I am writing this from Des Moines, Iowa on a very frustrating morning for the Democratic party. The Iowa Caucus reporting system has fallen into a complete shambles, and what was supposed to be the hopeful launch of the process of nominating the Democratic candidate for President has dissolved into chaos, recrimination, and accusations of fraud. It’s a tremendous shit show, and it’s outrageous that a full 16 hours or so after the end of the process we have no idea what actually occurred. It’s easy to get discouraged. But with today’s video I argue that we shouldn’t.
Donald Trump has a lot of levers of power to lean on, and it’s possible that the Democrats will never get their acts together. But Trump will still be Trump. Today’s video lays out why that may be all that matters for this November’s election.
Video Transcript after the jump…
Hey there! Today I would like to deliver my 2020 US election prediction. Rather than chicken out the way I did in 2016, and not talk about my hunch that Trump was going to win, I am going to call it right now. I am pretty sure Trump is going to get slaughtered in November. Why, do I think That? Well, there are a lot of reasons.
Donald Trump ran as an insurgent, just as much against his party as against the other one. His policies in office featuring tax cuts and absurd deficit spending make a lot of Wall Street people happy, but it’s just standard Republican governance. Most of what sucked when Trump was elected still sucks now. Healthcare still sucks. Education is still too expensive, and nobody is building affordable houses. Donald Trump has a Jimmy Carter problem. Like Carter, he ran as a big change. It is kind of hard to continue selling yourself as a change agent, when you’ve been running the country for four years according to the standard Republican party platform. Also the constant dumpster fire that is everything about Trump is just exhausting. Even many Republicans are sick of this. I also think Trump has been a very bad president, and I’ll do many videos on that topic as the campaign wears on.
Now I could be wrong about all of that. My advanced case of Trump Derangement Syndrome could be fooling me. Maybe people really do care more about having a not much better economy than they care about Presidential dignity or honestly. But there is a simple fact about presidential politics that nobody, in any party can dispute. Donald Trump is president today because he ran against one of the only people in America who was even more hated than he was. I talked about this in the video where I accurately predicted the large Republican loss in the 2018 elections.
Two years before most US Presidential elections, nobody knows who the candidates actually are. I’m a bigger politics nerd than I used to be, but I’ve always considered myself fairly well informed. In 1998 I had a vague idea of who Al gore was because he was Vice President, but I had never heard of George W. Bush. In 2002 I certainly had no idea who John Kerry was. In 2006 I probably remembered John McCain from his 2000 presidential run, but I am pretty sure I had no idea who Barack Obama was.
This is the way things usually are. Most Americans learn about the presidential candidates through the campaign process. They decide who they like better in the three to six months before the election.
2016 was very very different. In 2014 everybody knew who Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were. And most people knew exactly what they thought about Trump and Clinton in 2014. Hell most people knew exactly what they thought of Trump and Clinton in 2004. Our options in 2016 were the two most hated candidates in modern presidential campaign history. The 2016 election was not decided by the debates, or by one gaffe or another. It was about which bad guy you were more interested in voting against. People voted for the person they hated less. Our political parties, and even our media apparatus are built around pretending that candidates are a good choice, even when they are so, so obviously not, so this central weirdness of the 2016 election gets ignored.
It shouldn’t be. The most important thing about the 2016 election is that both parties were led by one of the most hated people in the United States. In 2018 and 2020, only one of the parties will be. That’s why Fox News, AKA the Republican broadcasting company, spends so much time talking about Hillary Clinton, even though her political career is almost two years dead now. They desperately need a bad guy. Otherwise everybody’s just going to focus on the GOP’s bad guy, Donald Trump.
So yeah. Even in the 2018 midterm elections, when an embarrassingly low number of US citizens turned up to vote, Trump lost big. This November the whole country will be voting, and estimates of turnout are already pretty high. I have no idea who the Democrats are going to nominate. But I suspect people are over thinking things. They don’t need some specially crafted, electable focus-grouped Trump-beater. As long as they don’t nominate Hillary Clinton, I’m pretty sure the Democrats are going to win.
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