A lot of experts have weighed in on whether or not Donald Trump will be a two term president of the United States with most of them, including Allan Lichtman, who has correctly predicted the out come of every Presidential election since 1984, saying he will suffer a monumental loss to former Vice President Joe Biden.
In a typical, rather straight forward Democracy, this would likely be the case, but many of these experts have failed to consider how a Nation once considered the jewel in the crown of Democracy is now mired in tribal politics, deep corruption, tremendous civil unrest, unaddressed voter inequality and a crippling pandemic.
When you take a look at the bigger mechanism of the events, five years in the making leading us up to the 2020 election, it would be, in fact, very difficult for Donald Trump to lose. Despite some opinionators with National platforms suggesting he might “Drop out” of the election to save face in the event of a loss, Trump, himself, would never do that for fear instead of being perceived as a quitter. His ego simply would not allow him to fold his hand and anyone who had been paying attention to the behemoth that has become Donald J. Trump knows this. Unfortunately, most people claiming he will lose have not been paying attention, or are using data points that ignore our hostile and corroded political climate. They are treating our institutions of democracy as if they haven’t been compromised, challenged or marred by public distrust and expect that this election will follow traditional rules. It will not.
I am projecting that Donald Trump will win the 2020 election and this is why;
This has been an ongoing issue that has plagued the voting pubic, but we’ll begin in 2016. The turning point in US politics that eroded its function and public faith began with the unapologetic disruption of the voting process, specifically for communities that were predominantly of minority. Black and Native Americans saw access to voting stations obstructed or altogether moved to places that were not easily accessible. Dodge City, Kansas had one polling station in its downtown location that served 27,000. Officials decided to move it move outside the city limits, more than a mile away from the nearest bus stop. This resulted in the ACLU and The League of United Latin American Citizens filing a Lawsuit for the compromise of voter access. The Judge ruled it was “Too Late.” Insult to injury was new voters being sent the wrong address to the new polling station.
In Georgia, over 89,000 votes were not counted, according to the American Public Media Reports. Republicans fearing a loss due to the recent influx of Black, Latino and Asian communities setting up home in the State went to great lengths to prevent them from voting in the previous election. It worked, a Republican won the hotly contested 7th Congressional District but only by 433 votes. He would however, have tied or lost to his Democratic challenger, Carolyn Bourdeaux, had all votes been counted.
Conditions in Georgia were decried as “Unacceptable” by lawmakers after the 2018 mid-term election that saw voters waiting in line for hours, especially- specifically- in areas with large minority populations.
Independent Investigators found that efforts to sway the election in favor of Republicans occurred across the country, especially in swing states. Ohio cancelled thousands of voter registrations due to an obscure and unnecessary perfect match rule that saw people whose ID showed them living on an abbreviated “Rd.” on their license and a “Road” on their registration be disqualified from voting. They also enacted a “Use It or Lose It” Law which removed registered voters from the polls if they hadn’t voted in a past election with 4 years- and many voters do not participate mid-terms- leaving people who thought they could vote suddenly unregistered entirely and without any warning.
Ari Berman, author of ‘Give us The Ballot’ said to NPR;
“Many of the restrictions are part of a broader Republican strategy to tighten access to the ballot — an effort that was bolstered in 2013 by the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder ruling.
[That] decision said that those states with the longest histories of discrimination no longer had to approve their voting changes with the federal government.”
You’re seeing a national effort by the Republican Party to try to restrict voting rights, and it’s playing out in states all across the country.” -Ari Berman
Suppression across the United States that directly impacted minority communities and votes was heavily bolstered by district gerrymandering. Effectively districting out Black, Latino, Native American or Asian communities- presumptive Democrat voters- so that their impact on the a state and Nationwide elections are minimized. In 2017, a Texas Judge found blatant racially motivated redistricting in three Texas districts, however, despite the public outrage and law suits by voter’s rights activists, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold Gerrymander as permissible, and refused to place any limitations on lawmakers redrawing districts for a specific outcome at the expense of minority communities. They also ruled to ban anyone from further challenging gerrymandering.
One when black Americans were absolutely refused the right to vote was voter suppression more visible- out in the open- and allowed to exist uncontested across the country.
It will persist throughout the 2020 election as many Americans fight to have their vote counted- and many of them will not be.
More recently, Trump handicapped the United States Postal Service knowing that most democrat voters will not risk standing in crowded public places for hours to cast a vote and will likely opt to mail in their ballot.
In what has been called the Friday Night Massacre, the Postmaster General, a staunch trump ally, announced major organizational changes at Trump’s behest, including the removal of two top officials and the reassignment of other executives. The Postal Service is also now under a hiring freeze and, for some reason, encouraging early retirements which will be a death blow to the expected surge of mail-in ballots due to Coronavirus. Trump knows that Democrats will be most likely to vote by mail as his loyalists, following his lead, have dismissed it as a conspiracy, ironically. This will likely result in many uncounted, lost or stolen democrat ballots as the USPS fins itself deliberately crippled during an election season. This will serve Trump’s re-election efforts.
The Electoral College became one of the most contentious topics of 2016, after Donald Trump lost the election by over 4 million votes, but was awarded the Presidency by the Electoral College votes. The results left many asking, “In what kind of country does the loser of an election, win?” America, where it has happened five times. Many voters do not realize that when they cast their vote for a President, that vote is in favor of only telling the State Elector who they want them to vote for in the Electoral College.
Following of the coattail of district gerrymandering and the silencing effect it has on minority voters, gerrymandering also has a devastating effect on our presidential election, consequentially vetoing thousands upon thousands of votes per state. However, an Elector can award their vote to whichever candidate they choose- even if it deviates from the votes delivered by those in their state. This typically incurs a fine, as we saw in 2016, when, in Washington State, 3 Members of the Electoral College broke form with their State voting results and rather than awarding Hillary Clinton their Electoral votes, gave them to General Colin Powell instead.
The same thing happened in Colorado. A State Elector had broken his pledge to abide by laws that designated his Electoral vote reflect the popular vote of his State. He was quickly removed by the State Secretary and replaced by a new Electoral voter who went on to submit a Vote for Clinton. Unfortunately, a lawsuit in the 10th Circuit Court Of Appeals ruled against the State Secretary, claiming that it had no Constitutional authority to remove the Elector- and they should have been allowed to divert from the states majority votes and cast a vote for who they preferred instead.
Many Americans and even politicians have called for the Electoral College to be abolished. Interesting, prior to the election, Donald Trump also said that the Electoral College was rigged against him and a “Disaster…” until he won because of it in 2016.
Now, he claims, “The Electoral College is far better for the U.S.A.”
The Electoral College will also be Trump’s safeguard. He can lose the popular vote, but still win the presidency, just as he did in the last election. Knowing this, he has spent the majority of his term actually campaigning for the next- he’s never stopped campaigning, says David A. Graham for The Atlantic:
“He can’t turn back to campaigning from governing, because he never really bothered to start governing in the first place. With the exception of cutting taxes and especially building a wall on the Mexican border, he’s never shown much interest in learning how the levers of power work or in using them. Whereas Barack Obama held rallies in early 2009 to support the passage of his health-care bill, Trump held rallies in early 2017 for the purpose of being reelected nearly four years later.”
Distrust in Democratic Process
Since the beginning of his campaign in 2015 and through today, Trump has assured his voters that, in the event he loses, it is because the election is rigged. He has elevated conspiracy theories of “Deep State” tampering and claimed that Democrats intend to steal the election.
Preemptive accusations of rigging and cheating are a common theme throughout his public appearances, rallies and interviews as he has portrayed himself as a Heroic figure fighting for freedom from the shackles of political corruption for the benefit of his loyalists, even though any evidence of such has always worked in his favor.
He has succeeded at marring the integrity of nearly every institution, labeling them as partisan politicians riddled with bias who have an agenda to work against him and his supporters. The FBI, CDC, the Senate and Congress and just about every institution that has participated in any of the ongoing investigations into the 25 allegations of his sexual misconduct, tax fraud or political relationships with foreign leaders he has solicited help from to win an election- most of which led to his impeachment- have been disavowed by the President as untrustworthy or corrupt. He has worked tirelessly to destroy public confidence in everything that might- just might- impact him negatively- including the election. Anything- or anyone that does not favor Trump is dismissed using the deep state conspiracy theories that his followers cling to in order to explain away some very difficult or uncomfortable truths as anti-trump propaganda or, using Donald Trump’s own words, politically motivated witch-hunts.
As long as the public disputes the results of anything that contradicts Donald Trump, there will never be a resolution people, specifically his base, accepts. Whether the subject is a projected path of a hurricane or the terrifying consequences of a global pandemic, a large swath of Americans trust Trump more than they do anything else.
Liberal Purity Tests
One of Trump’s greatest allies are his most passionate critics. Although most will agree that the Nation has suffered tremendously since Trump assumed power in 2016… Those who oppose him can’t agree on just about anything else. Leading up to the 2020 election that was initially packed with diverse contenders before being whittled down to Joe Biden, enthusiastic politicos in the general public found something wrong with every single candidate. Kamala Harris had been an attorney who imprisoned too many black men, thus she wasn’t black enough. Marianne Williamson was a new-age nutcase. Elizabeth Warren lied once about being a descendant of a Native American, Andrew Yang had no experience, Corey Booker wasn’t a woman, Amy Klobuchar was too centrist, Beto O’Rourke was a misogynist, Pete Buttigeig was an egotist taking money from billionaires, Bernie Sander is a tree hugging socialist or too old and Joe Biden sniffed girls and has been accused of sexual assault on a woman in the 90’s… so no better than Trump.
Liberal progressives are nearly impossible to make happy- or at minimum- even content with a candidate. Yet, as Americans factioned off to support the candidate they most closely identified with, they did so with unbridled enthusiasm. They adopted cute monikers like Yang Gang or BernieBros. When that candidate would drop out of the crowded race, their supporters often took it as a personal blow and began attacking the supporters of other Democratic presidential candidates. Pretty soon, a huge demographic of voters were absorbed in acts of in-fighting, name-calling and efforts to take each other’s candidate down.
“I will never vote for Biden!” Said a previous Buttigeig supporter to me in an interview on Facebook. “I don’t care who knows. He’s a rapist. I will not chose between the lesser of two evils.”
Immediately, there were flashback to 2016 during the Trump/Clinton election. Trump had pulled familiar stunts to smear his opponent and place her firmly in the quicksand of more of his conspiracies. Given he began the Birther movement that, to this day, has many suspecting that former President Barack Obama was not born in America thus never eligible to be President, he was no stranger to creating a mythology around his opponents. His tactic in defeating Clinton wasn’t to posture himself as a more qualified candidate with better policies, but as the lesser of two evils. And it worked. Whether he was peddling the lie that Clinton was running a child sex trafficking ring out of a Pizza Parlor basement or that she should be in prison for deleting classified emails sent to her personal account that simply must allude to her guilt, he used narratives he created, absent of any facts, to destroy his competition.
He embedded distrust, even in progressive liberals, about their candidate. Even staunch Democrats felt uneasy about casting a vote for Clinton… so they didn’t. Jill Stein of the Green Party benefited from those Americans who could no longer choose between the lesser of two evils, although Trump was a racist billionaire who attempted to get the state of New York to re-institute the Death Penalty to kill five Black men accused of murdering a woman in central park- who were later found innocent and accused of raping or sexually assaulting multiple women over a 20 year period of time.
Voters still could not decide between the Trump reality and the Mythology of Clinton Trump had created. It was a masterful manipulation of pubic think space. Today, most Trump supporters still believe Hillary Clinton is a murderer and a sex trafficker of children and they still chant in unison at his rallies, where she is still often mentioned, to “Lock Her Up.”
Trump succeeds in tactics of confusion, creating a chaos that is so blinding that no one can discern anymore between fact or fiction. That chaos is designed to distort perceptions and leave one doubting their own eyes, ears and agency of thought.
Liberal minded Americans whose intentions are noble enough are typically so busy waging wars against a myriad of social injustices on various social media platforms that they absolve themselves from responsibility to politics entirely, not seeming to understand they are indelibly tether. We cannot achieve social justice with political change.
Many are still incensed over the loss of Bernie Sanders from the candidacy, and, like in 2016, pledge to cast a ballot in direct protest of Joe Biden, for someone else. Agitated liberals will benefit Trump enormously in November.
Third Party Voter Divide
Kanye West stepped forward as a candidate for President in 2020 recently and Republicans are anxious to get him on the ballot. West, who has been an outspoken supporter of Trump since his election, is suspected of being a fake candidate who will funnel away vitally important Black votes that will disappear in a vacuum, helping trump by hurting Joe Biden who Black voters find more palatable.
Kanye and Trump have been working cooperatively for the last five years on a plethora of issues including prison reform. During one of those heavily publicized events that saw Kanye and the American President hugging in the Oval Office amidst a cacophony of snapping cameras, Trump told journalists that Kanye, “Could very well be” a future presidential candidate, to which Kanye responded, “Only after, 2024!”
Trump and his team have had to twist Joe Biden into an equivalent evil in order to give voters pause when visiting the ballot. He knows that Democratic voters also have a history of making their candidates meet impossible standards and pass purity tests that Donald Trump himself has never been asked to. In fact, the worse Trump behaves, the more aggressive his attacks, the more appealing he is to his base.
With Kanye West in play, Trump can reasonably accept that his participation in a time of tremendous racially charged unrest will promise to siphon votes away from Biden and further divide the democratic voting base who will fight among themselves while Trump’s Make America Great Again crew unifies beneath a sea of red hats, chanting his name.
Trump Party Unity
The Trump base faces none of the challenges that Democrats do. They’re not interested in policies. In fact, most weren’t even interested in politics until Donald Trump parlayed his bid for the Presidency into another WWE match. While some career Republicans initially recoiled at his caustic antics, they’ve warmed to the reality that he has acquiesced formidable power via his influence over his followers. Their support of him is unwavering- no matter how poor, how sick, or how directly threatened by his politics. They perceive themselves as a sort of club, an elite class of free thinkers that has aggregated beneath a near deified leader to bring down liberals who have forced upon them concepts of equality, justice and cultural diversity. Their prejudices marry them to each other as Trumpism has become indelibly entwined with racism, homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia and upon which Trump himself has placed a stamp of approval- even classifying these characteristics as Patriotic… yet if one stands in protest they are accused of “Hating America.”
In a desperate bid to appeal to his loyalists by portraying legitimate questions as malicious attacks, he has manipulated truth into an malleable, negotiable array of projections, deflections and word-spinning to make the distinction between fact so intertwined in his own fiction that it is can be difficult to illustrate a clear portrait of his questionable actions, leaving most to rest their criticism solely on his even more questionable character.
He has also leveraged divisive language, referring to his detractors who dare point out his antics as “Them.” “They” are “our” enemy. He pulls his legions of red-hat wearers into a manufactured state of crisis along with him, so they feel equally threatened by anyone who is not a Trump flagellant. “We won’t let them win!” “They can’t do this to us.”
“We” and “Us” he uses as a form of psychological entrapment, directly referencing his base implying they are somehow bonded to him. If he is in danger, he needs his base to feel the same sense of fear or urgency to fight back that he does, typically in the pre-dawn hours when his anxiety seems to peak. He triggers them by implying they will suffer by proxy if he is caught. They must share his burden. He uses them like attack dog by playing upon their own investment in his success. The fall of Donald Trump means much more to his base than it has for any President in history, as they are fully entrenched in his world view. He represents more than leadership to them, but a validation of their bigotry, their white anxiety and rebuking of an establishment that poses a threat to their supremacy.
It would consoling, at least, to tell you that these radicals are their own minority, and that it has perhaps even reduced in numbers over the ast five years as people came to their senses.
It has grown significantly since 2015. By visiting small towns and villages pocking the midwest, Trump has made himself accessible in places that few Presidents have. It is across these forgotten territories that he has instilled the idea of his America. He does not discuss policies or even politics, but attacks Democratic opposition leaders, minorities, the disabled, women, Muslims, Mexicans, Jewish figures like George Soros- another of his favorite conspiracy targets- He demeans and degrades other politicians, calling them petty, childish names before they break into chants of his name as if he is a Rock Star… and he loves it more than they do. A Trump rally is a spectacle, largely attended by everyone from Gun lovers and white supremacists to devout Christians who have hinged their support on his promise to return America to God’s Law… so they don’t mind he committed adultery and paid off porn stars. The evangelicals are important to the Trump campaign, and he will barrel through protesters, have them tear-gassed and beaten for a photo-op with a Bible to signal his Godly virtue.
The swell of Trumpism has nearly outgrown the Republican Party and the current rise in racial tensions after a succession of murders of black men by police authorities has seen some moderates go full-throated racist and turn their support to Trump as he promises to restore “Law and Order.”
Trump relies on the civil discord, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for him- in fact, he stoked it. He knows that inherent white supremacy that had previously never been acknowledged in many will rise to the surface in a bellow of “All Lives Matter” or “Blue Lives Matter” which immediately pits them against the black community that Trump has labeled anarchists and terrorists. Allying with Trumpism makes them feel like they’re in league with someone unafraid and powerful enough to defend their whiteness in the face of America’s historic and deserved reckoning.
Those subscribing to the Trump World View- even if not supportive of his personal trespasses or a fan of his behavior- are one of the most steadily growing demographics in American Politics, primarily comprised of white men and women between 30–64 who identify as heterosexual and christian. Teens in Trump supporting families that were not old enough to vote in 2015 are now, and they will, at a polling station, with no mask in a pandemic believing it a Democrat hoax, instead wearing a Make America Great Again cap like their Dad.
There is no question anymore that Russian operatives helped Donald Trump win the 2016 election. This has been determined by 8 separate intelligence agencies in long and thorough investigation that determined they would, indeed, help him again in 2020.
It also helped that Russian President Vladimir Putin himself confessed to helping Donald Trump as he stood beside him in a joint Press conference in Helsinki in 2018. When asked whether he directed any of his officials to help Trump’s presidential campaign “Yes, I did. Yes, I did.” Putin confessed, “Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal.”
Trump has long been haunted by what he has dubbed RussiaGate- alleging it is a machination created by his critics to invalidate his Presidency, despite it being a glaring reality that has demonstrably compromised the integrity of our election leveraging bot farms designed to plant and spread misinformation about Trump’s opponents, purchasing millions of dollars in pro-Trump advertisements across Social Media platforms while intentionally increasing political and social discord in the United States.
Russia was instrumental in making Trump’s conspiracy theories involving his opponents go get a foothold in the national consciousness- sometimes they created the story and Trump propagated it- and sometimes they took their cue directly from Trump himself and built upon his theories- one of them had been that Hillary Clinton was gravely ill, thus incapable of assuming the role of President; Another was that she had a colleague in the Democratic Party, Seth Rich, murdered for knowing too much about her.
Leading to the 2020 Election where Trump will go head to head with Joe Biden, Russia will capitalize on the seeds of conspiracy involving Biden’s Son, Hunter and his position at Burisma, a Ukraine gas company as well as the elder Biden’s allegation of rape levied against him by Tara Reade, despite have many more allegations himself. He knows he will not be held to the standard by Republicans as Democrats will hold Joe Biden. While such accusation may destroy Joe Biden, Trump has already waltzed through all 25 of his allegations, unscathed, meaning Joe has nothing to use against Trump that his most ardent supporters don’t already know and simply do not care about.
Another tactic implemented by Trump and his allies in news media has been to mimic the practices of using poll numbers to mobilize his base. Just as we saw in 2016, pollsters are releasing numbers that predict a grim loss for Trump and a flawless victory for Joe Biden. Even Fox News polls, who have devoted their channel to propping up the President, claim polls they’ve taken demonstrate him losing in November.
In 2016, those same polls showed Donald Trump losing in record numbers to then opposition candidate Hillary Clinton. Newsweek reported that Clinton had a 95% chance of becoming President in 2016 according to reputable pollsters. It was reported over and over again until it was inevitable that Hillary Clinton would be the first woman President in history. There was absolutely no way she would lose- not with every poll and media report declaring her victory months before the election. They had even succeeded in convincing her that an election was just humoring Trump.
“I had not prepared a concession piece because I really thought I was going to win,” Clinton said on BBC’s The One Show. “So when it became clear I was going to lose the electoral college … I had to come up with something to say.”
These reports did the Trump campaign an enormous favor. It provided an urgent call-to-action from his base while simultaneously lulling Clinton supporters and undecided democrats into a false sense of security. Democrats suffered a blight of overconfidence while Trump Supporters actually rallied in a frenzy at the ballot box. It is reverse psychology at work. The idea of losing is the best way to stir the ire of the Trump body, especially now.
Unlike in 2016, they have developed an entirely independent body rife with racism, homophobia, bigotry and violence that they have tethered to Trumpism… a loss in 2020 would be a devastating blow to their movement. Once the mask is off and you’ve shown who you are, you can’t disappear again. They have more to lose than just an election this time and are afraid of the inevitable consequences of accountability.
The 2020 election is more intensely personal to the Trump Supporter than it was in 2016. They’ve tied themselves indelibly to Trump and the protections he’s afforded their various acts of public prejudice and discrimination. They will not let him lose.
And they will go to extreme measures to guarantee it.