Dean Phillips: My Party Is Delusional

Welcome to the party, pal.

Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional district and current Democrat candidate for president has had an epiphany: Democrats are nuts.


Phillips has never been what you would style a progressive; he is a pretty standard liberal of the old school and came to Congress after defeating Representative Erik Paulsen, a six-term Republican (whom I happen to know). Phillips votes very liberal, but mostly because almost all Members of Congress vote with their Party, especially Democrats who tend to be more disciplined.

Phillips entered the race for president for a simple reason: he thinks Biden will lose the race. He is too old and too unpopular. He has said, and I believe him, that he wouldn’t have entered the race but for the fact that nobody credible had done so.

Phillips never had a chance, and if he depended on having a lot of supporters, he would be out of the race right now. But he is rich, and I think he wants to make a point.

In any case, Phillips did something few Democrats bother to do: he went and talked to some Trump voters to see what they are like. He walked away convinced that Democrats are delusional.

Not just any Trump voters–ones standing outside in the cold to see a Trump rally. Devoted supporters, in other words.

Here is what he had to say:


For those of us who are terminally online, this may come as a surprise–Trump’s Twitter supporters are often nasty and insane. Establishment Democrats think that the average Trump voter is Laura Loomer.

But most people aren’t Laura Loomer and Trump’s millions of supporters are, in the main, normal people whom the Establishment has forgotten.

They are, in fact, a diverse group of working and middle-class voters who aren’t cranks, mean, or even very angry. What they are is alienated and looking for an advocate, and in Trump, they see an advocate who will fight back against a system that clearly doesn’t care about them.

They don’t care about what many politically obsessed people do: tone. Trump grates on people like me because he doesn’t act or sound like people in the educated classes, and he doesn’t care about the Republican Party. The first annoys me because I am very much of that class of people, although I voted for Trump because I care more about policy than tone. The second is, in my judgment, a huge problem because without a strong Republican Party, Trump will be crippled as president, and his movement will die as he inevitably leaves the stage.


Trump needs people around him who know the system and can help him dismantle it, and there are Republicans who can do that. Trump sees them as disposable and potential obstacles, and rather than working with them, he casually destroys them. There are three branches of government, not one, and there is a bureaucracy that is essentially a fourth branch.

Trump is terrible at working with Congress and was defeated by the bureaucracy in 2020 when it mattered most. That is my problem with Trump–he tries to do it alone, and nobody can. The system was designed to stymie presidents and make Congress a competitor for power.

But that is all high-level stuff–inside baseball. What matters to almost all Trump voters is that he hears and understands their frustrations, and that they share the same enemies. That means a tremendous amount, but hardly guarantees success either in elections or as president.

This is why Trump was by far the most successful in foreign policy, where he was excellent–the best in decades. He could go it alone for the most part. Unfortunately, that is important, but defeating the administrative state is much more so–and it was where he was least successful. The CIA, NSA, and the FBI harassed Trump mercilessly, and the bureaucrats harassed him in a way that he never succeeded in defeating. He held them at bay until 2020 but couldn’t overcome their–dare I say it?–conspiracy against him.


Still, Phillips is right: Trump’s average voter is normal and thoughtful. He or she just wants a government that looks out for them, and they know they don’t have it.

They deserve respect, and don’t get enough of it.



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