Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Real Reason for Optimism: Hate Hurts

Today is the day after Trump's path became clear to the nomination.  This is, of course, awful.  He will incite violence and hate (spending this morning reminding folks of his idea to ban Muslims from entering the US).  But there is some reason for optimism.  Not the hope of 2008, but optimism that Trump will not become President.

Why?  Because hate burns.  Before this election, after the last two national losses, the GOP muckety-mucks realized that they needed to broaden the party's appeal as they were not doing well among the young and as the country became increasingly diverse.  Well, they got instead the candidate who is best suited for reinforcing those disadvantages.

The latest poll:
 But more important, the new CNN poll finds Trump is viewed unfavorably by 64 percent of women; 73 percent of nonwhites; 70 percent of voters under 35;  67 percent of college graduates; and 57 percent of moderates.
 The Latinos are not going to vote for Trump, which means Florida is more than just in play but likely to go Democrat.  Arizona may actually be in play.  And because Trump is utterly dispicable, he will have to spend time and effort in the fall woo-ing states that should be safely Red like Utah.  Not to mention that a fair number of "Conservatives" are likely to vote for a third party candidate or not at all. 

The general election is different as the linked article suggests.  Bigger numbers of voters, so not just the passionate folks from the left wing and the right wing.  And Trump's competitor this time is well suited to the task.  Hillary Clinton is not a perfect candidate by any stretch, but she can call Trump out for being a white supremacist fan boy since she, unlike Cruz, Rubio, etc, is not going to try to get their votes.  She can call him out on his misogyny because she has no problem being seen as a feminist candidate, unlike the GOP cast of lousy candidates.  Trump may try to swerve to the center, but all of his statements are there to be played again and again. 

So, yes, it is horrible that Trump has made it thus far, excelling by embracing the worst instincts, by competing with an incredibly weak group of canddiates, and by winning pluralities of the small numbers who show up at primaries and caucuses.  But what has gotten him this far is likely to bite him bigtime, as the national electorate is not the same thing as those who vote in GOP primaries. 

While there is much concern about what could happen, and I admitted bad predictions yesterday, I cannot help but be optimistic that next fall, the Democrats will have their first 12 year stretch in the White House since FDR/Truman.

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