Op-Ed by Dr. Karlyn Borysenko
Even though we’ve had a bit of a nasty breakup, I still care about you and want you to be happy. So, let’s talk.
It would be best if you started wrapping your head around the fact that Donald Trump will most likely win re-election. For you. For me. For the good of the entire country.
Believe me, I know this is not an easy road to go down. Until recently, I was a member of your ranks. I joined the Democratic party over 20 years ago when I was 18-years-old. To this day, I still have never voted for anyone that wasn’t a Democrat. When Trump was elected in 2016, I cried and became depressed, suddenly questioning if everyone around me was a racist.
And I know many of you are in the same place. You’ve found comfort in the cozy little echo chambers you’ve created for yourself. You’ve unfriended people who support Trump, have broken ties with your family members, watch CNN and MSNBC obsessively, tweet your outrage anytime Trump does anything, throw around words like “racist” and “nazi” and “white supremacist” like they mean nothing, and find it impossible to name one positive thing Trump has accomplished.
I lived with this same Trump Derangement Syndrome for three years until I finally broke out of my echo chamber and started listening to people on the other side. I’ve been in your shoes. Changing how you view the world is not an easy road.
I’m not asking you to change your values, but I don’t want you to experience the same shock you felt four years ago. In the famous words of George W. Bush, “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” It’s time to take an honest look at the predicament you’re finding yourself in, so you don’t feel so blindsided if Trump triumphs on November 3rd. Allow me to guide you down the path I took to understand this inevitability.
Let’s look at the candidates.
You started with the most diverse field of candidates in the history of primary contests. And after all the talk of the importance of supporting those candidates, you managed to widdle them down to two old white men, each with their own set of challenges that, ironically, have absolutely nothing to do with either their race or their gender.
If Biden gets the nomination, the Democrats will have a candidate who seems to be in cognitive decline. He can’t speak for more than a few minutes without making a gaff and will be facing a man who never shies away from talking to massive crowds at his rallies for hours on end. And this doesn’t even factor in the inevitable backlash from the “Bernie or Bust” crowd if the DNC robs him of the nomination again.
The showdown between Trump and Sanders doesn’t bode much better. It will effectively be a referendum on whether or not Americans will embrace socialism at a time when the overwhelming majority of voters do not support it.
I have a soft spot in my heart for both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, but we have to face facts: According to aggregate polling, Trump’s job approval rating has steadily increased ever since the end of 2017. He’s had little bobbles here and there, but the overall trend is up. Please don’t put on your rose-colored glasses and say that Obama’s was higher because Trump’s approval rating is right in line with where Obama’s was at this same point in his first term.
And least we forget that the midst of the battle, you overlooked a golden opportunity nominate a candidate who could have wooed people from the right side of the aisle: Tulsi Gabbard. Did you really think people weren’t watching when you assassinated her character, all the time screaming about how we just needed to nominate a woman or a person of color?
Black voters are coming around.
Speaking of diversity, one fact that should really terrify the Democrats is that black Americans are starting to change their tune. In 2016, Trump won the vote of 13% of black men and 4% of black women, which, surprisingly, was actually a little bit better than Mitt Romney did in his outing.
But Trump’s been at work to win them over. Multiple polls have found that Trump’s approval rating among black voters is hovering around 34%, and new data has shown that black voters are becoming ever-more disillusioned with the Democratic party.
Accuse Trump of pandering all you like, but the reality is that if he’s able to increase his black support just a little bit, the Democrats are going to have a massive problem on their hands.
The economy is still strong.
The majority of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the economy. And why wouldn’t they? According to Gallup, 59% say that they are better off financially than they were last year, and 74% say things will be even better in a year. These numbers represent an all-time high.
Now, I know you love to give Obama all the credit for the economy that exists over three years after he left office. But the reality is that the average worker has seen unemployment drop to extremely low levels, and has also seen their wages increase. If those same voters struggled under Obama but have seen gains under Trump, who do you think they are going to credit with the turnaround?
“But Karlyn! What about the CoronaVirus?!?!?” We just saw a 2,000 point drop in the markets!
Oh, you mean those same markets that you’ve been saying real Americans don’t care about for years while they were seeing record highs? Not to mention the drop had just as much to do with Saudi Arabia slashing oil prices than it did the current hysteria.
But mostly, you guys have just cried wolf too many times for the average person to really take it seriously. When everything is the end of the world – Russian, the wall, Kavanaugh, Ukraine, Impeachment, giving Rush Limbaugh the Medal of Freedom, etc… – it gets hard to take it seriously. You’ve lost your goodwill, especially when your hysteria has led to an inability to buy the basic essentials because of the insane stockpiling.
The party is still their own worst enemy.
I really thought the DNC would have taken time to really consider what lessons they could muster from their epic defeat…but it hasn’t worked out that way. The party seems to literally be running on a platform that leads with “Orange Man Bad.” Impeachment only helped Trump’s approval rating to improve. At the same time, it made the Democrats look like petulant children who celebrated their short-term victory while forgetting it would result in them losing the war. Nancy Pelosi did nothing to combat this perception when she tore up her copy of the State of the Union.
At this rate, no one should be shocked if Trump sweeps at least 40 states in November. Somehow, you’ve made him look like the adult in the room.
Please don’t let yourselves be surprised again.
Let me be frank, Democrats: I’m genuinely terrified of what you are going to do if you are caught off guard again. You’ve shown that you are willing to not just accept, but embrace, the violence of Antifa. You’ve shown that you are eager to go to great lengths to cancel anyone who disagrees with you. You seem to have thrown logic and reason out the window in favor of fear, panic, and hysteria. Please, for all of us, start getting used to the notion that another four years of Trump will not be the end of the world.
And just in case any Trump supporters have read this far, please be gentle with your Democratic friends if they start to overcome their Trump Derangement Syndrome. I know from experience that many of you are inclined to welcome them with open arms, but there’s also a portion of you that like to call people names, hurl insults, or make them feel guilty for not getting there sooner. Doing those things won’t help you. If you want people to change, you need to give them the space and encouragement to make it possible.
Dr. Karlyn Borysenko is an organizational psychologist, keynote speaker, and executive coach that became an accidental political commentator when an article she wrote about attending a Trump rally and calling for an end to the political divisiveness went massively viral, garnering 3 million views in less than one week. She has been featured on Fox News, Glenn Beck, Harvard Business Review and NPR among others. In addition to contributing to UncoverDC she is also a contributor to Forbes.com.