I spent my ninth year of life begging my mom to buy me a pair of Reebok pumps. Her reluctance was astonishing. If she cared about me at all, why would she deny me what were essentially magic shoes? Come on, mom! Let me “fly with the pump” like Dominique Wilkins! I got it in my head that if I could just “pump up and air out” (as the endless commercials described it), that would make all the difference. I’d be running faster, jumping higher, and dunking from the top of the key. Magic shoes.
Over the last week, it has become clear that Democrats have the exact same problem as my nine-year-old self. They think hating Trump is the secret sauce that will mobilize voters and flip districts—the electoral equivalent of running faster and jumping higher. It’s their shortcut to electoral success, whatever Trump is for, they’re against it. Witness Trump’s State of the Union Address: Patriotism! Meh. Lowest black unemployment ever! Meh. Infrastructure! Meh. Citizenship for 1.8 million dreamers! Nah. A viral video shows Democratic Senator Joe Manchin having a didn’t-you-get-the-memo moment. He’s all pumped-up ready to ovate something Trump said, but when he looks around and sees the other Democrats sitting, he changes his mind, deflates, and stays seated. He’s like, “Heck yea- Oh, what? We hate that now? Sorry, I was confused because we always liked it before. My bad.”
The core value driving this Acme rocket of a strategy is “resistance.” Democrats think they’ll lure droves of voters to the polls on one issue: Resist Trump. No matter what. If Trump comes out as pro-petting puppies, puppies are Super-Hitler. If Trump sees a rainbow he likes, rainbows are triple-Satan. The problem with this strategy is that it has forced the Democrats into a series of untenable positions. They opposed tax cuts as “Armageddon” which led them to being anti-thousand dollar bonuses and anti-bigger paychecks. That’s “crumbs!” They shut down the government because they wanted legal status for 700,000 dreamers, then a week later they’re suddenly anti-citizenship for nearly two million dreamers because, if they take the deal, some hypothetical immigrant’s journey to America 17 years from now might mean he has to leave his second cousin behind.
Last Friday, American politics went full-on Chernobyl when the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the Devin Nunes memo. Put Trump aside, put politics aside, put the Mueller-Russia investigation aside. The House Intelligence committee tells us in the memo that an unverified dossier paid for by a political campaign and a political party was used (perhaps along with undisclosed evidence, we don’t know) to get a warrant from a secret FISA court allowing the FBI to spy on Carter Page who is an American citizen. The FBI read the memo and did not dispute that fact. The FBI and DOJ appear to have seriously violated Carter Page’s civil liberties, and Rachel Maddow is yukking it up on MSNBC like the memo is a Simon’s Cat video. Remember when Democrats were Civil Libertarians? Now they suddenly want to light up the fourth amendment and roast marshmallows while the top brass at the FBI take turns pole-vaulting over the Constitution.
The problem with false narratives (picture the White House merging with the Kremlin on the cover of Time Magazine) is that every story has to have an ending. You can tell people that tax cuts will rob them, and they might even be scared for a little while, but when their wallet is fatter instead of thinner, they’re gonna do the math. When the Trump-colluded-with-Russia narrative becomes the Trump-maybe-thought-about-firing-Rosenstein-but-didn’t narrative, they’re gonna do the math. When the Trump-is-Hitler narrative becomes the chain-migration-could-be-a-racist-term-if-you-change-the-meaning-of-the-word-chain narrative, they’re gonna do the math. In their rush to resist Trump, Democrats keep tripping over the stuff they believed last week and slamming face first into the truth.
I finally got a pair of Reebok pumps, and so did a lot of other kids. They were definitely cool and trendy—the shoes big stars on TV kept telling us to get. But everyone wearing them shared the same secret shame. The magic shoes didn’t work. Nobody said it out loud, but it was clear there were zero ten year olds soaring from the top of the key to drop a sick dunk. Eventually, everyone saw through the ads, the hype, and the celebrity endorsements and figured out the truth. What happened after that? If you pass a Foot Locker today, step inside, find somebody in a striped shirt, and ask them how the Reebok Pumps are selling now.
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.