The Democratic Party has become the anti-Lincoln party.
President Abraham Lincoln called for “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” The Democrats have repeatedly voted against the wishes of the people and have steadily become the party that believes in government of the elites, by the elites and for the elites.
At America’s New Majority Project, we began in 2018 looking for issues, values and solutions that would bring the American people together. This would enable Republicans, Democrats and independents to work together to govern with legislation and action that would represent the beliefs and desires of the American people.
In October 2022, we found that most Americans don’t think we meet Lincoln’s standard. By a margin of 55% to 41%, Americans do not agree that the United States today has a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”
There are clear reasons for this.
When a resolution was brought up early this year to block the District of Columbia from allowing noncitizens to vote, 160 Democrats voted in favor of voting by noncitizens (42 split to vote with the Republicans against the measure). These 160 Democrats were clearly voting against the wishes of their constituents. Americans strongly oppose voting by noncitizens (in an unpublished McLaughlin Associates poll, 71% opposed voting by noncitizens voting). Further, a recent RMG Research poll found allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections is opposed 75% to 20%.
The Democrats’ constant efforts to raise taxes and government spending also reflect a repudiation of the American people. In one recent America’s New Majority Project study, we found that 70% of Americans believe a strong and growing economy is more important than raising taxes to ensure the long-term stability of Medicare and Social Security. By contrast, only 19% favor the Biden administration’s position of raising taxes (his new budget has $4.1 trillion in new taxes). Even among Democrats, the Biden tax increase position loses by 30% to 11%.
The vote that cemented my belief that the Democrats have become the anti-Lincoln party was their overwhelming rejection of HR 5, the Parents Bill of Rights Act. At America’s New Majority Project, we learned that 84% of Americans believe parents had the right to know what was going on in their children’s classes. I thought this bill was a no-brainer and would attract a substantial number of Democrats. How do you go home and tell 84% of your district that you are against parents knowing what is going on in their child’s classroom?
I was wrong.
When HR 5 came to a vote, 203 Democrats voted no, and not a single Democrat voted yes. So, even though 84% of the American people favor parental rights, not a single Democrat worried about their voters back home. Teachers unions, which bitterly oppose the Parents Bill of Rights Act, mattered more than Lincoln’s government of, by, and for the people.
I lived through a people-based government in the 1980s with President Ronald Reagan — and again from 1994 to 1998 with the Contract with America. In both periods, a lot of Democrats joined Republicans to pass legislation supported by most of the American people.
While I was speaker of the House, we had a remarkable number of bipartisan votes. In fact, a significant number of Democrats voted for every item in the Contract with America. When our biggest conservative policy, the 1996 welfare reform bill, came up, literally half the Democrats in the House voted for it. We were able to negotiate with President Bill Clinton and attract Democrats’ congressional votes because we were consistently doing what the American people wanted. (This is overwhelming support from the people pushed Mr. Clinton to say that “the era of big government is over.”)
What has amazed me about the extreme behavior of the Democrats in Congress and the Biden administration is how much they simply reject the views, values and desires of the American people.
In Democratic policymaking, the people matter less than the elitist interest groups, corporate media and the party’s extreme activists.
Consider these overwhelmingly supported positions and how different they are from the Democrats who now dominate the elected officials:
• 88% of Americans agree that America is a good country.
• 83% prefer to identify themselves as Americans rather than by their racial or ethnic backgrounds.
• 82% prefer free market capitalism to big government socialism.
• 79% believe that people who believe in the values found in the Bible have the right to express them publicly.
• 75% agree that there are only two genders, male and female.
• 74% believe able-bodied adults should have to work to receive taxpayer-funded benefits such as food stamps, health care or welfare.
• 74% believe ensuring equality, or equal treatment and opportunities for all races and genders, is more important than ensuring equity, or equal results and outcomes for all races and genders.
• 73% believe illegal immigration is bad for America.
This gap between the Democrats and the values and beliefs of the American people is beginning to sink in.
A Scott Rasmussen national survey in February reported that by 43% to 40%, Americans now think the Democrats in Congress are more extreme than mainstream. By contrast, despite unending attacks in the media, the American people believe by 44% to 36% that the congressional Republicans are more mainstream than extreme.
Rasmussen found that the increasing perception of Democrats extended to key interest groups.
By 48% to 30%, environmental activists were seen as more extreme than mainstream. Black Lives Matter was found to be even more clearly extremist (by a 52% to 32% margin).
The anti-Lincoln party will inevitably collapse as the American people come to realize how extreme they are and how much they oppose the values and beliefs of the people they are supposed to represent.
President Lincoln would have understood.
• For more commentary from Newt Gingrich, visit Gingrich360.com.
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