Political liberals in the United States viewed Barack Obama as a unifying force, but the reality is that he was quite divisive. He pitted urban elites against rural voters who, in his words, “bitterly cling to their guns and religion.” He pitted black voters against white voters. He pitted the young against the old. He pitted secular voters against religious voters. He pitted men against women. Your unwillingness to acknowledge this is a measure of your partisanship. His tenor and tone, which he even admitted and apologized for in his last State of the Union address, contributed to the risk of Donald Trump.
I won’t expect people who think the Iran deal will keep Iran from getting nukes to be honest enough to admit this, but it is true.
And now Donald Trump has taken the divisiveness of Barack Obama and put it on steroids.
And Trump’s greatest asset and secret weapon in his divide and conquer strategy is the American left. As secularists increasingly fill the ranks of the Democratic base, they put off black and hispanic voters who may not like Donald Trump, but they understand he is not actually as threatening to their daily values as the secular left. After all, Donald Trump has not made the black or hispanic voter worry about going into a Target bathroom, worry whether their business will be attacked for its traditional values, or put them out of work by favoring policies that purport to raise a wage but instead raise up a robot army to replace these workers.
Donald Trump took a commonly held sentiment about the NFL, which even ESPN and NFL internal data shows is a common sentiment, and he dialed it up to 11. The result is a bunch of millionaires taking a knee showing the American people just how badly the left has infiltrated and politicized even sports. Take the Patriots’ statement. The owner criticized Trump for bringing politics into sports, but completely ignored that he did not start it. The players did.
The left’s response is so much more off putting than the President’s, they lose themselves far more people than they gain in response to Donald Trump.
I don’t expect the left to acknowledge this. In fact, I expect them to loudly denounce me and this piece for stating all this. But that does not mean it is not true. In fact, it only highlights how much denial consumes the left these days.
But there is a problem for Republicans. Divide and conquer will work for Donald Trump. It could even get him re-elected. But a Democrat will come along after him and take the policy Trump put on steroids and dial it up even further.
As micro-targeting gets more and more specific and the pool of persuadable voters gets smaller and smaller, neither side has any incentive to dial it back. This is the beginning of the end.