Democrats in sanctuary states support amnesty for illegal aliens, just so long as those illegal aliens don’t wind up in sanctuary states. Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke lament the greed of millionaires who hoard their wealth, just as they themselves tighten their millionaire fists around ample stockpiles of cash. Kamala Harris promises “common sense” gun control measures that would outlaw some of the most popular guns in American, just as she conveniently leaves her own firearms and armed security guards undisturbed.
“Leftism for thee but not for me,” they seem to say. So are the 2020 Democratic candidates cynics or hypocrites? Either they advocate policies in which they don’t believe or they simply hope to avoid the consequences of policies they do in fact support. Whichever the case may be, the gap between Democrats’ professed opinions and personal behavior offers President Trump a crucial defense against his opponents and detractors.
President Trump’s greatest political liabilities revolve around questions of personality and character. In a survey conducted during Trump’s first year in office, Gallup found that just 16% of Trump disapprovers oppose the president over issues and policies; a whopping 65% disapprove of his character. Among those who approve of Trump, just 3% cite “honesty” and “integrity” among the reasons for their enthusiasm.
Yet despite his proclivity for exaggeration, President Trump can claim a far greater record of honesty than his Democrat opponents in 2020. He has kept more campaign promises than many of his predecessors. He answers questions more bluntly and avoids the focus-grouped double-talk endemic to professional politicians. While Beto O’Rourke struggles to explain skimping on charitable donations and underpaying his taxes, President Trump brags that taking advantage of tax deductions ‘makes him smart.’ The 2020 Democrat presidential candidates may appear polished, but a rigorous primary campaign will fade that patina of integrity to reveal characters less trustworthy than the much-maligned incumbent.
Democrats must resolve the discrepancy between the appearance and reality of their personalities and policy proposals. But to acknowledge reality is to concede that the country has prospered under President Trump. Americans really are better off now than they were three years ago. And so the candidates continue to peddle fantasy. How long can they keep up the narrative before voters realize they don’t even believe it themselves?