a Republican, won a landslide victory Tuesday.

In doing so, Stefanik became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Once upon a time, when the Democratic dream of an American collective burned more brightly, Democrat Elizabeth Holtzman, also of New York, earned that honor.

Not any more. These days the rising young female star of Congress is a Republican. Not bad for a party young people and women despise, eh?

Or take Mia Love, who with her election now becomes the first black woman in the House Republican caucus. Not bad for a party despised by young people, women and blacks, huh?

Of course, not much is written about these exciting stars – and there’s more, Joni Ernst in Iowa, for example – because the media likes to focus attention on Hillary or, when they want to show that they really have bright youthful stars, Sandra Fluke. Only Fluke badly lost a bid for state Senate Tuesday, and so it turns out her stardom really was a fluke.  

The media might not publicize it, but voters increasingly get it, and those voters are increasingly young and female.

Really, you say? Well what about those vaunted voting gaps with young voters and women? Aren’t they real, and don’t they portend doom for the GOP down the road? After all, far more women voted for Barack Obama than they did for Mitt Romney. That was the case in the Walker-Burke race as well, with Burke claiming a 54-45 margin among women. 

Ditto for young people in those races, and they are the future, right? 

Well, there’s some truth to all that, but obviously there weren’t enough women and youth to turn the tide this week, and there’s a big, big qualifier attached to those voting constituencies. 

The qualifier is, young people vote Democratic because they are young (i.e., stupid). The older and wiser the electorate gets, the more Republican it becomes because suddenly people have to worry more about their economic security and less about whether they can legally buy a joint.

This is true of the gender gap as well. Married women, who tend to be older, voted for Mitt Romney, not Barack Obama, and as a group they are Republican. It’s single, younger women who, with a laser-like focus on their contraceptive and other government privileges, vote Democratic.

In other words, the gender gap can be traced primarily to age and other factors, not their sex, as Kay S. Hymowitz has pointed out.

This should trouble Democrats, because the nation is rapidly aging. To wit, according to the Census Bureau, while the overall population is projected to grow much more slowly over the next several decades, the elderly population is expected to more than double by 2060.

Given that older people – white men included – vote GOP, there’s going to be a whole lot more Republicans and a whole lot less Democrats out there.

Somehow the demographic geniuses in the state-run media have managed to miss this. 

Perhaps even more troubling for the Democrats, it is not a given that young people will always naively buy into the Democrats’ utopian message (which is, we promise to pave the streets of the special interests with taxpayers’ gold). 

Increasingly, young people (who are not really stupid, just sometimes self-absorbed and inexperienced in life) are becoming more libertarian, as a broad array of surveys over the past few years indicate. While loyal to neither party, the libertarian grouping – most often mischaracterized as independents – is more likely to vote Republican. 

In Wisconsin Tuesday, according to the CNN exit poll, young voters aged 18-29 were the only age group Burke managed to win, confirming the age gap. But her margin, 51-47 percent, was astoundingly low for a group long identified with Democratic liberalism, and it is likely another indication of increasing skepticism among the only voters besides blacks who are anchors for the Democrats. 

This trend is likely to become even more pronounced as the GOP continues its transformation on social issues such as gay marriage and marijuana and continues to peel away from the neoconservative interlopers who dominated the party’s foreign policy for so long.

As this occurs, the Republican Party will become more and more a party of real individual freedom, while the Democratic Party will be left with that Big Government albatross around its neck. That is likely to be anathema to young people bent on expressing and asserting their individualism.

Finally, the state-run media analysis conveniently and completely ignored huge Republican successes at the state level. Heading into last Tuesday’s mid-terms, the GOP controlled 60 of 99 state legislative chambers, and they likely increased that number to 67 or 69, while, in addition to retaining Walker and Rick Scott in Florida, GOP gubernatorial candidates in Maryland, Arkansas, Illinois and Massachusetts took previously Democratic seats. 

In sum, the state-run media has been desperate to lay out a narrative of conservative demise, though most credible evidence has pointed in the opposite direction and was dramatically ratified last Tuesday. 

It’s the same strategy the media uses with climate change. The more the evidence doesn’t support it, the more the media asserts it as fact.

Sadly for the state-run media, and happily for the rest of us, the Earth won’t warm just because the liberal media tells it to, and neither will people vote Democratic just because the media has decreed that they must and will. 

Lisa Moore poster art

 

Really cool Washington Heights posters designed by, and including the photos of, Lisa Moore for sale in the web store. Limited edition prints. One poster depicts historic homes and windows in Milwaukee's famous neighborhood (13" by 19", $15 includes shipping and handling); the second is a selection of flowers from the neighborhood (13" by 19", $13 includes shipping and handling). See posters in web store. To buy, click here.

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