Yes, he’s sinking in the polls. Yes, he’s desperately increasing his racist activities. Yes, he continues his base-pleasing rhetoric. He’s ignoring commenting publicly on the pandemic, unless it’s to say it’s “dying out” even as numerous states are peaking again. And, yes, his Bill Barr-led Justice Department is ignoring all boundaries that protect the rule of law.
He’s doing all those things and more which can lead Trump opponents to think he’s getting desperate and even he think his reelection odds are decreasing.
But that is all true only if you’re among the many who never understood the Trump appeal in the first place.
There is still a not-so-Silent Minority of the country who would rather eat razor blades than vote against him. Trump is saying out loud the things they are thinking. They like that.
This morning’s New York Times reports on its latest poll which shows Joe Biden increasing his national lead to 14 percentage points. That is among, as the Times reports, “the most dismal showings of Mr. Trump’s presidency, and a sign that he is the clear underdog right now…”
Key words in that description are “right now.” Polls are only good for the days they are taken, if that.
That poll comes before what will surely come to be known as the dirtiest campaign in American history. Trump’s full-throated attacks on Biden are at best a whisper so far. And Biden, a self-admitted gaffe machine, has barely stepped out of his home basement to campaign.
If it turns out to be a Biden landslide, great. But if we ever take our eyes off the goal, who knows?
Take, for example, Tom Diamond, 31, a Republican in Fort Worth, Texas, who the Times reports said he plans to vote for Trump but with misgivings. He called the President a “poor leader.” He points to Biden as a “guy you can trust.” But Trump’s views politically are closer to his own on key issues.
“Part of you feels just icky voting for him (Trump),” Diamond said, “but definitely from a policy perspective that’s where my vote’s going to go.”
That’s part of Trump's appeal. Trump, whose policy views over the last 30 years have shifted from left to right, literally, will say anything to get Mr. Diamond’s vote. That’s what we’re up against. Everyone in this country cares about what types of Supreme Court justices are nominated, whichever side you’re on – and that is the sole issue they will vote on.
Trump lately has been tweeting numerous incidents of black men violently attacking white people and he’s accusing, again but now more often, former President Obama of “treason” for allegedly tapping Trump’s campaign phones four years ago. With no proof. But, he does have an attorney general who is obviously in perfect tune with Trump’s desires. So expect something to come out on that at some point – true or not true.
He’s repeatedly calling the deadly coronavirus the “Kung Flu,” a clear racist label. (Yes, I know the media often has called it the Wujan Flu, but that’s the city where it apparently began. Kung Flu is a clear slap at Asian Americans.)
He tweeted a manipulated version of that adorable video we all saw of a white and a black toddler running toward each other for a close hug. The manipulated version showed one toddler chasing the other as if in a racist attack. (As if toddlers know what a racist attack is.)
And that comes at a time when white Americans are saying, with honest emotion, that the problem with racism is more widespread and ingrained in our society than even aware whites understood.
Trump, who started his first presidential campaign as an effort to reignite his brand and finished it with a four-year rental in the White House, first ran to win a primary, which means he needed a plurality of votes. He accomplished that. And then went up against probably the only Democratic candidate he could beat – Hillary Clinton, who was disliked even by many who supported her.
Terry Sullivan, a Republican strategist, told the Times that Trump is “the Rod Stewart of politicians – he may keep coming up with new material but deep down he knows his fans just want to hear ‘Wake Up Maggie,’ so he keeps playing the same tune because he can’t stand the thought of them not loving his performance.”
Or, in this context, "Wake up, people, I think I got something to say to you."