The term "smoke-and-mirrors" has a rather basic definition according to Merriam-Webster. It’s a plural noun that means, “Something intended to disguise or draw attention away from an often embarrassing or unpleasant issue.”
Sadly, politicians frequently use smoke and mirrors to get their way. Trying to trick and mislead voters seems to be ingrained in their DNA. Joe Biden and the liberal left have mastered the art of "political trickery" in the wake of what we witnessed manifest in the extremely weird 2022 midterm elections.
In order to prevent the Republican Party from completely whitewashing the Democratic Party, Biden and his stooges were able to create enough distractions. Literally no one expected this.
It was widely acknowledged, though, that the Republicans had a good shot at sweeping the midterm elections. But they didn't. The red wave diminished to a mere trickle. In the U.S. Senate, Republicans were expected to gain at least a marginal lead. But it looks like they're going to actually lose a seat.
Political prognosticators spent their time assessing how big the Republican majority would be in the U.S. House of Representatives. As vote tallies trickle in from the remaining states, conservatives are holding their breath, hoping for the slimmest of margins in the lower chamber.
In a nutshell, Republicans took it on the chin in the 2022 midterms. It was completely the opposite of what was supposed to happen. A president with horrible approval ratings, an upside-down economy, and skyrocketing crime should have translated into big wins for Republicans.
So why did the opposite happen? How did all the signs pointing to a Republican red wave get flipped upside down? Victor Davis Hanson is a conservative member of the Hoover Institute. He is a very smart guy. Davis Hanson knows the political spectrum as well as anyone.
Davis Hanson was on “The Megyn Kelly Show” after the midterm debacle. The host asked him what he thought happened. Davis Hanson was quick to reply with a strong argument for what caused the upside-down midterm results.
He insisted that Joe Biden and the Democrats fooled the American voter. They used the old “smoke and mirrors” strategy. It worked. Davis Hanson cited a Real Clear Politics poll in which independent voters supported the Democrat incumbent by a two-point margin.
That was not what was predicted. Independents were reportedly shifting to the Republican side. They clearly did not. Democrats also “got out the vote” slightly better than Republicans. A chunk of the younger vote went for Democrats as well.
Davis Hanson pointed to Joe Biden’s now unconstitutional student loan forgiveness lie. He knew that the program wasn’t going to fly. But he still put it out there. Younger, poorly informed voters took the bait, hook, line, and sinker.
Next, Biden erased marijuana convictions. Republicans ignored this bogus attempt to fool more voters. That was a bad decision. This was another element that shifted the younger voters, especially college students, toward the Democrats. The smoke-and-mirrors game was working.
Democrats stuck to their plan. Throw out as much deception to an uninformed voter public and see what sticks. A bunch of it stuck. Hanson told his host that even the president’s decision to “drain the strategic petroleum reserve” had a wide-ranging effect.
It was a temporary and exceedingly dangerous maneuver to make it look like gas prices were coming down. The short-term ploy worked. It fooled a bunch of uninformed voters into thinking U.S. energy costs were coming down.
They’ll all be surprised as they watch home heating and gas prices climb again as the U.S. heads into winter. Davis Hanson went on to point out how Biden pushed an “effective propaganda” message.
Biden kept repeating the lie that everyone who supports former President Trump is “un-American,” “an election denialist,” or “a semi-fascist.” Republicans needed to produce an educated and positive counteroffensive. They did not.
By attacking Joe Biden, Republicans actually played right into his hands. As Davis Hanson explained, Republicans “amplified the Democrat message that these people are shrill, and they are angry. And they disrupt elections.”
Joe Biden and the Democrat mouthpieces used a smoke and mirrors strategy to confuse the voting public. It worked. But why did it work? A huge chunk of American voters do not have the slightest idea about how the U.S. government works.
Many have no clue about what the job responsibilities of an elected official are. Shoot, most voters can’t tell you who their U.S. senator is. The price of a properly functioning democracy is an educated voter base. The opposite leads to ineptitude and betrayal.
In essence, the U.S. voter public is politically ignorant. Most have no clue how important every vote is. Therefore, we elect poor leaders. Elections have consequences. Until the American voter is better educated about these dire consequences, they will continue to be fooled.
The progressive left will keep right on using smoke-and-mirrors to deceive voters and therefore exceed expectations. Until Republicans expose the “big lie” of liberalism, they’ll continue to underperform. If they don’t correct the error, democracy really will be at stake.