I was a big fan of the TV series “The West Wing,” which aired on NBC from 1999-2006.
The show centered around liberal Democratic President Jed Bartlett and his senior staff as they dealt with the challenges of running the country. The show was smart, entertaining and funny. It was the type of show that would test your own political beliefs, and adding to the show’s realism was the fact Bartlett & Co. didn’t win every battle and Republicans were, for the most part, portrayed as political opponents but not evil members of the Legion of Doom.
During one of the show’s more memorable scenes, Sam Seaborn, the president’s deputy communications director, played by Rob Lowe, is debating/arguing the issue of guns with Ainsley Hayes, a newly hired White House attorney and a Republican who was added to the team on Bartlett’s orders. Hayes was portrayed by Emily Procter, perhaps best known for her role on the CBS series “CSI Miami.”
Of the gun issue, Seaborn says, “I am so off-the-charts tired of the gun lobby tossing around words like ‘personal freedom’ and nobody calling them on it. It’s not about personal freedom, and it certainly has nothing to do with public safety. It’s just that some people like guns.”
To which Hayes replies, “Yes they do. But you know what’s more insidious than that. Your gun control position doesn’t have anything to do with public safety, and it’s certainly not about personal freedom. It’s about you don’t like people who do like guns. You don’t like the people.”
Hayes’ response in that fictional debate — “you don’t like the people” — could apply to some real-life Democrats today.
It’s not enough to go all out in trying to destroy President Trump. In addition, Democrats continue to take aim at the people who voted for him as well, going above and beyond to label them as racist, extreme, dumb, uneducated, poor … and did we mention dumb.
The latest example comes from Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who last week stood on the House floor and read a letter from a constituent. In his letter, the constituent wrote, “It is glaringly apparent that many who support the present administration are either racist, steeped in religious beliefs, ignorant, or as my mother used to say, just plain dumb.” The writer goes on to say that Republicans have become a “Trump cult.”
And while the words may not have been Fudge’s, the act of standing on the House floor and reading them aloud for all to hear served as her unfettered endorsement.
Fudge is hardly alone in the Demcratic effort to demean Trump voters.
Speaking recently to the Des Moines (Iowa) Register, New York Sen. and presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand suggested that being pro-life is, what else, racist. Such an allegation should surprise no one because Democrats have come to consider anyone who disagrees with them on anything as being a bigot.
And, of course, we have already documented in this space the examples of Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Just last year, Hillary Clinton bragged that she won the places that are “optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward” in the 2016 presidential election. In a speech on New Year’s Day this year, Johnson (D-Georgia) said Trump voters are “older, less-educated, less prosperous and they are dying early.”
Maybe Democrats continue to attack Trump voters out of frustration because they simply don’t understand why Trump won in the first place. Maybe they don’t understand that many people felt left behind by Obama’s agonizingly slow economic recovery. Maybe they don’t understand that while some communities have been helped by free trade, others have been badly hurt. Maybe they don’t understand that people can honestly be concerned about the issue of illegal immigration or prefer to pay less in taxes rather than more without being a racist. And maybe, they just can’t bring themselves to understand that Trump won fair and square in 2016 in part because Democrats chose a lousy candidate who ran a lousy campaign.
Or maybe the explanation is much more simple. Maybe the Democratic Party is simply becoming a party of stuck-up, stubborn, short-sighted, know-it-all, conspiracy theory buying socialists with more formal education than common sense who can only identify with East and West Coast elites rather than the average Joe or Jane.
Of course, adopting or accepting that idea would be stereotyping, and unwise, just like saying all Trump voters are unsophisticated and stupid.
But here’s a fact Reps. Fudge and Johnson, Secretary Clinton, Sen. Gillibrand and other Democrats who get their jollies by attacking Trump voters can take to the bank: the 2020 election is likely to turn on the ballots of blue collar voters who turned away from the Democrats in favor of Trump three years ago. Continuing to label them dumb, racist and religious extremists isn’t likely to win them back.
It’s an easy concept to understand. One not need be a White House staffer, or play one on TV.
Lew Gilliland is assistant editor of The Daily Home. Reach him at email@example.com.