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Est. April 5, 2002
Feb 13, 2020 - Issue 805
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Why Trump Wins, Loses in 2020

"Trump could lose on his own accord as he continues
to overreach in exerting his presidential power.  He
believes that Article II of the US Constitution allows
him to do anything he wants.  It is possible that he
will generate a scandal which will turn Independents,
Moderate, and some Republican voters off while at the
same time generating an even higher Democratic turnout."

We witnessed President Donald John Trump doing his victory lap last week the day after his acquittal by the U.S. Senate on two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. This outcome followed the ‘no call’ on the Mueller investigation of his alleged collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential election. In both instances, Trump claimed complete exoneration and to be a victim of a continuing witch hunt by the Democrats.

After his triumph, he quickly went into retribution mode by firing three government employees who worked directly for him and who testified truthfully during the impeachment investigation—Gordon Sondland, US Ambassador to the European Union, and Lt. Col. Alexander Semyon Vindman, an advisor to the National Security Council (NSC). Trump also terminated Vindman’s identical twin brother, Yevgeny S, Leonid Vindman, an attorney for the NSC, who was collateral damage to his vindictiveness. Trump is now a President unleashed who has learned nothing from his recent travails.

Like the gangster we deemed him to be in an earlier column, Trump promptly intervened in the Justice Department’s 7-9 years sentencing recommendation for his long-term friend, Roger Stone, after Stone’s conviction on one count of obstructing an official proceeding, five counts of lying to Congress and one count of witness tampering.

Early last Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted, “This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” Shortly after his twitter, his Attorney General William Barr amended the Department’s initial suggestion, stating that it should be significantly reduced and asking the judge to consider additional issues such as Stone’s age, health, and personal circumstances.

Later Tuesday, the White House canceled the nomination of Jessie Liu to be undersecretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial crimes. She had been the lead prosecutor in the office that supervised Stone’s prosecution. Her Senate confirmation hearing was scheduled for Thursday and now she has been punished for following the law.

These actions further endear Trump to his fervent 30-35 percent base of American voters who he is counting on to return him to the White House in 2020.

In addition to these efforts, the Trump presidential campaign is being aided by the ineptitude of the leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination: Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and former Vice President Joe Biden All other Democrats continuing in the race are wasting money and taking up political space and have no real chance of winning the nomination.

In the liberal lane, Sanders and Warren are cannibalizing each other’s supporters, with Sanders winning so far as Warren continues to stub her political toe. She has aligned herself with Hillary Clinton who maintains her 2016 grudge against Bernie from 2016. Warren accused him of telling her in a private conversation that a woman could not win the presidency.

Warren brought this up during a recent presidential debate, and it gained no traction among women or any other group. This was reinforced by her dismal showing in the New Hampshire primary. Moreover, Medicare for All is seriously undermining the campaigns of both Warren and Sanders. Warren is unlikely to survive until the summer, and Sanders will hang on till the end but could lose to Bloomberg. If he wins the nomination, Trump will destroy him.

Uncle Joe Biden is sharing the moderate political lane with Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg and is losing so far. Moderate voters are subtly telling him that it is time for him to leave the political stage. His belief that he has a firewall in South Carolina, with strong support from black voters is rapidly eroding.

A new national poll shows that Biden’s black support has plummeted by 22 points. Michael Bloomberg has been the primary beneficiary of this shift in political backing with a 22 percent African Americans approval rating. He must solidify this gain.

The stop and frisk policy was raised again by a Bernie Sanders’ African American campaign surrogate, Benjamin Dixon, with a 2015 audio tape from the Aspen Institute in which Bloomberg stated that he assigned "… all the cops in minority neighborhoods" where "all the crime" is. He must quickly address this matter in greater detail in order to sustain his rising support among blacks.

Additionally, Bloomberg needs to deal with teacher unions and teachers over his effusive advocacy of privately-run charter schools. Although popular in sectors of New York and other large cities, they are virtually uniformly opposed by teachers. His proposed education plan with charters as its centerpiece could prove problematic combined with the urgency to speak to stop and frisk, especially as his plan is to break through the pack on Super Tuesday.

But Klobuchar and Buttigieg have not addressed their questionable criminal justice practices in regard to blacks and Latinx males, in particular. They have offered no apologies for their actions or taken any responsibility as has Michael Bloomberg for his stop and frisk policy which racially profiled black and Latinx males during his three terms as Mayor of New York City.

Neither Klobuchar nor Buttigieg has developed any substantive outreach approach to voters of color. Klobuchar will likely be gone shortly after Super Tuesday. Buttigieg will hang around a bit longer because of his solid funding from the LGBTQ community because of his groundbreaking candidacy.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has ginned up a wide-ranging package of political strategies that are largely flying under the radar. Trump has begun a practice of raffling off envelopes containing hundreds of dollars to grassroots African Americans in nonprofit venues.

He has piloted this scheme in Cleveland, Ohio with plans to do so in Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Miami, and other communities with large concentrations of blacks in an attempt to peel off a small percentage of black votes in battleground states to enable him to win the electoral votes as he did in Florida in 2016.

The highlighting of the Trump administration’s criminal justice reforms, pardons, and commutations of harsh jail terms for African Americans, most notably Alice Marie Johnson, in a TV ad that ran on Super Bowl Sunday. His First Step Act has been championed by former Obama administration official and current CNN anchor Van Jones.

These efforts are coupled with the ongoing and aggressive voter suppression tactics being employed in Wisconsin, where approximately 250,000 mostly black, Latinx, Native American, and Hmong voters have been purged from the rolls. Voter ID has been employed in North Carolina, and barriers to felons registering to vote in the 2020 election have also been erected in Florida although their voting rights have been restored.

With all of these slick and scurrilous initiatives being advanced by Trump, Bloomberg, despite his political frailties, is still the best Democrat to oppose him as the Democratic presidential nominee. He knows how to fight him on his own level as demonstrated by his quick response to Trump’s tweet calling him a racist for his stop and frisk policy (although Trump has endorsed it in New York City and for Chicago), forcing him to take it down.

Bloomberg is also funding anti-voter suppression and social justice initiatives across the nation and is the only Democrat who can match and surpass Trump’s campaign budget and the political action committees (PACs) that support him. But Bloomberg should preemptively respond to the coming attacks from both Trump and his Democratic colleagues.

Finally, Trump could lose on his own accord as he continues to overreach in exerting his presidential power. He believes that Article II of the US Constitution allows him to do anything he wants. It is possible that he will generate a scandal which will turn Independents, Moderate, and some Republican voters off while at the same time generating an even higher Democratic turnout.

Nonetheless, the Democratic Party needs to pay attention to Trump’s shenanigans and move to the center where the majority of the country is. Unlike Bernie Sanders, most Americans do not want a revolution where everything is free and that they cannot afford. And Democrats need to unite! Otherwise, they will face a Republican Party that will be in lockstep with their leader, President Donald J. Trump.

links to all 20 parts of the opening series Columnist, Dr. Walter C. Farrell, Jr., PhD, MSPH, is a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has written widely on vouchers, charter schools, and public school privatization. He has served as Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as Professor of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Contact Dr. Farrell. 

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Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
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