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What Voters Really Want

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Matthew Brown

If a campaign is going to win, it has to reach enough voters with a simple message that hits their hot buttons. Given the supposed “fact” that “college educated suburban women” hate Trump, we must ask what those women really want. Is “Orange Man Bad” so ingrained that there’s no way to communicate with them? Or are there answers that can assist them? Can we “save the save-able” as Herman Cain so aptly put it?


There are three simple things every American woman (actually every American!) wants and needs. The top item will depend on what’s happening right now. If a neighbor’s five-year-old has just been shot by a released criminal, if her favorite restaurant has just been burned to the ground, or if she has to find an alternate route home around the latest “peaceful protest,” then law and order will be most important.

The language won’t necessarily be “law and order.” It might be “safe streets,” “self-defense,” or some other similar term. But it will describe the fact that survival requires an environment where innocents are protected from aggressive acts by others. The political orientation of the criminal isn’t important. As long as the miscreant threatens me, my family, my livelihood, or my city, safety is my prime concern. And when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. So mom’s got to get a gun. But her Democrat-run city won’t let her have one. She’s a victim without any choice.

Let’s flip the page to the suburban household whose breadwinner has just lost a job. It could be a result of anything from the lockdown to a business contract ending. Whatever the cause, it appears that putting bread on table is about to be difficult or impossible. So job sites are visited, and résumés circulated. The family needs a good job. Opportunity is the prime concern here. If the loss of jobs came from riots and burned-out businesses, then law and order overlaps with opportunity, which is often spelled J-O-B-S.


Another form of opportunity is education. We subsidize colleges with Pell Grants and federally insured student loans, but those loans mean that the new graduate often has to move back in with mom and dad while the note gets paid off. But if the student wants to get a good-paying job in welding, plumbing, or some other trade, there’s no help. Adding insult to injury, Harriet is working because Ozzie’s taxes and health insurance are so high.

Opportunity can also be prime when a single mom is working two jobs to put food on the table and can’t save enough for first and last month’s rent plus security deposit in a neighborhood close to a decent job. The examples can be multiplied.

Finally, when your son gets kicked out of his college for challenging a professor who asserts that Donald Trump is Hitler reincarnated, freedom becomes the up-front question. Or when you don’t dare put that MAGA hat on for fear of being assaulted at the outdoor table at your favorite eatery because your governor won’t let you eat indoors, freedom is important.

Those three items – safety, opportunity, and freedom – underlie the aspirations of everyone. Even Antifa and BLM want safety from prosecution, opportunity to revolt, and freedom to coerce others. But true Americans aren’t looking for safety, opportunity, and freedom to do to others. They are looking for safety from others, opportunity to build, and freedom from coercion.

In the last weeks of the campaign, it’s crucial to make these three issues the center of the debate. Biden-Harris have actively undermined safety. It took Sleepy Joe a full three months of Portland burning to wake up to the fact that he needed to support the police. Even then he gave a half-hearted concession. His running mate raised money to get murderers and rapists out of jail. And his would-be gun-czar Beto made it clear that a Biden administration is coming to take your guns.


People whose homes and businesses were destroyed by Antifa and BLM rioters need to hear this again and again. Then the people in the suburbs need to hear the rioters shouting that they’re coming to the suburbs. “Law and order” sounds like a slogan. But if you aren’t “safe” in a state run by Democrats, the message hits home.

Opportunity is a huge issue. COVID lockdowns killed our economy. Democrat governors have made them much worse. Petty tyrants like Gretchen Whitmer happily lock down their states, killing businesses and the jobs they create. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in the last three months of complete data, when we should be recovering from the depression, unemployment in Democrat states is roughly two percent worse than in Republican states. Democrat states with continuing lockdown orders have an equally dismal record in comparison to states that are opening up. In short, Democrats destroy opportunity. Anyone who is trying to get out of the poverty induced by Democrat policies will yearn for the opportunity in states like Texas and Florida.

The poem on the Statue of Liberty welcomes those who “yearn to breathe free.” Settlers came from Europe to escape religious persecution. Or they came for opportunity to make a new life. But many ran into “Irish need not apply.” This has become “apologize for your white privilege.” Cancel culture means that you are not free to go about your daily business without someone making your life a living hell because you don’t share their opinions. Your job isn’t safe if you don’t make the proper obeisance.


It is almost impossible to tease out freedom, opportunity and safe streets. Ultimately they are all part of the American Dream: the idea that you should be free to bust your butt to make a better life, and not have it stolen from you, not even by the government.

If we can focus on those three key central elements of America, we won’t have to live through the socialist dream: the idea that the government should steal what you busted your butt to produce, and give it to someone who couldn’t be bothered to get off his own butt.


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