A bet: $1,000 says Trump is reelected
Should we ever bet against our favorite teams?
Some say never — it’s disloyal, bad karma, or dancing on the grave if your team is an irredeemable loser with a despicable owner and name, like the Washington Redskins.
Yet betting against your interests can be a win-win. If you lose the bet because your team wins, it’s worth the price. If your team loses, you cash in.
So I’m putting out a $1,000 bet to friends and family that Trump is voted a second term. I’d gladly pay the money to send him back up his golden escalator for good, which is why I contribute to Democratic candidates who could beat him.
Right now, odds are I’ll win the bet, although the money would be faint recompense that the nation would lose.
My bet on Trump has nothing to do with current polls, which have him losing to Biden, Sanders, Warren, and even Ramsay Bolton, the evilest “Game of Thrones” character. We all know polls are often misread, skewed or wrong. Plus, it’s too early. In January 2016, polls had Clinton soundly thumping Trump, with her margin widening to 50% v. 40.5% in mid-March, and foretelling her victory right up to her popular win but Electoral College loss.
So forget the polls, pundits, prognosticators and prevaricators. My bet on Trump’s reelection is based on five gut reasons:
“It’s the economy, stupid”
The mantra of Bill Clinton’s campaign staff still applies. And the economy is relatively strong. Never mind that the Clinton and Obama economies were healthier. Or that Trump is surfing the Obama recovery. Or that the 2017 tax breaks for the rich redistributing income upward hasn’t trickled down to most working Americans. Or the widening wage gap. Or Trump’s seat-of-pants trade wars that are hurting American farmers and manufacturers. Or the record federal debt and deficit that used to outrage Tea Party and responsible fiscal conservatives.
“Progressive” candidates (Sanders, Warren) are pandering to “woke” youth and attacking their mainstream brethren (Biden, Buttigieg) as OK Boomer clueless.
For all their social media sound and sanctimonious fury, the vast majority of young people don’t bother to vote. While the celebrated 18–29 voter turnout surged from 20 percent in 2014 to the historic 35.6 percent in 2018, youth turnout was still trounced by every other age cohort: 30–44: 48.8%; 45–64: 59.5%; 65+: 66.1%.
By chasing rainbows on the left, Democrats risk losing the over-30, sensible, centrist, middle-class voters who are alarmed and disgusted with Trump’s squalid, divisive, childish, hateful, wholly un-presidential behavior and leadership for America and the world. The lefty Democrats are falling right into the Fox/Trump-wing media trap that smears even reasonable Dems as Bernie/Warren/AOC America-hating socialists.
Democrats are also ignoring the lessons of 2018 Blue Wave, when they won by focusing on middle- and working-class kitchen table issues such as healthcare, infrastructure, child care, local matters and supporting the growing economy while making sure it lifts all boats.
Maybe past the primaries, Democrats will run back to the sensible center and focus on what’s important to most voters and ending the Trump scourge on America. It might be too late.
The unholy alliance for Trump
Mainstream Republicans thrilled with the 28,000+ Dow, and believing the steady drumbeat of Trump media propaganda about the tax-, government-, and entitlement-loving liberal socialist Democrats, will find common cause with MAGAs, people they otherwise condescend as ignorant racist backwards hicks, shutter their factories, send their jobs overseas, and disdain the public entitlements many MAGAs need to live on.
Add in new-found Republican tolerance for Trump, such as: His squalid behavior after decades of GOP smearing of Democrats about decency and family values. How he whips up mobs to chant nationalist hate. How his White House is a ridiculous clown rodeo of dysfunction. His lying, self-enrichment and obstruction of justice Republicans would be aghast about if Hillary did it. Or his cynical cozying with the Christian Right that wants government to impose its regressive values on society, support discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, and intrude on intimate private decisions about family planning and reproductive health.
Add this Trump coalition together and voila! He wins the Electoral College again thanks to decades of GOP gerrymandering that gives a minority of angry resentful white Americans control of the nation. Factor in the systematic Republican campaign of voter suppression aimed at Democratic voters with a dash of fear about the browning of America.
An old joke goes, “What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care.”
When you look at the surveys or chuckle at the man-in-the-street interviews about how our democracy works — which depends on every citizen understanding how our democracy works — imagine our Founders both laughing and crying.
With the president and his fake news machine calling real news they hate fake news, with supportive Russian bots and suckered followers, deep fake videos and online misinformation all confusing regular folks about what’s real anymore, it’s no wonder we’re falling back to our gut sense, i.e., I know what I know, I believe what I believe, I have my own facts and sources and you have yours.
So convoluted logic is understandable. For example, MAGAs thunder about the Constitution. Yet they look away from the Emoluments Clause in Article I to excuse or cheer that their president is pocketing tens of millions from using his properties for official purposes. Or that he spends tens of millions in taxpayer money on his record-breaking luxury golf vacations, while they gush that he generously donated his relative pittance presidential salary.
Or they whatabout Hillary and Obama. Didn’t Obama just buy a mansion on Martha’s Vineyard?
Confounded by the clouds of chaff, we all give up, say it’s just politics, it doesn’t matter anyway, let it go and agree to disagree to keep the peace. You know, fiddle while Rome burns.
Much worse and more Orwellian, while our Founders believed our Constitutional republic could only work with an enlightened public — as Jefferson said, “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people” — somehow, education has become the enemy. Presidential ignorance is brilliance. Smart is the new stupid. College indoctrinates weak minds to be stupid socialist.
Trump’s disdain for experienced, knowledgeable people and disregard for second-grade standards for spelling, grammar, syntax, logic or coherence make him the greatest president ever because he talks real like “his people” do. I would be insulted but, whatever.
The GOP Senate, cowed by MAGAs and Trump’s right-wing media blowhards, has declared they plan to rig the proceedings in his favor.
The impeachment “trial” — blocking and damning the facts — will become another triumphant exoneration for Trump, a pox on his political “enemies,” and a glide to his reelection. Just like in despotic regimes that Reagan and all presidents fought, and many Americans died to defeat.
I really hope I lose $1,000 betting on Trump’s reelection.
If I win, I hope America is ready for more of his chest-thumping and crowing about how he’s the greatest most powerful winning president ever — the first president ever to win two terms — and his gleeful crapping on fellow Americans, maybe more than half of America, who dared to question him.
In which case, I get $1,000 to contribute to Democrats and organizations that care about America.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.