July 3, 1863. It is the third day of the battle of Gettysburg. In a desperate attempt to break through the Union lines, win the battle and the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, launches a massive frontal assault on the center of the Union Army of the Potomac. For a brief moment the attack, known to history as Pickett’s Charge, looks like it may succeed. Then the tide shifts. The rebel forces come streaming back to their lines, shattered and in disarray. It may take a while for the full impact of what has just happened to set in, but the reality is the rebellion has failed. The South is now destined for inevitable defeat.
The point in the Union lines where the Confederacy was turned back is known as the “High Water Mark of the Confederacy.” It is marked by a copse of trees and a historical marker. Here at about 3 p.m. on July 3, 1863, the Confederates lost the war.
Three years of “resistance” and impeachment fails
We will, perhaps years from now, want to erect a similar marker to memorialize the point at which the Democratic Party as we know it was crushed and began a long slide into oblivion. If so, it should be in the U.S. Capitol building, somewhere between the Senate and House chambers and commemorating the roughly 24 hours that elapsed between President Trump’s spectacularly successful State of the Union speech and the Senate’s vote to acquit the President of the absurd charges against him in the impeachment proceedings.
Growing populist movement
For the last several decades at least there has been a growing populist movement in this nation. It is not, as the Democrats would have you believe, racist, xenophobic or homophobic. It is rather formed of ordinary people tired of a bloated, intrusive and ineffective government – fed up with watching jobs and prosperity disappear oversees, sick of sending their sons and daughters to fight perpetual wars and disgusted by culture warriors and elitists who presume to know better than them how to raise their families, run their businesses and live their lives.
This movement reared its head under Ross Perot in the early 1990’s but fell short of taking power. It did not go away, however. The resentment and frustration that fueled it continued to build, directed not only at Democrats and liberals but at establishment Republicans as well. All Donald Trump really did in 2016 was sink a well into the magma chamber containing that anger and resentment and let it loose. He was swept into office by what amounted to a popular revolt against the established political order.
Democrats fail at introspection…
The Democrats could have responded to Hillary Clinton’s defeat with introspection. They could have spent some time pondering how a party that began its modern incarnation as the representative of the working man and woman had now morphed into the party of big government, massive spending, identity politics and division. They did not.
The Democrats chose denial, deceit, and division instead. The people, who the party allegedly represents, had done the “wrong” thing. Therefore, “the people” could not be trusted. This would not be settled at the ballot box or on the campaign trail. This would be settled by intrigue, manipulation of the political process and the abuse of power. The damage to the foundations of the republic that would result was immaterial. This was about winning at all costs.
The three years of desperate maneuvering that followed have now come to an end. The rebellion is defeated, not only in Congress but where it matters most, throughout the nation.
The President’s State of the Union speech was largely a long recitation of statistics and good news. It was all true.
A border that was a short time ago under siege by migrants is under control. Apprehensions are down 75 percent. Central American caravans of illegals no longer make it here. Thanks to agreements with Mexico and Guatemala put in place by the Trump administration these groups are intercepted and turned back thousands of miles away.
The unemployment rate in the country is 3.5 percent. The unemployment rates for every minority group you can think of are at historic lows. Most new entry-level jobs are now going to people of color. Women outnumber men in the workforce.
A new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada has been signed. The first of what may be several new agreements with China has been signed. Our trade deficit for last year was the lowest it has been in six years. Jobs and manufacturing are returning to America.
Criminal justice and educational reforms
Criminal justice reform, long a supposed priority of the Democratic Party, has been enacted and signed into law by this President. Thousands of individuals, most of them African-American, are getting a second chance at life.
Charter schools, scholarships, and school vouchers, all designed to give kids from poor families a chance to receive a quality education are being championed by this Republican President. The Democratic Party, the party which still clings to the fiction that it stands with the nation’s underprivileged, is more concerned about support from the teacher’s unions than doing the right thing.
Approval for the President in the black community is now edging upward toward forty percent. Enthusiasm for Democratic candidates, as seen in Iowa, is tepid at best. National polls show that Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist with a history of support for communist candidates and whose campaign workers openly talk of burning cities and opening reeducation camps appears to now be the favorite to win the Democratic Presidential nomination.
Democratic Party doubled down on lies…
The Democratic Party had its opportunity to embrace rationality, engage in introspection and regain its bearings. It squandered it. It doubled down on lies, division and “burn the Constitution to the ground” tactics. It has paid the price.
Donald Trump will win the 2020 election going away. The wave that sweeps him to power may well produce Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate. The aftermath of that defeat for the Democratic Party will likely feel a lot like the crushing, bloody retreat that followed Pickett’s Charge.
We have seen the High Water Mark of the Democratic Party.