An OP-ED so compelling, everyone should read it:
An OP-ED so compelling, everyone should read it:
The 12+ month-long election cycle is finally – thankfully – coming to an end. Judging by Mr. Trump’s remarks, however, the election will not end with a whimper, but a bang. Trump and his supports believe in two things: 1) that their preferred candidate will win, and that 2) only a rigged election will keep Trump from doing so.
Trump points to abundant evidence that he is winning. During an August 2016 speech, Trump noted:
We go to Oklahoma, we had 25,000 people. We had 21,000 people in Dallas. We had 35,000 people in Mobile, Alabama. We have these massive crowds,” the Republican nominee said. “You’ve got thousands of people outside trying to get in [today], and this is one hell of a big stadium.”
Do you ever see Hillary Clinton? If she speaks in front of 24 people she’s got the teleprompter. If she came here tomorrow — so look at this place, packed, thousands outside, we actually put screens outside — so, Hillary, if she came here, if she had 500 people I’d be surprised.
Trump also points to online polls after debates. By October 20, 2016, mere hours after the third and final debate, Donald Trump’s Twitter feed claimed victory. The Washington Times and Drudge Report hosted online polls wherein 77% and 75% of respondents gave Trump the win over Secretary Clinton, respectively.
We have heard similar arguments before. In 2012 Politico wrote:
Since his strong presidential debate performance last Wednesday night, Romney has seen a bump in the number of people attending his rallies, which the campaign calls a sign of new enthusiasm in the final month of the campaign.
In the past week alone, Romney’s campaign says at least three of its rallies have, per the campaign’s crowd counts, exceeded 10,000 people: an Oct. 4 event with country singer Trace Adkins in Fishersville, Va., which was Romney’s largest event ever at 14,000 people; a rally last Sunday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., that drew 12,000; and one in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, that fire marshals estimated also drew 12,000.
Romney’s other rallies this week have been large as well: in Asheville, N.C., Thursday night, just before the vice presidential debate, Romney’s rally filled the venue and had an overflow crowd of about 8,000.
There is just one problem – a dedicated fanbase that votes on online polls and fills stadiums does not necessarily translate into a victory in November.
Just ask Mitt Romney.
Donald Trump, meet Evangelical preacher Harold Camping. Harold Camping analyzed the bible and determined that the end of the world would come on May 21, 2011. Camping disseminated the message through his radio show, 5,000+ billboards, and twenty RVs. The prophecy proved to be…not correct. Camping later issued an apology.
For the believers in Donald Trump, a similar story appears to be unfolding. Trump predicts a massive victory based on the massive number of people at his rallies, the online polls showing decisive victories over Secretary Clinton, the millions of followers he has on Twitter. On Oct. 19, 2016, Time Magazine reported that “65% of all bets on the market have backed Trump to win the U.S. presidential election.”
In parallel, Trump lays the groundwork for second guessing our election system. Trump tweeted on October 16, 2016,
Trump did so again last night (Oct. 19, 2016) during the third and final presidential debate, as he declined to say whether or not he will accept the election results.
So while Trump cites anecdotal evidence to support his theory that he will win the presidential election, objective facts (i.e. unbiased statistical analyses by the team at 538) state otherwise. To bring the comparison full circle, Harold Camping made bold predictions that turned out to be spectacularly wrong. Donald Trump is currently in the same position.
If there is a lesson learned, it would be this: Camping’s predictions left his loyal followers, some of whom had quit their jobs, dejected. In response, Camping apologized. When Donald Trump leaves his supporters dejected come November 9, he must do the same.
There should be mixed feelings on political conventions. Great orators paint a vision of the America they want their country to become. The speeches create an ideal, not a reality. The DNC and RNC both painted a vision of their country, and both outlined a plan to shape America into a country that fully realizes its potential.
The Republican National Convention was – and forgive the pun – not conventional. Donald Trump’s speech painted a dark and paranoid America, one that reveled in its past, suffers in the present, and one that will be Great Again. But only if Donald Trump is in charge. Compare and contrast that to every other convention in recent memory, and Trump’s current understanding of America cuts perpendicular to an America with a stock market at an all-time high, crime rates at historic lows, and continued job growth.
What held my attention the most at both Conventions, however, were not the speakers but the speakers’ audiences. As the cameras panned through the audience at the RNC convention, I saw a sea of white faces, every single time. As the cameras panned through the audience at the DNC convention, I saw something entirely different: women wearing hijabs, blacks, whites, Hispanics, gays. The DNC threw a party, and everyone came. The RNC threw its party, and even those who received an invitation did not show (i.e. George Bush Sr., Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney). The anecdotal evidence seems to be supported by something more substantial.
The New York Times noted that only nine percent of Americans participated in the primaries dominated by two political parties. Nine percent. Trump’s messages do not need to resonate with the American public writ large to secure a nomination, but with a select few. No wonder a June 2016 poll shows Hispanic support for Trump hovers below 30%. An August 2016 Washington Post poll shows that African American support for Trump hovers around 1%.
Which party do you see as more inclusive?
Take another example: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s recent selfie with the interns working for the Republican Party. Compare that to images of the interns working for the Democratic Party, and the narrative remains entirely consistent. [photos below]
What it comes down to, ultimately, is that the Democrats did a far better job finding a representative slice of America in its small sample size than the Republicans did in theirs. Trump has his messages, and the fear and pessimism generated by his words resonate with the folks who voted for him. Clinton has her messages, too. The difference is that her messages appeal to a far broader swatch of America.
And that will be the difference in this election. Clinton for the win.
With Cruz and Kasich out, Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee. The silver lining is that an uncontested convention will save Cleveland a few days’ worth of rioting. The downside is an unconventional and unproven candidate that rankles not only the left but many on the right.
While many believe that the 2016 presidential election is Secretary Clinton’s to lose, the election will happen about six months from now. That leaves something like 180 days in-between. So long as the status quo holds, Secretary Clinton should win. By contrast, what if one event changed everything; think terror attack, scandal within the Obama administration, economic collapse. Such an event would flip the narrative by feeding directly into Donald Trump’s “America First” policies that scapegoat immigrants and minorities. By extension, Donald Trump could very well win the presidential election.
What a President Trump would do once in office is a very different question, and I will lay out two different options. Assuming President Trump wins in the scenario outlined above, Trump would come under intense pressure to dramatically reform immigration policies, start building the wall along the Mexican border*, and enact punitive economic policies against offending countries. Whether or not Donald Trump actually wants to enact such policies is another question entirely, as outlined in the second option.
The second option posits the following question: does Donald Trump really believe in the policies he is touting on the campaign? Donald Trump is, at his core, a businessman. My strong suspicion is that Donald Trump seeks the White House because he wants to use the ultimate bully pulpit to pass laws, regulations, and rules that enrich his businesses and solidify his brand. Put another way, a President Trump would simply not care about anything that is not associated with his name.
Taking that into account, Donald Trump simply used inflammatory rhetoric and a Republican Party – neither of which he has historically believed in – to chart a map to the White House. Should Donald Trump win the White House in November, my greatest hope is that a President Trump would simply abandon his jingoistic rhetoric and pass laws that personally enrich himself. And that would be a best case scenario for a Trumpian presidency.
What should be far more appalling to Americans is that we are considering yet another businessman to run government machinery. Was George W. Bush not a fantastic reminder that CEO-styled Presidents who fail to grasp basic geopolitics, economics, diplomacy and domestic policy results in dire consequences? Iraq, permanent tax cuts, torture, and Katrina, all speak to this collective experience.
In short, Trump is not the man for the job. May common sense prevail and let Secretary Clinton, a seasoned, even-handed, and proven candidate, trump Trump come November.