Donald Trump tripped his way into the presidency.
It’s possible that he can do so again; none of us should ever discount White supremacy, a racist American electorate, or voter suppression tactics sanctioned by the executive branch of the U.S. government.
However, it’s also perfectly fine to think Trump will lose in November. Because he’s losing right now.
The people who see Trump losing aren’t just online strangers blabbering about politics (me included). These are people in my offline world, folks I text with, or actually converse with over the phone. People I know are reading the coverage and thinking the same thing I am — that this national nightmare could be over in four more months.
I imagine some of you reading this now are struggling with the novel idea that this aspiring autocrat might lose the election. Or if nothing else, even if you share my feelings, you dare not share for fear of jinxing it or some shit.
But it’s happening, and it’s fine to let go and look at reality. It’s very likely he’ll be a one-term nightmare.
A recent Politico article noted that the Trump campaign has stopped boasting about a landslide victory in November. Instead, his camp is talking about what they consider realistic expectations. “We don’t need 306,” someone described as a “top Trump adviser” explained to Politico. “We just need 270. We can lose Michigan and lose Pennsylvania and still win.” A win in New Hampshire, they said, combined with one in Nevada or New Mexico, would provide enough electoral college support to prevent defeat even if Biden wins big in the industrial Midwest.
Ask yourselves this: Between now, and November do you think anything is going to get better?
About that Nevada win, though: This week a letter surfaced that a Nevada-based Trump campaign operative had written to the RNC in March about the party’s disorganized efforts in the state. It seems Trump’s campaign is being run about as well as the federal government’s efforts to stop us from being completely put down by the coronavirus.
As one GOP consultant told Rolling Stone this week, “Every shred of evidence points to a likely ass kicking in the fall.”
As another did: “Right now most campaigns are thanking baby Jesus… the election isn’t held today.”
If you won’t believe me, at least believe them — they’re the ones panicking.
Look, I understand the reservation to have any kind of optimism in the dystopian nightmare that is the year 2020 — especially when it comes to U.S. electoral politics — but too many people feel stuck in the thinking that a political upset is inevitable. We feel that way because the common media narrative is that the “polls got it wrong” in 2016; however, as many have rightly pointed out, both right after the election and in the months after, the polling got much of the election right.
As surprising and utterly miserable as the night of November 8, 2016 was, I want us all to take a step back and remember that not even this stupid con man thought he was going to pull this off. Since then, we’ve learned that the entire family was as shocked as everyone else given there was no real plan for Trump’s presidential bid besides “make money off of suckers.” In the book Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff reported that when he realized he had won, Trump “looked as if he had seen a ghost.” As for his wife, Mrs. Sweet Potato Saddam, another birther, “Melania was in tears — and not of joy.”
Donald Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, shares the feeling in that new burn book she wrote about her uncle, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man. “I didn’t think Donald took it seriously,” she wrote. “He simply wanted the free publicity for his brand.”
Trump initially planned to use the glow generated from being the Republican presidential nominee to launch Trump News Network — which in hindsight, makes me wonder if we could have avoided Real Estate Hitler if some TV executive had simply given him another TV show.
Yeah, he won, and sure, it was shocking, but was it ultimately plausible? Yes. As much as folks on Twitter like to talk about Facebook being four weeks late to news, it was on Facebook where I saw plenty of folks across the South and Midwest trying to warn the rest of the world that White folks were putting those Trump signs up in their yard with glee.
So here we are, just a few months out from the election. Joe Biden was not my first, second, third, fourth, or fifth choice, but at this point, poll after poll seems to think that all he has to do is wear a mask and stay alive and he’d be hard pressed to lose. He’s likely going to trip his way there, like Donald did.
Now ask yourselves this: Between now and November do you think anything is going to get better?
Will the coronavirus magically disappear? Will the tens of millions of lost jobs suddenly come back? Is Donald Trump going to be any less narcissistic, callous, cruel, and asinine? This country is on fire and he couldn’t care less.
Picking a fight with Bubba Wallace won’t work. Neither will calling for the protection of Confederate monuments. When you are to the right of NASCAR and the state of Mississippi on the Confederate flag, it should be a sign to at least try to revamp your racist playbook. Wallace will not become Trump’s new Colin Kaepernick. These days, the country is now on Kap’s side anyway.
Days ago, the New York Times reported that based on data, the Black Lives Matter movement may be the biggest movement in U.S. history. America is still America, but the country is moving in a direction away from Donald Trump — and his risking all of our lives by mishandling our worst medical crisis in a century can only accelerate that.
I know not to get too cocky. I recognize that everyone still needs to actually vote. I know that while registration is up, we have to do so many other things like not die and make it to the polls. I understand all of that.
But again, I ask: Is anything going to change?
We know it’s not. It’s very likely the next couple of months will continue to be marred with needless death, pain, and suffering under the watch of a narcissist incapable of doing his job. I know that his defeat won’t right every wrong or bring every person back. But I have to say, for the first time in a long time, I have contemplated a post-Trump presidency and not found it implausible.
His attempts to distract from the fact that people are dying, starving, and increasingly finding themselves without a home will not be forgiven with stunts and tricks. Certainly not on issues like Black Lives Matter. In a new study from Monmouth University on the phrase “defund the police,” 77% of adults say the movement aims to “change the way the police departments operate.” As some political reporters have already noted, the Trump campaign has spent an exhaustive amount of money on ads portraying “defund the police” as a move to remove law enforcement — i.e. scare White folks. However, only 18% say it wants to “get rid of police departments.”
This shows a shift in attitudes about the police in this country on the side of dramatic reform. Someone should tell Donald and his sycophants that when people are scared of dying, they don’t want to be bothered about fake fears over the cops knocking down old people and spraying college students in their cars.
Things are changing. It’s okay to realize it and be hopeful. Here’s hoping that Trump’s humiliation comes to fruition in November — and soon after, his and his family’s ruin.
Yes, it’s happening.