(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
Despite what the TV pundits and cheerleaders in the media predicted, there was no ‘Blue Wave’ this November.
Tuesday’s midterm elections in the U.S. saw a modest showing for the Democrats, who were able to pick up enough seats to gain control of the House of Representatives.
It’s a minor shift in the balance of power in Washington, and will allow the Democrats a new lever to try to temper Donald Trump’s agenda and hold his feet to the fire. It was by no means, however, a landslide victory for them.
In fact, it fell far below historic trends. In Barack Obama’s first midterm election, his party lost 63 seats in the House and six in the Senate. Bill Clinton’s first midterm saw the Democrats lose 54 seats in the House and nine in the Senate.
By contrast, the Republicans lost about 23 seats in the House and gained four in the Senate on Tuesday.
The real story from the midterm elections is that there was no mass backlash against Trump, despite the best efforts of Democrats and their allies in Hollywood and the media. It also showed that the 2016 election was no anomaly, but represented a real shift in the political landscape.
Trump’s nationalist and populist focus has attracted traditionally Democratic voters, particularly in blue-collar and working-class regions of the country.
With all his flaws, Trump remains one of the Western world’s most authentic politicians. What you see is what you get. He’s loud, brash, rude, and far from a traditional and polished politician. That drives the elites crazy, but it resonates with some 40% of the country.
They want a President who is fearless, who doesn’t stand down, doesn’t apologize and puts Americans first.
Republicans are never going to get a fair shake from the media; a Media Research Center study on the evening news found that while midterm coverage of the Democrats was more or less balanced, 88% of the coverage on Republicans was negative.
Much like the way the media treats Conservatives in Canada, the U.S. media demonize Republicans and ignore any good news story about the Trump administration. Like news about how the economy is booming and that there are now more job openings than there are Americans looking for work.
Unlike Conservatives in Canada and traditional establishment Republicans, Trump fights back.
He blasts the media for their dishonesty and takes his own message directly to the people. He doesn’t apologize or beg for forgiveness from the Left, and that drives them even crazier.
Meanwhile, the Democrats can’t seem to get their message straight. Rather than learning from the mistakes they made in 2016, the party continues to slide towards the hard Left.
Barack Obama was once considered a radical in the party, but compared to the new wave of Bernie Sanders-inspired Democratic-Socialists, race-baiting Social Justice Warriors, and the Antifa-led Resistance mob, Obama looks like a moderate.
The Democrats failed to offer an alternative vision for America. They didn’t present a coherent policy agenda or any substantial reasons why they deserve more political control.
Instead, they doubled down on the crazy. Their campaign amounted to accusations that Trump, and by extension many Americans and particularly white men, are racist, sexist, xenophobic, transphobic bigots.
The Trump Republicans fight back against the unhinged mob, and the American people continue to reward them in the polls. Conservatives in Canada could learn a lot from this strategy.
Candice Malcolm is the Founder of the True North Initiative.