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July 04, 2022

AlextheChick: Do You Realize That The Left Has Denied the Legitimacy of Every Single Republican President Since the Elder Bush in 1988?

But remember -- it's a crime to question the legitimacy of Joe Biden, and the FBI will bash down your door and seize your phones and computers if you do.

alexandriabrown @alexthechick

1988 was 34 years ago. This is not my usual both 2000 and 1980 where 20 years ago whittering (though I am correct about that), this is a discussion about age and the Eternal Now and how the simple passage of time affects political analysis.


I am going to use 18 as a baseline age here because that is US voting age. For anyone 52 years and younger, 1988 was the first Presidential election in which they could vote. That was when GHWB was elected President. You have to be 60 now to have voted for Reagan in 1980

GHWB is the last Republican President to be elected without Democrats claiming his election was illegitimate. 2000 was 22 years ago. For anyone 40 and younger, every Republican President since they were eligible to vote has been considered illegitimate by both Dems and the press.

For those of us upper end Gen X and older, it is difficult to internalize that Bill Clinton being President is as remote to Millennials and younger as, say, Nixon being President is to upper end Gen X. Sure, it happened but that's history. Ancient history.

2008 is 14 years ago. You would have to be at least 32 and then 28 to have voted for Obama. For younger Millennials and upper end Gen Z, that's the President when they were kids and they maybe sorta remember that being a big thing.

2016 is six years ago. You have to be at least 24 to have voted for Trump. The point of going through this chronology is to stress, as many others, that for the last 22 years, every Republican President has been considered illegitimate by large swathes of the press and public.

If you are under 40, you grew up in a world in which a Republican being President was deemed per se illegitimate. You grew up in a world where what those illegitimate Presidents did was per se illegitimate. It is the air you breathed and the water you drank. This is what you know

This is simply the truth. Bush was installed by the Supreme Court and then did *handwave* something wrong to be re-elected, after all, he shouldn't have been President in the first place. Republicans play a game with the Electoral College, which is anti-democratic, to win.

Every Republican President is wrong and everything they do is wrong, and Trump let Russians change votes to make him President so what he did was extra super wrong. Since everything they did is wrong, then every action they took is wrong and SCOTUS is illegitimate. It's logic.

It is irrelevant whether this is true. It is what two generations of people have been told. People believe this because why would those people who are the experts in politics say this if it wasn't true? That's what they are paid to do, that's what they know, they wouldn't lie.

I comprehend the urge to eyeroll when the wailing starts about how SCOTUS is illegitimate because the justices were appointed by Presidents who did not win the popular vote and thus are illegitimate. It is eyeroll worthy. However. Enormous numbers of people who vote believe this.

Many a pixel has been slain, and that's just by me, decrying the total lack of knowledge of how the American electoral system works. Many more have been slain noting how destructive this is to public discourse. I am here to tell you that it will only get worse.

Another part of my internet life is very Left indeed. I keep my mouth shut over there because that's where I go to try to escape politics. I am here to tell you that the Kids These Days do not understand what Dobbs did. They believe, utterly, that abortion was just banned.

They believe that Republicans are an existential threat to democracy and that Republicans should be banned from all manner of things, practicing medicine, practicing law, going to college at all, holding jobs, partaking in society at large. Because Republicans are evil and cheat.

A very few people there know that I have a JD and I was asked privately to explain what Dobbs meant. When I told those people that Dobbs meant states decided abortion laws and that CA and NY now have some of the most permissive laws in the world, I was met with shock.

Why? Because all the news sources they consume told them otherwise. I was accused of lying. I was accused of making it up. And when they went and checked and found out I was correct, the utter cognitive dissonance was painful to behold. Because these sources they trust lied.

The response was not to question worldview and whether those sources were lying to them about other matters. The response was ego defense. Okay well this is wrong but TX banned and that's what the rest of the country will do and they weren't lying, they were just upset!

That is the mental barrier with which messaging that's not fully of the Left, let alone being of the Right, is up against. Two generations of being told that Republicans are evil cheaters who aren't a legitimate political party. Two generations of no civics education, not really.

People don't like to question priors because doing so means admitting you did not interpret the world correctly and the ego will defend against that. It's been +/- 18 years since I've had to admit my view of Middle Eastern geopolitics was absolutely wrong. I'm still bitter.

We discuss Othering and that is also a problem. But there are two generations of Americans for whom a baseline worldview is that if the Republicans win, that can be ignored because it's not legitimate. And that I don't see changing. It's only going to get uglier from here. /fin


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