Wednesday, June 10, 2020

This is why Trump will win

I've decided to publish here a post I just now placed in an obscure corner of Democratic Underground (an audience I usually don't try to reach). My words were written in response to a news item about the toppling of a Columbus statue in Minnesota, an act apparently committed "in solidarity" with Black Lives Matter.

Dems keep forgetting one important lesson: An election is a popularity contest. It's not about rage or revolution or self-expression. It's about popularity.

Destroying Columbus statuary is not a popular move. You may argue that such a move SHOULD be popular, and I might even agree with what you have to say. But we're not talking about the word "should." We're talking about the word "IS." Like it or not, destroying this statue IS not a move likely to meet with popular approval.

Removing confederate statues -- which should have happened a LONG time ago -- is not popular. I wish the situation were otherwise, believe me! I was appalled to run across a double equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson here in my adopted hometown of Baltimore. (The statue was removed quietly a couple of years ago.) But I'm not going to pretend that the removal of such monuments is popular when the polling tells me otherwise.

Will this move prove popular? It should be popular, because it's definitely the right thing to do. But I doubt that the right thing will be the popular thing.

Justice and equality are popular notions. If Dems stick to those ideas, they will win. But "defund the police" is not, and never will be, a popular slogan. No matter how carefully you try to explain what you mean when you say those words, a majority of Americans will react negatively to the term "defund the police."

Reparations are not popular. Busing (a concept forever associated with Kamala Harris) is not popular.

Political correctness is not popular. Identity politics is not popular -- not even with members of minority groups.

Feminism is not popular, not even with women. Look at the polling. Feminists have had many decades to make their argument, but they've not made the sale. The concept of gender equality IS popular -- vastly popular -- but feminism is not. Less than a third of American women identify as feminists according to the most recent Ipsos poll. If feminist spokespersons had not repulsed so many Americans, the "pro-equality" and "pro-feminist" numbers would be the same. But they are not.

Progressives who do not care about popularity do not want power. Deep down, they WANT Trump to win. They perversely enjoy feeling rage.

For my part, I consider global warming the single most important issue of our time. If the Democratic party is seen as the champion of so many unpopular stances, it will not be able to accrue the power needed to assure the survival of our species.

Trump is struggling now, but I fear that he'll bounce back. Yes, the man is a despicable fool -- a narcissist, a criminal, a con artist, a quasi-fascist authoritarian and a traitor. But I'm still betting that he will win in 2020. The Democratic party has aligned itself with too many unpopular stances.

Joe - Would you consider sharing your thoughts on events? You always have some interesting insights as to how things unfold and what/who are behind the news stories we see.
Craig Murray points out that philosopher and civil rights activist John Stuart Mill was "Secretary to the Political Committee of the East India Company, and actively involved in the rapacious colonisation of India and the enforced opening of China to opium sales."

Burn his books perhaps? So a line has to be drawn somewhere, but where? Ban Nazi hate groups? Fine. Ban Islam, the French and the Italians from North Africa since they all invaded there at some stage? China had its Cultural Revolution, now gone. Is the US now searching for its own "Little Red Book" of moral guidelines, an easy fix for its deeper political problems?
I am not sure your comparisons are valid. I am not for burning books or destroying ancient relics (acts such as what Taliban or ISIS have done).
But there is a difference between destroying statues and works of art and displaying them in public spaces instead of museums and other dedicated places. Do Germans have statues of Hitler in their public squares?
As for books, the US has done a good job of denying parts of
its history without burning books.
The problem is not with works of art or names of historical figures, it is how they are symbolized.
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