Democrats can’t stop handing electoral gifts to Trump

If Democrats really believe that Donald Trump would be disastrous for the United States if he’s elected again, why do they keep doing things to help him win in November?

First there was the attempt to disqualify him from running in Colorado and Maine, with a bunch of other blue states anxious to join in. The Supreme Court put an end to all of it, but I suspect ordinary Americans were thinking that, whatever the legal merits, it just didn’t seem fair. How can Democrats tell us they’re the ones who will protect American democracy — and at the same time try to take a candidate they loathe off the ballot? How is depriving voters of the right to vote for whomever they want democratic?

Then there are those lawsuits against Trump in places like New York, brought by progressive prosecutors. There was an old alleged hush money case which Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is literally trying to turn into a federal case. And who thinks it’s fair for Letitia James, when she was running for state attorney general, to brag about how she would take down Trump if she were elected — and after she won, proceeded to fulfill her campaign promise. You don’t need an advanced degree from Harvard to know that something is very wrong about that.

Who thinks a nearly half-billion dollar fine for inflating the value of his real estate properties is fair, when no one lost any money and nobody filed a complaint? Imagine if the tables were turned and a partisan conservative attorney general in a red state campaigned on getting a prominent Democrat running for president — and then did just that. Imagine if a Republican judge imposed a half-billion dollar fine. Liberals would be outraged, and they’d be right. But since Trump was in the crosshairs, they said nothing. It’s the absence of outrage by Democrats that’s so outrageous. 

And how about the Ronna McDaniel fiasco over at NBC News? NBC hired her, ostensibly to get a rare conservative voice on the channel, then they fired her after an on-air revolt by Rachel Maddow, Joe Scarborough, Chuck Todd and just about everyone else who has a show and couldn’t wait to jump on the bandwagon. 

The hosts claimed there was nothing ideological about their opposition to McDaniel; rather, they thought she’d damage the brand because, in her former role as Republican National Committee chair, she helped spread the lie that Joe Biden wasn’t legitimately elected.

Fair enough. Maybe that was reason enough not to hire her in the first place. But those MSNBC hosts who don’t want “election deniers” on their air had no problem when they put Stacey Abrams on, claiming that she really won the 2018 governor’s race in Georgia — an election she lost … by almost 55,000 votes. Doesn’t that make her an election denier — despite her attempts to point out that she never actually “denied the election”? I guess we’re supposed to forget that in a speech in April 2019, she said, “We had this little election back in 2018. And despite the final tally and the inauguration and the situation we find ourselves in, I do have one very affirmative statement to make. We won.”

Why is she so different from Ronna McDaniel? Or Hillary Clinton for that matter, who, after she lost in 2016, claimed that Donald Trump was an “illegitimate president.” I don’t remember anyone at MSBNC labeling her an “election denier” and staging a mass revolt on the air.

I don’t think any of this stuff helps Democrats. I think it makes Trump come off to a lot of ordinary Americans as a victim of partisan politicians, judges and progressives on TV. But even if Democrats believe he is bad for America — and I think they’re onto something there —how does piling on help them?

If voters still want Donald Trump, with his many faults, if they elect him president, well, this just in: Democracy doesn’t only work when you agree with the outcome of an election. There’s a message in that for Trump and his supporters too.

The MAGA crowd is already convinced that those so-called “highly educated elite liberals” are calling the shots in this country. So what do we think their reaction is going to be when a bunch of brainy liberal lawyers try to keep Trump off the ballot and a bunch of left-wing TV people try to shut down a Republican who pushed a “stolen” election lie while fawning over Democrats who aren’t all that different?

There’s a lot not to like about Donald Trump. But there’s also a lot not to like about sanctimonious illiberal liberals who think they know what’s best for those “rubes” who like Trump. It’s tough to win when you keep helping the guy you want to beat.

Bernard Goldberg is an Emmy and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award-winning writer and journalist. He is the author of five books and publishes exclusive weekly columns, audio commentaries and Q&As on his Substack page. Follow him @BernardGoldberg.

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