It is fair to ask if Trump’s complete failure to lead the country in these trying times has landed him in a governing and reelection crisis? Is he an emperor without clothes to the vast majority of Americans? Is he in a zone of unpopularity, where, except for his zealous supporters, everything he says sounds hollow, insincere, duplicitous, self-serving?
The simple answer is no. Thanks to his loyal base, a supportive right wing media, a supine Republican Party, control over the National Security state, and the resonance of racism among white people, Trump still is a formidable force. His status and standing is diminished, but he still remains an existential danger and a path, narrow as it might be at this moment, to beat Joe Biden still exists.
In the face of this steeper climb to a second term, Trump, true to form, has become more strident, more dangerous, more unhinged. Racism and conspiracy theories ooze from his mouth, like poison from a viper’s fangs. The pandemic and imploding economy have disappeared from his vocabulary. And he is quick to sic his paramilitary dogs on peaceful protesters.
So far, if polls are accurate, he hasn’t been successful in shrinking the spread between him and Biden. The coronation, oops convention, gave him little, if any, bounce in the polls. But no one should take comfort in these polling results, unforeseen events, and especially violent confrontations in the streets, provoked by Trump supporters and out of control police could change the math on the ground to Trump’s advantage.
What adds to the unease is that Trump in some recent interviews appeared more confused, unintelligible, and unstable than he normally is. It’s as if he now lives full time in a world of conspiracies and intense paranoia. Speculation has it that he experienced mini strokes last week that sent him to Walter Reed hospital. That may sound a little over the top, but it wouldn’t be smart to rule that possibility out.
In any case, the challenge is clear. First, mobilize, protect, and prevent the suppression of the vote.
Second, insure a full count of the vote. Due to the high volume of mail-in ballots, it will take days, if not a week or more to know the final results.
Third, block any attempt by Trump to claim victory before the vote is fully counted. According to most experts, it could appear on election night that Trump is the winner, even though he is actually the loser when all the votes are counted.
Finally, be ready to march. In view of his recent behavior and the peculiar nature of this moment, it isn’t out the question that Trump may lose the election, but refuse to concede defeat. In this event, an aroused people peacefully marching for democracy and honoring the results of the election is absolutely imperative.
And even if he does step down in the end, Trump will still hold presidential power and the Republicans a Senate majority, until Inauguration Day in late January. This interregnum has the potential to be volatile, destabilizing, and dangerous. Here too millions should be prepared for any eventuality and ready to act accordingly.
And even if in the end he does step down, Trump will hold still presidential power and the Republicans a Senate majority, until Inauguration Day in late January. This interregnum has the potential to be very volatile, destabilizing, and dangerous. Here too millions should be prepared for any eventuality and ready to act accordingly.