by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Our current period of political turmoil can be considered to have begun with the presidential election of 2008. The meteoric rise of a virtual unknown from the Illinois state Senate to the White House is fairly unprecedented. Though he lacked any depth of understanding of why things are the way they are, Mr. Obama was gifted with a commanding stage presence. After all, superficial appeal invariably trumps substance among the political activist community.
Obama was certainly helped when the Republican establishment decided that 2008 was a time to lose. Thus, the Republicans rewarded one of their own, John McCain, by giving him a place in the sun…much like what they did for Bob Dole in 1996. They also took the opportunity to put a major babe on the ticket in the form of the governor of Alaska. See, Republicans really don’t hate women.
Then came the midterm elections of 2010. The vast public resentment for the Affordable Care Act (AKA “Obamacare”) led to a “shellacking” of epic proportions, causing Dan Balz of the Washington Post to declare that the Democrats no longer had a “bench” from which new political talent could rise.
When Obama was termed out going into the election of 2016, the Democrat establishment reached down into the bottom of the barrel and pulled out Hillary Clinton. She, along with the eminently forgettable Tim Kaine, lost to a total political novice who made little, if any, effort to control his public utterances.
Mr. Trump, however, knew very well why things were the way they were. He also was an experienced problem-solver and resource-organizer. Thus began an extended hair-on-fire period for the minions of the progressive left, whom Obama brought into positions of power within his government.