So, with 6 weeks to go until la-la land, how do you run as a GOP candidate and avoid talking about Trump? Because it’s clear to me that what GOP candidates in swing districts have to do is move those 4-5% of the voters who could go either way to go for them. And to do that without being attacked by the blue team as just another supporter of MAGA, is what these GOP candidates need to do or neither the House nor the Senate will flip red.
Right now, according to Real Clear Politics, there are roughly 9% of the voters who haven’t yet decided how they are going to vote. This percentage of undecided votes has been constant since RCP started tracking the ‘generic’ Congressional vote back in May 2021. The gap between red and blue has ever been more than 4 or 5 points; as of yesterday, the polls are in a tie. But the 10 percent who can’t make up their minds hasn’t budged one bit.
Which is a good context to remind everyone again about the single, best piece of political satire ever published by anyone at all, which is the essay about undecided voters written by David Sedaris during the 2008 campaign. Here’s what he says:
“The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”
To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.
I mean, really, what’s to be confused about?”
Now obviously, in this year’s election, any candidate who says that he or she is running to ‘take America back’ and give it to Donald Trump is a platter of shit with broke glass. But how does someone run as a GOP candidate and convince voters that he or she represents the way they like their chicken cooked?
It turns out that the Senate Numero Uno for the blue team, Chuck Schumer, has an opponent named Joe Pinion, a former Newsmax spieler, who is right now 21 points behind in the RCP polls, but the undecided vote is still above 10 percent. Back in May, he gave an interview to Breitbart where he laid out a ‘detailed’ agenda for making the race competitive, the headline being to “change the trajectory of America politics” from what it now is to what it should be.
And what it should be is the usual mishmash of low taxes, various cultural war tropes, ad what is becoming the basic attack line for the GOP, which is a denigration of public education, in particular any attempt by public schools to talk about racism, or sexual and gender discrimination.
Here’s how Pinion describes the current educational environment: “We have a system right now where children cannot read at grade level. They cannot do math at grade level, and the priority of the people who teach the math and teach the reading is to help children learn more about masturbation and 85,000 genders.”
When the colonists came over on the Mayflower, the first thing they did was to require that every community hire a full-time teacher who would make sure that every child was taught how to read and write. The moneys needed to pay the teacher and heat the classroom were raised by – ready? – imposing a community-wide real estate tax.
That’s right. More than 150 years before the United States first began publicly funded education, the colonists knew that literacy was the most important tool for keeping the Monarchy in check and making government accountable to all.
The latest polls show that between 40% ad 50% of likely voters support public education, but that’s not such a reassuring number when we are getting a daily drumbeat from the GOP about how school systems are caving into politically correct demands from the Left for everything from gender-free toilets to transgender athletes playing women’s sports.
Conservatives haven’t felt all that comfortable with public education since the Brown v. Board of Education decision announced in 1953. And even though the battles which raged over desegregating public schools belong to an era which now forgotten, we can thank Betsy DeVos for keeping the issue alive through the fairy-tale of charter schools.
Pinion doesn’t say how he would fix the schools, nor does he come up with plans to address what he calls the ‘runaway inflation’ or any other problem which he blames on Schumer, Pelosi, and their Democratic friends.
But guess what? In more than a thousand words, Pinion also never mentions two words eve once, ad those two words are ‘Donald’ and ‘Trump.’
He does claim to be leading a ‘grass roots’ movement to ‘put America back on the correct path.’ Isn’t that what MAGA’s supposed to do?