“They misunderestimated me.”George W. Bush, 11-6-2000
He was never a favorite of mine, but W was right; they did. Bill Clinton left office, a popular leader. Many of us thought policy wonk Gore was going to be elected without any problem, even though he had little charisma.
More importantly, so did he… and he asked charismatic but controversial Clinton to stay away from his campaign. Gore got the popular vote but, with a lot of help from the undemocratic Electoral College, wasn’t elected.
The 2016 Hillary show was a rerun, although Obama did help her. But there was also another factor. A lot of progressives either voted for Jill Stein (Green Party) or stayed home, believing that Bernie was treated unfairly. Although the DNC and the Democratic elite did indeed mistreat Sanders, there’s no doubt that these alienated progressives helped elect Trump (along with Podesta, Comey and Putin).
Based on the facts (as I have stated them in numerous columns), Trump has many negatives. He’s a racist, a draft dodger, a liar, a misogynist, lazy, spoiled, childish, possibly mentally ill, a traitor, and disloyal among other things. And, he’s made a total mess of America’s COVID-19 response.
And, that’s why his polling numbers show him being overwhelmed by Biden. Even Fox has trump down by 12%.
But Trump’s not just plain stupid, as many progressives want to believe. He’s dumb as a fox, as we Southerners say.
Trump watches as the Dems go out of their way to lose in 2020. As Obama has correctly pointed out, the Dems have yet again formed a “circular firing squad.” To verify the accuracy of Obama’s statement, one merely needed to go on-line last year and read what the Biden and Bernie camps were saying about each other.
During the primary, the Biden people called Bernie an unrealistic, unelectable socialist, a hypocrite (he has made money from his recent books) and a lot more. Progressives remember.
The Bernie crowd still call Biden a misogynist, a “Republican light”, and a Wall Street shill among other compliments. And, the “Bernie Bros” (and Trump trolls) remain at it, saying that there is no difference between Biden and Trump, so vote Green or Libertarian. Or don’t vote at all.
And now, we have wild cards like Kanye West thrown into the mix. West is a big Trump supporter and is obviously running solely to drain enough black votes away from Biden to cause him to lose electoral votes in swing states with significant black votes. Although he is obviously just a Trump plant, he may succeed in draining a few percent in places up for grabs like Georgia.
Forget national polls which show that Trump isn’t likeable or supported nationally at this moment. He still has his blind base and he’s revving up that base to make sure that they vote rather than be overrun by the imaginary caravans of modern-day rapist, criminal, marauding, radical Democrat leftists destroying our institutions, churches and lives. And, every poll has shown that his base is highly motivated, whereas the Democratic base is not.
Plus, Trump has been in campaign mode since he took office, lying his way from swing state to swing state, even now as the Pandemic rages. And, the economic pitch he continues to make still resounds with the uneasy hard hats in the rust belt worried about their jobs and in the swing states that he needs to win the Electoral College once again.
For those blue-collar Democrats, Trump still exaggerates how well the economy was doing pre-virus, saying that we were in a recession before he took over and that he saved us (we were not, it was Obama that did that in 2008). He still tells them he will bring back their manufacturing jobs and make sure they get raises. Trump says that he cut their taxes to give them more spending money, even though in reality the vast majority of the reduction went to benefit corporations and the wealthy (and will be paid for by their children). Cynical Trump knows that desperate, alienated, uneducated people will believe anything that gives them hope. And, they vote.
It’s still a long way until November, and Biden may yet unite the Democratic Party, the way Obama did with his soaring (if unachieved) rhetoric of hope and change. If so, the young and minorities will turn out to vote and it will be a Democratic wave.
However, if the Democratic party remains as divided as it is now with significant apathy in its base, Trump can just figure on staying in the White House for another four years. He’ll still be cozying up to extremists and dictators, playing golf at Mar Lago …and laughing at the fools from both parties who helped elect him.
Image Credit: the feature caricature of Donald John Trump, aka Donald Trump, is a celebrity businessman and the 45th President of the United States. This caricature of Donald Trump was adapted from a photo in the public domain from the US Air Force. The caricature was created by DonkeyHotey (Flickr/Creative Commons).