The Slow Death of Bush Republicanism
niceness doesn't win elections
With the failure of the attempt to remove Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — apparently by Bush Republicans — there’s a lot of talk about Bush senior’s 1988 campaign for “a kinder, gentler conservatism” and Bush junior’s “compassionate conservatism” and how that was always a cringe.
I assume that the purpose of those slogans was to capture the women’s vote. The slogans appeal to the truth that “women expect to be protected” and also to the requirement for “niceness” in the community of women.
Notice how the #WeBelieve yard signs send the same message, only better. The whole point of Black Lives Matter / Love is Love / Kindness is Everything etc. is to advertise the perfect niceness of the woman living in the house behind the yard sign.
But if we accept the logic of Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt, then a politician should be saying “I am your friend and I will fight for you” against the enemy, whoever it is. And that is all.
That’s the point of the pejoratives our Democratic friends are so fond of. You call someone a racist and clearly all good people will vote against him. And, of course, Democrats are always advertising how they fight for the oppressed against the oppressors. And it’s also the point of the #WeBelieve and the nice lady in the house behind the sign: she really cares!
Notice how Mitt Romney went down to defeat in 2012. He advertised himself as a nice guy, but the Democrats managed to show he was a monster, because he put the family dog on the roof of the family car and he put honest union workers out of a job while at Bain & Co.
The whole point of Trump was and is that “he fights for you” against the swamp. And that was why Democratic women fainted after the 2016 election and put up their #WeBelieve yardsigns. How dare Trump suggest that he cared more about the American people and would fight for them more than the Democrats!
The whole point of politics is that you never apologize, never admit you are wrong. That’s the whole point of the Schmittian friend / enemy distinction. You support your friends and you fight the enemy. Period, full stop.
Ever know any of our Democratic friends admit they were wrong? Or apologize? That’s because they instinctively know what politics is all about. And the Bush / Romney folks do not.
What is new with Trump and now with DeSantis is that they have changed the basis of Republican politics. Now they are promising to take it to the enemy, whether it’s DEI administrators or Dis-e-ney or the Deep State.
But here I have a suggestion. Right now, our Democratic friends are pushing the fight against climate change and systemic racism, and if you don’t agree you are a climate denier or a racist.
So Republicans have to find the way to persuade the American people that climate change is a war against the American people and their way of life. And that the fight against systemic racism is a war against the decency and goodness of the American people.
So there it is, you political professionals. Figure out the slogans and the talking points that will take down the climate change hoax and that systemic racism fraud. And then test them out in the next election.