By Matt Rooney
We all remember Democrat political consulting legend James Carville’s iconic “It’s the economy, stupid” line from the Clinton years.
To the extent it was ever true, Save Jerseyans? 2018 might be the end of the road for this conventional U.S. political wisdom… at least for the time being. It’s important to consider this historic transformation in our electorate’s priorities particularly in light of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to quit the fight ahead of the 2018 midterms.
I’ve been saying it for months to anyone in my party who will listen:
(1) America is at relative peace; and
(2) America’s economy is fundamentally strong.
And that means middle, upper middle and wealthy suburbanites and yuppies, for whom disliking President Donald Trump and his tweeting is almost a requirement to avoid ostracization at PTA meetings, now feel free to vote their CULTURE instead of their pocket books and wallets in an age of social media/24-7 news-exacerbated hyper-partisanship.
“Tax cuts? Syria? Meh. Let’s pick our elected leaders on the basis of transgender bathroom access, equal pay mythology, anatomical headwear and school shooting hyperbole. Insert hashtag here.”
Here in New Jersey? Phil Murphy is preparing to spend BILLIONS, and tax just as much, to fund an agenda which would make Democrats at most points in American history blush. His approval rating is nevertheless right side up, and those same polls reveal his constituents are paying MUCH less attention to him than his predecessors, Chris Christie and Jon Corzine.
I suspect the reason has at least something to do with an economy that is much stronger than the one Chris Christie inherited from Jon Corzine.
So if you’re a Republican running in this climate of post-seriousness (yes, I said it), your choice is binary:
(1) surrender to these media-adopted cultural talking points
(2) challenge them, articulately and aggressively.
Most Republicans (at least in blue states like our own) are predictably choosing option #1.
Option #2 takes talent, guts, some selflessness, and a longer lens than the one which most elected officials come equipped.
Congratulations, Speaker Pelosi.