For decades, the mantra for Democrats during a national election was “Republicans are in the pockets of special interests.” Now, more and more people have come to believe that the Democrats are aligned with the “special interests.” The question is — as they hobnob with Big Tech billionaires, Hollywood celebrities, music executives, internet “influencers” and woke corporate CEOs — do they take even a moment to catch up on the actual news of the day?
Much of the news is financially and mentally crushing working-class Americans and those living below the poverty line. Or, to classify those constituencies in a category the Democratic elites might understand: Tens of millions of voters.
As the elites who pull the levers of the Democratic Party continue to appease their far-left wing with the Jan. 6 hearings; a Green New Deal costing at least $6 trillion (yes, trillions of dollars); forgiving college loans for predominantly wealthy white kids; and the redistribution of wealth, most Americans are literally crying out for help with factors that are negatively impacting their lives and their safety.
Again, current events may not be talking points at five-star, private jet-accessible retreats that these elites attend, so here is a recap: Crippling gas prices may cause some Americans to choose between food and fuel; skyrocketing inflation forces some to do without; violent crime rates in major cities threaten to spread to suburbs; unchecked illegal immigration adds unsustainable stress to our health care system, constituent services and federal, state, county and city budgets, and is literally costing lives. We know this because the “real news” that elites may have missed or turned away from tells us that, just this week, at least 51 migrants were found dead in an abandoned tractor-trailer in Texas. Shouldn’t such a tragic development be a topic of discussion at the next cocktail party?
Defunding the police and not prosecuting criminals, or releasing them back onto the streets and doing away with cash bail, may be the dream of leftist district attorneys but, as a recent recall election in California showed us, it’s the stuff of nightmares for Americans who must deal with the consequences of such policies.
The death spiral that many believe the United States to be in has moved well past which party will control Congress after the 2022 midterms and who will win the White House in 2024. If the elites paid attention to what’s happening in America far from their gated communities, they might realize that most voters now care about basic quality-of-life issues. Can anyone in the Democratic Party read the room … anyone?
There are many high-level, skilled and empathic Democratic advisers out there who do believe that their party — and the nation as a whole —must embrace more commonsense, pragmatic solutions to America’s problems. But, as I’ve been told, a number of them simply don’t want to deal with the wrath that progressives would direct toward them if they dared to offer opinions.
So, while they join a long list of Democrats who are running away from the issues, more and more voters — including traditional Democrats — are running toward the issues. They are doing so because their quality of life is being turned upside down by decidedly illiberal policies.
For Democrats who seemingly answer only to the far left, I have one final question: Since when did the welfare of 90 percent of the American people not matter to your party anymore?
Douglas MacKinnon, a political and communications consultant, was a writer in the White House for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and former special assistant for policy and communications at the Pentagon during the last three years of the Bush administration. His latest book is “The 56: Liberty Lessons From Those Who Risked All to Sign the Declaration of Independence.”