Although I applaud the many significant accomplishments of Donald Trump and Republican legislators during his presidency, I’ve never been a “Trumpeter,” those admirers for whom he can do no wrong. They love that he’s a fighter. I’m reminded of Chuck Wepner, a tough New Jersey prizefighter known as the Bayonne Bleeder. He was a slugger with an iron jaw but became a punching bag for good boxers like Mohammad Ali. Ronald Reagan was also a fighter but his tactics were of a skilled boxer of the Sugar Ray Leonard variety. Reagan’s tenacity and governing style was more effective than Trump’s, who’d have had better success if he’d restrained his overly belligerent impulses.
Fundamentally, my political beliefs align with Trump’s fervent core and I care more about public policy than personality which is why I’m glad I voted for Trump — twice. And why I’m certainly not one of those “Never Trumpers.” That bunch, including some conservatives whose intellect I admire, have indulged their disapproval of Trump’s sometimes off-putting personality at the expense of political practicality, in essence cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Ideology is about ideas; politics is about winning elections so your ideas can be transformed into public policy.
Which brings us to the recent Never Trump theatrics of Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney. She was justifiably critical of Trump’s behavior on January 6, the day an unruly mob broke into the Capitol building. Yes, Trump could have handled it better but his remarks were well short of an incitement to riot. The hyperbolic cries of Democrats notwithstanding, this spectacle of violent trespassing, while symbolically disgraceful, came nowhere close to a “coup” or “insurrection” to overthrow our government. Nonetheless, Democrats opportunistically contrived yet another Trump impeachment. Unwisely, Cheney joined a handful of Republicans who voted with the Democrats.
So, she made her point but she’s now belaboring it. So much so that she’s become the Democrats’ and liberal media’s “favorite Republican,” a dubious honor once held by John McCain and Mitt Romney (until they became their party’s presidential nominee).
The Trump presidency is history. The focal point for Republicans now is reclaiming power and reversing the Democrats’ radical leftist agenda by persuading enough sensible voters to push back in 2022. Midterm elections historically favor the party that lost the prior presidential election.
Biden’s election was closer than it seems. Trump carried 25 states, Republicans gained seats in the US House, denied the Democrats a Senate majority, raised their lead in governorships to 27-23, increased their hold on state legislative chambers and even improved their performance with Black and Latino voters.
Cheney’s sanctimonious virtue-signaling isn’t productive, especially when she insults Trump’s core as “cultists.” Their support in 2022 and beyond is essential in putting together a winning electoral coalition under a big tent that must necessarily include people who don’t agree on everything. Even if Trump were a presidential nominee in 2024, which is doubtful, his devoted core isn’t large enough to elect him or anyone else. But a combination of Trumpeters, the traditional Republican base, America-loving workers (dismissed as “deplorables” by Hillary Clinton) and increasing numbers of Blacks and Latinos could.
The Democrat and liberal-media narrative on the 2020 election is an echo chamber of self-serving talking points buttressed by biased news stories constantly repeating the same phrasing: “Trump’s Big Lie that the election was stolen” or “No evidence of election fraud found.” I concede that Trump’s claim of winning in a “landslide” is silly. With huge majorities of habitual Democrat voters in high population states like New York, California and Illinois; and Democrat strongholds in the northeast and northwest, it’s highly unlikely that any Republican could win in a landslide today.
The truth is, Trump lost three key states — Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia — by a combined total of only 42,921 votes. Had he carried those states, their electoral votes would have gotten him reelected. It wouldn’t have required “massive” electoral fraud, just a little would have been enough.
In every election, there’s some outright fraud and inadvertent mistakes. This is demonstrated by successful recounts that flip close elections. The vital question is the degree of fraud in 2020. More fraud wasn’t found because it’s hard to prove and because Democrats and the liberal media didn’t want to find it and reverse the outcome. The unprecedented avalanche of mail-in ballots in states that lacked or, even worse, discouraged verification of voter identity and eligibility leaves ample cause for suspicion. We may never know if the election was truly “stolen,” but it’s not out of the question.
Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for CompleteColorado.com.
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