Other Opinions

Sun Herald’s new conservative columnist talks Trump and the red/blue divide

Mike Fullilove
Mike Fullilove amccoy@sunherald.com

I remember looking at the 2016 county-by-county national election map, and most of the country looked red. There were blue patches in various states, around the most populated cities, the West Coast, and the Eastern Seaboard, but it was mostly red.

It is interesting how the left (Democrats) and right (Republicans) got their colors. You can Google past election maps — for example, Reagan’s 1984 landslide — and oops, the nation is all blue. What gives? The Republican vote was always blue and the Democratic vote always red until the 2000 election when the colors were reversed. Why?

According to the Washington Post, newsman Tim Russert — who formerly worked for Democratic Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and I would assume is a reliable source — suggested changing the colors because Democratic partisans didn’t want to be associated with the color red. Red is the color internationally for political parties on the Left, socialism and communism. Clueless Republicans said, why sure. Interesting.

Today everyone knows we live in a red/blue right/left divided America. There is a rural and city divide, there is a religious and irreligious divide, divides on abortion, marriage, worldview, policies on immigration and the economy, the size of government, etc. The Reds and Blues find little on which they agree.

The blue Left is still clueless why they lost the 2016 election because they never understood all the red Donald Trump voters and why they were drawn to him. The Left also still denies that their major problem was a flawed candidate and stagnant message. After eight years of Obama they just figured they had it made and it was going to be a landslide! But no.

The Democratic election loss was tweaked by Hillary Clinton’s famous quote, “To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables.’ Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.” Wow! Much of her base even said oops, and most of the country thought the statement beyond insensitive. Deplorables made T-shirts.

The 2016 election was very different because you had a Washington insider (Clinton) against a known commodity outsider (Trump). Trump was not your normal politician and that attracted people. He was candid, speaking to issues that resonated in flyover country.

Because Trump was a successful businessman used to delivering on projects, people believed he would deliver on his promises. The fact that he wasn’t supported by the establishment Republican Party was also a plus. The fact that he primarily financed his own campaign and owed no one was a factor.

Another major dynamic the Left just can’t accept is that he challenged the press and fought back against their “fake news.” He let nothing pass. All Republicans in the past have just withered when assaulted by the press — not Trump, he is a fighter, and that was “huuuge.”

Trump voters were overwhelmingly pro-life, pro man/woman marriage, gun owners, and concerned for religious freedom. They saw the government as becoming too big, too intrusive and overactive in forcing American society to the far left. Trump voters knew he was far from perfect, even greatly flawed, but they believed and still believe regardless of the flood of media criticism, that he has America’s best interests at heart, wants to do the country well and won’t quit. That is why they stand with him.

Mike Fullilove of Long Beach writes about local, state and national issues from a conservative perspective.

New columnist

Today, the Sun Herald begins running columns by Mike Fullilove of Long Beach. He will be writing about local, state and national issues from a conservative perspective and often with a point of view rooted in the Bible. He is a former small business owner on the Coast, including the publication of the Clarion Call Christian newspaper in the late 1990s.