Hawaiian progressive tells it like it is: Trump supporters ‘a force to be reckoned with’
What a difference four years makes.
At this point in 2016, congressional Democrats already were talking about impeaching then-President-elect Donald Trump, and “not my president” were buzzwords rolling off the lips of progressives.
Now, President-elect Joe Biden and some of his sycophants, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are asserting Biden has a “mandate” to impose a radical agenda on America.
“This election now ranks as the clearest demonstration of the true will of the American people,” Biden said on Dec. 14, when the Electoral College voted him the winner. To bolster their argument Biden backers point to his 81 million total votes – the most ever by a presidential candidate, and about 7 million more than Trump.
The anti-mandate argument, however, is much clearer and stronger – and Democratic Rep-elect Kai Kahele of Hawaii is rare in recognizing it.
Biden’s popular vote total is attributable to him running up the score in two staunchly anti-Trump states, California and New York. He got the same number of Electoral College votes as Trump did four years ago. He also won the presidency by flipping three states – Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin – by roughly 43,000 votes, a much smaller margin than the 78,000 votes Trump received in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to breach the “blue wall” and defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. The Republicans lost only one Senate seat – so far – and flipped enough House seats that Pelosi has the smallest working House majority in two decades. At the state level, the GOP flipped two legislatures and actually padded their lead in the total number of state-elected officials across the country. At the state level, as U.S. News & World report explained, “Put simply, it was a Biden victory without coattails.”
Kahele noted this in a recent interview with Fox News.
He succeeds Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in Congress and his election made him just the second native Hawaiian to represent his state. Fox described him as an unapologetic progressive, fully on board with ideas like a $15 minimum wage, Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.
Yet he also appears to be a realist.
“We’re still a divided country,” Kahele, a former U.S. Air Force pilot and a combat veteran, said in the interview. “And clearly, from looking at the map, there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done.”
“It’s going to take education. It’s going to take relationships,” he added. “Obviously, if we have slimmer majorities in the House, [if] we don’t have the United States Senate, some of these big, bold ideas are probably not going to be able to happen.”
And unlike many who share his ideas, Kehele accepted that Trump, despite losing, was the one with the coattails.
“I don’t understand it,” Kahele said of Trump supporters’ loyalty to the president, adding that he thinks Trump’s policies do not benefit the middle class.
“But I’m going to listen to it, make no mistake about it, because it’s a force to be reckoned with.”
Kehele must have read the Associated Press take on Trump’s outcome, offered just a few days after the election.
“Trump’s popular vote total also topped previous records,” the AP noted, “reflecting the president’s hold not only on his core supporters but the Republican Party at large.”