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Are We Underestimating Trump Yet Again?

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/12/are-we-underestimating-trump-yet-again

Short answer: Yes

During the 2016 campaign I kept hearing people (mostly on the left) comment that “this isn’t who we are”.

Unfortunately, this is exactly who we are. (Xenophobic, anti-immigrant, racist, sexist, homophobic, corporatist and war-mongering).

One thing that Americans are exceptional at: Self-delusion.


God forbid this monster and his ilk get four more years of lies and insanity. We must resist and encourage all we know to vote against these fascists and grifters! You lie? Goodbye! Vote ’ em out! Peace

The empire is doing what all failed empires have done: weaponizing everything at its disposal in order to try to claw back what it claims as its own. Today that is anything and everything.

One fulcrum of analysis is the premise of “externalized costs”. The historical record going back to the Roman emperor Constantine, whose claim to fame was subjection of Christianity to the premises of empire, which brings me to Mr. Pense.

I, personally, would like to see an analysis of the premises of the exclusionary “god” of the evangelical “right” with a look at the history of how that came to be and how ‘othering’ (crafting “enemies”) has been used as a weapon. Then, to critique the schizophrenia of the evangelical right’s thoroughly unconstitutional political war against those who do not buy into the thunder of perdition of all who attempt to live inclusively. And then, as icing on the cake (let them eat it) to consider the role of AG Barr pulling the threads on the constitutional fabric to make sure that the mafia Don pillages and preys within the capitalistic bounds of the evangelical exclusionary zone and maximizing the framing of the corporate media in full spectrum dominance. Yuppers, kiddies, Full Spectrum Dominance was not intended just for the ‘other’ - the ‘other’ being thee and me.

The task of the public would seem to be to __________________ fill in the blank


think for ourselves

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It’s impossible to underestimate the noxious gasbag. What we did was overestimate our fellow citizens.


Eric Hoffer’s (1951) The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements really lays out well how people can be swept up into a fury. Trump’s “reality” TV exposure endured him to a great many folk who were contented to donate what brain they had to such mindless entertainment. His “you’re fired” schtick cemented him as an authoritarian “leader” in the minds of the mindless. You can’t fix stupid, but stupid votes. We need the Blue Tsunami led by a true Progressive.

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If Trump succeeds in getting a 2d term it seems unlikely that we will be able to reverse it. Anyone can see what we are up against now just with McConnell and the Senate republicans protecting this vile man. If he wins in 2020 and if the Republicans keep the Senate, who will stand in opposition? The republicans and Trump will see a win as a mandate–which in fact it will be–and that mandate will unleash a nightmare of repression and violence against liberals, progressives, women, immigrants and people of color the likes of which none of us can imagine now. You will see a determined move to establish some sort of dictatorship that far surpasses anything Dick Cheney et al conceived of in their concept of the Unitary Executive. Think about it: The worst people in the country will hold the WH, at least half of the Congress and and probably a 7 to 2 majority in the Supreme Court. They will be backed by the financial power of Wall Street and the major corporate elites. We will not be able to survive this peacefully as lawlessness, along with widespread surveillance and jailing and/or persecution of real and perceivevd political “enemies” will become routine. The religious right will justify it as God’s will. If you are smart, you will arm up if you aren’t already, and/or you will plan your escape and leave this country.


Of course everyone is underestimating Trump, exactly as they did in 2016. Everyone seems to think we will have free and open elections next year, that we need to appeal to centrist and low life Trump supporters and that by doing so we will obliterate the man and elect uncle Joen Biden and things can go back to how they were. Thing is,

  1. it is doubtful we will have free and open elections in 2020. There is also the matter of voter suppression and the damn SCOTUS basically greenlighting gerrymandering. We know that voter suppression efforts are big in red states and we know that Republicans have done everything in their power to make sure voting systems are not protected and secured and that voting is made harder, not easier. Cause the only way they can win is by cheating and they know it. Hence that swine McConnell saying a few months ago that Democrats wanting to turn election day into a national holiday was a “power grab”

  2. Joe Biden, who is going to be the likely candidate because every Tom, Dick and Pelosi in DC thinks they need to be centrist and appeal to Trump voters. Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0 and is more likely to result in the same outcome as in 2016 (i.e. progressive voters voting third party or not at all).

  3. Pelosi is doing a superb job at alienating progressive voters and blowing the momentum Dems got in November when they won back the House with the way she constantly maligns and mocks AOC, Tlaib and the other progressive freshmen congress members as well as the causes they champion, calling them radical leftists who have no support. She is completely tone deaf. So much so that Trump defended her today. She is alienating the Democratic base because she cares more about appealing to Trump supporters and her millionaire donors instead of her own base that, for the most part, embraces progressive policies. She is working hard to make sure we lose 2020, even though I am sure she really thinks she is doing a wonderful job at uniting the party. lol. Fuck you Nancy.

  4. In the event that Trump loses, it is doubtful he will actually accept the election results and far more likely that he will nullify them arguing that illegals voted or Dems rigged it etc. Or he just might not leave and no one can stop him. He;s already “joked” a dozen times about getting 2 more years or removing term limits.

  5. Most people who have been paying attention DONT want things to go back to how they were before Trump. I mean they are only the whole reason we have Trump in the first place. So if that is the goal, which I am seeing it is, then we are in for an even worse rude awakening.

So are the Dems underestimating Trump? Hell yeah. They’d rather have a despot and grifter in charge than let a progressive win. Trump isnt in power by accident, he is the endgame of decades of abuses by both parties. You know, the same people who piss and moan about him now have worked hard to make sure someone like him can get where he is.


It is reasonable to assume that Killer Clown’s act won’t elicit an encore, but that’s just the problem.

As has been the case since “the founding of the republic”, reason has little to do with political fortune.

It’s not so much that we’re underestimating Trump as it is that we’re overestimating the Democratic leadership: If over a third of registered voters (most of whom are or once were Democrats, unless they were too young to vote at all in 2016) stay home again, Trump wins. But instead the leadership keeps going after the unicorns of our time, those mythical “swing voters.” Pelosi may be right that most of the new seats in the House were won by centrists but conveniently ignores the fact that most of the seats that weren’t won were also lost by centrists. And not not everyone that voted for Trump last time was a closet racist; many were very disaffected by growing inequality and the associated eternal warfare that all did very well under Obama, not to mention that pathetic capitulation to the insurance industry called “Obamacare.” If Trump is smart enough to figure this out and the Democratic leadership isn’t, they deserve to lose. The same does not hold for their constituents, however.

People in New Jersey know who Trump is and voted for him anyway. Why? Party Loyalty, hope for personal and/or business tax reductions, pro-gun and pro-life policy as well as climate change denial because it makes their life easier and guilt-free. That’s about it. Trump can do whatever he wants because the pro-lifers see his soon to be consecutive terms as a worthwhile sacrifice to saving
the unborn. They do not care or realize that they have chained themselves to the Titanic. There will be no self realization of their poor presidential choice because in general most people do not want to be proven wrong. You cannot change the minds of Trump Voters. Individuals need to support the court room battles fought by Greg Palast and Jesse Jackson in getting the people who were illegally purged from voter rolls back on the voter rolls. Political Ads noting Trump’s father giving him 430 million dollars instead of the one million dollars may make Trump Voters see him as the fraud has always been. Political Ads depicting testimony of construction workers and engineers cheated out of their wages and contracts may make Trump Voters see him for the thief that he is.


Pelosi and friends are doing all they can to help Trump to a second term. Pelosi refuses to bring any progressive issues to the floor - Green New Deal, NO; Medicare for All, NO; 15$ an hour, NO. A democrat House and not a single progressive issue before the House. It is like she is telling voters, “Stay home in 2020. Your votes will get you nothing.”


You are absolutely right about trump voters, they live in a world devoid of reality, but trump can’t win with just these voters. He has to have Independents, most of these voters realized he conned them in 2016, and wont vote for him unless the dems run a neo-liberal.

The truth you speak scares me. Is the choice between a neo-liberal and a progressive presidential candidate going to be determined by the DNC super delegates? Is there a way to stop this?

a big thing that Trump has going for him is Democratic disunity - there are too many centrists who won’t vote for progressives and too many progressives who won’t vote for centrists. Both such groups are foolish and irresponsible as neither group can win on its own. Trump and his coalition cannot be stopped unless these groups, whose differences in the scheme of things are often overstated, have to try to get along, work together, and stop insulting each other. Otherwise we can kiss all good causes good-bye.

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We have global easy connections and community now. We don’t have to accept these mentally lacking morally corrupt people who have rigged the system to go back to pre-Civil War days.

But voting is compromised in many places, so we can’t count on voting either. I’m afraid we are truly out of luck. There is nothing that the authoritarians won’t do to usurp power and wealth from the people, often with the consent of both parties.

I agree with your depiction of the “Deplorables.” But who are the voters really for. I can’t tell because of the fear mongering and multi-billions spent on campaign bullshit.

Since the whole damned election process is corrupt from top to bottom, let’s just make it a physical fitness contest—a basic test of physical fitness measured by objective criteria. Winner take all. That would be a lot more fair and transparent that what we have now and then everyone could just stop.