Ever since he became President, the esteemed Donald Trump has been able to go out at least once a week, stand in front of a large crowd of adoring fans and rant about the do-nothing Democrats, the lying mainstream media and the fact that Hillary still hasn’t been put in jail. That exercise came to a screeching halt last week when Trump spent an hour talking to empty seats in the BOK Center in Tulsa, then returned to D.C. to learn the bad news about all the national polls. The bad news is that he continues to fall further and further behind.
So now everyone connected to Trump is starting to bombard him with ideas for what needs to be done, in particular, coming up with a compelling message for how he will run the country beginning in 2021, and by the way, let’s not forget that his opponent is just a tool of the Deep State, whose policies will set the country back so far that we’ll never recover again.
What’s really interesting about the latest Trump strategy is not what he’s going to say, but what he’s not going to say. And what he continues to avoid talking about is the one thing which is on everyone’s mind, and that’s a little problem known as Covid-19. The virus is now spiking in just about every state to the point that it looks like the Major League Baseball season may be going down the tubes.
And how is Trump responding to this mess? Here’s today’s lead tweet: “THE VAST SILENT MAJORITY IS ALIVE AND WELL!!! We will win this Election big. Nobody wants a Low IQ person in charge of our Country, and Sleepy Joe is definitely a Low IQ person!”
This campaign is beginning to remind me of what I know about the Roosevelt-Hoover campaign in 1932. Hoover had been elected in 1928, which meant he was President when the stock market collapsed and the country plunged into the Great Depression in 1929. He not only dismissed the economic crisis as nothing more than a brief blip in an otherwise upward trend, but he showed absolutely no interest in dealing with the problem in legislative terms. He was re-nominated for a second term by a Republican party that he completely controlled – sound familiar?
During the general election campaign, Roosevelt outlined various New Deal programs to help cut unemployment (which was over 20%), re-open banks (virtually all state banks were closed) and give aid to farmers (who were losing their farms in droves.) Hoover, on the other hand, blamed the entire problem on foreign events, in particular the threat of Socialism from abroad, and referred to Roosevelt as an ‘ignoramus’ and a ‘phony dressed up in plaid.’ – sound familiar?
Whether the 1932 election ultimately turned on the issue of ending Prohibition continues to be argued back and forth. But the bottom line is that when voters went to the polls, Roosevelt received 472 electoral votes to Hoover’s 59 EV’s, and Roosevelt also polled 57% of the popular vote – numbers which some Republican operatives are beginning to predict again this time around. And they aren’t predicting the 400+ electoral votes going to Trump.
In one respect, however, Hoover was correct when he blamed the Great Depression on a worldwide economic collapse. And this virus attack is certainly not something happening only in the United States. But countries like Australia, New Zealand and even South Korea have effectively controlled the outbreak, so why can’t be do a better job here?
Remember what Karl Marx said: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.” Right now the tragedy and farce seem to be happening at the same time and nowhere is it being played out more obviously than in Donald Trump’s re-election campaign. As long as he insists that wearing a mask makes the threat even worse, the more his chances of remaining in the White House beginning next year will dwindle away.