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Defining the People

Recent polls show that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo enjoys a popularity rating among New Yorkers that is somewhere in the stratosphere. His ratings remained high, around 80 percent, even after we learned about his “fateful mistake” leading to the deaths of more than 4,500 elderly COVID patients.

Fox News polls also indicate that Biden would trounce Trump by at least 8 points if the presidential election were held right now. It seems that while sitting in his basement mumbling incoherently, the former vice president developed far greater skill than the incumbent at handling the virus pandemic, the American economy, and the Chinese threat to American security. Neither the accusations of Tara Reade that Biden raped her nor any of the multiple scandals attached to this candidate has had the slightest negative impact on his candidacy. His lead continues to grow, the more awkwardly he stumbles verbally and the more sullied his reputation becomes.

It also seems that most people want the national lockdown to be phased out very slowly, whatever its effects on our economic well-being and constitutional freedoms. It may also be inferred that the people want the government to fork over more money during the continued lockdown. Governors who have dared to open up their economies significantly, like Brian Kemp in Georgia, are struggling with low poll numbers, although their decisions helped revive staggering economies and in some cases saw the COVID-19 infection rate fall in their states.

Media conservatives assure us that the people are resolutely on our side. Presumably, those who disagree with them belong to another form of human or plant life. According to the New York Post, Mayor di Blasio should be fired. Although this public official was the recipient of 70 percent of the votes cast in the last mayoral race, we learn from Republican critics that he doesn’t care about his voters. However, strange as it may seem, lots of New Yorkers would still vote for him. We also know that over 90 percent of the black vote regularly goes to the Democratic Party. But, according to Republican commentators, these voters are the victims of the politicians whom they overwhelmingly endorse.

Are we to trust the conservative commentators that those black voters who support Maxine Waters and other member of the Congressional Black Caucus are not real members of "the people"? Like the leftist white voters who demand a further lockdown and who trust Biden to solve their problems, we're supposed to believe these are Martians, and not real Americans.

Allow me to draw a distinction that media conservatives either fail to grasp or work not to notice. Much of the electorate have their minds shaped by an almost uniformly leftist media and educational system—here, in Western Europe, and throughout the Anglosphere. It's tough for conservatives to swallow, but most voters are politically closer to Don Lemon on CNN than they are to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson.

There is a good reason for that. Even in my Pennsylvania borough, the local TV news programs lace into Trump nonstop and dutifully parrot what was on CNN and MSNBC a few hours earlier. Almost all college-educated women in my neighborhood, as far as I can tell, lean politically left, including members of the area’s Anabaptist churches. The last time I checked, Trump was suffering from a 20-point gender gap among likely voters.  We still have locals in Central Pennsylvania who lean right, but most of them never underwent “higher education” and belong to Bible-based congregations. I would be relieved if most of the electorate identified with what Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson ritualistically call “the people.” But by now only a minority of voters fall into that category.

There is nonetheless a conservative core population, and they may constitute as much as 40 percent of our voters. They will not only vote for Trump because they hate the cultural left and its elitism. Many of the same Americans were also recently in the streets protesting the seizure of power by leftist governors. The gunowners in Michigan and Virginia, who Chronicles contributors have highlighted, belong to a “people” who are not about to go away. Some may even be the descendants of those Scotch-Irish settlers who have been steadily resisting capricious government centralizers since the 18th century.

Other protestors are urban shop owners and would-be worshippers being kept out of churches by those governors who have worked to keep Planned Parenthood and cannabis sales centers open. Although this sea of protestors may not provide the majorities needed to carry state and national elections and certainly not in blue states, they are a permanent aspect of the political scene. They will continue to confront the leftist governing class, no matter how often they are condemned for having Confederate Battle Flag decals on their cars or for supposedly being crypto-fascists. The globalists, the Deep State, the LGBT agitators, and what Trump calls “the lying media,” will have these holdouts to deal with for a long time to come.

Yes, the left does dominate U.S. culture and politics, and it's no use pretending otherwise. However, unlike more docile countries like Canada and Germany, we in the U.S. have a large minority representing a real “resistance” to the power elite. This is what makes America stand out, to our credit.           

Paul Gottfried

Paul Gottfried

Paul Gottfried is editor in chief of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is also the Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years, a Guggenheim recipient, and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents.

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Tosca417
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Prof. Gottfried I assume you mean by "liberal media" the current mainstream New Leftist media. However, there was a good Old Right President who was destroyed in 1932 by the then mainstream media and the Democratic machine. Herbert Hoover was only asked to run due to the fact that he was a great humanitarian. He distributed food to people after a big Mississippi River flood and to starving German civilians during WWI. OMG He also tried to collude with the Russians by distributing food and seeds to them during the famine after they fell to Communism. The rural Russian Christians thought that God was punishing them for Communism and that they deserved it. They apparently were not very cooperative with their relief from Hoover. Some years back I read Recarving Rushmore (2009) by Ivan Eland. President Warren G. Harding was ranked much higher than usual. I seem to recall the book saying Harding was elected with a huge chunk of the Catholic vote. Perhaps this is why his presidency was sabotaged from within and buried. The Republican Party was very Anti-Catholic at that time. I see online he is getting a new Presidential Center this year. That's good he deserves more attention. This magazine has always been favorable to Calvin Coolidge. However, Coolidge was not very favorable to Catholics. Was he? He let the Cristeros twist in the wind in Mexico. Is he not at least partially to blame for Mexico being such a problem now. Just asking. The marriage in 1936 between Blacks and the Democratic machine has proved to be a formidable obstacle to the Old Right/Paleos/Traditional Christians. Doesn't the problem lie further back than the New Leftist media & educational system, or Trump's so-called bluster/twitter rants/Hollywood Access tape, or whatever he is being criticized for at the moment?
 
 

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Tosca417
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At the beginning of my comment I said "Liberal Media." I meant "Leftist Media." Sorry.
 
 

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