DISCLAIMER: This is an article written for POI UK. Due to it’s relevance to American politics, it was re-uploaded to POI US. Therefore, the perspectives are British and from British parties, not American like other POI US articles.
Trump 2020 victory à la Trump 2016? No Way! – Liberal Article
In 2016, Donald Trump ran as an outsider during an election where the national mood was tiled against the political establishment. Sensing this and capitalising on it, he cruised into office atop a wave of social unrest and political disillusionment. Fast forward to today, Trump appears to want a replay of this victory, painting himself as the anti-establishment candidate doing battle with a “Washington swamp” opponent. But is a ‘Trump 2020 victory à la Trump 2016′ assured? The answer is no and here’s why.
Firstly, the entire foundation of Trump’s 2016 appeal has been swept away. Four years ago, Trump won by constructing a narrative that catered to the public mood. He used three arguments to do this.
One – things can’t get any worse. According to Trump, America was a “third-world country” and a “dumping ground for everyone’s problems.” So, if it’s all going to hell anyway, why not give Trump a chance?
Two – governing is easy. In Trump’s view, politicians had failed because they were “clowns” and “stupid.” America could be saved by an inexperienced outsider without difficulty.
Three – moral leadership doesn’t matter. You’re electing a Commander in Chief, not a Pastor in Chief.
Today, none of these propositions were maintained. ‘Things can’t get worse’ is continuously disproven by daily headlines. Take the fact that unemployment has climbed to 14.7%! Claiming that governing is easy sounds deranged coming from the man who suggested injecting bleach as a treatment for coronavirus. And Trump’s idea that presidential character doesn’t matter has been undermined by his hateful lack of concern for Americans, which is now impossible to ignore!
Taking this into account, how can Trump reproduce his 2016 victory when the entire foundation of his previous appeal has been swept away?!
But there is more, Trump is the incumbent… in a bad year for incumbency. In 2016, Trump ran as the “change candidate”, hostile to both major-party establishments. Clinton, in contrast, represented the party who had held office for eight years, characterized by a sluggish economy and partisan gridlock. This gave Trump an advantage as the ‘alternate’ choice for voters disliking either party.
Yet, Trump is now the incumbent. Voters no longer see him as independent from things they don’t like about the Republicans. In other words, this presidential hopeful is about to get a taste of his own medicine. This time, he’ll be the one losing badly with voters who dislike both candidates. Right now, Trump seems poorly positioned to win either a “referendum” or a “choice” election.
And we must admit that Trump’s act has now grown old. While his ‘stubbornness’ and disregard for compromise was once considered his most attractive trait by his supporters, it now makes him look foolish at a time where Americans are deliberating about sensitive matters of justice. It has left him tear-gassing citizens, staging a photo of himself waving a bible and allowing police to ‘dominate’ protestors.
Only his hardcore fans remain, with unenthusiastic members of team Trump going away. Voters are waking up and joining his opposition. Over 80% of the moderate ‘swing state’ voters now say that they will actively vote against him. And, as we know, swing voters can make all the difference!
An empathetic president is what most American voters now want. Trump’s harsh demeanour wasn’t problematic in 2016 as voters thought “why do we need a nice guy to run the government?”. In times of crisis, this is not the case. Running the government is only part of what the president does; they are meant to speak to and for the nation, setting the tone and calling them to action. This is Trump’s major failure. He’s shown more emotion when grieving his lost economic record than his lost constituents.
The American people are craving for a president who feels their pain, and Biden seems like the solution to many. You can see it in the polls. Trump’s public approval rating has fallen to 36% in contrast to Biden’s rise to 50%. With less than 100 days to go before the election, the incumbent President consistently polls lower than his challenger in every major electoral topic.
This year has been one of unconventionality and shock for many, but I think what awaits the current president in four months’ time will be its greatest upset.
Trump simply won’t reproduce his 2016 victory!
Written by Guest Liberal Writer, Libby Gilbert
Point of Information
Voters voting against you? Block them! – A Conservative Response
Largely, I agree with this article. Trump’s core appeal has gone. Coronavirus exposed his ineffective presidential style. He tried to push most of the responsibility for coronavirus to the states. He appeared uncaring when he said ‘it is what it is’ for the amount of Americans dying of coronavirus.
But there is a caveat to the statement that he won’t repeat his 2016 victory. In a fair fight, Trump will not be able to reproduce his 2016 victory. But Trump is not a fair fighter.
Let’s start with the point about daily headlines disproving Trump, which frankly, is debatable. Fox News and Fox Business regularly criticise Biden and Democrats, scaremongering about them. If you watched CNN and MSNBC, then yes, they do often disprove Trump. But American News is too partisan for that kind of claim.
Let’s also touch on the manufactured controversy over mail-in ballots, which has been heating up recently. For those who didn’t know, Trump has admitted that he opposed extra funding for the US Postal Service, because it would allow for expanded mail-in voting. This is during an election where an unprecedented level of mail-in voting is expected to take place.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has been accused of intentionally slowing down mail. While this has prompted an investigation by the Inspector General into recent changes, if it is not resolved quickly it will impact people’s ability to vote, possibly handing Trump the win.
While voting does begin shortly in some areas, there is a long time between now and November. This gives Biden plenty of time to pull a major fail out of the bag. A week is a long time in American politics, 3 months is an eternity. Underestimating Trump won him his presidentship. This is a mistake far too costly to repeat.
Written by Junior Conservative Writer, Kieran Burt
Trump 2020? I hope not… – A Labour Response
I really hope this article is right! After everything that happened to us in 2020, a Trump loss would be welcomed by many. Adding to numerous valid points mentioned in Libby’s article, are other indicators suggesting Trump could lose the election.
Increasing divide and dissatisfaction with Trump within the GOP is the main one. Groups like The Lincoln Project, comprised of Republicans, are working to ensure Trump is not re-elected. Let’s also not forget the recent interview with BBC’s Americast where First PAC Steve Cortes, spokesmen for America, admitted the campaign had a lot of work to do.
While I am optimistic, let’s not throw caution to the wind. Only 10 incumbent Presidents have lost re-election before, so the numbers are in Trump’s favour here, and we could well see a Trump 2020 victory. As Kieran pointed out, Trump and his allies won’t fight fairly. A recent attack ad against Biden falsely claimed his election would result in people being unable to get help from 911. And Trump’s faction is also trying to damage the postal vote. The Donald has already shown he does not need the popular vote to win.
So, let’s try to stay hopeful… on the eve of what promises to be one of the 21st century’s turning points.
Written by Junior Labour Writer, Freya Jhugroo