The present is the living sum-total of the whole past Thomas Carlyle
When the Oval Office is about to become vacant, the election for a new President is commonly referred to as a change election. Normally, the country has had 8 years of the presidential administration of one party, and the election boils down to whether the people want more of the same, or a change. This was the case in 2016, when an actual minority if inattentive fools forced their opinion on the rest of the country.
But normally, when a President is running for his second term, that election is almost always referred to as a referendum election on the performance of the current sitting president. The opposition candidate takes every pot shot that presents itself at the performance of the incumbent, who instead points to his many accomplishments, and lays out a vision for the next four years.
God knows that is the kind of election Trump would like 2020 to be. That’s why he stumbles around, standing behind a podium in 2/3 empty buildings, tossing out whimsical and often nonsensical bullshit disguised as the positive accomplishments of himself and his band of flying monkeys. But consider this. Two weeks ago, His Lowness stood behind a podium at a rally and made positive accomplishments out of being able to walk down a ramp, and drink from a glass single handed, two things most people do without even thinking about it every day. The prosecution rests.
But as much as Trump would like this to be a referendum election, it is actually going to be something else. It is going to be a contrast election. And it’s going to be a contrast election because it’s in Joe Biden’s best interest to make it one. Normally, the differences between the two parties are pastoral and ideological, and listening to the two sides is as comfortable and calming as reading the Sunday paper in your slippers. But because Donald Trump is so corrupt and corrosive, so vicious and petty, so spiteful and divisive, the most effective way to beat him to to offer battle weary voters a stark. linear.choice. And that’s what Biden is doing.
Earlier today on MSNBC, Joshua Johnson played the new ad that the Biden campaign just dropped, on the middle class. When the ad was over Johnson said something like, When I watch that ad, I’m torn. On the one hand it features the middle class and is inspirational, classic Biden. But on the other hand it’s a replay of every Democratic ad for the last 50 years. Is Biden playing it too safe?
No Joshua, he’s not. From where I’m sitting, Biden is running a bifurcated media strategy, and he’s doing it flawlessly. More and more frequently recently, when Trump says or does something stupid, or there is negative news or a controversy, Biden is taking directly to the airwaves. He slams Trump for his incompetence and the pathetic results, which covers the referendum part of the equation, but by continuing on to espouse simple, common sense solutions, he covers the contrast base as well.
Likewise with the advertising, Trump’s aspirational ads are so blatantly and malignantly misleading that four Pinocchio’s should automatically pop up under the Trump 2020 logo at the end. But Trump’s attack ads can’t just attack, or they wouldn’t be Trump. Instead they’re sarcastic, nasty, and demeaning. Red meat for Trump’s base, but insulting to anyone watching with even a modicum of decency.
Look, The Lincoln Project is already tossing Trump around the room like a terrier with a stuffed toy. Leave them to it, that’s what they signed up for, and what they’re best at. Biden’s inspirational, unifying messaging only provides viewers with yet another reminder of the ultimate choice at hand. Four more years under an uncaring, self centered, criminal pocket despot, per a caring, compassionate, qualified career public servant.? Because that’s what it all comes down to in the end. A linear choice between two polar opposites. Let Biden be Biden. It’s more than enough.
To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen
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