If you are on the conservative side of politics, you may be feeling a sense of despair.
Things are a far cry from what they were six months ago, heading into 2020, which happened to be an election year. Coronavirus was something in Asia. The U.S.’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent. The big news of the day was Eddie Murphy had made a return to host “Saturday Night Live.”
Yes, we were told Donald Trump was still a buffoon and, at that point, impeached by the House. But that was nothing different than every day of the last four years. No one was thinking about law enforcement procedures. There certainly was not any discussion of the crusty old Civil War monument down on the courthouse’s lawn.
Also, the race for the Democratic presidential nomination was underway, which astonishingly seemed to be getting very little ink and at the time was wide open.
Then it was like someone flipped a switch.
Eventually, the U.S. Senate acquitted Trump. Smooth sailing to the November 2020 election, right?
Almost out of nowhere, former Vice President Joe Biden overcame poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire. U.S. Representative James Clyburn, D-S.C., backed Biden in the South Carolina Democratic primary, and that next day Biden was seemingly the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
Then comes March and COVID-19. Everything was shut down, and economic calamity ensued. Then there was an incident of police brutality and everything we thought we knew about civil society was turned upside down — statues are toppled, culture is redefined.
It is as if we stumbled on the hidden verse to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”
These last few months will get a mention in grade school history books for sure.
The politics, however, aren’t that great for Republicans. Republicans and Donald Trump supporters were always going to be facing headwinds, but no one expected this.
In 1968 — which is perhaps the most comparable time in modern U.S. history to now — you did not have the obscene commercialization of a political movement.
As you walk into a grocery store, once you get past the sloganized disclaimers about us all being in this coronavirus thing together but six feet apart, you might see an additional announcement about the brand being a vociferous proponent racial equality.
There is a vulgarity in using a serious political movement to sell products, and you do not have to look hard to find it.
When you turn on the evening news, it seems as if the world is in chaos. If you tune it out and go down to the supermarket, things look a little less chaotic once you get past the masks and the social distancing.
Sure, you may have to be reminded that racism is wrong by the packaging on your Tide laundry detergent. Otherwise, it is a manageable situation, albeit a far cry from where the country was six months ago.
Then there is Donald Trump, who ironically applied commercial marketing tactics to a political campaign to get elected. However, for Republicans, it isn’t easy to be bullish on November. There is still a long way to go until Election Day.
National polls, which are mostly irrelevant in a presidential election, have Trump down to Biden by double-digit margins. While we do not elect a president by popular vote, there is an unmistakable downward trend for Trump.
That gets us to last week’s Trump rally in Tulsa, Okla. It did not go exactly according to plan for his reelection campaign. President Trump said a lot of things. On Sunday morning, during the public affairs shows, the media were shocked and appalled.
They are always shocked and appalled. Why should we be surprised by that reaction?
It is getting to a point where if everything is scandal, nothing is scandal. How many times are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer going to give exclusive interviews to left-leaning media outlets all aghast about this commander in chief?
Trump will keep doing Trump. It will seem chaotic in that a president of the United States will spend 20 minutes reenacting a media portrayal of how he drinks water and walks down a ramp at West Point as the country suffers from a pandemic and simmering race relations.
Eventually, the shock value wears off. The law of diminishing returns is underway. People can only tolerate so much doom and gloom. It is system overload.
The Democratic Party and the political left have a good hand to play. But as they are known to do (see Mueller, impeachment, etc.), they overplay it. Soon things will return to an equilibrium, and it will be a 50/50 jump ball situation between Donald Trump and Joe Biden under our Electoral College system.
That is not an optimistic view of national politics for the ideological right and the Republican Party. The laws of human nature under the American political system will not allow for a sudden seismic revolutionary shift, which means we will still have a competitive presidential contest this year.
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