To the majority of Americans, including Democrats, Independents, and even some Republicans, the merest thought of a Donald Trump presidency calls up uncomfortable shivers. His speeches include racist and sexist remarks, egomania, total disrespect for human rights, and even threatening to punch Democratic speakers like he were a playground bully. All of that serves to show that the GOP has seemingly lost its collective mind in nominating him as their candidate for President. Have they really fallen so low to select this hollow regurgitation of a man?
No. It’s all a part of a plan. A gamble, really.
If you keep up to date with daily polling data, it certainly looks like America has something to worry about. Trump and Hillary appear to be in a dead heat, with party lines drawn firm. But I don’t think that’s true. I think the GOP is wisely setting up Trump for a fall.
Public opinion is fickle, and can be manipulated easily by polls. Pollsters ask questions that are intended to produce results they want, rather than objective opinions. This old, fuzzy clip from an episode of Penn And Teller’s Bullshit! illustrates how a pollster can ask questions in different ways to produce different answers. Daily polling uses psychology to manipulate voters into believing an opinion is shared with a larger or smaller group of people, depending on the needs of the organization conducting the poll. These organizations, including but not limited to news media, super PACs, and more, have a vested interest in making elections look like neck-and-neck battlegrounds.
This year we’ll get the same story, but it will be bitterly false.
The 2016 Presidential election will be a landslide victory in favor of the Democrats, and the polls are not going to reflect that until after the dust settles and the votes are counted, as if to say “this was a total upset, we didn’t see it coming! Isn’t that exciting enough for you to read all about it on our site?”
In reality, nearly every indicator is pointing to a Democratic president, according to Moody’s model. This prediction model ignores daily popularity contests and looks at information relating to the state of the economy, housing, gas prices, trends in Presidential approval ratings, and more to determine which party will end up on top and by how much.
“The reason a Democrat will win isn’t about polling or personalities, it’s about economics, says Moody’s. The economy is the top issue in just about every election. When the economy is doing well, the party currently in office usually wins again. When the economy is tanking, Americans vote for change.
Other prediction models agree that Democrats will retain the White House, it’s just a matter of details and by how wide a margin. When you eliminate polling, the result is clear for a wide range of reasons:
- President Obama’s approval rating is holding steady after accomplishing so much despite having the House and Senate vehemently rallying against everything he did, no matter what it was. There’s nothing the American people respect more than succeeding through hardship.
- The economy is on the rise again, thanks to smart policies, steady growth in consumer spending, and an increase of available jobs.
- The housing collapse was painful for a lot of people who were sold mortgages they could not afford. However, the silver lining is that it led to new, low mortgages and a boost in equity.
- Gas prices are staying below $2.50/gallon and dropping, after pulling out of expensive wars and accumulating a surplus.
- We no longer view groups like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other militant groups as imminent threats to America. Right-Wing Extremists are now a bigger threat to American citizens than any group outside of the country.
- Civil rights support for the LGBT community is at an all-time high, possible only through progressive public opinion and policies, historically a feature of Democratic views.
- The War On Drugs has been deemed a failure, and states are slowly opening up to marijuana legalization and decriminalization, historically an issue Democrats have been in favor of.
- Racial tension between heavily armed police forces and black men and women is still thick, but support is still heavily skewed in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement, and against the unnecessary militarization of police which has led to many recent tragedies.
- Bernie Sanders’ support of Hillary Clinton ensures that there won’t be a Democratic party split, which could have accidentally lead to a Trump presidency.
- While the Affordable Care Act remains contentious and still has issues to work out, more people have health insurance and less are denied based on existing conditions. A few signs are pointing to steady improvement as the still-young policy is modified to fit the needs of the people.
- Religious affiliation, more common with Republican voters and used as a motivational tool to put George W. Bush in office, is declining.
- Possibly related to the above point, science appreciation and education are climbing. With science appreciation comes reason and critical thinking, a far cry from Newt Gingrich’s assertion that feelings are more truthful than facts.
There are plenty more, smaller issues that also support a landslide victory for Democrats, so how do these things figure to major members of the GOP?
Few of them have put their weight behind Trump, because whether he wins or loses, he will undoubtedly be a political disaster. In the last thirty-plus years, the Republican strategy has been to pander to extremist fringes within their own party to boost their numbers. Republicans have been very careful in cultivating party unity, and balancing the fringes with the moderates has worked for them for a long time. However, with Trump, all the filters Republicans put in place to smooth over the sharper edges of their party have been thrown out the window. Trump is openly sexist, racist, xenophobic, combative, bullying, narcissistic, and a terrible businessman on top of all that. The only thing he’s good at is branding himself as successful, and somehow that has worked for him. He is the embodiment of everything the GOP hoped to avoid.
So why risk it? If all the signs are pointing towards a Democratic victory, the smarter Republicans would know to avoid Trump like the plague, let him bury himself, and steer into the skid so that by the time the 2020 election comes around the more moderate Republicans will look that much better. They’re throwing Trump under the Democratic bus, and it’s probably for the best. Trump will lose, badly, and he’ll forever have a black mark on him that Republicans can use to prevent him from running again.
After taking in all this information, it might be tempting to just leave the election altogether and not vote. If Democrats are going to win anyway, what’s the point?
Trump is still a dark force of nature that must be stamped out of politics. He has a legion of followers that have been told for years that their beliefs, whether they are political, religious, or emotional, are a right that should be upheld no matter the cost to others. Donald Trump is spearheading a group of people who are fervent in their indestructible belief that they are more important than everyone else, that their rights are being trampled on, that their feelings should dictate policy, and that their fears should win out over progress. We cannot sit idle and believe that the numbers will work themselves out to the nation’s benefit.
Everyone must vote. Even if they know what the result will be. That should just motivate us more, just so we Americans, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents together, can rub it in the smug face of this man who represents the darkest corners of our nation, who tells us his ignorant bigotry and hollow ego will represent us on the world’s stage. He shouldn’t. He can’t. He won’t.
Donald Trump has already lost, he just doesn’t know it yet.