It Won’t Matter

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There’s an old saying that generals prepare to fight the last war, not the next one. And like most old sayings, there’s a kernel of truth packed in with the cliche. Case in point? The Democratic Party is preparing to fight the 2020 presidential campaign with the tools and assumptions of a now-dead American political past. Trump, together with constant support from the Murdoch media empire, has changed the way politics is done in this country.

Democrats seem incapable of understanding that basic truth. They seem to believe if only they disclose the right information to the public, Trump will resign, like Nixon did, or Republican elected officials will turn against him, like they did against Nixon during Watergate, or that he will be roundly turned out of office come next election.

Breaking news: There will be no silver bullet. Richard Nixon is no longer the president. Trump seems to have no dedication to civic principles, no personal sense of shame and doesn’t behave like Nixon would have done. Our electorate, media and political institutions don’t behave the way they did 50 years ago either.

Evidence? The Mueller Report changed nothing. Evidence of Trump’s long-lasting and deep corruption changed nothing. His dog-whistle calls of ‘nationalism’ and racism changed nothing. His ignorance of world events, macroeconomics and even basic governance have changed nothing. His demonstrated inability to articulate ideas has changed nothing. His overwhelming narcissism, sexism, bigotry changed nothing. His anti-democratic predispositions have changed nothing. His self-evidently staged inch-deep patriotism? Nothing.

Other than ulcers and teeth grinding among those already predisposed to vote against Trump, there’s only been marginal electoral movement. Yet, Democrats behave as though continuing to point out more of these now well-established truths will somehow make Trump’s unsuitability for the presidency obvious to either him, in which case he’ll resign, or to other Republicans, in which case he’ll lose support in the legislature, or to the electorate, in which case he’ll automatically lose in 2020.

Spoiler alert: It won’t.

We’re not in 1972 anymore. We’re not dealing with civic-minded, well educated, rational members of Congress. Today, we’re dealing with a religiously-fueled personality cult. Trump could literally shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any support. And by literally, I mean literally.

It’s just a little over a year until our next presidential election and if I had to set odds right now on a Trump re-election, I’d put it at 50-50, or better. Time to wise up, Democrats.

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One thought on “It Won’t Matter”

  1. I agree with you, Brett. I endorse your odds-making. McCready didn’t lose that N. Carolina election. Bernie Sanders lost it…..without ever entering the state. Tough for me to swallow, because I really am passionately curious to see Elizabeth Warren as president. I need to know before I die whether a righteous, 17-jewel mind could be successful in that job. (My nagging worry is that her worshipful followers would be terribly disappointed, that she would quickly morph into Jerry Brown — but, hey, that would be so much better than what we’ve got. Yet she could also go down like Michael Dukakis, too damn smart for his own damn good.

    Hell, though…..maybe I too am fighting the last war. Look at young Beto, making a sharp differentiator out of his now frequent gasps of Trump Derangement, “What the FUCK!” You tell me how that plays in a general election. While Trump is in no position to scold anyone on rhetoric, the big story would be how Beto shut down the F bombs after nomination — making John Kerry’s “flip-flop” woes seem trivial.

    Yeah — 50-50 or better America reelects what will be seen as the safe alternative. That, in itself, will show us where we stand. (Good thing you lost those bow ties. Intellectuals, too, are a threat to liberty….what Ted Cruz tells us the second amendment is there to guard against.)

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