Saturday, September 05, 2020

Race for the White House # 88

59 Days Until Election Day

Labor Day Weekend symbolizes the homestretch of a campaign. Today, the homestretch of the Kentucky Derby, previously always held in May, was run, without anyone in the stands. The homestretch of the Presidential race will feel similar, although one campaign is doing far more in regards to in person rallies than the other. All of this is happening in the wake of at least two incidents in which Americans have killed other Americans in the streets of our country over harshly set political dividing lines. While both incidents were declared acts of self defense, one shooter from the right tribe is behind bars and the other from the left tribe is now dead himself. Will it wind up getting even worse than this?

For many reasons, I want this campaign to be over with. First and foremost, I really want to see Donald Trump lose. I always knew he was basically a scumbag but sometimes the point is just reinforced and the last few days have done that. I still cannot bring myself to vote for Joe Biden but I am more tempted to than before. The fact that I do not live in a swing state makes it easier for me to not have to think about it a lot.

Voting is now underway in America. People are able to fill out and send in their mail in ballots in a small number of states with more coming. While the minds of most American voters are made up. I do think this is all too early. The Trump campaign makes a valid point about voting taking place weeks before any of the debates. In theory, something could happen that could make one regret a vote that they already cast. I think some early and absentee voting is absolutely necessary, especially during a pandemic, but two months worth feels like way too much. Nonetheless, this election is basically and ultimatum on Trump and in that regard his opponent or the actions of his opponent do not matter, nor will anything Trump ever says or does matter to most of his supporters.

A week ago, Trump supporters were heartened by Republican National Convention thinking that real momentum in the race was back on the side of the incumbent. I was skeptical then and all sorts of polls from the past week show that the fundamentals of the race remain strongly towards Biden. Those who back Trump point to him having a good week in the Rasmussen tracking poll in terms of his job approval, but they also had him going up the week of the Democrat Convention, only to have him going down the week of the Republican Convention. Does that make much sense? They just have his job approval numbers on a perpetual ferris wheel. The supporters of the Republican nominee believe though (or state so when asked) that the polls are "fake" and that they are not concerned. They think the polls are greatly understating Trump supporters as was the case in 2016 (though apparently not in the elections of' '17, '18, and '19.) While a couple of states turned out to be surprise victories for Trump last time, the overall polling was fairly decent from a scientific perspective. People just did not want to believe that Trump was as close to Hillary Clinton as he was then. Four years later, Biden's lead is larger, so those who want Trump to be reelected have to really hope that there is tremendous systemic errors in polling methodology.

Those who want Trump to win have to overlook a lot. I have always said that there are many great, patriotic Americans who are voting for Trump for what they view as legitimate reasons. That does not mean though that they are not choosing to turn a blind eye to pretty blatant appeals to white nationalist sentiment or grievances against immigrants. It does not mean they believe or even like all that themselves, but they choose to push it aside in their minds for other reasons, mainly because they fear what might happen to the country if the other side wins. To them, disgrace is preferable than danger.

That is a dangerous mindset. As the saying goes, "any nation that can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master and deserves one." Donald Trump would love to be that master if he could and there is literally no telling what he would try to do if he could get away with it. That is the greatest danger of all. Some of us knew early on, especially from his attack on John McCain in 2015, just what little regard Trump held the military. The revelations in the anonymously sourced but heavily corroborated piece in "The Atlantic" from late this week do not offer too much in the way of actual surprises but does paint a very bleak picture on the soul of Donald J. Trump.

I believe every word of the article and have little doubt that former top ranking Trump Administration officials just as General John Kelly or General James Mattis may be the very people who who are quoted in it but chose to keep their names out. I wish they would go public but they are choosing not to. Trump denies any of it is true, but we have heard him say these things about McCain, such as calling him a "loser" with our own ears. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, odds are it is a traitor as President of the United States. Trump used the occasion yesterday to viciously attack General Kelly, his former Chief of Staff, from the White House podium, signifying he believes that Kelly is the source of much of the article and quoted him accurately. You would think that disrespecting the service of Kelly's 29 year old son, killed in Afghanistan, while standing next to his father at the gravesite would have been insult enough.

If the article is accurate, and I think even his supporters know in their heart of hearts that it is, as they excuse it away in their minds, how is Trump anything less than a traitor? He does not care about anyone other than himself or what people can do for him. Just look at the way he attacked Joe Biden this week for wearing a mask. How many of his supporters will put their lives at risk or the lives of others just to prove a "political point?"

We have an article which talks of Trump calling soldiers killed in wars "losers and suckers." He does not understand why we got involved in World War I or who the "good guys" were in that war. I always knew he did not want to go to that cemetery in 2018 because he was worried about his hair, but his disregard for the military apparently goes far beyond that. He can believe anything he wants about McCain or George H.W. Bush and their service, but just imagine what it feels like for the families of those lost or wounded in more recent wars to hear these attitudes. We are told that Trump does not understand why anyone would fight for their country. "I don't get it. What was in it for them?" They were not going to make any money fighting for America. No, he must really not get it. He is a man who if he would have been President at an earlier time, would have rushed to appease Hitler and would have cowered in the face of Communism. Than G-d he was not. Now, in 2020, America has a different "rendezvous with destiny" and that is rejecting him and what he stands for in a way that such a mistake is never made again.

Those who will still vote for Trump, for whatever reason, need to ask themselves if this is really want they want to see in a President. Those who claim to be conservatives need to especially ask of if themselves. Trump is a foreign policy isolationist. That is not a huge secret and while it is bad policy, it is a legitimate viewpoint, albeit one completely at odds with post-war conservatism. He actually views the military though and those who make up its ranks in a way that is an extreme example of how many on the right believe the far left view military service and the institution of the Armed Forces. This is somehow less dangerous than liberal judges?

Perhaps the one biggest surprise in the article was that in the military parade he wanted thrown in his honor, he did not want any amputees from the war visible. "Nobody wants to see that", he is alleged to have said. That is literally something out of "Veep" the satirical HBO series in which an irredeemable Democrat who would become President, had the same attitude about amputees. Suddenly it is real though and sickening.

Those who have fought for our country, whether they were drafted or volunteered, at any point in our history were not "losers" or "suckers." Those especially alive among us who left their arms or legs on the battlefield or suffered traumatic spinal or brain injuries do not deserve to be derided but honored. At least we know Joe Biden, for all his flaws, will do that. I hope they are front and center at the next Inauguration, whether Trump shows up or not. They perhaps make him uncomfortable to look at because he knows they represent the honor that he will never have.

At the age of 74, Donald Trump will always see the world in terms of his version of "winners and losers." There is nobody more deserving of the title "loser" now and for history than he. If America is to be what America has always been, that needs to happen in 59 days.

In the words of Joe Biden, "may G-d protect our troops."


Post a Comment

<< Home