by Richey Edwards
Can he do it again? That's the question many people are asking as Donald Trump seeks to confound the polls just one more time. Trump's supporters are convinced he is going to win and win big, but if I were them I would just settle for a win. A Republican landslide hasn't happened in more than thirty years and dare I boldly predict it's not going to happen tonight or tomorrow or whenever this strange Covid election concludes. However, a red wave wasn't always unlikely.
Prior to the pandemic Trump was nailed on to win re-election. The economy was booming, with record employment - particularly among the black community. Trump's business acumen and confidence meant he could combat the rise of China, something which a senile old Democrat is highly likely to row back on. And that's the advantage Trump had over any candidate his opponents could throw up. His record on the economy spoke for itself, while the Democrats offered nothing in return - communism with Sanders or an incredibly weak liberal called Joe.
So back in January things still looked very promising. Then the virus came and everything changed.
Coronavirus has been a disaster for Trump. His petulant attitude throughout the pandemic has made things too easy for his opponents, particularly in the heavily partisan media. But crucially, more than anything, the virus robbed him of his biggest campaign argument. The pandemic ripped through the US economy and unemployment has gone through the roof. Trump had got America working, but the restrictions took many of those jobs away. He may now be campaigning on an anti-lockdown ticket, but will this message - and his huge irresponsible campaign rallies - sway undecided middle class voters, many of whom are sympathetic to face masks and lockdowns?
As in Britain and across the Western world, there is a class divide in America when it comes to coronavirus. The likes of manual workers, shop workers and hospitality staff cannot work from home when everything shuts down and spend that down-time wondering if they will have a job to go back to at all. By contrast, white-collar workers tend to get behind lockdowns because they work from home and their livelihoods are not under threat. By putting his eggs in that one basket Trump is playing a high-risk strategy. There is clearly a growing resentment across the Western world against the ongoing assault on civil liberties, but make no mistake it is not being driven by the middle class. Trump cannot win by narrowing his demographic appeal in this way.
The media narrative across the West is very much one of instilling fear and crushing dissent - either by freezing out anti-lockdown voices or ridiculing them. The sinister way in which the mainstream media now controls the news - as opposed to reporting the news - was also played out throughout the summer months when mobs were rampaging through US cities in what viewers were told were 'mostly peaceful protests'. Estimates of numbers killed during the riots range between 19 and 24, but barely any of these deaths registered in the national media. Only one death mattered - George Floyd - and even that incident was manipulated.
However, thanks to the advent of social media and the fact that millions of people actually live and work in the smoking riot-hit cities, the media cover-up was severely undermined. People could see with their own eyes what was happening on their streets and it was far from 'peaceful'. It was at this point that things began to turn back in Trump's favour.
By burning, looting and toppling statues the hard left and their mindless footsoldiers were actually creating the conditions that would lead to the one thing they despised the most - a continuation of the Trump presidency. By embracing BLM it was clear whose side the Democrats were on, which was doubly frustrating for many because it was Democrat-run cities that were being burnt down. Many businesses and landmarks still bear the scars of the riots, while some cities continue to burn. The violence will have an effect on the election, but will it be enough to swing it for Trump? Doubtful.
The media cynically toned down its coverage of the 'protests' as the election drew nearer, just as it has cynically campaigned against its elected president for four years. Day in, day out, the partisan media has pumped out anti-Trump propaganda to such an extent that even in some of the most sceptical minds some of it will have stuck. That is not to say that Trump would be defeated by media conditioning alone, but it would be a contributory factor as it wears people down to such an extent that you would hear the more susceptible increasingly voice the opinion that they 'just wish things would get back to normal'. By that they mean a return to the swamp-dwelling career politicians that predated Trump. And who better symbolises that than Barack Obama's vice president who has been a senator since 1973?
Yes, Hillary Clinton was one of those swamp people too, but back in 2016 pretty much everybody expected her to win. After-all, she was so far ahead in the polls it was unthinkable that she could lose. Yet lose she did. The people who stayed at home that time will be taking no chances this time. It's no wonder that a whopping 100 million people already voted in this election prior to election day. Many of those postal ballots will have been filled in by people who are either too scared or too lazy to vote in person. Too lazy to vote in person, but prepared to go out and burn down a local store if their candidate loses? Too scared of the virus to attend a polling station, but prepared to gather with hundreds of others in a 'peaceful protest'? Time will tell, but President Trump is rattled by the prospect of so many postal ballots with good reason. Yes, of course there will be fraud, but he also knows that the overwhelming majority of these votes are Democrat votes. Republicans are more likely to vote in person, that's just how things are. It's why that middle class demographic was probably too vital to dispense with. They are doing everything from home, why would voting be any different?
Better the Devil you know could be applied to either candidate at this election. With Trump, voters know they are going to get four more years of a tiresome one-sided media narrative, but they're going to be entertained by Trump's unorthodox presidency. They should also be aware that their country is not going off to war any time soon and their country will not be bossed around by globalist institutions. Crucially, the decimated US economy will be in good hands.
With Biden, voters will return to the status quo pre-Trump. Higher taxes, less freedom, foreign wars, but also a creeping socialism. The red menace is tightening its grip on the Democrats and, while many will mock Trump in defeat, he will be followed by another one-term president. Sleepy Joe will swiftly become a vehicle for the leftists and, even if he makes it through the four years and tries again, there is zero chance that the then 81-year-old will get the nod in 2024. He barely knows what day it is now.
Biden confuses Trump with Bush
The result of this election, particularly if it goes the way I think it will, should be a warning to all of us. The demographic shift towards the left among young people is a ticking time bomb. We have already seen in this country how communists won control of one of the main political parties. They were defeated at the ballot box - twice - by predominantly older voters. Even at the last election, where they were thumped, they won the 18-24 vote in virtually every seat in mainland Britain. Those 18-24 year olds will eventually replace those older more conservative voters and what then? Yes, many of them will realise the error of their socialist ways. This is inevitable with life experience, more self awareness and, frankly, intelligence. However, society is changing at a rapid pace.
The ability to think for oneself, individuality, work ethic, ambition and freedom of expression is being stamped out in favour of state-led dependency and a thought process dictated by increasingly hard left institutions such as schools, mainstream media and social media tech giants.
Biden may win this election, but it's the hard left who will cheer the loudest. Not because they support Biden - they don't - but because he is a means to an end. Biden is a weak old man who will bend to their will. In fact by backing Black Lives Matter and covering up for Antifa he already has.
Crucially, Biden is not Trump, and that is sadly why he will probably be crowned the 46th president. While he does not offer the American people anything - not a single benefit - too many have been brainwashed into thinking that 'anyone but Trump' is actually a good thing. Despite all the prominent endorsements from black celebrities and flourishing community of black conservatives, particularly online, there are still many Americans who are under the impression that Donald Trump is somehow a racist. This tells you a lot about how susceptible people can be under a torrent of propaganda.
Yes, in many ways the 45th President is his own worst enemy. His arrogance, his narcissism and his increasingly erratic behaviour are not endearing characteristics. There may be much love and adoration at his mass election rallies, but he is preaching to the converted. How much love is there for the Donald beyond the rallies?
Don't get me wrong, I hope that I am wrong about this election. In fact I very much hope that in the next few days (or whenever they finally get those postal ballots counted) I am emphatically eating humble pie. While Biden tells his small gatherings that he presents 'hope over fear', to the Trump faithful it's the President who represents hope. Hope that the mobs will not be victorious at the ballot box over the fear of the revenge they will exact if they win. Trump may not be perfect, far from it, but for millions like me he provides hope in abundance. Strong nation-loving leaders can be elected in the West (sorry, but Boris is not in Trump's league). Foreign wars can be avoided, nationhood respected and borders controlled. The establishment and the globalist agenda can be beaten or at least curtailed. Four more years of Trump is the only way to ensure that it is curtailed further.
Now go Donald and prove those pollsters wrong - again!