by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
… [T]he White House’s entire strategy boils down to making Trump’s opponent more unlikable than he is. If Trump wasn’t responsible for Hillary’s unfavorable numbers in the first place, it remains to be seen whether he can Hillaryize another Democrat.
It may not be all that hard, though, because the Democrats are doing everything they can to keep the Flight 93 panic alive on the right. They’re doing this by running so far to the left that many Trump-skeptical Republicans feel as if they have no choice but to vote for him again. (I hear this from my fellow conservatives every day.) Democratic candidates have openly praised socialism, the Green New Deal, the abolition of private insurance, voting rights for incarcerated felons, federal funding of abortion late into pregnancy, confiscatory “wealth taxes,” and even the right to sex-change operations paid for by taxpayers.
And here is where I think Clinton’s true historical significance isn’t being recognized. Again, conservatives (including yours truly) invested a lot of time and energy in shaping public perceptions of Clinton. But the blame — or credit — doesn’t just go to the right. Clinton herself did much to help the effort. She was never the natural politician her husband was. She lacked his gift for reading the electorate and speaking to voters’ concerns. She collected all of her husband’s baggage without any of her husband’s skill at deflecting criticism. She wasn’t very likable. …
… Of course, there are larger historical forces at work here, but it sure looks like Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was an inflection point, because it galvanized not only the GOP’s turn toward nationalism but the Democrats’ turn toward socialism.