Webb: Elections have consequences
Some elections do not have the consequences that are assigned by the media. Many in the political pundit class were writing the story they wished for, or against, President Trump.
Absolutes are being presented.
For some, Tuesday’s elections were a referendum on Trump and in furtherance of the ongoing impeachment inquiry. That, in reality, is not what it is to the public. It is simply more of the Democrats’ strategy to damage Trump and the Republicans. If you pay close attention, it includes an exit strategy for the Democrats when they need to pivot to the next issue.
For others it was the perspective of running with the president versus against him. Obviously, Democrats are running against Trump, but some Republicans are running away. The old political formulas don’t apply as much as they did before. Pay closer attention to your electorate and then see if your consultants and campaign managers match up.
It’s not just a matter of counting the wins and losses, even though they’re important as there is no second place in politics. Whether a gubernatorial, local seat or ballot initiative are at stake, the outcome is being analyzed on a national level. That’s a mistake for both Republicans and Democrats.
We love the debate of ideas and that should never go away. There is not only new leadership of the party but a new movement in America and you won’t win going against this red wave. No matter how much you have a difference or object, there is not a Democrat that’s going to get you closer to your conservative-minded goal.
There’s a new leader of the Republican Party who will no longer get on bended knee. The messenger may be rough at times but the message resonates with many Americans. What does not resonate is the leftward lurch of your party and whether you like it or not, public perception, which is still a part of politics, makes this obvious to many Americans.
The old rule that all politics is local is becoming ever more relevant. It is still about boots on the ground and a solid ground game at the local level. On the local or national level, technology has produced many tools that continue to improve in effectiveness.
One of the newest and most effective is getting ads to specific households using Internet Protocol targeting. This matters because of changes on social media platforms like Twitter.
The social media giant has banned political advertising which is in part a form of virtue signaling on a global level. This also means that candidates and parties will have to shift some of their strategy. They don’t have a stellar record when it comes to suppression on the platform. It’s fair to ask the question: Will conservative candidates be suppressed next? Of course, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will blame the algorithm and occasionally admit to an oops.
Facebook, which has spent enormous sums of money acquiring other platforms, will keep political advertising at this time, but who knows what could happen in the coming months as Congress continues to hold hearings. I don’t think Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg really cares and it’s the cost of doing business to take a trip to D.C. or pay the occasional fine.
Voter ID is not a top of mind issue but it should be and I’ll remind detractors on the left of this: It’s about voter verification no matter who you vote for. It’s important that your vote be counted accurately and not subject to fraud. I’ll simplify it for you. Think of it like crime prevention. You don’t want to react after the crime, you want to prevent as much of it as possible.
Other factors will come into play in 2020. No matter what the new technology or idea, the core of this is an awakened public.
If you think the hardest thing to kill is an idea, then imagine the idea behind an angry electorate that is tired and frustrated and ready to exercise their cynicism at the ballot box.
Like him or not, Trump captured this and won and if he does so effectively, he will win a second term.
Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, host of “Reality Check with David Webb” on Fox Nation, a Fox News contributor and a frequent television commentator. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.