Last week, a Politico/Morning Consult poll on President Trump’s proposed travel ban on visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries revealed a somewhat surprising discovery: 60 percent of voters agreed with Trump’s proposed ban. That includes 56 percent of independents and even 41 percent of Democrats.
The plan, however, has a distinct advantage: It’s the only idea on the table.
What’s the alternative to the ban from the left? What’s the plan to stop terrorist attacks? Literally nothing.
Every time there’s a deadly attack, liberals rush to downplay the dead bodies as just a regular part of life and not take any action lest we radicalize more terrorists. After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, then-President Barack Obama said that we “refuse to be terrorized.” After the November 2015 terrorist attacks in France, the deadliest day of violence in France since World War II, Mayor Bill de Blasio said “terrorists can’t succeed if we refuse to be terrorized.”
But that just isn’t true. We can all refuse to be terrorized and get murdered anyway. Trump’s ban is the only idea that isn’t “Go on with our lives as if nothing happened.”
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders, the great leftist hope, says seriously that terrorism is caused by climate change. No wonder Trump’s ban is resonating.
Is the ban wisely crafted? Of course not. It tightens visitation rules for people coming from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen but not from Saudi Arabia, Egypt or the United Arab Emirates — the three countries from which all but one of the 9/11 hijackers hailed.
But at least it aims to “do something” while the other side has their fingers in their ears, pretending nothing is happening.
It’s not just terrorism. Trump’s “something” on immigration, in his case a wall that would be astronomically expensive and likely ineffective, is more popular than the left’s “nothing.” What do Democrats believe on immigration?
They talk a lot about compassion, and Hillary Clinton spoke often of “protecting families” who are here illegally, but what is their actual position? Is it much different from being essentially open borders?
Last week, Rich Lowry called the Democratic position on immigration “hostile to enforcement and to any skepticism about current high levels of immigration.” The Democrats don’t want to do anything to stop illegal immigration, and they don’t want to enforce existing immigration laws, but they can’t outright say so.
When a party can’t vocalize its position because it would mean certain electoral death, that’s a problem — and it’s a problem Trump didn’t have.
It’s the same on health care, trade and other major issues. Trump’s ideas are impulsive and often poorly thought out — but they exist. Democrats like Elizabeth Warren spend their time accusing Republicans of wanting people to die but not actually making changes to a crumbling ObamaCare system that has meant abject misery for so many Americans.
Democrats’ entire reason for being has become “We are not Trump.” They remain wrapped up in an election that happened eight months ago, convinced it was stolen from them by Russian hackers and unable to let go.
When Trump spoke in Poland last week, he defended “Western values” and liberals went apoplectic, calling it a racist dog whistle.
The left has become all safe spaces and language policing. And the Democrats seem to be coddling this because encouraging “the Resistance” to stay angry at everything is easier than taking stands on issues. But anyone who has ever worked in campaigns knows you need a message with some substance. Virtue signaling and posturing isn’t enough.
Last week, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee unveiled its latest proposed bumper stickers for the midterms. One that was widely mocked read: “Democrats 2018: I mean, have you seen the other guys?”
News flash: The other guys control the White House, Senate, House and a majority of statehouses and governorships. Yes, the voters have seen the other guys — they seem to like them.
Democrats are under the mistaken impression that simply pointing and laughing at Republicans, Trump in particular, is going to be enough. It hasn’t been so far, and if signature Trump policies are going to poll at 60 percent approval, it won’t be next time, either.