Sunday, December 27, 2015
IS TRUMP EXPLOITING ‘ANGER, FRUSTRATION, FEAR’ OF ‘BLUE-COLLAR MEN’?
“I do believe that the country is inexorably changing [demographically]… [and] when you combine that demographic change with all the economic stresses that people have been going through — because of the financial crisis, because of technology, because of globalization, the fact that wages and incomes have been flat-lining for some time, and that particularly blue-collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy, where they are no longer getting the same bargain that they got when they were going to a factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck — you combine those things, and it means that there is going to be potential anger, frustration, fear.”
That was President Barack Obama in a candid interview with NPR published Dec. 21, pointing to demographic and economic changes in the U.S., alluding to waves of illegal immigration and globalization, that are making it extremely difficult for non-college educated males in particular to get by in this economy to support their families.
Of the outrage, Obama added, “Some of it justified, but just misdirected. I think somebody like Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that. That’s what he’s exploiting during the course of his campaign.”
Here, Obama is referring to Trump’s blue-collar, working class themes that simultaneously key up a Pat Buchanan tough approach against illegal immigration, and Ross Perot hard stance against bad trade deals that as a matter of design favor so-called developing economies overseas — called special and differential treatment — and hamper U.S. growth and the incentive to do business here.
Among voters with no college at all, Trump crushes the rest of the Republican field, taking about almost 33 percent of the vote, SurveyMonkey reports. His closest rival in that category is Ben Carson at 17 percent.
In other words, with the illegal immigration issue front and center thanks to Trump, plus imminent consideration by Congress of the global Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal with Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, it is 1992 all over again.
So, here, Obama is highlighting a grave danger to the traditional Democrat coalition that has always included blue-collar Americans — speaking to an angst that has been percolating for decades, a sense of disenfranchisement by what Richard Nixon used to call the silent majority.
In that sense, Trump’s appeal as a candidate, if you’re a Republican, is to eat a significant percent of the Democrat coalition — and potentially bring millions more previously disaffected voters to the polls.
Consider what happened in 1992 with Perot on the ballot. Voter turnout exploded by nearly 13 million to 104.4 million, a 12.27 percent increase from 1988. All that while the growth of the voting age population was slowing down — it had only increased 6.7 million that cycle. In addition to Perot’s 19.7 million votes, Democrats increased their 1988 vote total by 3.1 million to 44.9 million, while Republicans lost 9.7 million supporters down to 39.1 million.
Meaning, Perot’s presence in the race may have brought as many as 5 to 10 million voters to the polls who would have stayed home if he were not in the race. He expanded the universe of potential voter universe with the direct economic populist appeal.
Throw in fresh concerns over terrorism and immigration thanks to Paris and San Bernardino, and what you have might be an electoral powder keg ready to explode, more than 20 years in the making.
Is Trump exploiting these voters with his populist appeal? Or representing them? As a side note, even symbolically, why do you think he wears that red ball cap?
In 1992 the Perot campaign was controversial because it seemingly split the Republican vote. But lump the two constituencies together — as Nixon and Reagan successfully did in 1972, 1980, and 1984 — and the potential of another slaughter of Democrats at the polls emerges. That is actually the model that has produced the most success for Republicans in the past half century. Once again, Trump is onto something.
But it only works with blue-collar voters on the table, whom the Democrat President Obama is now denigrating as angry, frustrated and fearful. Does that elitist attitude, combined with support for unlimited immigration, open borders and global trade deals that are bad for American workers, backfire on Democrats in 2016? That is what Trump is betting on.
Perhaps that is what simultaneously scares Democrats like Obama and even the Republican establishment that cannot seem to beat Trump at his own game. That Trump’s potent campaign strategy might actually work, and that should he win, they won’t be able to control him.
How to Manufacture an Anti-Muslim Hate-Crime 'Epidemic'
Step one: Find an expert with an impressive-sounding academic title to legitimize shoddy advocacy propaganda.
Meet Brian Levin. He's the one-man band behind something called the "Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism" at California State University, San Bernardino. The "center" (that is: Levin) claims to be "nonpartisan" and "objective." But he is a former top staffer of the militant, conservative-smearing Southern Poverty Law Center, which was forced to apologize earlier this year after including famed black neurosurgeon and GOP 2016 candidate Ben Carson on its "extremist watch list" of hate groups.
At SPLC, Levin infamously posited that the 2002 Beltway jihad snipers were Angry White Men, a fatal error echoed by politically correct law enforcement officials whose wild-goose chase needlessly cost lives. A decade later, the SPLC's target map and list of social conservative groups were used by convicted left-wing domestic terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins to shoot up the Washington, D.C., office of the Family Research Council.
The radical left-wing SPLC, whose annual "hate and extremism" report spawned Levin's sham "center," brazenly declared that its mission is to "destroy" its political opponents. Harper's Magazine writer Ken Silverstein called the SPLC and its work "essentially a fraud" that "shuts down debate, stifles free speech, and most of all, raises a pile of money, very little of which is used on behalf of poor people."
Step two: Enlist gullible, lazy, biased, and complicit journalists who recycle the "expert's" sweeping pronouncements as proven facts, backed up by other ideologically vested advocacy group spokespeople.
NBC News, The New York Times, the Daily Mail and Slate all quoted Levin over the past week hyping his new "study" (published in esteemed academic journal The Huffington Post) on an alleged "increase," "surge" and "spike" in "crimes against Muslims and mosques" this year.
Levin's "methods" of "analysis"? Stringing together "apparent hate crimes reported in the media and by civil rights groups across the United States." Most prominent among his sources: the Council on American-Islamic Relations, whose jihad-apologizing frontman Ibrahim Hooper was quoted by both NBC and The New York Times backing Levin's "research" (which were, of course, based on several of CAIR's grievance-grifting claims). Cozy, huh?
"We're seeing so many of these things happening that it's unbelievable," Hooper told the Times.
Indeed, it is.
In his list of "Suspected Hate Crimes Directed at Actual or Perceived Muslim Institutions or Individuals Since Paris Attacks," Levin cites a Nov. 26 incident in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, noting, "Cab driver shot. Attempted Murder."
The rest of the story: The suspect is 26-year-old Anthony Mohamed, whose father is Muslim. Authorities have so far refused to press hate crimes charges despite CAIR's demands. At a hearing this week, the cab driver denied in court that he had been subjected to negative comments about his religion before Mohamed allegedly shot him in the back. Court filings fail to mention any evidence of anti-Muslim bias in the case.
Or take a look at Levin's No. 23: "12/6 Buena Park, CA. Sikh Temple. Vandalism, Crim. Mischief." CAIR's Los Angeles office publicized vandalism at an Orange County Sikh temple, immediately condemning a "tiny minority of bigots who violate our nation's longstanding principles of religious tolerance and inclusion."
The rest of the story: Authorities arrested a local, 20-year-old Brodie Durazo, after he admitted spray-painting the temple, a tractor trailer and other property in the gang-infested neighborhood. "I have lived alongside this temple for many years of my life and have never once seen you as anything but a peaceful people," he told the temple-goers in a personal apology at the house of worship. "I just hope that you will see by my presence that all I want is for peace as well."
Not a menacing "bigot." Just a bored punk.
Or consider Levin's No. 33: "12/10 Tampa, FL. Rocks/shots at 2 Muslim drivers. Assault, Threat leaving relig. service in hijab."
Both women are unidentified. Their unvetted stories were immediately publicized by, you guessed it, CAIR. "Both incidents were investigated by Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies," according to local Florida media, "though investigators said neither case involved definitive proof of a hate crime." In one case, the sheriff's office spokeswoman said, "It could have been road rage or just a misunderstanding." In the second case involving alleged shots fired at a vehicle, investigators said the woman "was not sure where or when" a bullet hole found on the car was made.
Step three: Attack the messenger. After I published a lengthy post on my blog outlining an epidemic of Muslim hate-crime hoaxes at colleges, mosques and businesses dating back to 2001, Levin took to Twitter to accuse me of "smears." The facts, which the rest of the media failed to inform readers about while hyping Levin's work this week, speak for themselves (see michellemalkin.com).
Step four: Classify this article as "hate" and any media outlet that publishes it as a "hate group" so that other journalists shun the truth and continue perpetuating the hoax.
Enough with bashing the GOP!
THERE are a lot of people who could spark anger in an American president these days. Terrorists with US citizens in their crosshairs. Mass shooters who prey on innocent people. Foreign dictators with evil in their hearts.
And yet, for the past seven years, President Obama has consistently saved his most potent vitriol for the people he seemingly despises most: Republicans.
This president has never wavered on making Republicans his sworn enemy. Their crime? Disagreeing with him and his agenda.
Obama and the Democrats, who pride themselves on their intellectual open-mindedness, leave no room for a civilized discussion with Republicans. To Democrats, passing their liberal agenda is tantamount to “getting it right.” Anyone who might disagree is fair game for ridicule.
Obama has publicly compared Republicans to “hard-liners” in Iran for opposing his Iranian nuclear deal. In 2013, then-White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer likened House Republicans to “people with a bomb strapped to their chest” who “show up at your house and say ‘give me everything inside or I’m going to burn it down’ ” when they didn’t want to capitulate on raising the nation’s debt ceiling. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has openly compared Republicans to “terrorist groups.”
The nastiness has spilled out on social media, as well. When Gail Huff, wife of former Republican senator Scott Brown, recently posted on Facebook that her daughter would be singing the national anthem before the Republican debate, a commenter posted that she would have an “issue” if her own son “sang for this group of bigots.”
Terrorists? Suicide bombers? Bigots? Apparently, talking about one’s beliefs in Obama’s America carries with it a high price and a heavy burden — that is, if you’re disagreeing with Obama.
The presidential campaign, with firebrand Donald Trump the front-runner for the Republican nomination, is providing plenty of excuses for Democrats to bash the Republican party. But Obama began his war on the GOP long before Trump was a twinkle in the election’s eye.
Republicans need to fight back in 2016. It’s worth it, because there’s evidence Americans are willing to listen. A CBS News/New York Times poll taken after the shootings in San Bernardino found 57 percent disapprove of Obama’s handling of terrorism, while 68 percent believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.
It’s up to Republicans to seal the deal at the ballot box. How? By proving that the labels Democrats seek to place on us are wrong.
For example, I’ve yet to meet a Republican who thinks a woman should be paid less than a man. Yet when congressional Republicans opposed a Democrat-sponsored “equal pay” bill, Democrats chalked the opposition up to another transgression in the GOP’s supposed “war on women.” Republicans should have made a stronger argument that it is already illegal to discriminate against women and pointed out specifically why the particular bill the Democrats were pushing was flawed.
Then there’s the debate over raising the debt ceiling. Obama and Democratic leaders have made the fight about Republicans being hell-bent on shutting down government. But Republicans never successfully counter with a solid argument for the valid point that raising the ceiling only adds to the monstrous burden on future generations.
In 2016, Republicans will have plenty of opportunities to get the message out and set the record straight. Let’s fight back. Not with the same vitriol Democrats reserve for us, but by making a solid, reasoned case for why Republicans are in the best position to lead America forward.
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Posted by JR at 1:28 AM