Letter to a Friend

Donald Trump, American politics

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.”

I replied,

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.)

10 thoughts on “Letter to a Friend

  1. Andrew Burton says:

    Jay, Your points are all valid but you miss a couple; we got Trump because when the Tea Party was a political movement they lied and called it racist. Because when we put up good and honorable men, they (and their minions in the press) excoriated them, telling all kinds of foul lies. They called us racist and misogynist and insulted our intelligence and lied up and down about those of us on the right, starting with George W, who just “rose above it.” See how well that worked for him. So we got Trump. A fighter who has never risen above anything and calls them out for all their bs. If that wasn’t enough to get him re-elected, then the behaviour of the left during the Kavanaugh hearings certainly cemented our resolve.
    Neither my wife nor I voted for Trump last time (or Hillary), but after Kavanaugh there was no doubt we’d be voting for him this time. We are far from alone.

  2. Jay Currie says:

    Andrew, I think you are dead right on the Tea Party. It was a wholly legitimate, grassroots reaction to the swamp and it was pilloried, audited and, eventually, destroyed. But the idea never died.

    Kavanaugh was a telling moment. I am not entirely sure I want my high school and sailing life exposed at that level but, hey, the Dems didn’t care. And they didn’t care if their “witnesses” were credible. They simply wanted the smear.

    Trump fights. Better still, he wins. Go and vote. Help the Donald win bigly.

    (And if COVID dies down enough in the next few months I am pretty determined to take you up on our own, private, boat parade if the offer still stands. My liver could use a couple of weeks off the COVID pace as we sail the ocean blue.)

  3. Andrew Burton says:

    Yes, exactly, right. Trump fights. People like that.
    Looking forward to entertaining you aboard Masquerade. There is a little spot about three hours sail away from our mooring where a boat delivers fresh raw bar and hot lobster dinners straight to your boat. I’ll stock up on rum,
    wine, and scotch.

  4. John says:

    All right Jay, let me leave a counter point for your friend to consider. First, there is no doubt that Trump should win by any normal analysis. First there is currently a built in bias for the republicans in the electoral college and this alone should be enough to propel him to victory. But add to that, Americans are reluctant to change Presidents and for the last 30 years have given presidents a second term. Finally there is a reluctance to change presidents during a national crisis (if Trump loses he will have lost because he didn’t realize that if he had declared war on the virus he would have won).

    However, in spite of the fact it should have been an easy election for Trump I think he will lose. I don’t think there is any shortage of enthusiasm for Biden. Money talks and Biden has done much much better in regards to fundraising as opposed to Trump (which in itself is shocking). The average Biden contribution is $44 so that is an awful lot of people kicking in and actually shelling out scarce dollars.

    Also, we can argue about the accuracy of polls until well past the election, but the fact is that the pollsters know what went wrong in the last election and have changed their methodology so that error won’t happen again. Can new ones affect the polls – they certainly will – but it would be surprising to see that much of a jump. If the polls were even as much off this year as they were in the last election then Biden would still win easily. Incidentally, there was a survey of the enthusiasm of Republicans and Democrats and in this election the Democrats are significantly more enthusiastic than the Republicans.

    If you are impressed by the crowds that Trump attracts and the good-natured Trump supporters running Biden buses off the road then you probably are sure of a Trump win. I have been fooled too many times in the past by my “gut” feelings so I will stick with the polls as imperfect as they are.

    Your spam filter kills any post of mine that has a link in it so I won’t put a link, but if you are interested in a good read from a non-partisan source I would recommend the Cook Report article titled The Six Faulty Assumptions on Which the Trump Campaign Rested.

    I too will be well-provisioned for Tuesday evening and who ever wins will raise a glass.

  5. Jay Currie says:

    As ever, John, well put. Only a trifle exaggerated to say the Bidden bus was run off the road. It had the excitement of a couple of dozen Trump trucks escorting it down the highway and its chase car tried to force its way into a lane behind the bus already occupied by a Trump truck. But, no matter.

    Just off to watch the Miami Trump rally. It’s going to be lit. 5th of the day!

    • John says:

      Truth be told Jay, I put that is as a counter to your somewhat more exaggerated comment about good-natured Trump supporters. Their actions can not fit under any conventional definition of good-natured. However I don’t really have a horse in this race (except I like Bidens environmental platform more than Trumps) so I am content to let the FBI finish their investigation of the bus incident and accept their results.

  6. Jay Currie says:

    And good news, the lovely woman to whom I wrote this note remains a friend. No cancel culture for her!

  7. Sholto Douglas says:

    Why couldn’t Trump give us the policies without the asinine commentary and tweets? I took an almost orgasmic delight on reading about that posturing correctoid Eisgruber at Princeton Uni, and his absurd outburst of ethno-masochism. Well not that bit, but Trump’s reaction to it, putting him through the bureaucratic wringer for his self-confessed racism! A refreshing change from those boneless eunuchs Boris and (here in Australia) Morrison.
    But why ruin it with the incoherent rambling? You (and possibly myself) might overlook it, deeming as we do the aggressive identity politics of the other lot to be far more dangerous to the Republic than the erratic behaviour and remarks of Trump, hemmed in as he is by the term limit and the checks and balances of the Constitution.
    However the average Joe is not as committed as we are, and Trump’s boorishness and narcissism will be a correspondingly bigger negative. After months of violence, destruction and looting, with its not-so-covert anti-white narrative, with the gelatinous acquiescence in it by Democrat mayors and governors, Trump should be strolling back to his second term. The fact that he is behind suggests his behaviour is a bigger problem than you admit.
    You are lucky to have a leftist friend who will argue the toss with you instead of cancelling you. I can’t find any such!

    • Jay Currie says:

      Sorry to take so long to approve this comment, Sholto. (And weird because you are pre-approved.)

      Trump often “steps on his message” with useless asides. I think Americans have grown used to it. He is indeed a boor and I suspect that matters to a tiny, RINO, country club demo.

      He’d in the fight of his life now. I think the steal is real and I don’t think Trump’s bumptiousness has a thing to do with it. If Trump’s lawyers prove it, and it is a big get, America will be convulsed and then, transformed.

      I have a few lefty friends. Like my children, they call me an idiot regularly. Rather more politely I might add. These are people I have been arguing with for at least a decade. I’d buy any of them a couple of beers and then drag them home for dinner. You’ll remember when blogging was a grand conversation. Sadly, the walled gardens of Facebook and Twitter have made that conversation rare if not impossible. I am hoping that independent blogs make a comeback.

  8. John says:

    Well, that was – umm – interesting.

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