Remember those two dreaded words? after the intense backlash to Trump’s presidency with the Women’s march, in the months that followed, as atrocity after atrocity piled up, and daily life seemed to devolve into one long, endless episode of “One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest,” many people feared that the constant, daily wear and tear of life under an insane president would numb the outrage and protest, that people would just give up and tune out.
Well, it didn’t work out that way. Instead of being beaten down by the daily nonsense and insanity, the resistance used it as a motivating tool to stoke the fires. Each new outrage became the next cause celebre, one more voter to register, one more e-mail to send, one more phone call to make, one more district office to take over, always one more thing to do. And it turned the tide in 2018, giving the democrats the power to not only tp keep those offenses front and center, but to expose the underpinnings of greed and corruption behind them. And those successes have only served to embolden the masses, Democratic intensity is at this point as strong going into 2020 as it was going into 2018.
But what about on the other side, what about morale among Trump supporters? I’m not talking about the hard core Trump base, nothing is going to shake their misbegotten faith in Glorious Bleater. But don’t forget, it wasn’t Trump’s racist hardcore base that delivered the presidency to Trump, it was a swath of turnover voters, angry and disillusioned Democrats, people who felt abandoned by politicians of all stripes, people who had nothing to lose by taking a chance. Trump tapped into that anger and frustration, and he found the words to speak directly to them. How are they enjoying their no-expenses-paid vacation in Trumpmenistan?
Donald Trump likes to consider himself as the “master communicator,” with Twitter as his vehicle of choice. Yet, time after time, when a Trump supporter is interviewed, what is their first and most frequent complaint? “I think he;s doing an OK job, but I really wish he’d knock it off with all of that Twitter bullshit!” The non Trombie voter didn’t buy a season ticket to this dog-and-pony-show for the tweets, they anted up for results, which so far are sadly lacking.
Trump’s greatest selling point is the economy, but the average Trump voter isn’t feeling the love. Trump touts the soaring stock market, yet more than 50% of the population isn’t invested in the stock market, they’re not getting the benefit. And while a healthy 401k may be great down the road, it ain’t making the mortgage payment next month. Trump’s vaunted tax cuts didn’t buy the average family dinner for 4 at McDonalds once a week, and many suffered sticker shock when they got IOU’s from the IRS this year. Health insurance is still sky high, manufacturing and coal ain’t roaring back, and farmers are facing monetary crisis, and even foreclosure over Trump’s tariff war. Just wait until the price hikes go up at Walmart on things most people buy starting in the middle of next month from Trump’s latest tariff gaffe.
Every good sports fan has occasionally had to suffer through a down year, it’s part of life. But when that losing bleeds from year to year, enthusiasm wanes. Even though most major markets broadcast all games, both home and away, you find yourself tuning in less often, usually just to check the score during commercials. And when somebody at the water cooler says, “I can’t believe the goddamn Cubs blew that lead last night,” the response tends to be, I don’t even wanna talk about it.” You may be a die hard fan, but once the words “There’s always next year” pass your lips, you’re already AWOL for the rest of this year.
We may already be seeing that start to manifest itself. In a recent PA poll, Biden leads Trump 49-38. But put Biden’s folksy, I’m-a-Scranton-boy connection behind. Sanders, Warren, Harris, and Buttigieg are all holding Trump to 41% in Pennsylvania. And in other national polls, those same candidates, none of whom are polling 20% in the Democratic primaries, are all either ahead of, or within the margin of error against Trump. In what parallel universe does a candidate running 4th in the Democratic primaries run neck and neck with an incumbent president from the opposite contest?
And it’s not like Trump is going to help himself. He’s a one trick pony, and he always has been. He sold economic populism bullshit, and an “I’m in your corner, fighting for you” line of claptrap. People were willing to overlook the racism and demagoguery for the economic hopes, but as his popularity has waned, and the toxic corruption becomes more apparent, he’s sunk further into the swamp of racism and demagoguery. If those disillusioned voters from 2016 are starting to realize that his economic miracle was all just smoke and mirrors, Trump has nothing left to sell them.
Look, I’m not saying that Joe Biden, or any other Democrat is going to necessarily sway any or all of those voters back. They voted for Trump because they were pissed at Democrats, and being pissed at Trump now may not make them love Democrats any more. But we don’t have to win them back. If they’re just disgusted enough with Trump, especially with his increasing coarsening, which they didn’t like in the first place, and just stay home, that’s every bit as good.
And no army of Russian bots is going to save Trump this time. First of all, no matter what else, people are more aware this time around. And in 2016, people were ready to believe the worst about Hillary because they wanted to believe the best about Trump. But those blinders are off now, Trump is no longer just a quirky, ex reality TV show candidate, he’s the President, and what he says and does matters, every day, and in many ways. Trump famously courted African American voters by saying “What the hell do you have to lose?!?” Well, a whole lot of people, African Americans and otherwise, have had two plus years to find out what they had to lose, and it’s more than they care to wager. And all of the Russian bots in the world can’t turn that shitburger into a sirloin steak.
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