A dear friend of mine wrote from England to catch up and send brilliant pictures. More or less in passing she said how much she was looking forward to November 3rd, “am holding my breath for November 3rd, and hope the ghastly man will go. Whatever you and I may agree on, or dispute, on policy matters, he really is a monster, as many of my onetime Lincoln project chums would agree.”
On Trump. He is going to win on November 3rd, bigly. Monster or not, the man is a genius at retail politics. And he is running against a decrepit, demonstrably corrupt, fossil. The Democrats had lots of good alternatives but they went with tired Joe and will now proceed to lose. Your pals at the Lincoln project will have to tie the bow ties a little tighter and soldier on. Trump will win because people actually want to vote for him, Biden will lose because his voters are actually just voting against Trump. Poor Biden is now having to hold his 60 person “rallies” at undisclosed locations because his rallies are being trolled by hundreds of good-natured, but loud, Trump supporters. And this weekend, all over the US, there will be spontaneous boat parades, truck parades and car parades (95 miles long in Arizona last weekend) supporting Trump.
A great deal of the anti-Trump animus comes from the academic, media and policy world. A world which simply cannot fathom how a person as gauche and tacky as Trump can possibly be President. And a world which, getting its news from the NYT/WAPO/CNN, is entirely convinced (because polling) that the American nation will swiftly correct this horrendous error. Inside the bubble, Joe is winning and the monster will be sent packing. Outside that bubble, people are doing the math and looking at the cross tabs on polls which were close in 2016. They are also looking at how many voter registrations there have been in battleground states, the improved Trump numbers among black and latino voters and the rather overwhelming enthusiasm gap between Trump and Biden supporters. (There are actually bumper stickers saying “Settle for Biden”). Outside the bubble, the 33% 3rd quarter GDP bounce back, record low black and latino unemployment and no new wars are just a few of the reasons people give for re-electing Trump. There are dozens more.
What is entirely un-noticed in clerisy conversations about Trump is his appeal to ordinary Americans. People who really can’t “work from home” and whose kids have no chance of attending elite colleges and who will never attend, much less give, a TED talk. These are Trump’s people. Last election, for a variety of reasons, a fair number of these people voted for Hillary. Sure she called them “the deplorables” but she was female and that, apparently, mattered. This election these people – referred to by Biden as “chumps” – have no reason at all to vote for Biden. But they have lots of reasons to vote for Trump. Until COVID they were better off which is usually all it takes for an incumbent to win. But you are now dealing with another huge question: the riots and looting. The clerisy is convinced that if we all hopped aboard the critical race theory train and embraced anti-racism the riots would magically end. The chumps are pretty sure that is not going to work and that you need a President with some determination to end the riots.
On COVID, the clerisy takes great glee in pinning every death on Trump despite the fact that it is mainly the states which have power in public health. The chumps, while they may not be all that clear on state responsibility, know that they are badly hurt by lockdowns. They are also deeply sceptical about state-level lockdowns and mask mandates. They are bright enough to recognize that a virus is, itself, no one’s fault (except maybe the Chinese). Biden promising a national (and unconstitutional) mask mandate did him no good. And the red states cannot help but notice that the most draconian measures have been taken by Democrat governors and mayors.
One of the key things to understanding the coming Trump victory is to recognize that there is no longer much buy in to the national media. The internet has meant that people get their “news” and opinions from a wonderfully fragmented array of sources. And they have direct access to the information which interests them. Trump is doing three rallies a day in front of 15 to 30 thousand people a rally. These are barely mentioned in mainstream media, but literally, 100’s of thousands of people watch them online. The boat parades get no MSM coverage, but there are Tik-Toc videos which go viral. A black rapper named Lil Wayne endorsed Trump a couple of days ago, no mainstream coverage but Trump tweeted it to his 80 million followers and Lil Wayne has it as a pinned tweet for his 32 million followers.
Soooo. My suggestion is to take in a generous supply of wine, and a good bottle of scotch, and prepare for a shock. Last election I was rooting for the monster because I despised Hillary. I was stunned when he won. This election I am rooting for the monster again, this time because I despise what the Democrat party has become. I will be well-stocked, but for celebratory rather than medicinal purposes.
Ah, enough about Trump. I am off to the dog park!
Happily, she is an old enough and good enough friend that our friendship will survive this note. (I think.)