What Happened to America?

When future generations look back at this time in American history, some might laugh, others will scratch their heads in amazement, and still others will be shocked by what befell our country. Take, for example, how Trump got millions of followers not to wear masks during a pandemic that raged across this country killing Americans in numbers far outstripping other industrialized nations.

How was it that Trump supporters did not believe in wearing masks when it was clear that a simple mask worked better than anything else (70% effective), even better than the coming vaccine (which might be only 40% to 50% effective) to keep people from getting this killer virus?

How could it be that Trump cared so little about his voters that he convinced his own followers to shun wearing the one thing that could keep them safe from the pandemic and that they believed this lie so much that at a rally in Ohio they booed the Lt Governor when he suggested they wear a mask to stay safe?

How could it be that his supporters did not realize Trump was conning them after hearing Bob Woodward’s taped conversations in which Trump tells Woodward that the virus is a killer, is conveyed through the air, that children can get it and that it is much more dangerous than the flu.

Future generations are going to write a lot of books and articles about this. In the rear view mirror of history people will speculate about how and why Trump did this to our country and to his own followers when he knew better?

Trump is Running from the Law

The answer, of course, is that Trump was not just running for reelection. He was running from the law and desperate to get reelected. Facing criminal exposure, including prison, if he left the safety of the presidency, Trump resorted to the playbook that came naturally to him- figure out the best shot to get reelected, create an alternate reality, then market that false reality by repeating it over and over again.

Democrats live in the real world. Trump knows that. They would rather not to show up in person at the polls and risk getting Covid. They want to mail in their ballots like Trump himself does. Trump looked at that situation and figured out the dirty trick that he might be able to pull off if he could get his voters to show up at the polls in person on or before Election Day so he could claim victory on Election Night. To get them to do that they have to believe the pandemic is not dangerous. If Trump can claim victory before the mailed in ballots drive up the number for Biden, he might be able to foment enough chaos with the help of his friends and a bunch of lawyers to throw the election to Congress or to the Supremes to decide.

The guy thinks like a mob boss. He thinks like a criminal  In fact he IS a criminal. The NYT just made Trump’s taxes public. They not only show massive business losses, but major conflicts of interest that help explain international decisions made not in the interest of this country but in his own personal interest- with India, the Philippines and other countries.  Is he a good businessman? Not at all.

Trump’s tax returns show chronic losses and bad judgement over and over again. He is terrible at business but great at portraying himself as successful. More to the point, Michael Cohen, his former fixer lawyer is doing time for lies to the IRS about far smaller amounts of money. Trump’s tax returns indicate that Trump lied to the IRS about huge sums of money. Trump knows this, of course, and  he is rushing to put Amy Coney Barrett in place on the Court to make his donors happy with him and to protect himself if the decision about our next president ends up in the Supreme Court.

Trump and the right wing have miscalculated

By jamming Barrett’s appointment through (and it will go through), she will come on the Court with a black cloud over her just as Kavanaugh has. Whether or not it is fair to her (she is said to be very smart and capable, pro-business, anti-choice and anti-ACA), she will be seen as an illegitimate Justice who was put on the court to undo RBG’s human rights legacy. 56% of Americans are opposed to this appointment. They want the next president to make the appointment. This shortsighted move will politicize and delegitimize the Supreme Court until justices that represent the will of the majority, who are able and willing to continue our country’s halting evolution towards expanded human rights, are appointed to the court to satisfy the will of the people.

Trump’s self-centered, desperate move and the answer to the prayers of the Federalist Society that have led to the appointment of Barrett, will create a huge backlash.  I believe this backlash will be one of the nails in the coffin for Trump and the GOP. Trump will not be reelected, the Senate may well flip to blue and the Democratic hold on the House will be maintained or increased.

Americans can see what is coming at them now in real time. 60% of Americans favor the right to a legal abortion. 56% of Americans surveyed said they would be less likely to vote for Trump if they believe the new justice would vote to overturn Roe. So Barrett is likely to be cagey about her responses when questioned in the Senate judiciary committee. But Roe will surely be mortally wounded or severely crippled, even if it stays on as a shell of its former self, once Amy Coney Barrett is on the bench.

Americans have come to like Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act will be thrown into the dumper by the new Court about a week after the election and some 25 million Americans could lose their health insurance and with that their chance to get affordable health care even if they have preexisting conditions, a few months later as a result. LGBTQ and DACA and immigrant’s rights are going to be pitched out against the will of the majority as well. If Trump is reelected he will also get rid of Social Security. All of this is already creating backlash as Americans understand what they are about to lose.

The Sleeping Next Gen Giant Just Got Woke

Next Gen has been shaken out of complacency by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was a cultural heroine for many of them. Replacing her with Barrett will kick start a burning desire in this group of new voters to get Trump out. The younger generation was sort of ho hum about Biden before, but now I think these voters would be willing to crawl over hot coals to elect Biden and Harris.

The Trump/GOP raw power play has enraged not only Next Gen but angered women in the suburbs who have all read or watched The Handmaids Tale. Most women don’t take kindly to the idea of being forced by law to carry every pregnancy to term no matter what the circumstances are.

And something else. Trump might have a fully stocked Supreme Court that he thinks will help him with his coup to stay in power, but those justices are appointed for life, and they might not turn out to be Trump loyalists after all. Trump is not certain to have a locked and loaded Supreme Court that will protect him at all costs when he tries to stay in power by gaming the system.

The Republicans Gambled Away the Future of Their Party with Trump and with Barrett’s Appointment

However, what IS certain is that once Barrett is on the bench, the Court will be seriously out of step with the majority wishes of American people for decades to come. Her addition to the Supremes will tilt the Court further in favor of big business and away from expanded human rights. If the backlash is great enough, a Biden administration might eventually need to make changes to the length of stay on the Supreme Court, creating time limits for Supreme Court justices and moving justices out of the Supreme Court into Appellate Court positions to finish their lifetime appointments, opening the door to more liberal justices coming onto the Supreme Court that reflect the will of the majority.

The marriage of the radical right-wing with Trump has spawned what the far right has always dreamed of: a regressive, pro-business, anti-regulation, anti-human rights Court that will allow powerful people to benefit and the little guy to lose out. Our country is becoming more and more of a plutocracy where the rich get what they want and the rest of America be damned. This is not acceptable.

It is shocking, for example, that voters in Wyoming have 70 times the voting power of a voter in California. 30% of the voters are electing 50% of the Senators and if the Republicans have control, they have ultimate power to pass legislation or sit on it as Mitch McConnell does with nearly everything the House sends to his desk for a vote. The radical right may think they have won, but I think they have sown the seeds of their own destruction for decades to come. Republicans forgot there is always a next round. This is not the end of the boxing match.  Next Gen will not forgive them for ruining their lives.

Watch for mounting backlash against Trump and coalescence around Biden.

Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of PA says “Trump is an embarrassment to the Republican Party and our country.” He just announced today (9/27/20) that he will be voting for Biden.

Cindy McCain endorsed Biden.

Today Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson endorsed a presidential candidate for the first time in his life. He is all in for Biden/Harris.  He has 200 million followers. (Note that 138 million Americans voted in 2016).

Close to 500 former military men and women have come out opposing Trump and saying he is not up to the job.

Even Trump’s leaked tax returns to the NYT are part of the backlash against Trump- an attempt to inform the public before they vote for president.

New Polling Released September 27 Shows Biden Continues to Maintain his Lead Over Trump

New polling shows Biden with a consistent lead 53 to 43 among registered voters and 54 to 44 among likely voters. It is significant that Biden is over 50%.

Biden leads among independent women with 57 points. (Clinton led with that same group by 12 points)

Biden leads among moderates by 47 points (Clinton led with that group by 12 points).

In many battleground states where Trump won in 2016 Biden is leading and has been leading since the race began:

Wisconsin (Biden is 54 to Trump’s 44- note that Biden is above 50%),

Michigan (Biden 52 to Trump 44- note that Biden is over 50%).

Pennsylvania (Biden 53 to Trump 42- also over 50%)

Maine (Biden 50 to Trump 39)

Minnesota (Biden 48 to Trump 42).

North Carolina (Biden 48, Trump 46.)

Arizona (Biden 48.2 to Trump 44.8)

Georgia, supposedly a reliable red state, is a statistical tie.

Florida is tied as usual. What else is new?

What Trump and the right wing have done is create massive backlash in their haste to achieve their partisan dreams and in so doing they have energized not only the left wing but moderates, educated women and men in the suburbs, Next Gen (for decades to come), black voters, many Latino voters, and older voters (who don’t like being considered expendable in a pandemic). I do not think Trump has enough low education white men left out there to win reelection anymore. Blue collar noncollege white voters who went for Trump in 2016 (+20 pts) are now down to only +1 or 2pts. In short I think Trump and the Republicans overplayed their hand.

But we cannot be complacent. We need to get out the vote. Trump could still win. He has a narrow path to victory. We will save ourselves a lot of sleepless nights if Biden has a clear victory. A landslide would be nice. Our nightmare would be over. Sign up to help the Biden campaign contact voters in battleground states.  Go to joebiden.com to volunteer.

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