Red Wave Incoming

 

There is a lot of talk about an impending “blue wave”. Some comes from media pundits conflating their narrow perspectives with national sentiment. Some comes from the anticipated Congressional backlash that frequently occurs after the first two years of a presidency. Most conservatives are even resigned to some degree of loss, with the optimists among them aiming for “damage control”. I see things differently. Large segments of the population are underrepresented in polls and ignored by mainstream political analysts. If these “invisible” groups turn out on Tuesday, we can expect to see another round of crying liberals and confused celebrities. Feel free to direct them here.

 

  1. “Never” Trumpers

 

Many lifelong Republicans (myself included) were not exactly enthusiastic about Trump’s nomination. There are plenty of people who did not support the (R) candidate because of his deviations from classic conservative principles. Some intellectuals, of course, were opposed on fundamental ideological grounds, and could never be swayed. The vast majority, however, were concerned with economic and political stability. Many reasoned that a known evil was better than an unknown gamble. A close friend of mine is a hedge fund manager at a large firm. I was surprised to learn that almost all of his colleagues supported Hillary in 2016 because “the market likes certainty”. This bloc of traditionally conservative voters may have defected two years ago, but their incentive to vote blue this time around is nil.

 

  1. The “Respectable” Classes

 

Polls, which have generally been reliable in years past, are being undermined by the unprecedented politicization of ordinary life. It used to be possible to spend an entire day without hearing someone’s political opinion. In the case that such an opinion was heard, it used to be possible to agree/disagree/abstain without consequence. The one idea that currently carries wide bipartisan support is that all things are political. Say the wrong thing and you will get fired, your business will be boycotted, and videos of people destroying your products will begin to surface. It may surprise the left, but restricting the speech of once free people will not endear you to them. Most do not speak out because they do not wish to forfeit their quality of life in order to argue about which color(s) of lives matter or which culture(s) are being appropriated. This silence is mistaken for consent and determined to be reflective of actual sentiment. In reality, the loud and obnoxious are afforded no more votes than the reserved and thoughtful. Many independent-minded people who would normally ignore midterm elections will be voting this year, not for love or hatred of Trump, but because they have been denied any other means of expression.

 

  1. Alienated Democrats

 

We are so often exposed to the caricatures of the political parties that we forget the people behind the numbers. The typical Republican is not a racist white evangelical male with a small armory in his garage. The typical Democrat is not a transgender communist with an abortion clinic in (insert pronoun) garage. The typical voter in either of the major parties is an ordinary person who wants to earn a living and raise a family in peace. My parents are such voters. They emigrated from Italy in the 1970s (after passing citizenship exams and proving they were not communists) in search of a better life. They both voted Democrat for over 30 years, though neither could tell you exactly why. Most of the time it was some variation of “that’s just what you did” or “that’s how you were supposed to vote”. Asking other Italian-Americans from their generation elicited similar responses.

 

A similar mentality can be observed in Poles, Serbs, Greeks, and other immigrants from that generation. In 2016 that reliable low-information bloc of Democrat voters ceased to exist. They are now Trump supporters. These immigrants are among the most patriotic of Americans, and they often express views which shock the contemporary senses. In America, I am constantly reminded that any overt support of our president is a risky endeavor. When I visited Italy last summer, my father (who once worked in Trump Tower) greeted me with a high-five and shouted “Make America Great Again!” Many Italians I spoke to greatly admire Trump, the same goes for the Germans, Dutch, and Czechs I have met overseas. It is a perception limited to a select group of native-born (privileged, if you will) self-righteous people that America’s standing has diminished in the world.

 

  1. Veterans

 

We are not a monolithic group and I do not claim to represent any sort of consensus among service members. There are plenty of active duty and reserve personnel who vote Democrat, and there are plenty of veterans so registered. I will only state that Trump’s executive orders to reform the VA system have gone largely ignored by the media but are largely instrumental in his continued support among veterans. I personally take to heart what the president has done, and genuinely appreciate his frequent acknowledgement. To some degree – perhaps even to a large degree—he panders for personal gain. The liberal strategy, however, of ignoring our existence, is infinitely worse.

 

1 comment to Red Wave Incoming

  • Katherine

    Thank you Vincenzo for so eloquently expressing your feelings.

    We totally agree with your perspective and appreciate you putting it in these words!

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