Given the Electoral College, where Donald Trump only won by 77 votes (304-227), he could squeeze out another term. However, if we all turn out and vote, critical mass will create his defeat.
Critical mass is defined as “The size something needs to reach before a particular change event can happen.” In our 24/7 digital and broadcast world, critical mass, for elections, requires a context created through perception rather than fact. For example, the Russians’ “sweeping and systematic” interference in the 2016 election played on the negative perception surrounding Hillary’s emails and Clinton corruption (“Aren’t you tired of the Clintons?”). This misinformation campaign reached 126 million users on Twitter and uploaded over 1,000 videos to YouTube.
When Bill Clinton boarded Attorney General Lynch’s plane for a “chat,” which lasted over an hour, corruption alarms went off. The AG was investigating Hillary over her handling of classified information sent through her emails. That image broadcast to millions of voters further led to critical mass.
James Comey, in my opinion, was the event that reached critical mass. The electorate had been conditioned to see Hillary’s emails and the Clintons as negative campaign issues. The former head of the FBI, Comey, holding an unprecedented FBI press conference characterizing her use of a private server as “extremely reckless” weighed down the camel’s back. His following up, 11 days before the election, with an announcement that he had written to Congress saying investigators were reviewing a newly acquired batch of Clinton’s emails was the last straw.
As we move toward November, Donald Trump’s insistence on presenting an alternate reality has become a critical mass context. His fantasy approach to the worst pandemic of our lifetimes, which has infected more than 4 million of us and killed more than 150,000 in the U.S., has created the necessary critical mass to defeat him. Last week, only 33percentof us (myself not included) approved of his handling of the pandemic.
The President of the United States has called the virus a hoax that will “disappear”; advocated injecting bleach into our veins as a cure; continues to promote a drug (hydroxychloroquine) which medical experts say is dangerous for treating COVID; said much of the U.S. is COVID free (which it is not); ridiculed wearing masks; retweeted Dr. Stella Immanuel, who says alien DNA was used in pharmaceuticals and that gynecological problems are caused by sexual visitations from demons, because she advocates not wearing a mask and taking hydroxychloroquine; prohibited data being sent to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); demanded that the country prematurely open the economy; demanded that schools open for children this fall, despite health concerns; and set governors and mayors against each other (the governor of Georgia is suing the mayor of Atlanta over a mask ordinance). In the face of reality that’s a lot of make believe for the camel’s back to carry.
Trump’s recent “enlightenment,” telling us the pandemic will get worse before it gets better and that masks are now patriotic, didn’t last. He has become the Johnny Appleseed of the virus, spreading disease and death throughout the country.
Three weeks after his failed, non-social distanced, masks-optional, Tulsa rally the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported consecutive record cases (858 and 687), with five new deaths. Governor Kevin Stitt and Herman Cain, both of whom, sans a mask, attended the rally, caught the virus, in addition to eight members of the president’s advance team. After Trump’s Mount Rushmore rally, South Dakota confirmed 105 new cases of COVID. Not to mention the American illnesses and deaths that could be avoided if the federal government would undertake a competent national response to shutting down the virus.
COVID-19 will not disappear by November. Cases and deaths will, under this administration’s hands-off approach, continue to rise. Trump versus the Virus is a critical mass event that Trump has lost. It should, assuming we all turn out and vote, cost him the election.