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Related Categories: U.S. | Government & Elections
Trump's time is running out!
by Detlef Umbach
Thursday Sep 10th, 2020 4:20 AM
His record as president is modest. The economy is in crisis, unemployment is at record levels, and longer-term projects such as the reduction of large foreign trade deficits and the Great Wall at the border have not progressed beyond initial stages. Trump's foreign and trade policy is so fickle and unclear that it is hard to find anything positive from it for the election campaign.
Trump's time is running out!
Factors for a possible change of power in the USA
by Detlef Umbach

[This article published on 7/30/2020 is translated from the German on the Internet, http
s://http://www.sozialismus.de/kommentare_analysen/detail/artikel/trumps-zeit-laeuft-ab/.]



Donald Trump's re-election on November 3, 2020 is not impossible because a few percent of voters* will again decide the election. But there are a number of factors that make his re-election unlikely.

In the economic crisis the president loses supporters

The OECD forecasts the price-adjusted changes in US gross domestic product for 2020 at only one lockdown to -7.3% and at two lockdowns to -8.5%. According to this forecast, the official unemployment rate in the 4th quarter of the year will be 10.4% in the first case and 16.9% in the second. In the OECD's scenario of 15th July 2020, the rapid economic crash is followed by only a slow economic recovery in which mass unemployment becomes entrenched.

In times of persistent mass unemployment, the president could gain recognition in the role of the caring "father of the nation", but Trump has not even tried to do that. While he still talks about the coming "golden age" for the US, he largely ignores the current social problems of tens of millions of Americans*.

Ignorance and death rates

The President has almost always disregarded the expertise of experts. Like a large part of his supporters[1], he initially insisted that the pandemic triggered by Covid-19 should not be taken seriously as a new type of flu. With this miscalculation the president delayed the necessary lockdown by at least two weeks - a mistake that has cost the lives of tens of thousands of Americans[2].

After that, Trump (like many Republican governors) tried to talk the pandemic down to avoid bad news. This strategy is also unlikely to succeed, given the ever-increasing number of people who have died from the virus. The course models of the various scientists expect around 180,000 corona deaths to have already been proven by the end of August. The figure of 200,000 deaths will already be exceeded well before the elections in November.

A large majority of Americans* inside say in polls that they blame Trump for reacting too late to the pandemic [3] This is a clear burden on Trump's election campaign.


The strategy of opening is the next defeat

The president has learned nothing from his wrong decision with the delayed lockdown. Since the beginning of April, he has been spreading the illusion that if the country would only return to normality soon enough, the economy would pick up again as quickly as it had gone downhill. The "rocket launch"[4] he announced is completely unrealistic, but the president is sticking to his self-deception.

To force normality in the pandemic, Trump has launched a battle for schools against the majority of parents and teachers. He is threatening all schools with the cancellation of federal subsidies if they continue to teach only online after the summer holidays because of the pandemic.

Many virologists have repeatedly warned the government that if it opens too early, it risks increasing the number of infections in all those states that were largely spared by the pandemic in the beginning. A large majority of the population feared right from the start that the virologists might be right [5].

What the USA is now experiencing after the opening is the predicted rapid increase in infection and death rates in currently more than 35 states. In many of them, individual measures of opening are now being reversed. Others are sticking with the opening. California, for its part, has introduced a second lockdown. The states that, like New York, are experiencing a dying out of the pandemic are trying to protect themselves by imposing entry restrictions.

To date, Trump has not understood that the attempt to fight the pandemic and at the same time return to normality has failed. At the beginning of March, the percentage of Americans* who rejected Trump's actions in the pandemic was only about one third of those surveyed. At present, the proportion of dissatisfied people is around 57% and rising. The course of the pandemic is also increasingly damaging the approval ratings of Republican governors, and the majorities in Republican strongholds are becoming smaller. [6] If this development continues, there will be a victory for the Democrats in November not only in the House of Representatives but also in the Senate.


The Year of George Floyd

On May 25, 2020 the black George Floyd died, his senseless killing showed with frightening clarity how little the life of a black man in the USA can be worth. Almost everywhere in the country there were demonstrations against racial discrimination, some of them violent. The country remembered with horror the many cases of police violence against blacks. The suppressed, dark side of American history became a major issue in public perception.

In this situation, President Trump had the chance to improve his relationship with the African-American minority, which had been very bad since the Birther Movement[7]. Instead, he chose the role of "Law and Order Man", which had made an impression on his supporters* in 2016. At first he didn't say a word about George Floyd, instead he made the absurd threat that if the demonstrators did not obey the law and order, he would deploy the National Guard[8].

Although the President later commented on the death of George Floyd and police reform, he did not consider it necessary to recognize structural racism in the USA. In this respect he is completely in line with his electorate, which does not consider four-fifths of racial discrimination to be a major problem in the USA [9].


Trump still holding any aces?

His record as president is modest. The economy is in crisis, unemployment is at record levels, and longer-term projects such as the reduction of large foreign trade deficits and the Great Wall at the border have not progressed beyond initial stages. Trump's foreign and trade policy is so fickle and unclear that it is hard to find anything positive from it for the election campaign.

The greatest weakness of his 2020 election campaign is that it is merely a continuation of the last one. In 2016 Trump had raised great expectations. "Make America great again!" was not only a great advertising slogan, but a great hope for many of his supporters*. They were promised to turn back history: With protection from foreign competition, American industry would rise in its old glory. The renaissance of American industry was to create the jobs that would allow hard-working Americans to earn good money even without higher education. America was to become as great again as it was supposed to have been in a golden imagined past.

In 2020, the President will make the same speeches as in 2016, with some additions, and the promises of "Make America great again" will remain unrelated to the reality of the current double crisis. Trump talks about the loss of industrial jobs due to free trade and China's strengthening, but he is unable to draw any connection to the current loss of jobs and the social hardships that have arisen as a result. Trump's proclamation of a supposedly coming industrial renaissance is no answer to the current problems. His election campaign has so far only proved to be an event for devout supporters.

His only hope is the enthusiasm of his followers. Enthusiasm can play a major role in elections with narrow majorities, but that is not what it looks like this time. Joe Biden has been ahead of Trump in polls for some time now - and the gap has grown. Trump's first mass meeting in Tulsa has shown that enthusiasm for the president is waning.

The approval rates among the population have been almost stable for years, and for the past four months they have been falling steadily. While it is true that the president is still more popular among his supporters than Biden in his own. On the other hand the enthusiasm of Trump must be voted out of office, overwhelming in the democratic electorate. [10] Biden's greatest election worker is and remains the president. Unless there are more important events that cannot be foreseen today, Trump will be voted out on November 3.

Detlef Umbach is a pensioner and lives in Hamburg. The text was completed on 26.7.2020.

Notes

1] At the beginning of July, only 37% of Republican voters were convinced that the pandemic was a major problem for the USA. See Amina Dunn, As the U.S. copes with multiple crises, partisans disagree sharply on severity of problems facing the nation, PEW, 14.7.2020.
2] Cf. James Glanz/ Campbell Robertson, Lockdown Delays Cost at Least 36000 Lives, Data Show, New York Times, 20.5.2020.
3] Cf. PEW, Most Americans Say Trump Was Too Slow in Initial Response to Coronavirus Threat, 16.4.2020.
[4] Cf. David J. Lynch, Trump Expects Quick Economic Comeback, Washington Post 7.4.2020
5] Cf. David A. Graham, The Public Is Astonishingly United, The Atlantic, 6.5.2020.
6] Cf. Geoffrey Skelley, Americans Increasingly Dislike How Republican Governors Are Handling The Coronavirus Outbreak, Fivethirtyeight.com, 17.7.2020.
[7] The Birther movement tried to refute that President Obama acquired his American citizenship by birth. This was intended to drive him out of office, because presidents must have been born in the USA.
8] The president has no authority over the National Guard (outside Washington D.C.) in the states. Therefore, several governors have immediately banned this presumption of office. After the threat with the National Guard is off the table, Trump tries again with "Law and Order". He wants to "please" several cities with the deployment of federal security forces.
[9] Cf. Amina Dunn, op. cit.
10] Cf. Michael Tesler, Why Trump - Not Biden - Might Have An Enthusiasm Problem, Fivethirtyeight.com, 15.7.2020.
by CAPTAIN ERN
Saturday Oct 10th, 2020 7:56 AM
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