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Opinion: ‘Revenge of the suburbs,’ ‘stupid wokeness’ spell defeat for liberal left

Political strategists realize that elections are won or lost by crucial swing voters and by the party that is more inclusive.

In many down ballot statewide races last week, Republicans showed their strength as a diversity party, capturing races in what were considered to be Democratic strongholds.

Long Island voters replaced two Democratic district attorney seats with Republicans who delivered a strong law and order platform message. Suffolk County DA-elect Ray Tierney stated that citizens are not as safe as we were a few years ago and that the crime statistics and liberal media don’t seem to comport with what the people in the streets are telling us.

Political analyst Michael Dawidziak called the New York election “the revenge of the suburbs,” with voters realizing that policies were veering too far to the left.

In Nassau County, Republican candidate Bruce Blakeman, who won over the Democratic centrist incumbent Laura Curran, summed up his win by stating that voters realize that the Democratic Party isn’t the party of John F. Kennedy anymore, but that it’s become the party of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders.

The national trend we saw last Tuesday does not bode well for Democrats in Congress who control by the slimmest of margins. Expect more Republican conservatives and Libertarians to ride a red wave in next year’s midterm elections if Democrats fail to correct course.

The race with biggest national shock value was in Virginia as Glenn Youngkin, a political novice and former co-chief executive of a private equity firm, was able to mobilize voters concerned about education and race to defeat Terry McAuliffe, a career politician who has been a fixture in the Democratic Party for decades. Voters ignored the rhetoric of commentators on liberal platforms like MSNBC and CNN who accused Youngkin of blowing the racial dog whistle and trying to get whites and white supremacists engaged in the race.

Youngkin ended up receiving 13 percent of the black vote which is more than Donald Trump’s 11 percent in 2020. He was also the favorite of men, rural and small-town voters and white evangelicals. In 2020, voters 45 and older split about evenly between Biden and Trump but Youngkin piled up a big advantage over McAuliffe in last week’s voting.

When asked how McAuliffe could lose to Youngkin in a state that President Biden won by 10 points a year earlier, Democratic strategist James Carville blamed it on “stupid wokeness” and the progressive agenda.

Carville, who gained national attention for his work as the lead strategist of the successful presidential campaign of then-Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, said the message was clear not only in the two crucial statewide races in Virginia and New Jersey but was evident in less-nationalized races in places like Long Island and Buffalo as well as in “woke” progressive strongholds like Minneapolis and Seattle, Washington.

Carville said the “defund the police” movement from the hard left and the woke culture lunacy that takes Abraham Lincoln’s name off of schools had a suppressing effect on all across the country on Democrats. As for squad members of the Democratic Party on the far left who favor a socialist agenda, Carville said “some of these people need to go to a woke detox center or something.”

While Youngkin delivered the loudest political victory for conservatives last week, Republicans are equally excited by the new lieutenant governor elect, Winsome Sears, who became the first woman of color to win any statewide election in Virginia. A Jamaican-born Marine Corps veteran and a businesswoman and advocate for children’s education, Sears is also pro-life, supports school choice and is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.

Sears, who was just 6 years old when she came to the U.S. from Jamaica, delivered a riveting acceptance speech.

“It’s a historic night, yes it is, but I didn’t run to make history, I just wanted to leave it better than I found it,” Sears stated.

Another newcomer who sent shock waves through the political landscape was Edward Durr, a furniture company truck driver who defeated Democrat Steve Sweeney, a longtime state Senate president, in New Jersey’s 3rd Legislative District.

Durr, whose campaign video was filmed on an iPhone by the nephew of a good friend and spent just $153.31 on his primary election campaign, said he felt compelled to run against Sweeney over frustrations stemming from the state’s coronavirus response and lockdowns, which had a crippling impact on employment in New Jersey.

In his post-election analysis, Durr said you can’t tell people they can’t have a job or go to church and that’s what was done in his state.

Candidates on statewide ballots last week represented a number of wide-ranging issues, from the economy and jobs, the COVID-19 pandemic, education, health care, climate change, racism, immigration, abortion and law enforcement.

Whether it was the parents of Loudoun County, Virginia, who brought attention to what was being taught in their child’s school or the New Jersey truck driver who unseated an incumbent in New Jersey, the messages were clear.

This is a government for the people and by the people and liberal and career politicians inside statehouses across America and throughout the halls of Congress have been long overdue for a course correction.

By Jim Zbick | tneditor@tnonline.com

The foregoing opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Board or Times News LLC.