Democrats won big on Tuesday in New Jersey, New York City, Virginia, and Washington. Republicans lost. The sweep led to commentary declaring a new dawn for Democrats and the end of Republicans in 2018. Meh. That said, there is a lesson Republicans should learn.
First, the meh:
New Jersey's out-going Republican Governor, Chris Christie, has an approval rating about equal to herpes. Though he did an admirable job of the impossible - trying to be fiscally responsible in a state with a solidly Democrat legislature, powerful Democrat unions, and a balance sheet that would make Enron blush - he failed miserably at the politician's job of mastering public opinion.
But NJ is a remarkably blue state regardless. NJ has voted for the Democrat in the last seven presidential elections. The last Republican Senator from NJ was first elected in 1954. NJ occasionally elects GOP Governors, but only to clean-up after unpopular and scandal-ridden Democrats.
Comrade Bill de Blasio's win in New York City is not even worth mentioning. He's a popular leftist in a leftist city riding a wave of responsible Republican and Independent management for the last two decades. He was reelected simply because four years wasn't enough time for him to completely undo twenty years of competent governance despite his best efforts.
Virginia was a blue standout in the 2016 election. It was the only state that voted for Hillary Clinton with both a strict voter ID law AND which does not issue driver's licenses to illegals. That's not to say voter fraud doesn't exist in Virginia, because it does. According to a report by The Public Interest Legal Foundation
, thousands of illegal votes
were found in Virginia. But it does indicate that Virginia at least discourages voter fraud more than any other blue state.
2106 Election Results Map
States that Issue Driver's Licenses to Unauthorized
States and Voter ID
Despite anti voter fraud measures, Virginia voted Democrat in the last three presidential elections and three of the last four Governors races. Virginia's last GOP Senator served about a decade ago. Virginia is just true blue.
In another example of a blue state voting blue, Washington state's legislature flipped to Democrat control. Nothing surprising here.
The bottom line is, elections by all logic should default to Democrats. We really don't have a two party system anymore. It's a one party system where the majority of everything - voter registration, media, academia, and entertainment - all lean heavily Democrat, or as I call it totalitarian leftist. The remainder are a hodgepodge of those in opposition who are NOT totalitarian leftists. "Republicans" are just a subset of that opposition hodgepodge. Donald Trump, who donned the banner but never got the GOP apparatus behind him, is but another part.
So it's an uphill battle for the GOP or anyone not a totalitarian leftist. Still, there's a lesson to be learned from why these races went the way they did: opposition candidates across the board went back to the pre-Trump playbook of how to lose elections!
For the last several decades Democrats have embraced a strategy for winning elections based on the teachings of Saul Alinsky, who laid out his "Rules for Radicals"
in 1971. The strategy worked flawlessly against "gentelman" GOPers like Mitt Romney, John McCain, Bob Dole, and countless others at the state level. These losers studiously ignored the Alinsky rules and failed to come up with an effective counter-strategy.
Then along came Donald "Art of the Deal"
Trump and the Alinsky rules hit an impenetrable wall. If you read the two books and compare them, they are in many ways similar. One is about winning political power and the other is about winning business power, but they both represent radical approaches that eschew politeness for the sake of victory.
Opposition candidates who want to win, better start reading these books and learning the lessons therein. That's not to say they have to embrace Trumpian politics, but they better understand what the Democrats are up to and what works against it.