A LOOK AT TRUMP’S RE-ELECTION STRATEGIES
By David L. Shadrick
IN TRUMP’S HEAD
The campaign for the 2020 presidential election is in full swing. President Trump has been campaigning, and raising money since his 2016 inaugural. At that time most liberals, including myself, didn’t believe Trump could win, yet he did. Many pundits chalked it up to an electoral college fluke, but to Trump a win is a win. Trump has done nothing to make the country great since his election. He is hunkered down in delusion, convinced that despite his poor approval polling he is the greatest President of all time. As the Democrats struggle to come up with a viable candidate to defeat him Trump moves forward. Let’s look at some potential re-election strategies for The Donald.
BELIEVING HIS OWN RHETORIC
When discussing Trump’s re-election strategies we need to put first things first. It is important to note that the President himself honestly believes he is doing a truly outstanding job. His cringe worthy attacks on our allies are making America great again. Trump’s embarrassing lack of leadership on environmental issues means businesses can be profitable again. And his acts of cruelty on persons with brown skin will save the nation from immigration. Trump crows about how great these strategies are for America. In his mind, the 2020 election is over, and he’s already won.
First and foremost, Trump is going to emphasize how great the economy is doing. This will be a major part of his re-election strategies. The problem is, of course, many of Trump’s policies, particularly his tariff wars are undermining the economy. Economic directives via Twitter are unnerving to most Americans. A lot of a “great economy” is based on consumer confidence. The recent GOP tax cuts can already be seen as a catalyst for a spiraling national debt. The increase in our national debt numbers should offer a cautionary note for Trump. Trump I believe will campaign on the fallacy that he created our current robust economy and the delusion that it will last forever.
Trump understands that he lost the popular vote in the 2016 election. Additionally, his political agenda has cost him much of his initial support. After breaking his promises to guarantee the social safety net programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, support LGBTQ issues and make marijuana legal nationally, Trump has lost voters. The question has become, is there anything Trump can do to win those voters back in the next year and a half.
FAVORS TO KEY ELECTORAL STATES
Personally, if I were in Trump’s shoes, I would be looking at states important to me in the Electoral College. For example, I would be concentrating on Pennsylvania because this will be a key state in Trump’s re-election strategies. In his place I would be concentrating on how to overcome the 13-point polling deficit the surveys are showing. In addition to this being an article, I would like to also make it a poll. I wonder what Trump is thinking he can do to bring back interest from states he may have lost.
The Democrats haven’t found a front-runner yet. The huge opposition field has to be an indication into Trump’s re-election strategies. He is already attacking primary leaders and giving them demeaning nicknames as part of that strategy. Trump realizes one of his best hopes for re-election is to create the image of a “weak” Democratic challenger.
AGE OVER BEAUTY
For me, a big part of my problem with the candidates is an age issue. It’s time to get someone with a fresh approach who will bring new ideas to the table. Unfortunately, the front-runners are not a challenge for Trump’s re-election strategies. Biden and Sanders are OLD, and we have heard their message. The younger, more progressive candidates are being overlooked in favor of those with name recognition. Unfortunately, the new blood has little to no experience, and it is hurting their campaigns.
LACK OF EXPERIENCE
I really like Pete Buttigieg but the experience of managing a city of 100,000 is not the same as running a country the size of the United States. Beto O’Rourke served on the El Paso City Council before he was U.S. Representative for the 16th District of Texas for three terms. Being a law-maker is not the same as being an executive. This shallow experience has many voters skeptical; which works into Trump’s re-election strategies. Although on the edge of being too old it would seem that Elizabeth Warren is coming on strong. This is because she appears to be one of the few candidates running on a well thought out plan while her opposition seems to be focused on the “I can beat Trump” rhetoric.
Trump can also use his status as the incumbent president as part of his re-election strategies. It is unknown how much impact this may have on the campaign. But there are those who will vote for Trump in order to “stay the course.” Trump is, in my humble opinion, a dumpster fire of president, but he is a known evil. The opposition remains unknown. It is my opinion that he will keep numerous supporters simply because the world hasn’t entirely slid off the rails during his tenure. These folks however, are also part of the Trump troops that may be so disengaged that they do not vote.
Part of the irony about Trump’s legal problems and possible impeachment is that most Americans really don’t care. Every sitting president is the subject of attacks by the opposition. Many voters just feel this is par for the presidential course. Conservatives understand that Obama wasn’t a Kenyan Muslim and using this line of thinking they “know” Trump isn’t a criminal. Keeping up his cries of “witch hunt” is part of Trump’s re-election strategies, trying to make his crimes seem like overblown hyperbole.
Many of you are now discussing Trump’s appalling poll numbers and wondering why anyone is worried Trump might win re-election. Here’s the problem with the polls – they were inaccurate in the 2016 election and could once again be inaccurate. It seems many people are embarrassed enough to conceal the fact that they are a Trump voter. The truth is the current polls show Trump approval rating at 40%. That means 60% are unfavorable. Unfortunately, I think many of his detractors won’t vote, period. Many will be discouraged by an unsympathetic society, many others will have their votes suppressed, or gerrymandered out of importance. Trump’s re-election strategies, include the knowledge that the 40% who support him are probably going to vote. Unfortunately, I worry that many of the 60% will never see the inside of a voting booth. It happened to Hillary. The Democrats need an energized electorate, not just a desperate one.
People are reluctant to change leadership in the middle of a major conflict. It worked for George W. Bush. Part of Trump’s re-election strategies could be to start a conflict. While unnerving to contemplate, the possibility of a designed war is very real. The internet is already filled with memes dehumanizing Muslims. This is an obvious ploy to make us believe they are religious fanatics who can only be happy with the destruction of America. This propaganda is designed to make us willing to kill them by first envisioning them as savages; in other words, less than human. If it worked when they used it on my Cherokee ancestors it should work with the followers of Islam.
So when I woke up this morning it was to scenes of flaming oil tankers. Pompeo was blaming Iran for the attacks. Barely published, I felt this article was immediately relevant. I hate rhetorical questions but I’m going to ask one. Would the administration set this attack up as part of Trump’s re-election strategies?
FOREIGN INTERVENTION AND SUBVERSION
Trump’s main re-election strategy could be as simple as encouraging foreign intervention in our election process. On Wednesday, June 12, 2019, Donald Trump in an ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos made an astounding declaration. Stephanopoulos asked Trump if a foreign government contacted him with dirt on an opponent what would he do. Trump said, “I think I’d want it.” In fact, Trump said FBI Director Chris Wray was wrong when he said co-operating with a foreign power to influence an election was against U.S. law.
This isn’t the time for complacency. This is the time for action. In order to counter Trump’s re-election strategies, potential voters need to study the field of potential nominees. Be sure to watch the debates, they should be edifying. The large field of Democratic hopefuls needs to be winnowed down to one, STRONG, candidate in order to beat Trump. But, who that will be, is still the question.
Unfortunately, I don’t see a single candidate that gets me fired up. I know how I’ll vote, but I’m not happy with it. But, I will vote. Please do the same. We can’t complain about the direction of the country if we don’t take part. Hopefully a Democratic candidate will emerge that lights the imagination and inspires the country. But, if there is no such emergence it could end up that Trump’s greatest strength is the weakness of his opposition.