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Four Decades Along the Rainbow Road

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Is Trump TRYING to Lose?

Even with President Trump's failed and catastrophic response to COVID-19, the accompanying severe economic downturn, his numerous character flaws, his blatant racism, his corruption, lying, tweeting, psychopathic narcissism, misogyny, incompetence, grifting, lack of empathy, and the politicization of wearing masks, he was still in a competitive race with Joe Biden though trailing in all of the polls. If all of the Trump stars aligned, however, he still could pull it off.  #hocopolitics

What he lacks in skills and character, he makes up for it with bluster, self-confidence and hubris. Trump believes that he has the best political instincts (along with having hired the best people, attending the best schools and knowing the best words). Yet, recent self-inflicted miscues have called into question those instincts or leaving one to speculate if he is actually trying to lose.

For example:

Trump’s sabotaging of the Postal System: Our U.S. Postal Service, should never be considered a red or blue issue. It’s a red, white and blue institution, enshrined in our Constitution.  His newly installed Postmaster General GOP donor crony Louis DeJoy has begun the dismantling of the infrastructure of the postal system in several ways including removing and trashing high-speed canceling machines, rolling back overtime and removing outdoor mailboxes. These measures have resulted in significant delays in delivering mail and packages.

Clearly, DeJoy was under the direction of Trump to impair the handling of mail as the president has continually hammered away at mail-in ballots as being rife with fraud with not a shred of evidence to back it up. Under the guise of restoring fiscal solvency to the postal system, the timing of these moves less than three months away from the election is suspicious to say the least.

Trump publicly admitted such a strategy. “[Democrats] want $25 billion for the post office. Now they need that money in order to have the post office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. Now in the meantime they aren’t getting there. By the way, those are just two items, but if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped to have it.”

All Americans regardless of political party rely on the mail. It is revered by society, and the institution boasts an approval rating north of 90%. People depend on receiving medications, checks, subscriptions and the like and do not want this vital service weakened. Disabled veterans as well as others need medications that are often received through the mail. And the postal service employs over 90,000 U.S. veterans. That veteran organizations haven’t expressed their collective outrage is astounding. Moreover, mail is particularly vital in rural areas where most of the folks are Trump supporters. People like to receive their mail on time. So do small businesses. They like the postal system. This has been a political fiasco.

Trying to flatten Goodyear tires: Trump made an ill-advised move urging people not to buy Goodyear tires because the company does not permit workers to wear political campaign garb including MAGA hats. Despite lecturing Democrats for having a cancellation culture, Trump decided his fragile ego needed workers to demonstrate their love for him with donning his famous red caps.

Joe Biden gets it and fired off the following statement in response: “Goodyear employs thousands of American workers, including in Ohio, where it is headquartered. To President Trump, those workers and their jobs aren’t a source of pride, just collateral damage in yet another one of his political attacks.”

Ohio is a key swing state, and Trump cannot win the election without Ohio. Those employees whom Trump is trying to put out of work and others similarly in the manufacturing sector have families, friends and neighbors who may not want to vote for Trump after this boondoggle.

Welcome QAnon! Donald Trump will embrace anyone who likes him. Whether it is the neo-Nazis, KKK or brutal dictators and tyrants, if you like Trump or say nice things about him that’s all that matters. Another political loser has been Trump’s welcoming QAnon into the fold. QAnon is a group that has been identified by the FBI as a domestic extremist group. They traffic in bizarre conspiracy theories including the doozy that Democrats are Satan-worshippers and children-devouring pedophiles.

Undaunted, Trump supported and congratulated congressional candidate Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene who won a primary in Georgia and is likely to enter the mainstream by being elected to Congress despite her QAnon devotion. For instance, she had suggested that Hillary Clinton murdered her political enemies and ruminated on whether mass shootings were orchestrated to dismantle the Second Amendment.

QAnon members have reportedly engaged in violence and kidnappings. Trump said he knew nothing about the group (of course) but that they like him and they love our country. He refused to disavow the group and when told about their conspiracy theories and that they see Trump as a hero and savior in the war against pedophiles (oh, the irony!), Trump replied, “Is that supposed to be a bad thing?”

Several Republicans from former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to Representative Liz Chaney to strategist Karl Rove lambasted QAnon.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse saw the political danger of Trump’s embracing QAnon.

“If Democrats take the Senate, blow up the filibuster, and pack the Supreme Court — garbage like this will be a big part of why they won,” Sasse said. “Real leaders call conspiracy theories conspiracy theories.”

Lowering the bar on Joe: For the past several months Trump and his Republican cohorts could not successfully defend the president’s record so they attack their opponent Joe Biden. One of the avenues of attack is to paint Biden as a doddering old man who doesn’t know which side is up and cannot string two sentences together.

At the climax of the well-executed Democratic National Convention, Biden delivered arguably his best political speech, thus nullifying at least for now, Trump’s characterization of “Sleepy Joe” or “Slow Joe.” The contrast from expectation to actual was so stark, it made Biden extraordinary and Trump completely foolish.

These are examples of Trump’s political self-inflicted wounds, but with the Republican National Convention coming up, I imagine there will be a bunch more. It will beg the question, is he trying to lose?

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