What Happened to that “Blue Wave”?

Dov S. Zakheim:

“…A look at the electoral map shows that much of America, from the Appalachians to the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades, returned Republicans to both the Senate and the House. Not all of these people are undereducated. Not all of them are working class. Many live in suburbs, many are independent, many are even women! There is no doubt that these people have been turned off by Trump’s rhetoric and personal behavior. But it should be equally clear that they were also put off by the growing impression that the likes of O’Rourke, Gillum and Ocasio-Cortez, not to mention Nancy Pelosi, are the long-term face of the Democratic Party. And that face was simply one that many people could not accept. They were prepared to trim Trump’s sails, but they were not prepared to throw his policies overboard.

There is no real evidence that the majority of Americans who have voted Republican are bigots any more than there is evidence that the majority of Democrats are socialists. But clearly, a majority of voters, including the fabled suburban moms, believe that people whose first interface with America is to break its laws—by entering the country illegally—should not be allowed to enter at all. That is not a racist view any more than Canada is considered to be racist because it does not allow for unrestricted immigration.

Similarly, many voters who are strong supporters of Medicare and Medicaid are not comfortable with the notion of a free country-wide medical system that would have to be financed from the taxes paid by middle class citizens who, unlike their wealthier counterparts, cannot afford high-priced accountants who can enable them to game IRS rules.

Finally, it is clear that the majority of Americans have no issue with what their fellow citizens do privately; but many voters have not reacted well to government enactments such as those regarding who may enter which public toilet…”