President Sabotaging Himself
Donald Trump is doing everything imaginable to ruin his reelection chances.
From mishandling the coronavirus to pushing for a premature opening to schools, slowing the mail and campaigning as a virulent racist, the president is ensuring his inevitable defeat with each self-destructive decision.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented the president an opportunity to prove to the nation that he is a capable leader. Instead, we learned what many expected. Trump is a reality-show con-artist whose reputation for competence was stage-managed and fraudulent.
Trump could have had another four years in office signed, sealed and delivered by listening to his scientific experts and enacting common-sense measures to control the spread of the virus. Instead, he foolishly pushed for society to reopen before we were ready, miscalculating that there could be a quick economic recovery. Now, millions of Americans face months of financial uncertainty.
As if to compound that error, and prove to the entire country that he is incapable of learning from his mistakes, Trump is now pushing for schools to reopen. In the few states that have proceeded, there have already been viral outbreaks.
Should this misguided approach continue, the entirely predictable result will be that children will fall ill, teachers will fall ill, school staff will fall ill and all those infected individuals will go home and spread the disease to their families. Nearly 170,000 Americans have already died needlessly. The higher that number climbs, the more people will blame the president’s negligence.
Now, in a brazen attempt to discredit the election and our democracy, Trump is intentionally bringing mail service to a crawl. His hand-picked postmaster general has instituted reforms such as cutting out overtime and removing sorting machines to sow distrust and prevent mail-in voting.
This move will actually hurt Trump’s base more than anyone. Senior citizens, who are more likely to be Trump voters, depend on the mail to get their life-saving medication. Military personnel, many of whom are stationed overseas and are also predisposed to be Trump supporters, rely on the United States Postal Service. Trump is risking having more of his likely voters turn on him.
Furthermore, mail-in voting has traditionally been an advantage for Republicans. Trump is trying to create a situation in which people have to wait in long lines during a pandemic, perhaps in inclement weather, to cast a ballot.
Who is more likely to show up and stick it out under those conditions?
Younger, healthier, highly-motivated Democratic voters will probably turn long lines into gigantic block parties, while older, feebler Republican voters will give up and go home.
Finally, Trump has leaned into his racism as a campaign strategy like we’re living in the 1950s. He has tried to claim minorities are going to overrun the suburbs, ridiculously questioned Kamala Harris’s eligibility in a revival of birtherism and tried to violently subdue Black Lives Matter protests with opaque paramilitary federal agents.
All Trump had to do was follow a science-based strategy to the virus, shutter schools until the situation was under control, keep the mail flowing on time and not be racist. Instead, we have a president whose policies have destroyed our way of life and in the process wrecked his reelection bid.
It is what it is.