New Orleans The reviews of President Trump’s press conference, where he claimed he was trying to calm the American people and was expected to show leadership in meeting the covid-19 crisis, were almost uniformly bad. The stock market reacted by cratering to the worst level since 1987 and has now lost 85% of its gains during the Trump term. These are his real people, and they are stampeding for the door. Trump is clueless about how to deal with a political world and public health crisis that he can’t mock and humiliate. Americans watching their neighbors sick and dying, their IRA’s tanking, and trapped in isolation and confusion are not looking to vote for crazy in the White House. They’re not looking to sock it to the man. They’re looking to have the man stand up tall and straight and have the federal government do its job and serve the people. Enough with the dark state, the virus has everyone calling for the right’s nightmare – the nanny state!
The voters are also sending one signal after another. Even Kevin DeWine, former head of the Ohio Republican Party, was quoted saying, “If it’s Biden, you’ll have disaffected Republicans run to the polls to vote for Biden, because they’re just looking for normal and sane.” Biden’s vote totals in Michigan and Missouri were informative. He’s pulling working class voters out. He’s holding onto suburban college educateds. He won all rural counties in Missouri as well. These are all constituencies that are critical to Trump having a shot at a second term. Some observers are starting to reckon with the new results from voters that offers a reinterpretation of 2016 as being as much a rejection of Hillary Clinton as an affirmation of Donald Trump. It’s early, but even if Trump doesn’t get it, his people seem to understand he’s in trouble.
And, that doesn’t take into account the incredible high-low predictions on various scenarios from the virus, which will rest squarely on Trump’s anti-science, sales and promotions brand of leadership. I had thought it horrific when I had read that a Yale epidemiologist had estimated 50,000 deaths from coronavirus. Read the papers or listen to the news these days and you understand that is lowballing. Meetings at the Center for Disease Control weeks ago on some models saw the death count between 300,000 and 1.5 million Americans over a year, depending on what precautions were taken. A former Homeland Security adviser to Trump is warning of 500,000 deaths. Local authorities and others are acting, but Trump is still blowing hard and following far behind with claims that it’s all good.
Recession on one hand and a rising death counts from all of this bumbling may finally have signaled the end to the Trump nightmare. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.