Three signs of hope for Trump-relief
The Thrill of Shared Outrage (TOSO) about Trump gets us nowhere, so here instead are some facts and ideas that offer a glimmer of hope that America might yet be rid of him.
- FACT: The bulk of Trump’s voters and supporters are people scared of losing their privileged status.
The people who voted for Trump and made him president were not primarily concerned with their own personal financial pickle. It was not about the economy after all. Yes, his most enthusiastic voters were from the white working-class, but University of Pennsylvania political scientist Diana C. Mutz has produced a large and persuasive study that concludes that “it was about dominant groups that felt threatened by change”.
Whites of all classes in America are increasingly aware that they will soon be a minority, and Trump promised to slow that down by curbing immigration, and by dissing “political correctness”, which really means any assertion that minorities deserve to be respected. What drove many of his voters was fear of losing their privileges for being white and/or male. Well-educated white people voted for the guy as much as poorer and less educated white people did.
Mutz also found that many white voters had many mistaken beliefs about why "their America" is coming undone. About half of Americans view trade as something that sends jobs to other countries at the expense of jobs for Americans, which is not what trade is. And Muntz points out that Americans whose income was shrinking during the election period did not necessarily vote for Trump. In fact, employment was rising, not falling, as the 2016 election loomed, and Clinton beat Trump among people with household incomes below $50,000.
Trump is supported by white voters who believe that whites are more discriminated against than non-whites are. More than half of evangelicals think Christians are treated worse than Muslims, and nearly 80% of white working-class folks reckon the “American way of life” is threatened. These misapprehensions shared by many Trump supporters are also shared by Trump himself.
In short, regardless of his spectacular fails, Trump offers comfort to this large chunk of the country who are pissed off at people not-like-them getting too much attention.
Solution? Since Trump has proven that all he’s good for is getting attention, a small percentage of these Trumpsters—and their kids more so—are unlikely to be fooled again. All that a half-decent Democratic candidate will need in 2020 is a very small swing—but that requires that the Democrats find a half-decent candidate
- IDEA: Fixing that crazy Electoral College.
While we’re on the 2020 election, consider the electoral “college” problem. It’s not a real college, just an arithmetic exercise really. It dictates that each of the 50 states shall decide which candidate for president won their state’s votes, then each state gets a number of votes in the college equal to its combined total of senators and representatives. There are a total of 538 electors, corresponding to the 435 representatives and 100 senators, plus three for the District of Columbia. The candidate with 270 or more votes becomes President.
That's a grossly undemocratic practice because you only have to win a state such as Florida by 537 votes out of six million, and you get all 25 of its electoral votes. (That's one reason why G.W.Bush beat Al Gore.) Furthermore, people in a low-population state such as, say, Wyoming, have nearly four times as much say than Californians do under this wacky system. With about half million people, Wyoming has two senators and one Rep, giving it three electoral college votes, while California has a population of 40 million, for two senators and 53 representatives. So Wyoming gets one electoral college vote per approximately 188,000 people while California gets one for each 677,000, giving the small-state folks nearly four times as much say as Californians get.
It’s a wildly unfair system set up for reasons that were unsavoury in the 1770s and absurd today. The consequence is that Hillary Clinton beat Trump by three million votes and Al Gore beat G.W.Bush by half a million yet the Presidency in each each case went to the loser.
Solution? Get enough state governments to pass a law stating that whoever wins the majority of votes for President nation-wide, gets all of their state’s electoral college votes. That allows the national winner to actually win the nation, and 10 states and DC already have passed such a law, and more are considering joining the movement, called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
- IDEA: It’s unlikely Trump will be impeached. He could, however, be bankrupted.
A majority of the House impeaches Presidents and the Senate tries them, but no one has ever been tossed out of the White House that way. Members of Congress vote on many matters, but very rarely on principles.
And even if Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller gets enough convictions against Trump and his gang-members to fuel impeachment hearings, the President can pardon all his mates, his family, and himself. Even if he didn't let his team-members convicted of crimes off the hook, an impeachment process would grind on for years, so this Trump administration would still rule the country and screw the world while the Congress babbled on about why they shouldn't.
Solution: Go after his business crimes. He is basically a crook. His business methods include buying real estate with borrowed money he fails to pay back, stiffing contractors, suppliers, partners, and creditors, evading taxes, selling fake university degrees, and buying off witnesses.
He can pardon himself for anything, including being a business fraud, money launderer, cheat, tax evader, thief and so on—but he can NOT pardon companies. Many of his hundreds of companies have broken multiple laws, so drag them into court, freeze and seize their assets, sell them off, and bar him from practicing his chosen profession (being a crook) ever again. Many of the Trump family’s possessions were likely bought through some dodgy company or another, so seize their personal cars and watches and … everything they can’t prove they own legitimately.
This may be the very strategy Mueller and his team of lawyers are pursuing. They keep sending bits of evidence of corporate dirty dealing to local prosecutors, who will prosecute. Bits pile up, and companies fall down.
It would be satisfying to have this man remembered as a crook, and nothing would cause Trump as much pain as losing all his gold cuff-links and golf-links would.