OpEd: Placing our Fears on Republicans

My OpEd ran in today’s Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Echelon Insights, an opinion research and analytics firm, released their February Verified Voter Omnibus Survey that demonstrates how completely differently Democrats and Republicans view the world and where the future of the culture war is going.

Echelon asked the following question of Democrats and Democrat-leaning voters: “how concerned are you, if at all, that the following are a problem for the country?” Global warming and Covid-19 didn’t even make their top twelve worries. Rather, 82% said that they were extremely or very concerned about Donald Trump supporters. This is what the Democrats believe to be the biggest threat to the safety of the country. Another 10% said they were somewhat concerned. Only 7% said they were not very or not at all concerned. So, 92% of Democrats are most concerned about the 74 million “enemy Americans who voted for Donald Trump in 2020.

Their second biggest concern by 90% is “white nationalism.” White nationalism is the belief that white people are the superior race, that America should be a white-only country, and that there is no place for black, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, nor any other non-white ethnicities in the US. The number of Americans who believe such a thing is exceedingly small. For example, the Anti-Defamation League estimated that Klan membership was down to 3,000 in 2016 and continues to decrease. While white violence is as real as any other human violence, why is this the Democrats’ second biggest worry?

A review of the Democrat’s glorification of the media shows how these shallow beliefs took root, as the media narrative has repeatedly claimed that anyone who supported Trump must be a white nationalist(remember, he was “literally Hitler“).

Democrats’ third biggest concern “systemic racism.” Here is another loosely defined term. Most people hear systemic racism and think racism. But systemic racism is more specific: the institutions of American life are built to achieve racism and are rife with racism, and by standing in favor of any of those systems, especially capitalistic systems, you are a de facto racist. As I wrote last June, systemic racism in America in the 2020’s is a myth.

Exit polling showed that, compared to 2016, Trump saw even greater support from white women, black men and women, Latino men and women, other minority groups, and college graduates. Trump did better in every race and gender except white men, making him the worst white supremacist ever.

By conflating actual hate groups with those who voted for Trump, the media has convinced liberals to shut down free speech and debate, and delegitimize conservatives because they hold positions contrary to those that Democrats take on social or political issues.

Here are the top three Echelon polling categories for the Republicans:

  • Illegal immigration (81%)
  • Lack of support for the police (79%)
  • High taxes (77%)

The Republicans’ top three are policy preferences and have nothing to do with criticizing the Democrats. The Democrats are concerned with how much they hate those who don’t think like they do, and lump them all together: Donald Trump supporters = white nationalists = advocates for systemic racism.

Democrats have been fed a monolithic narrative by the media that all Republicans are the embodiment of hate and are incapable of nuance and diversity. This is what makes it possible for the left to say that their top concerns are of people rather than ideas, because in their eyes, there is no distinction between the two.

Republicans, however, take a much more grounded approach in their fight by saying that the biggest threat to our country is not a particular people group or voter demographic but rather the policies themselves.

It is intellectual laziness to claim that all of our country’s problems rest on the shoulders of one half of the country (Trump supporters). It causes the other half of the country (Democrats) to sit comfortably in their smug superiority, unwilling to separate people from ideas. And Democrats would do well to remember that history doesn’t look kindly on societies that have placed all their fears on a particular people group, using them as scapegoats to avoid thinking critically about their own ill-conceived policies and ideas.