We Can't Be Shocked By Trump's Defeat
November 8th, 2020 | RR
We need to be honest with ourselves. Donald Trump's loss was not a shock. There were some bizarre glitches and violations in some key swing states and counting took suspiciously long, but the raw vote numbers speak for themselves. Both candidates had record turnouts and Donald Trump became the first Republican in history to get 70,800,000 votes. He expanded the GOP's base in traditionally blue states to margins that could make them permanent swing states in all future elections. All in all, it was a record-breaking election for everyone, but Republicans came out ahead in Congress and are well positioned to win in 2022.
Most of our readers preferred Donald Trump. His loss is sad, but there are some truths and bright spots in everything that happened.
Although he lost the White House, Trump and his brand will live on and continue to be a thorn in the side of the establishment. He could go on to influence future presidential elections—or return himself in 2024. American law allows two presidential terms, but if he doesn't make a comeback in four years, you can bet one of his children will.
After everything that has happened, we should have some faith in America's electoral system. Despite losing the White House, Republicans will likely hold the senate—making Biden's first term ineffective and filled with conflict. The GOP has also significantly narrowed the Democrat lead in the house. These outcomes have also led many to question the presidential results. How could Joe Biden win so big while Republicans did so well down ballot?
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The answer to that question is a bit muddy: electoral boundaries for house and senate are slightly different, with a big divide between rural and urban lines. Secondly, there is some belief that voters are clever enough to hedge their bets. Some who voted for Joe Biden may have voted Republican down ballot with the intention of ousting Trump but tempering Biden's presidency. Independents could have voted differently than registered partisans by dividing their vote between the two parties. We might never know, but we do know that both Trump and woke socialism were rejected by a majority of American voters simultaneously.
When it comes to Trump losing, there were several factors at play.
Fraud happens in almost every election in the United States and Canada. Those who deny it are playing dumb—or they are dumb. However, it happens on a scale so small that it never effects the overall outcome of an election. In 99% of cases, those who commit the fraud are caught and prosecuted. In those cases, the fraud is so inconsequential that it has no bearing on the final results. In the 1% of cases where fraud is suspected but never proven, the results are—again—small and inconsequential to the overall outcome.
When the mainstream media tells you that accusations of fraud are unfounded or “ludicrous”, they are lying. They are only right in the sense that it is doubtful such fraud would have any bearing on the election results.
In the case of Trump's loss, fraud would have to have been extremely widespread and massive. The feasibility of that is low. Going into the election, we knew that more Democrats would cast their votes by mail and that mail ballots would take much longer to verify and count. We knew that Republicans would vote in massive numbers in person on election day. By November 2, over 100 million Americans had voted by mail or by absentee and advanced ballots. We knew, by the data, that a strong majority of them would be Democrats.
When all is said and done, cases of fraud will probably be prosecuted. There will be a few instances where ballots were thrown away, where computers flipped results and where dead people cast votes. However, it's unlikely the overall result will change. Joe Biden's leads over Trump in important states are bigger than what fraud could produce. Without a massive, large scale fraud operation that would be impossible to hide and cover up, Joe Biden's lead is legitimate.
We also have to ask why no one is questioning Trump's sizable leads in Florida and his narrow win in Texas. Florida, in particular, counted all of its ballots within just a few hours, despite having a historic voter turnout. Trump's win there was declared very quickly, yet no one is questioning the legitimacy of that. The systems in Florida and Texas are no more or less prone to fraud by mail than any other state. Pennsylvania and Michigan have also been strong Democrat strongholds for more than 30 years. That shouldn't have been expected to change after one presidential election. On the other hand, Republican strongholds like Georgia and Texas have been consistently trending higher for Democrats since 2008.
Bush's 500 vote, three-digit win in Florida in 2000 would be more suspect of fraud than Biden's wins in several key swing states, where his lead over Trump is inside five digits and upwards to six in some states.
Biden's lead in Michigan: 146,000+
Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: 34,000+
Biden's lead in Arizona: 20,000+
Furthermore, Trump's leads in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin were much slimmer in 2016 than Biden's are in 2020, yet there were no accusations of fraud—except the idea that Russia had somehow interfered. For the most part, there were no accusations of outright fraud in those swing states from anyone.
Despite irregularities that are normal in any election cycle, Trump lost legitimately. Now, let's explore why that happened.
Trump Is His Own Worst Enemy
Honestly, I was overjoyed when Trump obliterated Hillary in 2016—but I expected him to change after he was sworn in. My expectation was that Trump would tone it down, limit his tweeting, keep it professional and start acting presidential. As the weeks and months went on, it never happened.
Immediately after being sworn in, Trump sent Sean Spicer on to the stage to dispute the media's coverage of his inaugural crowd size. It was ridiculously petty. It was then that it became obvious that Trump was going to be himself and that he would impose his personality on his entire administration. Eventually, we all got used to it, but the media would spend the whole four years attempting to destroy him, which is why so many Americans stuck by him.
Trump did a lot of good things, but most of them went unrecognized. As much as the media is to blame for this, Trump himself never made it any better.
He passed meaningful prison reforms, deregulated the economy and sent the US unemployment rate to the lowest in nearly fifty years. Instead of leaving the media with no option but to cover it, if not out of sheer boredom after the failed impeachment, he went on to make himself the headline by tweeting or saying something that caused journalists to collectively melt down and refocus their attention on his behaviour.
As much fun as it was for us to watch CNN have the equivalent of regular mental breakdowns over Trump's antics, it was causing a big portion of normal, ordinary Americans to start craving a president and leadership that was less chaotic and abrasive.
Trump had four years to tweet less, give the biased media fewer sound bites, and to bring independents and Democrats onto his side. Instead, he picked petty fights, tweeted about how terrible Arnold Schwarzenegger was at hosting The Apprentice and he deliberately picked fights with media personalities. Rather than keep silent and lead with his own actions and policies, Trump made himself the headline by going on unscripted tirades and by picking battles outside of the political battlefield.
Many of us were concerned that Trump would not be able to repeat a win using the same tactics he used in 2016 and these election results prove we were right.
Trump could have shocked Americans with a level-headed temperament and stoic approach, but he convinced a slim majority of Americans that he was incapable of being anything but a rambling buffoon. Trump had four years to bring enough Americans over to win re-election, but he failed.
At first, it was all going well. Trump stopped travel from China in January, while Nancy Pelosi went to Chinatown to hang out in crowds and encourage Americans to quit being scared and racist. Then, things started to get real and Trump began having regular press conferences with his doctors and medical advisors. It was during these crucial times that Donald Trump lost the election. Over the course of the year, Trump made several tactical errors.
By this time, Trump was well aware of how the media would distort, construe and exaggerate everything he says. Yet, he still chose to ramble and be himself during what many Americans were starting to view as a frightening pandemic and national health emergency.
Had Donald Trump chose to be quiet and to lead by example during the height of the pandemic, he would have easily won re-election. We know now that this pandemic is a dud and that there is no justification for lockdowns and economic shutdowns, but we didn't at the beginning. As the pandemic seeped into America and the death toll continued to rise in New York, Trump was being mocked and ridiculed for “telling people to inject bleach and to inhale disinfectants”.
"We need to be honest with ourselves. Donald Trump's loss was not a shock."
We know he never said that, but the media took a sound bite and blew it out of context—just as they should have been expected to do. All of this could have been prevented by Donald Trump himself.
Trump should have let his doctors do most of the talking. He should have never expected a slim majority of Americans to do their research and to verify what the media was telling them. He should have never expected that most Americans would believe him over the media. Up until Covid, a good portion of normal Americans had tuned out the news and begun to enjoy the economic prosperity that was happening. After Covid became a real issue, more Americans started tuning into the news again—even Americans that didn't normally pay attention.
This is where Trump failed.
More Americans were paying attention to politics because of the pandemic. 2020's record turnout is proof that normal, ordinary and often disengaged Americans had decided to participate. Some voted for Trump because they believed the pandemic wasn't a big enough problem to warrant lockdowns and a reduction in personal freedoms, but a slim majority voted for Joe Biden because they thought it was.
During the pandemic, as more Americans than ever were paying attention, Trump failed to reassure them. He had the biggest audience of his presidency and everyone was paying attention to his actions and listening to his words. He could have neutralized the scared Americans who were taking the pandemic seriously by taking it more seriously himself. Or, at least, by appearing to take it more seriously. While Joe Biden was paying respects to the 200,000 Americans who had died, Trump had nothing to say about them. At every opportunity, he downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic. Whether he is right or not, a majority of Americans were taking the pandemic more seriously than the president.
When Trump caught the virus and was admitted to hospital, he let an important political opportunity slip through his fingers.
After Trump was cured, he could have promised to bring the treatments he received to all Americans and reached out to those who had been affected or had lost loved ones. Instead, he told Americans not to worry and not to take Covid seriously. Although he was probably right, politics requires the right tone and an effective pitch. 200,000 Americans still had dead family members that were presumed to have died from the virus. It was an election year and a slim majority of Americans were scared of the pandemic, but Donald Trump chose to cater to his base of supporters who weren't taking the virus seriously.
In the end, normal and scared Americans—who believe the hype—turned out in massive numbers to rebuke their president. An historic number also turned out to support him, but it wasn't enough.
Biden's slim margin over Trump could have been closed by a few acts of empathy and some political intuition. Had Trump made better choices, he could have calmed the groundswell of anti-Trump sentiment that was growing in America. Even though many of us agree with Trump about the true reality of Covid, many Americans are taking it more seriously. Many normal Americans, who are usually disengaged from politics, are still easily influenced by media hype and fear. Had Trump had a better political instinct at the time, he could have turned the tides.
There were two sides: one side that didn't believe the pandemic hype and one that did. Rather than act as the president for both sides, he chose the side with weaker margins.
Trump's base wasn't going anywhere. He could have kept them by pandering to the other side and by encouraging mask-wearing, by promising the same treatments he received (but at discount prices) and by not downplaying the whole pandemic at all. He could have called for states to do what was in their own best interest while offering them aid and staying out of the lockdown debate. Had he done these things, it would have brought more people onto his side and given them faith in his leadership. Had slightly more Americans felt at ease with Trump's leadership through the pandemic, he would have won. Trump had their confidence on the economy, but not on his handling of a perceived global health crisis.
The pandemic was the most crucial test of Trump's leadership and he failed it.
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