Mission Impossible 2. For Trump, a tougher undertaking than 2016: here are the factors that will decide the race for the White House

Doing the business again. At a half miracle, Donald Trump is called to stay in the White House for another four years. With this we do not mean to exclude that he can do it, or even hazard a prediction, but try to fix in mind the factors, the variables, like pieces of a very complicated puzzle, which in our opinion can guide the outcome of the presidential elections of 3 November in one sense or another. Putting aside both the polls, which give Biden a clear favorite, but can be wrong, and the incredible enthusiasm of Trump's rallies in the hanging states, which however can be the enthusiasm of a substantial minority.

1. The premise: Biden is not Hillary
The premise to start with is to remember how Trump came to victory in 2016, the first Mission Impossible successfully completed. We need to understand how regardless of the pandemic – which certainly complicated the road to re-election considerably, and we will see later how – his would not have been a downhill race in any case. And this precisely because of the particular circumstances in which the 2016 victory matured. It lost the popular vote by 2 percent (just under 3 million votes), but won some key states, attributed to Clinton by the polls on the eve, for a total number of only 77 thousand votes. Clinton neglected the states of the so-called Rust Belt , feeling them already in her pocket, while Trump had sewn his message right on them. Although his candidacy alone was considered by some to be a disaster for the Republican Party, it actually saved him from certain defeat. And on November 3 Trump will save the GOP for a second time, whether he wins or loses, since in this second case he will act as the perfect scapegoat for a party that seems, at least for a good half, still dormant, incapable. to recognize the reality of political, cultural, media siege in which the conservatives in America find themselves.

And starting from 2016, from the victory that was already very narrow then, we come to the first factor to consider in this election. Many improvise electoral strategists and are led to attribute excessive weight to an exit they consider unhappy, to the classic slip. For example, they blamed Trump for his opponent's aggression and too many interruptions during the first debate. Then there are always those who would like Trump not to behave like Trump, but if Trump did not do Trump, this would also apply to "good" as well as "bad". In short, you fall in love with a detail, while the overall picture often escapes.

What defines an election is first of all the profiles of the candidates and the interaction between them, as they are fixed in the electorate's imagination. An almost independent variable, very often able to withstand the unforeseen events of the campaign, missteps and even the "October Surprise" . In 2016, Trump was the challenger, outsider and anti-system, like no other Republican candidate defeated in the primary could have been. But without Hillary Clinton as an opponent, her profile probably wouldn't have been as effective. No one like her represented "the system" and its arrogance. Not only the conservative base, but many independent and even traditionally Democratic and left-wing voters in the Rust Belt states harbored a real revulsion against her, but also for her husband Bill, which Trump was able to exploit. So, if on the one hand he was faced with a real war machine, an Invencible Armada , on the other he was able to leverage the rooted hostility towards Clinton even of non-Republican voters, who either stayed at home or have even voted for him. To these voters Hillary simply appeared constructed, false, while the policies of her husband Bill blamed the loss of jobs and the manufacturing identity of their communities.

Today, with its funding and its media armies, the Democratic one is still a war machine – as we will see even more compact and organized than four years ago, when it was taken by surprise – but Trump cannot count on the card of ' dislike for Hillary. In this sense, Biden's choice could not have been more appropriate. Although the nickname Sleepy Joe fits him perfectly, and conveys the opposite of the image of "presidential" vigor, nevertheless the former vice president does not arouse the repulsion that aroused Hillary in a not inconsiderable part of the independent and left electorate. Even for his age, Biden doesn't bother anyone, he's the perfect hardcover behind which to hide the agenda of a strongly radicalized party like the Democratic Party is today.

It's true: as we have seen in the last few days of the election campaign, Biden does not have the enthusiasm of the Trump rallies around him. But no matter, Biden does not have to convince or warm hearts, to mobilize his electorate is the visceral hatred for the president in office. While many Sanders supporters betrayed Hillary in 2016, perhaps thinking she would make it anyway, today left-wing voters would vote anyone to oust Trump, while Biden is required to do better with white men, women and the elderly. And in fact, in recent months the former vice president has shown in the polls a consensus that is consistently higher than that of Clinton (regardless of the pandemic).

On the other hand, President Trump can still hope to garner record consensus among Latinos and blacks, to reclaim some Republican voters he failed to convince in 2016, and to win over the independent electorate and even a slice of Democratic voters. , those most sensitive to his calls on industrial jobs and China. The undecided are few, but in the states in the balance they can still make a difference … But this type of voters will have seen, behind the "moderate" face of Biden, the radical, socialist agenda, tax increases, the threat of extremist movements and woke culture? Did he see in Biden's embarrassing blackouts the possibility of a Kamala Harris presidency, or heterodirected by Obama? And will you have estimated that all in all, in these four years, the disasters feared after your election have not occurred, but full employment and no new war have arrived? If the answer to these three questions is yes, then the Biden deal will fail. The main problem for Trump here is that his attempts to expose his challenger's radical agenda, and to remember his 47 years of service in Washington buildings, risk being buried, with the complicity of the media, by the narrative of the pandemic. , and its economic successes to appear as a distant memory. But we will return to the Covid effect.

Even the strategy adopted by the Democrats, a campaign conducted by the "basement" , from the basement, almost hiding their candidate, for days without exits and electoral initiatives, has served to transform the election into a referendum on Trump. Not about the things he has done or about the broken promises, of which his opponents speak very little, but about his figure. It is always a risk to leave the stage to the opponent, but at the cost of suffering the ironies on the "basement" , they have at least managed to compact their base against the common enemy to be killed. The more Biden takes a step back, the more he surpasses him in polls, someone noted. On the contrary, a candidate who is more in the spotlight and proactive could have been divisive, displeasing one part or another of the party from time to time. It should be noted, in fact, how journalists and supporting media carefully avoid exposing Biden on issues that could divide his potential electorate, especially in states in the balance, from fracking to court-packing , not to mention foreign policy and the Green Deal. . Contradictions that Trump has managed well to bring out in the latest TV debate and on which in recent days he has been focusing in his rallies , managing to "flush out" Biden, to force him to public events that are not exactly exciting.

2. The "corrupt" media system
And here we come to another factor that defines this election, impossible to ignore if you want to understand what is happening in America (and not from today, not from Trump). The strategy adopted by the Biden campaign, as well as the candidacy of the former vice president, was made possible thanks to the media system – old and new – which not only took sides against Trump (it was also in 2016), but actively campaigning for Biden. This is demonstrated by the almost total control of the narrative in his favor and the blatant teamwork, in covering scandals and avoiding embarrassing questions, even going so far as to support in his place the contradiction with Trump on the themes indicated by the DEM strategists, whose slogans are: Covid , Covid , Covid . It is physiological for the media to take sides, but this year the leap in quality (and quantity) is evident, sensational, even compared to four years ago. In 2016, in fact, the media were lined up against Trump but were forced to chase him, it was he who dictated the agenda and they fell in every provocation. Today the dynamic has changed, partly due to the centrality of the Covid emergency, further strengthened by the positivity of the president at the beginning of October, partly because the media have taken the measures and are teaming up with the Biden campaign.

We have already commented on how the "moderator" of the first debate favored Biden, avoiding uncomfortable questions and even insisting on answers to harmless questions. But the most sensational, and unprecedented, case is the choice of all the major TV networks to ignore the New York Post investigation into the emails of their son, Hunter Biden, and the choice of Twitter and Facebook even to censor the articles and profile of the fourth US newspaper by circulation, preventing its users from tweeting and sharing them. Journalists refused to cover a story because it harms their favorite candidate, a media "abdication" of their role, the National Review editorial board wrote .

As Max Balestra reconstructed in Atlantico Quotidiano , from those emails, and from the testimony of Tony Bobulinski, Hunter's business partner, it emerges that the entire Biden family, including Joe, were in talks for a joint venture with a large energy company. Chinese, with direct ties to the Communist Party of China, as well as being in business around the world, including countries such as Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. And this was when Joe Biden was still vice president of the United States. In practice, his son Hunter negotiated deals and received millionaire fees by “selling” the political influence deriving from his father's office. And while he also recently denied ever having an interest in his son's business, Joe knew and attended meetings with his associates. Beyond the criminal aspects, a gigantic political scandal. Still, reporters don't ask Biden about the case.

Death silence, of course, about how Russiagate turned out to be a hoax packaged by the Clinton Campaign with the complicity of the Obama administration, stuff to make Watergate pale, as readers of Atlantico Quotidiano well know .

More recently, the media have barely talked about the Abrahamic Agreements, the historic normalization of relations between Israel and some Arab countries, thanks to the Middle Eastern policy of the Trump administration, and the growth of 33.1 percent of GDP in the third quarter. .

The way in which the media overturned reality during the riots and looting last summer by Antifa and Black Lives Matter in numerous cities is also emblematic. "Mainly peaceful" demonstrations assured CNN envoys while flames enveloped cars and buildings behind them. But in the end, it is from Trump that the condemnation of white supremacists and militias (which has arrived several times, but never enough) is demanded, as if they had some role in the riots, while Biden is not expected to condemn Antifa and Black Lives Matter , protagonists of violence and devastation.

Only when the New York Times and Washington Post realized that the riots threatened to favor Trump, raising a strong demand for law and order in the country, did Biden condemn the violence, specifying "anywhere", and as if by magic riots have ceased, or rather have disappeared from the television screens.

So, we are well beyond the negative coverage of one candidate and the positive of the other, we are the complete overturning of reality, the exploitation of the news, politically motivated censorship.

3. The dangerous illusion of a return to "normality"
But media coverage of the riots may play a more subtle role. According to this narrative, it is Trump who divides the country, it is Trump who instigates racial hatred, it is Trump who legitimizes white supermacists . It doesn't matter that George Floyd, like other African Americans more recently, were killed by police in Democratic-run towns, in Democrat-ruled states, with Democratic district attorneys. It does not matter that the violence and devastation were committed by the movements that Democrats refuse to condemn, nor that it was only when the liberal media saw the danger that Biden expressed a general condemnation of violence "anywhere". It doesn't matter how ridiculous it may seem that Biden, a senator since 1973 and vice-president of the first black president in history, is talking about “institutional”, “systemic” racism in America. The implication of this narrative is that with Trump kicked out, the violence and looting will cease. Life will flow smoothly in those towns, the property and activities of citizens will return to be protected. Otherwise, if he does win again … The threat is not even too veiled. But even if Biden wins, it doesn't mean he will be able to curb the radical movements that have unleashed hell for two months in dozens of US cities, all governed by Democratic mayors, who very often let it go. Theirs is a subversive ideology, of Marxist inspiration, and they will try to switch to the collection of bills.

So, the unknown ahead of the vote is: how will the independent, "moderate", non-Trump voter react? “Law and order,” so will this summer's riots end up favoring Trump, as many analysts and commentators have rightly observed? There is also another possibility: that the liberal narrative and intimidation work, that Trump is deemed the hate breeder and root cause of the riots, and therefore that many voters give in to blackmail, chasing the illusion of a return to "normality", that is, that they think that putting Trump behind them can satisfy the radical left, help to pacify the country, favor the return to a less polarized politics. And that, in the end, Biden will rule as a "moderate", keeping the drives of the far left at bay and avoiding the "exaggerations" of cancel culture . In our opinion it would be a dangerous illusion, no compromise, not even the reconquest of the White House, will ever be enough for this ravenous destructive ideology, but it cannot be excluded that the illusion of a return to normality prevails over the demand for law and order .

4. The Covid factor
Finally, we come to what has characterized and made this campaign unprecedented: the Covid-19 pandemic. As we tried to explain at the outset, and how poll averages prior to the impact of the virus in the United States seem to confirm, the road to Trump would still have been an uphill battle with an opponent like Biden and the militant role of the media. It is obvious that Covid has complicated it further and perhaps in a decisive way. But not for the reasons you hear obsessively repeated by the media and the usual "experts". Not for his bad management of the emergency – all to be demonstrated – or even for some rash statement or the obstinacy not to wear a mask in public. He made some communication errors, like everyone else, and like scientists with their continuous flip-flopping .

But speaking of management, we recall that President Trump acted promptly, closing the country to flights from China, even before the WHO emergency declaration, a choice for which he was criticized by Biden and the Democrats with the usual accusation of " racism". On the health front, it ordered quarantines for anyone returning from China, mobilized for hospital ships and the purchase of medical devices, pushed research into vaccines, allocated the necessary resources so that tests and therapies were free for all and he fought to ensure that experimental treatments were available to all as soon as possible. On the economic front, he has made substantial indemnities to American families directly into current accounts – sums that in Europe (and especially in Italy) we can only dream of. We also remind you that it is not federal competence to decide on restrictive measures and lockdowns in individual states, nor to organize and prepare health facilities.

Those who accuse him of having lost consensus due to the management of the pandemic, forget the dilemma he faced. It is true that Trump, while not denying the danger of the virus, as an entrepreneur who knows how much mood influences the economy, has always set himself the goal of not depressing and panicking the country. Its position has always been to try to live with the virus without stopping economic activities and, where they have had to stop, to get them started again as soon as possible, aware that China is there ready to take advantage of the economic difficulties of the West. Conversely, many Democratic governors have appeared to be almost cheering the virus out of mere political calculation, some going so far as to envisage the full reopening of their states only after the November 3 vote.

It is a position that certainly may have cost him in terms of consensus, especially among independent voters and the elderly, but essentially he had no alternatives, even from an electoral point of view. If he had encouraged the policy of restrictions and closures, the American economy would be in a deeper crisis today and this certainly would not have benefited his chances of re-election. Instead, it is in clear recovery (+33.1 per cent in the third quarter), it is still a point in its favor, although it is struggling to regain centrality in the media agenda. In addition, a non-negligible detail: according to the polls, the clear majority of Republican and conservative voters were (and are) against lockdowns . In short, the deck was still too short and he probably opted for the least damage.

So, in what sense can it be said that the pandemic compromised, perhaps decisively, his re-election?

Essentially for two reasons. First, it offered the Democrats and liberal media on a silver platter the key narrative they would otherwise have lacked. They exploited the pandemic without restraint, they used it as a political weapon, with an effectiveness made possible only thanks to the complicity of the media. But being able to attack Trump on the management of the Covid emergency – as well as feeding the vulgate of "systemic racism" – has allowed the Democrats above all to overshadow divisive issues within their electorate and to gloss over proposals that would have made them flee. legs raised independent voters and more attentive to their wallets.

The president's positivity to the coronavirus has further strengthened the centrality of the issue in the last month of the campaign, even if after the last debate the Trump team has been able to take advantage of Biden's slips on fracking and the oil industry. Will it be enough?

The pandemic was therefore very important to the Biden campaign. Without it, she would have found herself with the blunt weapons on other issues, such as the economy or foreign policy, more favorable to the outgoing president, and the same candidacy of the former vice president would have had the flavor of a "nostalgia operation" (which in any case some extent transpires).

The upside of the coin, for the Democrats, is that on Covid it is they who play on fear and uncertainty, while Trump is betting on Americans' desire for normality. Here too, we will soon discover the prevailing attitude of the voters, nothing can be taken for granted.

Second, the Covid emergency has offered the Democrats the perfect pretext to implement the plan they have dreamed of for years: increasing the vote by mail. To avoid gatherings on election day and reduce the risk of contagion, in many states they have done so, extending this possibility to all voters, not just to those unable to go to the polling station. Tens of millions of cards have been sent, even unsolicited, and this will most likely be the factor that will determine the record turnout that many analysts predict. In fact, it is clear that being able to fill in the form sitting comfortably at home and post the envelope, rather than queuing up at the polling station on a predetermined day and time, will lead to poorly motivated people to cast their vote. And this is where the problems begin.

If the postal vote becomes the system, a Pandora's box opens, the freedom and secrecy of the vote are no longer guaranteed. It is difficult to deny the risks, from even heavy conditioning in the family or environment, to the exchange vote, up to real systematic fraud (cards destroyed or created from nothing: it has already happened). In an election whose outcome could depend on a few thousand votes in a handful of states – perhaps even just one: Pennsylvania – it would be child's play. And it is obvious that the more days after November 3, states provide for the counting of votes sent by mail (9 days in North Carolina, 3 in Pennsylvania, for example), the greater the risks.

In conclusion, Trump can lose, he is in the order of things for all these reasons. Hers is a Mission Impossible again . Probably the pandemic did not allow him to broaden his support, compared to the narrow victory of 2016, by leveraging on the successes in the economy. The extraordinary event, but which is by no means excluded, is if it were to make it again this time, despite everything: Covid , the economic crisis, the media system against.

The post Mission Impossible 2. For Trump, a tougher undertaking than 2016: here are the factors that will decide the race for the White House appeared first on Atlantico Quotidiano .

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL http://www.atlanticoquotidiano.it/quotidiano/mission-impossible-2-per-trump-unimpresa-piu-dura-del-2016-ecco-i-fattori-che-decideranno-la-corsa-alla-casa-bianca/ on Mon, 02 Nov 2020 03:48:50 +0000.