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Democrats Dread an Ideological Battle—and Waging One Is Republicans' Best Chance to Win

AP Photo/Jeff Swinger

Democrats need you to believe we are on the verge of a race war. However, as more data from the 2020 election and post-election polling becomes available, it is increasingly clear that the narrative Democrats and their allies in the corporate media are spinning is not based in reality.

Our nation’s capital looks like a dystopian nightmare from a banana republic in some third-world junta, surrounded by razor-wire and patrolled by the National Guard. Inside the fence, there is hysteria about an armed insurrection where no one arrested was armed. Speaker Pelosi and her minions run around screeching about “credible threats” of “white supremacist” violence.

Outside the fence, violent crime is increasing at record rates, and homeless Americans are pitching tents. According to the FBI, those trends extend beyond Washington, D.C. Murders were up 21% nationwide for the first nine months of 2020, and the upward trend continues. As Americans look around their post-pandemic, post-summer riots, post-election communities, the safety and prosperity we had just a year ago seem very far away. And the caterwauling of the chattering class appears more than a little performative.

A significant majority of registered voters believe Democrats are using the events of January 6th to suppress legitimate political movements. They also see the violence in American cities as a more significant concern than the Capitol riot, and over 70% view antifa as a domestic terror group. The Democrats in charge and their allies in the corporate media are losing control of the narrative, so they aggressively pursue censorship to shut down dissenting ideas through their influence over private industry.

Post-election data is also clear. In an interview with The Intelligencer, David Shor, a political consultant who worked on Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, noted that the only significant gain in the Democrat coalition was among white college graduates, at 7 percent. They lost ground with every minority group, with the most significant drop of 8-9 percent among Hispanic voters. When the journalist asked if education attainment became more predictive and racial identity less so in 2020, he responded:

White voters as a whole trended toward the Democratic Party, and nonwhite voters trended away from us. So we’re now somewhere between 2004 and 2008 in terms of racial polarization. Which is interesting. I don’t think a lot of people expected Donald Trump’s GOP to have a much more diverse support base than Mitt Romney’s did in 2012. But that’s what happened.

So, calling Donald Trump and his entire base racists for nearly five years didn’t stick. For Democrats, who just threw open the southern border because they believe demographics are destiny, the rest of Shor’s assessment might shake them. First, he pointed out that roughly the same percentage of black and Hispanic voters identify as conservative as whites do, but they did not typically vote ideologically. That started to change in 2020, and Shor’s remaining commentary provides no reason to believe this shift will not continue. Let’s start with the primary reason Shor found that non-white voters shifted from Clinton to Trump:

What we found is that Clinton voters with conservative views on crime, policing, and public safety were far more likely to switch to Trump than voters with less conservative views on those issues. And having conservative views on those issues was more predictive of switching from Clinton to Trump than having conservative views on any other issue-set was.

With increasing crime rates, the House just passed the Justice in Policing Act. Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald outlined the impact this bill will have in minority communities in an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight. Because the legislation requires police departments to address disparities between the races in arrests, law enforcement will be unable to use data-driven methods to patrol high-crime areas. They will necessarily back off using those methods because they would send police disproportionately to minority neighborhoods.

Officer Derrick Chauvin’s trial for the second-degree murder of George Floyd begins Monday and is forecasted to take about two months. Because of facts not in evidence when the riots began based on a viral video—such as the level of fentanyl in Floyd’s system and the extended interaction between the officers and Floyd before he died—many commentators feel the officer has been overcharged and could be acquitted. Minneapolis is already preparing for violence in the streets should he not be convicted of second-degree murder. As it did last summer, mayhem, violence, and destruction may spread to other cities.

Shor also explained why non-white voters might continue to vote ideologically. College-educated Americans tend to be rigidly ideological and further to the left:

College-educated voters are way less likely to identify as moderate. So as Democrats have traded non-college-educated voters for college-educated ones, white liberals’ share of voice and clout in the Democratic Party has gone up. And since white voters are sorting on ideology more than nonwhite voters, we’ve ended up in a situation where white liberals are more left wing than Black and Hispanic Democrats on pretty much every issue: taxes, health care, policing, and even on racial issues or various measures of “racial resentment.” So as white liberals increasingly define the party’s image and messaging, that’s going to turn off nonwhite conservative Democrats and push them against us.

He seems to indicate that the ideological disconnect is a structural issue within the party now. Democrats have relied on 90% of the black vote and 70% of the Hispanic vote to win elections. If they continue to elevate issues non-white voters reject, those margins will collapse. The Biden administration’s policies in the first 45 days indeed indicate they are pandering to those on the ideological far left.

How many minority parents will be thrilled to hear that a bunch of college-educated do-gooders think their children shouldn’t be encouraged to get the correct answers in math? Or think restorative justice programs that make all schools less safe are a fantastic idea? Will the vast majority of minorities feel safer or more able to prosper when gasoline is $5 a gallon, and their energy prices soar?

Republicans need to figure out how to talk about ideological issues effectively and highlight the policies the Democrats implement once elected. Shor’s comments are instructive. He points out that the Democrats project views about immigration on Hispanic voters that they do not hold. To compensate for that, he recommends:

Now, how we should campaign and what we should do once in office are different questions. Our immigration system is a humanitarian crisis, and we should do something about that. But the point of public communication should be to win votes. And the way that you do that is to not trigger ideological polarization.

Donald Trump triggered ideological polarization and ran headlong into cultural issues. Even out of office, he hit the issue of trans athletes in girls’ sports in his CPAC speech. Today he put out a statement on the Biden administration’s lax border policies. His voters did not always love the way he fought but appreciated that he did. To grow the base, we need candidates who will not hesitate to speak clearly and authentically on these and other issues to trigger ideological polarization deliberately. That is the last thing Democrats want, according to Shor:

Ideological polarization is a dead end. If we divide the electorate on self-described ideology, we [Democrats] lose — both because there are more conservatives than liberals and because conservatives are structurally overrepresented in the House, Senate, and Electoral College.

America is not on the verge of a race war. We are on the brink of a class war in the midst of an ideological war. Republicans at every level who can fight on that battlefield pointing out what Democrats have done and will do with power stand the best chance to win.