Despair and the Difficulties of the Enemy

 

I see a a lot of posts and comments from people who have concluded that the 2022 election is hopeless–that election fraud, combined with the huge Democrat funding advantage and the dominance of Democrat-advocating media, will make it impossible for any Republican candidate to win (any Republican candidate other than those who aren’t a challenge to the Democrat-desired status quo, at least).

I’m reminded of a passage in the book Infantry in Battle, written between the world wars–it contains numerous individual-experience monographs (American, French, and German) along with some rather philosophical thoughts about conclusions to be drawn from these experiences.  (The book was edited by then-colonel George C Marshall)

Here’s the quote I was thinking of:

The enemy invariably has difficulties of which we are ignorant; to us, his situation may appear favorable while to him it may seem desperate.  Only a slight extra effort on our part may be decisive.

I think this point is valid in business and in politics as well as in warfare: put yourself in your opponent’s shoes, and think about what things he is probably most worried about…or should be worried about.

So if you were the Supreme Commander of the Democrats, seeking power for your party, what would be keeping you awake at night?

For starters, I’d suggest:

Minority-group support.  The Dems have clearly believed for a long time that they have an inherent right to the votes of black and Hispanic people.  Recent years have called this support in question.  See for example this post about Hispanic voters.  And Al Sharpton just warned Democrats that they “aren’t connecting” with black and Hispanic voters–especially black men.

The education lessons of the lockdown.  Millions of parents have gotten a close-up view of what is being taught and learned in the schools their kids attend, and a lot of them don’t like it very much.  The heavy-handed tactics of many school boards and officials and of Biden’s justice department have ramped up the emotional level.  The very close identification of the public schools with the Dems is likely to hurt them electorally as the veil is ripped off as to what these schools actually are.  (See this article, which links a survey showing that 89% of voters believe that it is important for public schools to “fully inform parents” about what is being taught to their children in classrooms.

Crime. In many places, crime has reached levels at which it impinges on daily life.  And “defund the police,” release of dangerous criminals, etc., are so closely aligned with the Democrats that it will be difficult for them to deny the connection.

The women’s vote.  Women as a group have traditionally been more Democrat-leaning than men, and especially, upper-middle-class suburban women have been strongly aligned with the Dems.  But not all of these women have kids who are in private schools; some of them have kids in public schools and have been exposed to the lockdown lessons about school dysfunctionality.  A lot of women are concerned about the destruction of women’s sports due to the Dem-aligned acceptance of biological men as women in competition.  Also, a lot of women are surely very concerned about escalating crime in their areas.

Energy.  The narrative as to how wind and sun can do it all..and maybe do it even more cheaply than fossil fuels or nuclear… sounded good to many, as long as they didn’t look too deeply and it all remained in the realm of theory.  But the energy catastrophe in Germany, and events in some parts of the US, have tended to push reality to the forefront and may make people more accepting of challenges to this narrative.

Media.  Regard for the traditional media has fallen quite a lot.  (See this survey, which shows confidence in Newspapers down from 37% in 2000 to 16% in 2022, and confidence in television news dropping from 36% to 11% over the same time period) While the influence of the media is still great and must not be disregarded, it is no longer viewed as the oracle that it once was.

Social Media.  Although the major social media platforms have been powerful factors in pushing Democrat and Leftist narratives, these platforms have their own problems.  Take a look at the Meta/Facebook stock chart.  It now looks like Elon Musk will indeed get Twitter, which he has said should be much more free-speech-friendly than it is at present.  A Federal Appeals Court has upheld a Texas law requiring viewpoint neutrality on the part of large social media companies.  These things are probably too late to influence to outcome of the 2022 election, but they will have an important longer-term effect.

Higher Education.  While for a few decades, higher ed was viewed as the single path to career success…and its professors had at least some credibility as objective custodians of truth…the first of these beliefs has lost much force as a result of bitter experience,  and the second has collapsed almost completely.  Higher institutions have been an important support bloc for the Democrats, and the influence of the teaching and culture in most colleges and universities has been distinctly leftward.  A fall in the importance and credibility of these institutions is, like the previous point, a longer-term factor, but it will be an important one.

Weakness at the Top of the Democratic Ticket. It is hard to imagine a president who is of less midterm electoral value to his party than Joseph Biden, and his vice president isn’t much, if any, better.

Extreme Left limits Dem options.  The extreme and lunatic Left is now so powerful in the Democrat party that it limits rational policy and political maneuvering.

Resentment of all the insults.  Much Democrat political communication in recent years has not been intended to persuade; it has been intended to signal the virtue of the communicators and to insult and intimidate those at whom it is directed. It probably has had the intended effect of getting many opponents and questioners to shut up.  But, in the privacy of the voting booth, I suspect that a lot of people are going to remember the insults directed at people like them, and hence to be reluctant to support a party and candidates aligned with the sources of those insults.

I’m certainly not arguing that the election is in the bag: we should not by any means get cocky.  But at present, I think that despair may be more of a threat than overconfidence.

The importance of this election is hard to overstate.  Today’s Democratic Party is clearly hostile to free speech, and if they retain either the House or Senate–especially if they retain both–along with a substantial number of the state offices at issue, then serious opposition candidates are likely to have a very difficult time in the future.  As far as free speech and the preservation of the Constitutional system go, almost any Republican candidate is better than almost any of today’s Democrats.

Contribute to candidates you like and who look like they have a chance of winning.  Also consider contributing to election-integrity groups such as this Judicial Watch initiative and the True the Vote group.  Try to talk to any friends who might be influenceable.

The next 35 days will be very, very important.

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  1. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    So, David . Do you believe the 2020 election was stolen ?  This really is a pivotal point . 

    If you think it wasn’t then that changes the equation in a more hopeful direction. If you  believe as I do , that it was stolen in a grand scale and not much has been done to remedy that . Then this tilts things in a negative direction. 

     

    • #1
  2. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    So, David . Do you believe the 2020 election was stolen ? This really is a pivotal point .

    If you think it wasn’t then that changes the equation in a more hopeful direction. If you believe as I do , that it was stolen in a grand scale and not much has been done to remedy that . Then this tilts things in a negative direction.

     

    It seems that some of the affected states from 2020 have undertaken measures to keep that kind of thing from happening again, the question now becomes whether those measures will be effective, and enforced.

    • #2
  3. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Pelosi just put out a funding request email asking to help close the funding gap with the GOP. 

    • #3
  4. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    kedavis (View Comment):
    the question now becomes whether those measures will be effective, and enforced.

    Most of fraud of 2020 was election laws not being followed.    The problem with election laws is that most are toothless.   The laws need instant teeth.  Allow a simple majority of the legislature to replace any election official with any judge of their choosing at any time.  If you think that gives too much power to the state legislature, I suggest you re-read the Constitution.

    • #4
  5. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DonG (CAGW is a Scam) (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):
    the question now becomes whether those measures will be effective, and enforced.

    Most of fraud of 2020 was election laws not being followed. The problem with election laws is that most are toothless. The laws need instant teeth. Allow a simple majority of the legislature to replace any election official with any judge of their choosing at any time. If you think that gives too much power to the state legislature, I suggest you re-read the Constitution.

    Of course, in 2020 the legislatures stood around with their hands in their pockets too.

    • #5
  6. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    David Foster: I’m certainly not arguing that the election is in the bag: we should not by any means get cocky.  But at present, I think that despair may be more of a threat than overconfidence.

    The left certainly wants us to despair, and we should expect the internet and mainstream news to continue to be full of items calculated to install feelings of hopelessness, everything from fraudulent polls to concern trolls.

    • #6
  7. Bunsen Coolidge
    Bunsen
    @Bunsen

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    David Foster: I’m certainly not arguing that the election is in the bag: we should not by any means get cocky. But at present, I think that despair may be more of a threat than overconfidence.

    The left certainly wants us to despair, and we should expect the internet and mainstream news to continue to be full of items calculated to install feelings of hopelessness, everything from fraudulent polls to concern trolls.

    Media, like squirrels, are not to be trusted, ever. 

    • #7
  8. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Election law is state law.  The lawbreakers in 2020 were led by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and it minions in the local voting arenas. The elected Democrats in the federal government strongly supported the violations of state election laws as did the Democrat state office holders around the country. Most elected Republican leaders stood by and watched. We will see if the American voting public is as stupid as the corrupt politicians think.

    • #8
  9. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    I have told my friends that I would not give into despair until after the 2022 midterms.  If Republicans gain majorities in the House and/or Senate then I know that we still have a path to power.  A difficult one, but not insurmountable.  The 2021 elections in Virginia and elsewhere show it is not impossible.  History and current conditions say that this should come to pass.  If it doesn’t, then I will believe that conservatives have been disenfranchised and despair is in order.   

    • #9
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    One election has already been Rigged . The Right, including the owners of Ricochet, think that it was not, and that nothing was untoward and that it was no big deal. Indeed, the tolerate it being called “The Big Lie”. The so called Right was against the man who was trying to make a change, and they colluded with the left to oust him and work hard to stop him now. They are against the gov. of Florida too. 

    The elites control everything. They control the universities, all of the government, all big companies, all the news, all the schools, most state governments (does not matter for most that they are GOP). We have exactly one Republican gov. willing to stand up and do the right thing, over and over. We have a couple also rans who sort of do OK but often drop the ball to the elites. 

    They will eventually ignore the court (A Democrat has done it before) and will fire on Americans. The President of the United States of America has declared that half the nation are the enemy and bragged, bragged, about how he has F-15s and Nukes. 

    We mutilate our children with trans insanity that infects them. There is no hope at all for those parents who see their children led into darkness. 

    Minority-group support.  

    This will never get any better. Minorites will vote for Democrats, the party of Jim Crow and Slavery until the end of time. If someone is black, the chances they vote Democrat are all but certain. Only the dead vote Democrat as strongly as blacks. It has ever been thus and ever will be thus. Nothing in my life shows me any differently. They are immune to any change of mind. Look at the failed cities they live in. For generations they vote for the same people messing it up. 

    The education lessons of the lockdown

    These parents will be targeted and imprisoned. It will only take a few heads of parents deemed terrorists to put us in our place. 

    Crime

    So what? See my comment on failed cities above. The left runs the cities and the votes want it this way. They have not changed their votes in generations. 

    The women’s vote.  

    Women will, as a whole, vote for the party promising them security with nice words. They were behind Prohibiton, and woman have pushed progressivism since it started. No offense to the women here. I did say as a whole. 

    Energy.  

    The people of CA already tolerate blackouts. They still vote for Democrats. Nothing will change. They will keep voting for the same failed policies as they have for the past generation. 

    Media.  

    Don’t think this matters. People have less exposure to reality. 

    Social Media.  

    They will destroy Musk some other way. The Left has near complete control of information and works directly with the government to supress speech. the AMA is about to get any anti-Trans information destroyed. How long until the FBI knocks on people’s doors? Remember, the FBI pulling people of child trafficking to go after political enemies. Even if a GOP Congress and President are in place, nothing will change.

    Higher Education.  

    This is never going to change either. The progessive government will keep funding it. Degress from wrong think schools will matter less and less. 

    Weakness at the Top of the Democratic Ticket.

    It does not matter. The left controls everything. So what? And if the GOP does win, so what? They won’t do anything effective anyway. The Right has never been effective at stopping the left on anything. Roe has been overturned. Wee. Now there will be what, 10% less abortions. Some win. 

    Extreme Left limits Dem options

    The small extremists took over Russia and murdered millions. 

    Resentment of all the insults.  

    Resentment does not win elections. The left hopes will give them an excuse to kills us. Look at how damaging the stupid Jan 6 riots have been. Heck, they can stage something and sell it as they control all the media and all the pulpits. 

    We have lost, no matter the outcome of the elections. 

     

    • #10
  11. db25db Lincoln
    db25db
    @db25db

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    So, David . Do you believe the 2020 election was stolen ? This really is a pivotal point .

    If you think it wasn’t then that changes the equation in a more hopeful direction. If you believe as I do , that it was stolen in a grand scale and not much has been done to remedy that . Then this tilts things in a negative direction.

     

    It doesn’t matter what you think or don’t think about the 2020 election.  Not being engaged and voting guarantees a loss.  The way forward is the right needs to be more legally prepared this time around so where there is fraud, it can be addressed.  That Trump legal team was a disaster.  Every Republican is more keenly aware of the potential for fraud now.  Go volunteer as a poll watcher.  Get involved.  Donate to legal groups that do that sort of thing. Don’t give up.

    • #11
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    More losing

    It is endless. 

     

    • #12
  13. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Some more pushback.

    …and it’s not just Judge Ho.  Twelve more federal judges say that they will no longer be hiring clerks from Yale Law School.

    • #13
  14. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    David,

    I guess your approach is to ignore information to the contrary and bury your head in the sand. No comments at all on me. 

    Fine. Ignoring reality is not going to stop them coming for you. 

    • #14
  15. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    David,

    I guess your approach is to ignore information to the contrary and bury your head in the sand. No comments at all on me.

    Fine. Ignoring reality is not going to stop them coming for you.

    You obviously can not have any idea what other time commitments that I or any other writer or commenter have, in addition to writing and commenting at Ricochet, so why the insulting tone?  No one is under any obligation to respond to comments in any particular time window or in any particular sequence.

    And why do you devote so much effort and emotional investment in getting other people to share your attitude that we are defeated?  What is the benefit?

     

    • #15
  16. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    David,

    I guess your approach is to ignore information to the contrary and bury your head in the sand. No comments at all on me.

    Fine. Ignoring reality is not going to stop them coming for you.

    You obviously can not have any idea what other time commitments that I or any other writer or commenter have, in addition to writing and commenting at Ricochet, so why the insulting tone? No one is under any obligation to respond to comments in any particular time window or in any particular sequence.

    And why do you devote so much effort and emotional investment in getting other people to share your attitude that we are defeated? What is the benefit?

     

    Ah, the BG “I don’t have time” defense.

    You had time to respond to others, just not me. 

    I thought the idea was to converse, clearly I was mistaken.

    • #16
  17. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    We don’t know because we can’t know how much and how effectively  they will  cheat, steal and pad to win enough to hold both houses.   The next question is what do we do if they manage to win both houses?   Are we prepared to pull out states with Republican governors and cities and counties who want to join?

    • #17
  18. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    David,

    I guess your approach is to ignore information to the contrary and bury your head in the sand. No comments at all on me.

    Fine. Ignoring reality is not going to stop them coming for you.

    You obviously can not have any idea what other time commitments that I or any other writer or commenter have, in addition to writing and commenting at Ricochet, so why the insulting tone? No one is under any obligation to respond to comments in any particular time window or in any particular sequence.

    And why do you devote so much effort and emotional investment in getting other people to share your attitude that we are defeated? What is the benefit?

     

    Ah, the BG “I don’t have time” defense.

    You had time to respond to others, just not me.

    I thought the idea was to converse, clearly I was mistaken.

    Maybe he thinks that it is not worth his limited time to converse with someone who counsels despair.

    • #18
  19. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    David,

    I guess your approach is to ignore information to the contrary and bury your head in the sand. No comments at all on me.

    Fine. Ignoring reality is not going to stop them coming for you.

    You obviously can not have any idea what other time commitments that I or any other writer or commenter have, in addition to writing and commenting at Ricochet, so why the insulting tone? No one is under any obligation to respond to comments in any particular time window or in any particular sequence.

    And why do you devote so much effort and emotional investment in getting other people to share your attitude that we are defeated? What is the benefit?

     

    Ah, the BG “I don’t have time” defense.

    You had time to respond to others, just not me.

    I thought the idea was to converse, clearly I was mistaken.

    Maybe he thinks that it is not worth his limited time to converse with someone who counsels despair.

    Right 

    I would not have a job if I did that.

    Don’t despair. Oh you do? Blow off.

     

     

    • #19
  20. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Brian, I am quite familiar with all of the arguments you make, and while these negative factors all exist, my judgment as to their absolute nature is different from yours.  In the case of minority voting, for example, Trump increased his share of black and Hispanic voters between 2016 and 2020. Yes, the 2020 numbers were still quite low, but elections are a game of inches.

    One can always paint a bleak picture if one chooses to ignore positive signs…the point about the 13 federal judges, for example, is I think very, very important as an indictor.  One reason people go to a school like Yale Law is to get the right clerkships, and if the extreme leftist orientation of YL means you’re *less* likely to get a clerkship, well, then…

    It is interesting to see how panicked some on the Left are at the prospect of Musk getting control of Twitter.  At least some of them sense real fragility in the control they have established over so many institutions.

     

     

    • #20
  21. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    It’s Bryan.

    The left has done nothing but win for my lifetime. 

    I have no experience of victory. 

    I don’t consider looking at the past as the counsel of despair, I consider it the reality.

    I am not going to give up, but like Whitaker Chambers, I believe I am on the losing side.

    Now maybe the American people will wake up and throw the bums out. I just have never seen it. 

    • #21
  22. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    David,

    I guess your approach is to ignore information to the contrary and bury your head in the sand. No comments at all on me.

    Fine. Ignoring reality is not going to stop them coming for you.

    You obviously can not have any idea what other time commitments that I or any other writer or commenter have, in addition to writing and commenting at Ricochet, so why the insulting tone? No one is under any obligation to respond to comments in any particular time window or in any particular sequence.

    And why do you devote so much effort and emotional investment in getting other people to share your attitude that we are defeated? What is the benefit?

     

    Ah, the BG “I don’t have time” defense.

    You had time to respond to others, just not me.

    I thought the idea was to converse, clearly I was mistaken.

    Maybe he thinks that it is not worth his limited time to converse with someone who counsels despair.

    Right

    I would not have a job if I did that.

    Don’t despair. Oh you do? Blow off.

    LOL

    • #22
  23. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I am not going to give up, but like Whitaker Chambers, I believe I am on the losing side.

     

    Are you recruiting?

    • #23
  24. Steven Galanis Coolidge
    Steven Galanis
    @Steven Galanis

    Yesterday, I did some door to door canvassing for Dan Cox, who is Maryland’s republican candidate for governor. Initially, I had only intended to make a donation to his campaign and put up a sign in my yard, but the need to do more pushed me beyond my comfort zone. I also have the time.

    Few have more of a skeptical attitude than I with respect to the voting infrastructure in place in the so called “free state”. However for me, being somewhat of an introvert, the question, “Do I have the balls to accept a few sneers and a few jeers for my “deep” convictions outweighs the  question “Why bother?”

    Yesterday, was easy. It was my first day and I tagged along, but by the end of the walk, I loosened my vocal cords.

    No sneers and jeers to report.  No real test of my zeal. That is coming; perhaps tomorrow when I do it again.

    • #24
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