The Democratic Party’s slogan for the 2018 midterms shouldn’t be the “Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future” bit they ripped from Papa John’s. That’s blatant false advertising. It’s like McDonald’s renaming their Big Mac the McHealthy Diet Burger. The 2018 midterms are almost upon us, and the Democrats need a slogan that really captures who they are. Something like, “Repent: The End is Near.” And instead of going door to door, their canvassers could walk up and down the street wearing sandwich boards bearing the new slogan. It’s prefect because that’s what the Democratic party has become — the party of apocalyptic rhetoric. The party of “disagreeing with us is the end of democracy.”
The Democrats and the mainstream media outlets who proliferate their narratives have become dependent on anti-Trump hyperbole. They’re attempting to portray Trump’s America as a Vonnegut-level dystopia of doom and gloom where the end of Democracy is simply a tweet away.
This is bottom-up narrative building where an audience demands apocalyptic, anti-Trump narratives, and that is precisely what they get. For the Democratic Party, the payoff is voter enthusiasm. They’ll have to show at the polls if every issue is an existential threat. For the mainstream media, the payoff is rating which lead to advertising dollars. Pump up the hyperbole, and the media that reports on the media will make you a rock star. It’s all about the headline verbs you score: “Mika Brzezinski tears into President Trump” (MSNBC) or “Morning Joe Slams Trump” (Mediaite).
This strategy may be effective in the short term, but there is a long term cost to this strategy of rampant Bravo Sierra.
Reality. Always. Wins.
Consider the Trump-Russia collusion narrative that has dogged Trump’s entire presidency. Democrats and the MSM have been pushing it for a year, and not a single piece of hard evidence has been produced to support it. “Trump-Russia bombshell” stories are journalistic kryptonite, and the quest to become Woodward and Bernstein has produced a bungling bunch of Ron Burgundys retracting stories, or — in the case of Brian Ross — being suspended and demoted.
According to Google trends, the search term “Trump Russia collusion” peaked in March, May, and July and has cooled down substantially since July.
Time Magazine ran a cover image of the White House merging with the Kremlin. The more Trump Russia collusion is exposed as a Fusion GPS hoax, the more the fear the left has been stoking will turn into laughter.
Consider net neutrality. CNN dubbed its repeal “the end of the internet as we know it” despite the fact that the 2015 regulation is younger than Sharknado 2, every Kindergartener in the world, and the Nikes I’m sporting right now. That’s like declaring the cancellation of “2 Broke Girls” the end of TV as we know it. But thanks to the hysteria ginned up Democrats and the media, a bomb threat delayed the repeal vote, and FCC commissioner Ajit Pai had to cancel an appearance at CES this week due to death threats.
What message does it send when government officials can’t do the job they were appointed to do without getting death threats? And anyone who thinks death threats can be laughed off as illegitimate, should remember that it’s been less than a year since House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was gunned down at softball practice.
When Republicans cut taxes for 80 percent of Americans and 90 percent of the middle class last month, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called it “the end of the world” and “Armageddon.” The Democrats and the media spent so much time framing the bill as mustache twisting Republicans tying the middle class to the train tracks that, according to a recent Economist/Yougov poll, only 21 percent of Americans think they’re getting a tax cut. Contrast that with the actual policy analysis from the Tax Policy Center which says that 80 percent will actually get tax cuts. That means 59 percent of people are getting tax cuts but think they aren’t. Are Democrats banking on the hope that those people don’t actually look into their pockets and find out they have more money than they did before?
A few months ago, Trump rescinding a (almost certainly illegal) executive action, DACA, was the end of the world. The number two guy at the DNC compared it to handing over Jews to the Nazis. Now, they’re arguing that it’s not worth some extra border security to fix it? Today, CNN is bringing on pundits to suggest Trump belongs in a strait jacket and the credibility of Michael Wolff’s fictitious book is being kept on life support by people who claim that the facts may be wrong but it “rings true” or that it’s true “in spirit.” The madness is never-ending.
In the short term, Democrats and the mainstream media have profited off of fueling the anti-Trump, #resist hysteria. In the long run, their narratives are quickly unravelling, and their outrageousness is bringing warring factions of the GOP back together. When November arrives and we’re still apocalypse-free, what will Democrats have left to sell their voters?
Eddie Zipperer is a political science professor at Georgia Military College.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.