Three Election Day Thoughts
- Americans have a lot in common
The country is not nearly as divided as the press, the politicians, the academics, and the radicals (collectively, the “Self-Interested”) would have you believe.
How can I come to the seemingly crazy conclusion? There are many things Americans can and do agree on and value as priorities — educational and economic opportunity, health care access, national and local security, the principles and aspirations of the Constitution, and the freedoms granted in the Bill of Rights.
Do we agree on what these priorities mean in terms of public policy? Clearly no. But it serves the interests of the Self Interested to divide rather than unite, to polarize to draw attention and money to their cause. Hence the hype and glorification of the fringe.
The reason so many people want to come to this country, whether legally or illegally, is to enjoy these opportunities and freedoms. Americans are a hardworking people and they don’t have a much time or appetite for the mind numbing tedium of the 24 hours news cycle. And when I say Americans, I’m not referring to “red state deplorables” or “blue state socialists”, old or young, black, brown, white or some other pigmentation, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, straight, gay, or any other orientation or non-orientation. I’m referring to all Americans.
2. Trump will win another term
The Wall Street Journal ran an excellent piece this weekend describing this election as a referendum on Donald Trump — “His policies and breaks from convention have accomplished much that was needed. But his divisive governance and personal flaws have put him in danger of losing to a Democrat whose campaign theme is essentially that he isn’t Donald Trump.”
How true. Has anyone ever seen a more passive Presidential campaign than the Biden — Harris campaign? And please don’t attribute this approach to COVID19. This campaign, indeed the Democrat Party, has been playing defense ever since James Clyburn delivered the South Carolina primary to Biden and the conflicted elements of the less progressive wing of the party breathed a collective sigh of relief that an unelectable Leftist would not be the nominee . Since then Biden has quietly endorsed and publicly distanced himself from the Democratic Party Platform and the Green New Deal (per the Biden website “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face” — but the Green New Deal gets short shrift from the Candidate in his rare public appearances) in attempts to appease the Left while appearing to be a moderate candidate.
Biden has also been kept under the lid due to his all to apparent flaws as a candidate — specifically, his poor mental acuity (a relatively new thing) and, far worse, his long history public speaking gaffes (i.e. rare moments of honesty) that expose his own racial stereotyping and attitude of patronage. “‘You ain’t black’ if you have trouble deciding between Trump and me” is just one of many, but perhaps sums it up the best.
And then there’s the very real perception that the Biden campaign lacks substance or policy. Just what will Biden do as President? Other than raise taxes (reducing median income by $6500) and ban new fracking, we really don’t know, because the campaign has spent an inordinate amount of time and money campaigning against Trump, not for Biden.
We saw in 2012 and again in 2016 that defense doesn’t win Presidential elections. In 2012 Mitt Romney had the lead in polls in October before going into a defensive posture and lost momentum and the vote. In 2016 Hillary Clinton took the upper Midwest for granted, finished weakly and lost. The Biden team is taking a big gamble with their basement strategy.
Trump will likely not win the popular vote. There are too many voters who would consider voting for him based on policy and the accomplishments of his first term but will not vote for him under any circumstance due to his style and rhetoric.
But here is why he will win the Electoral college vote:
His first term had accomplished much of what he committed to in 2016, and many of these accomplishments appeal to a majority of Americans.
· Calling out and opposing unfair trade and diplomatic relations with China
· Insisting that European countries pay a more equitable share for mutual defense
· Simplifying a morass of federal regulations ( a recent CEA report estimates that over the next five to 10 years, the deregulatory efforts of the Trump administration will increase annual real incomes in the United States by $3,100 per household)
· Peace accords in the Middle East
· Substantial economic growth, employment gains, and wage growth (particularly for minorities) — feel free to call out the Obama growth numbers in the last three years if you wish, my point point here is the sense that many voters feel they are better of today than four years ago (56% according to Gallup, 9/28/20 )
· Energy independence
· Border security and reducing illegal immigration
· Prison sentence reform (yes, bipartisan)
· Non activist judicial appointments
Contrast that with the fear and uncertainty many Americans feel when they see progressive mayors, governors, and congressional office holders who
· Diminish the legacy and vision of the founding principles of USA through divisive victimizing rhetoric and shaming
· Ignore the primal responsibility of maintaining law and order by sugarcoating looting and rioting as “peaceful protest” and supporting the defunding of police
· Tolerate, even encourage, the suppression of free speech through speech codes and cancellation
· Support seemingly unsustainable tax plans and environmental plans ( “There’s a lot of distrust of these home-run giga-packages. It’s been a lot more effective to try to hit some singles and doubles”)
You need not agree with the above statements — but there are many Americans who feel this way. How many, and how many will vote?
To address those questions, we need to look a couple of factors:
· The enthusiasm gap. It’s been well documented that Trump voters are much more enthusiastic about their candidate . Trump continues to bring in large crowds at rallies, Biden not so much — on Halloween day dozens of Biden supporters showed up for a rally in Flint, MI with both Biden and Obama present. Biden backers are voting for a generic “D” or anyone other than Trump. Early turnout has been strong, we’ll see who it favors.
· The eye test –Americans understand the rigors and challenges of being POTUS, and they see Trump working his tail off across battleground states trying to win votes. As mentioned earlier, Biden is playing defense, and is unimpressive in campaign appearances.
· History — the polls were an epic fail four years ago — despite many theories and much wishful thinking that the polling methods have improved, we really don’t know this to be true, but we will know more soon.
· Momentum — we know it to be a thing, and it seems to be with Trump. The numbers in the battleground states are closing fast, with conflicting indicators on early voting outcomes.
Bottom line — there are still a lot of votes to be cast and counted, and we probably won’t know tomorrow who has won unless we have a decisive outcome in some key battle ground states, but for the above stated reasons I believe Trump will win another four ears in the White House.
3. Unfortunately, there will be looting and rioting when (if) Trump wins
Unlike the first two thoughts, I truly hope I am wrong on this one. The US has a solid history of peaceful transitions of power — going back to 1801 when Thomas Jefferson won the Presidency, denying John Adams a second term. If Trump loses, I expect another peaceful transition. But if Trump wins, then I am very concerned about more violence from the far left anarchists, with a few crazies from the right thrown in for good measure. And unfortunately, as discussed earlier here, the leaders of large cities have exhibited no will or intention to maintain law and order — confusing (equating) criminal acts with lawful acts of protest.
So we come full circle — if violence does break out (again, I pray it does not), it will validate the concerns (and the votes) of the many, many American citizens who value and treasure, first and foremost, American democratic principles and wish for themselves and all other Americans the freedom to lead their lives as they choose, in a safe and secure society.