While Donald Trump loves to Tweet about how much support he has and he loves to claim the Democrats are impeaching him because they know we have no chance of beating him legitimately in next year’s election.
As usual, he is completely full of shit. For one thing, Democrats are on a roll unlike anything I’ve seen since the late 1960s, and for most of the 60s, they had a supermajority in the House and Senate.
Say what you will about the generations leading up to the Boomer generation, but my parents’ generation had the good sense to largely banish the Republican Party from majorities nearly anywhere. That happened because GOP policies are what pushed us into the Great Depression.
My Boomer generation likes to brag about ending the Vietnam War, but right after that, they started to let Republicans back in, and ceded too much of the government to them, which was a huge mistake. Starting with St. Ronald Reagan in 1980, we have allowed Republicans to have way too much power, even though the Party has gotten progressively worse over time. It started with the “Southern Strategy,” in which they openly recruited the worst of the electorate to join their ranks, which led the most racist elements of the Democratic Party to migrate into the GOP, thus turning the Republican Party into the most racist party in US history.
Worse, no matter how racist and misogynist they became and continue to become, they increasingly are treated as equals of the Democrats in many minds, including the minds of self-proclaimed “progressives,” who plaintively (and wrongly) suggest that “both parties are the same.
The fact is, the two major parties have never been all that similar, but these days, they couldn’t be farther apart. For one thing, they appeal to different constituencies. The base of the GOP these days is cranky white fuck-ups who want to blame brown people for their incompetence at life, while the Democratic base is People of Color, especially Black women. While Republicans obsess over cutting taxes and eliminating government services for people, Democrats want to expand services for those who need a little help during difficult times. Whereas Republicans these days consider those who get government assistance as “freeloaders,” Democrats understand that everyone has a hard time on occasion and should be allowed to use some of the taxes they paid out through their lives to get through that.
I’m digressing somewhat, but it goes to why Trump is unlikely to win this time around. Republicans have become judgmental, mean and heartless and treat everyone like crap, and the American people are truly starting to resent that treatment. That is not what the United States of America has ever been about. We have never been about being mean and heartless and entitled. We used to welcome the poor and downtrodden from all over the world with open arms.
For 2020, there are lessons to have learned from the three years since 2016 that indicate Trump is done, whether he is convicted in his inevitable impeachment trial or not. Every election since 2016 has featured increasing turnout, which spells doom for Trump since high turnout makes it difficult to impossible to cheat. Cheating can only work if turnout is really low like it was in 2016 (and in 2000, for that matter).
With the highest turnout for a mid-term since 1968, 2018 featured a veritable blue tsunami. Democrats gained 40 seats in the House, which was a modern record, and even though Republicans had a major advantage in the Senate, since 24 Republicans were up for election, as opposed to only 9 Democrats, the GOP only gained 2 seats. Democrats also gained a significant number of governors and state houses. Best if all, 2019 has shown a continuation of that trend, with major gains in Kentucky and Virginia. Hell; Virginia is practically a blue state now and the trends in Kentucky have “Moscow Mitch” McConnell very nervous about Nov. 3, 2020.
The reason Trump is so insistent about everything he is supposedly “winning” is because he’s not. He keeps repeating that he has “95% support among Republicans,” but that’s (come on, you already know what I’m about to write) a LIE. In reality, his Republican support hovers around 75 percent, which should be distressing to him, since no Republican has ever become president without at least 80% of the GOP vote, and it’s hard for them to win with 85-90% most of the time. After all, only about 23 percent of the electorate identifies as a Republican these days, so 80% of 23% is just a little more than 18%. That means it’s not possible for Trump to win without massive support from Independents and at least some support from registered Democrats, and he has precious little support from either. (Source: https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2015/12/17/opinion-how-many-people-actually-support-trump-fewer-than-you-think/ )
That is not to say that we should take it easy. We can predict all sorts of things based on what we know about history, but if there is one thing Trump’s ascension to the monarchy has taught us, it is that “normal” no longer exists. According to the article above, there is no way Trump should win in 2020, although there was also no way he should have beaten Hillary Clinton in 2016, either.
It’s time we got it. We can’t just think we know so much about politics that we can predict every election, because we can’t. We actually have to DO things to make sure Democrats always win every election:
- We have to realize that only Democrats and Republicans are viable in most elections, and that “third party” or “independent” candidacies are a wasted vote because they are the thing of fantasy. The last time a “third party’ won the American presidency, the winner was a Republican and it was 160 years ago. That means we have to advocate for Democrats; anything else is a wasted vote.
- We have to stop falling in love with what candidates SAY and give more weight to what they will be able to DO if they won. Be skeptical when someone says they plan to do things that cost $3 trillion without a realistic plan to pay for it.
- Since none of us knows who will win the Democratic nomination, there is nothing to be gained and everything to be lost whenever “progressives” trash other Democratic candidates. Take 2016. If you think two solid years of Bernie Stans tearing down Hillary Clinton had no effect on the election, then I admire your imagination. You’re living in a dream world. You had as much to do with what happened as the Russians.
- Progressives have to do everything possible to encourage turnout. That means advocating for Democrats with all your might and making voting Democratic an essential aspect of creating a progressive government. And keep something in mind; when Republicans say stupid shit, they depress turnout, but when we respond to them, we do the same thing. Always remember, most voters want to vote FOR something. While you may think voting against the GOP is a positive thing, understand that most voters don’t feel the same way.
- Stop being holier than thou – it turns voters off. Again, the Democratic/progressive base is Black and Brown, NOT WHITE. And every time we white liberals act as if we know more and should be in charge of the Democratic Party, we discourage voting, and we certainly discourage voting for Democrats. If you don’t like being thought of as racist for supporting Bernie, then you owe it to yourself to find out why they feel that way. Don’t just dismiss the criticism as unimportant, because it’s actually vitally important.
- There’s one more thing, and it’s the most important – Shut up and LISTEN. No matter how much of a “political junkie” you think you are, you do NOT know what the most important issues are for most people. Stop telling people they are “working against their own interests” because you couldn’t possibly know what “their interests” are. Your assumptions are not fact. Sorry, but it’s true.
Trump should have no chance of winning next year. Everything is against it. That said, we liberals/progressives still have to play politics better than we have for the last half-century or so. Republicans won’t just lose, we have to actually beat them. So let’s do that. Starting immediately.