No, I’m not an expert. But I can tell you that I was much more nervous leading up to Election Day 2016 than my friends. Why? I’d spent the weekend prior watching Trump ads online, ads that hadn’t played in my state of Washington because it was too blue. What I learned from watching those ads was that fear is very powerful, and truth doesn’t matter, especially in the final stretch before people vote.
I believe it can happen again, even in this wreck of a year, 2020. The stock market is flying high, not that it matters to the real world of most voters. I cannot explain why, but the psychology of a bull market is powerful. And truth be told, the only people I know who’ve succumbed to Covid-19 are two very old people. So the pandemic to me is numbers on paper and a giant inconvenience. The point being that the bad news of 2020, i.e. the economic crash necessitating a massive deficit, and the lack of a plan to address the pandemic are overshadowed by the lack of direct impact of Covid for most people and the feel good bull market psychology.
The other big news of the summer of 2020, the unending protests against racism, can only work in Trump’s favor. What, you say? That can’t be true. Oh, yes it can, and here’s how. The nature of the lingering protests is pushing us apart. Initially, it seemed that the protests succeeded in bringing the country, the world even, into agreement that racism lingers and needs to be dealt with. Unfortunately, as the protests have lingered on, only the most radical people are still on the streets. Of course, more realistic people cannot speak out against the protests, so there is silence as cities are taken hostage. Anti-capitalists are set on remaking society into one where outcomes, not opportunity, are equalized; oppressors vs oppressed is the narrative.
This is perfect for Trump. He is right that thugs demanding a socialist utopia have captured the left. We cannot say that Black Lives Don’t Matter. So which demands can we safely challenge? We cannot say that police are not necessarily racist. We cannot say that affirmative action will not bring an end to inequality. We cannot say that White people are not racist all day, every day. We cannot say that reparations cannot solve the wealth gap. We have trapped ourselves in a corner where we can no longer call for a reasoned debate about how to address lingering racism and other challenges.
Given that Trump and the wild-eyed socialists are willing to lie about anything, and given the thoughtful center is not, we have an uphill battle, despite the polls, to get rid of this most awful of presidents. Voters have sent Q-Anon candidates on to the November general election and will likely send them to the House. This is what we are up against! No voice of reason will be sufficient to defeat them.
Meanwhile, the most radical protesters promote the aging trope that there is no difference between the Rs and the Ds, that Biden is no better than Trump. This was one thing when Ralph Nader was saying that Bush and Gore were not that different; but Trump and Biden? Yes, they’re still claiming no difference. How strong is their influence? Strong enough to make me worry. If too many Ds sit out the election, we are in serious, serious trouble.
Change my mind. Please.