Betrayal Trumps Trump, Martin Westerman-5/27/20

Marty blog contribution to Kaufman: Betrayal Trumps Trump #2

Following my last post – here’s more on how to create 2020 Democratic wins. The basics are to erode the Trump-Republican base, and attract independent middle and moderate right voters. Also:
• Arouse disgust w/independent & moderate voters vs. Trump & his radical Republicans,
• Push back against vote suppressors, and
• Turn red states purple – by using deep listening from Polics Is Power

The Trump-Republican minority is estimated at 30%-40% of the electorate, and shrinking. The elderly fear dying of COVID-19, and the military is offended by him violating their conventions.

Challenges facing Democrats include:
• Big money: most wealthy folk back the Republican party. They get most of their proposals enacted into law and regulation. Tom Steier, Andrew Yang, George Soros and their breed are outliers. The rich may personally despise Trump, but his Republican tax breaks have made them richer. And since March 28, billionaires are up another 15%, thanks in part to the “Zillionaire Giveaway,” a fine print addition to the 880-page March CARE package that handed $135 billion to wealthy real estate developers. The “Modification of Limitation on Losses for Taxpayers Other Than Corporations” has nothing to do with Covid-19, and offers retroactive tax breaks from before Corona arrived, says the Institute For Policy Studies. And another fortunate 16 Americans have become billionaires this year.
• Most large business groups, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, fossil fuel corporations, agribusiness, banks and financial companies, and health conglomerates appreciate the tax breaks and give-aways, and respond with hefty contributions to Republican candidates and causes.
• Thanks to Trump fronting for Republican Senate confirmations of two corporatist, anti-regulation, anti-abortion Supreme Court Justices (Gorsuch, Kavanagh), there’s doubt now that SCOTUS will render impartial decisions on these matters
• Knowing they can’t win if everyone votes, Republicans have turned to suppressing the vote as their only option for winning – falsely claiming that voting by mail invites fraud, creating obstacles to getting ballots, forcing voters to stand together and spread COVID-19 infection, and working to undermine the mail-in voting vehicle, the U.S. Postal Service.

So the 2020 elections are not about the candidates. The election is about Trump & Co., and reversing the American march toward authoritarianism. In her 2011 online op-ed in The Washington Post, Harvard political scientist Pippa Norris noted that 44% of Americans without college degrees approved of having a strong leader who “doesn’t have to bother with congress or elections.” She wrote that, for two decades, populist authoritarian leaders—appealing to nationalism and tradition, preaching hostility toward outsiders and elites—had attracted swelling support across Europe and the Americas, winning legislative seats and ministerial offices, gaining government power. Trump & Co. are part of the wave.

Our 2020 job is to throw them out, and basically, save The Union from authoritarian government. How do we tackle that list of challenges, regain power, and start reversing the damage? Take bold action.

Several Democrats suggest that after he finishes being sworn in as President, Joe Biden should display his first Executive Order, reversing all Trump executive orders. After that, he makes his acceptance speech.

We know negative advertising works – unfortunately. People react to both fear and love. So every Democratic and Independent candidate must hammer Trump’s broken promises and failures. What could be more repulsive than:
o over 100,000 U.S. virus deaths in three months, refrigerated trailer morgues, and
o no federal leadership to help get us out of this mess?

Next, to peel away the loyal base, add the promises Trump made at his inauguration and failed to keep:
o “…total allegiance to the United States of America,” and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.”
o To eradicate ISIS
o To give struggling families much to celebrate, and “make every decision on trade, taxes, immigration and foreign affairs benefit American workers and American families,”
o To stop enriching foreign industry at the expense of American industry, and protect America “from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs,”
o To repair America’s decaying infrastructure.

And there’s more! Our Democratic presidential candidate – likely Joe Biden – must:
o keep a running tally of Trump lies – now nearly 100,000 (“That’s lie number 18,233, Mr. President”)
o name each of the government and private sector sycophants and cronies who enable him, and have used their power positions for profit from the government,
o remind voters that Trump’s swamp people, cozying with Russian hackers, and conservative judges Mitch McConnell helped install, are depriving us of the America we hold dear.

And we know the best way to counter money in politics and voter suppression are through
(1) grassroots organizing (we still change our government through the vote!)
(2) requiring that independent commissions set demography-based voting districts, and where that
can’t be done, bringing lawsuits to get it done.
(3) fight fire with fire, and bring money to campaigns to counter Republican money

So move off the couch, break free of treating politics as a hobby, and act however you can to help Democrats and Independents win the Presidency, control of the Senate and House, and offices in all states. There’s a plethora of possibilities to choose from. Here’s a menu of your options:
o Go to Changing the Conversation Together (CTC) – it offers training in “deep conversations, persuasive exchanges,” to build a national corps of deep canvassers who bridge political divides and help elect Democrats to take us forward.
o Change the Electoral College’s impact, and move the U.S. closer to deciding Presidential elections by national popular vote. We don’t need to abolish the Electoral College to do it. Contribute to changing the Read Politics Is For Power by Eitan Hersh – then take action
o Write postcards, and give all the business you can to the U.S. Postal Service! Join a writing campaign, such as Postcards To People,
o Contribute to the Congressional Progressive Caucus – working to pass The People’s Budget and The Green New Deal, hold our leaders accountable, and create an equitable U.S.A.
o Help voting rights organizations that fight gerrymandering, promote one person-one vote, and protect that vote from election tampering. They include Indivisible, Brand New Congress, Fair Fight, Supermajority, National Democratic Redistricting Committee, and others that fight and voter suppression, and work at the national and state levels to guarantee the vote as a Constitutional right that’s as hard to take away as a gun
o Help regain control of the media messages — from social media to radio and television, including flooding conservative and right wing databases with progressive messages
o Contact your state and national legislators – write, call, visit! – to set up social media security, in partnership with Google, Facebook, Amazon and others, so elections can’t be hacked, fake news can be debunked and erased,

According to our statistics watcher Tom Koch, the numbers look good for Democrats at this point. Biden will win all of Hilary Clinton’s states (232 electoral votes), and likely PA and MI, totaling 268. He will need one more state or both Maine (2) and Nebraska (2) to get the win. He is outperforming Hillary with white voters. She lost them by 20%, and Biden is down by about 9%; Hillary lost white women, Joe leads among them. The difference between Biden’s polling numbers and Clinton’s results shows that moderate whites make the difference.

In the final analysis, the 2020 election is about Trump. We’re in a war for the survival of America’s institutions – to keep them viable and independent, re-design them if necessary, and strengthen the three branches so they can check and balance each other, and make every citizen’s vote legitimately count.