I believe Trump will lose the 2020 election by more than 4 million votes. Those who will vote against him know he is a dangerous, pathological liar who will say anything to further his own position. However, for the swing voters in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, who could again give Trump an Electoral College victory, this is not necessarily the case.
Trump is a master propagandist who constantly keeps us off balance with new outrages. He understands that enough swing-state voters are either not paying attention, don’t care, or are ignorant about how our Constitution works (one in three can’t name any branch of government), so that by repeating lies ( “fake news,” “witch hunt,” “perfect phone call”) over and over, enough swing-state voters will vote for him. This can happen unless there is an “outside the box” response.
Trump will be impeached (55 percent of us now support the impeachment inquiry). However, despite two-thirds of House Republicans voting with the Democrats to condemn Trump’s abandoning our Kurdish allies, (and condemnations from former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Mitch McConnell, and Mitt Romney), he will not be convicted in the Senate. Recent polling shows that 60 percent of Republican voters support Trump’s decision to abandon the Kurds, with 72 percent saying they want the party to keep him.
The alienation from our political process that has taken root in 42 percent of our electorate has become so deep, so tribal, and so virile that anything Trump does is okay with them. This includes holding the Ukrainian army hostage to the $391 million appropriated by Congress for it to fight Russia’s invasion. As verified by administration officials, this withholding was dependent on Ukraine’s agreeing to investigate “dirt” on two untruthful conspiracy theories: that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered with our election, and that former vice president Biden and his son engaged in corrupt behavior in Ukraine. This quid pro quo is an impeachable offense.
Unless there is a real time counterpoint on Twitter and the broadcast airwaves aimed at swing-state voters correcting his propaganda, there is real danger of a sequel to the Trump in the White House reality show. The oversized field of Democrats vying for the nomination cannot do this. They are too busy raising money and promoting their respective policy decisions. The mainstream media, even though it points out Trump’s falsehoods, can’t do this. It for the most part relies on “balanced” formats that include having Republican apologists on air, doesn’t necessarily attract swing-state voters, or has become Trump TV. Propaganda, especially for uninformed voters, is powerful stuff. You can’t fight it with conventional formats. It’s going to be up to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to take this on.
The idea is simple. Trump posts a false tweet, or makes a false statement on the White House lawn, and “instantly” a correction pointing out the lies and the reasons for them is posted to the digital universe aimed at the swing-state voters who will decide the 2020 election. The correction is then picked up and reported on by the mainstream media.
I realize the DNC is not set up to do this. However, the same old approach to electoral politics has gone out the window with this president in office. The DNC can raise the money, or start a “go fund me” page, to support this approach. More importantly, it has the standing and clout to attract the attention of both the Twitter and broadcast universes. In other words, it is a “platform” the media cannot ignore.
Remember when Trump said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any voters? He did, and he really hasn’t. He is complicit in the deaths of the hundreds of Kurds whom he, to our shame, abandoned. If that doesn’t call for an unconventional response from the Democrats, what does?