I’ve dreaded writing this post and have procrastinated for several weeks, partly because I was clinging to the forlorn hope it would not be necessary, that the SS Trump actually would founder and disappear beneath the waves. He won’t, though it does seem reasonably certain at this point that absent any truly bizarre circumstances (in a campaign season constructed almost entirely of them, let’s not forget that), Trump is not going to win this election.
He will not occupy the White House and the First Lady of the US will not be a stone-faced Eastern European hooker with just one client. (Hey, don’t get mad at me, Donnie boy, you’re the one who wants to ditch what you call “political correctness” but which thoughtful people call basic civility, remember? So fuck you.)
He will actually lose an election that he very likely could have won without really being any less of a whole laundry list of disagreeable things which he indisputably is—including a racist, a predatory misogynist, a climate change denier, a conspiracy theorist, an operator of a horribly fraudulent “university”, a piece of shit who routinely short-changes working people as a normal part of his business strategy, a demonstrable liar on a scale sufficient to dwarf all previous political norms, a petulant and vindictive little carnival barker, and just all-around narcissistic asshole—if only he’d had the ability to hide all those things better.
Like his running-mate Pence, for example, who does a very serviceable job of disguising the fact that in so many ways the only real difference between himself and the most odious mullah on Earth is the absence of a beard. If Trump had been able to muster just a smidgen of that kind of discipline and focus, Hillary Clinton would be going down in flames as we speak.
How can we know this? Well, here’s a guy who has proposed so many crazy things, any one of which would have scuppered any other political candidacy in modern times, that probably none of us can now recall the entire list, and yet there he is, still flailing madly away and not really that much further behind than Mitt Romney was and who was himself scuppered by just one single ill-considered remark about “the 47%”.
Still, I’m tempted to give it a whirl, just for the hell of it; He’s proposed committing a whole variety of war crimes, like advocating torture as “necessary” even if it “doesn’t work” and the deliberate targeting of “terrorists’ families”. You have “to take them out”, he’s said. He suggested that there “needs to be punishment” for women who undergo abortions, even though the procedure has been ruled legal by the nation’s highest court.
Then there’s The Wall. The less said about it the better, probably, except to say that I do wonder how many of his supporters actually think it would ever actually be built. I could maybe live with the idea of a few tens of thousands, but if there really are tens of millions of people who really do seriously believe his wall (“it just got ten feet higher, folks, it just got ten feet higher, I promise you”) will actually get built at all, never mind that Mexico will “pay for it”, then we’re in a hell of a lot more trouble than I thought, and as those of you who have read my bullshit for any length of time know, that’s one hell of a lot.
Stop and Frisk. You “have to do it”. It’s “common sense”. And our military has been reduced to “rubble”. Oh yeah, and speaking of frisking; “I just start kissing them, you can do anything if you’re a star, grab them by the pussy. They just let you do it”. He’s floated the alibi that the women who accuse him of doing exactly that are lying because they’re too ugly for him to grope. “Just look at them, folks, just look at them. I don’t think so. She wouldn’t be my first choice, I can tell you.”
He pretended he didn’t know who David Duke is and declined to distance himself from him. He expresses nostalgia for “the old days” when hecklers would be “carried out on a stretcher, folks. We’re not allowed to punch back anymore.” He calls one of his primary opponents (Cruz) “a pussy”.
He proposes a “complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”, because of course he did. Claimed Muslims were dancing in the streets in Jersey City, NJ after 9-11 “where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.” He was lying. They weren’t.
Sure there’s more, lots more, but stopping here seems like the thing to do before we all lose the will to live.
Except to say this. None of those things, taken singly or even in bunches, proved enough to sink campaign Trump. While it’s true that the polls are now showing significant loss of support, with that trend continuing, nobody as yet knows what flipped the switch.
It turns out, early polling on that matter suggests, that not even bragging about committing felonious sexual assault and getting away with it by reason of wealth and fame was, in and of itself, enough to sink the campaign. One wonders if we’ll get around to having a conversation about that sometime; not for what it says about Trump, because fuck Donald Trump, but for what it says about today’s electorate. About us.
If you’re Donald, of course, you won’t be losing the election. If you’re Donald that’s just psychologically impossible. Can’t happen. If you don’t win it can only be because the game was rigged, and naturally you’ve been talking about that for months now, with increasing frequency of late as the true nature of your campaign’s situation becomes clearer.
Those most faithful and hypnotized followers in whose hearts you have been relentlessly stirring up the darkest impulses are listening to you, as they always do, and taking notes. If the “rigged system” won’t allow you, our fearless leader who tells it like it is, to walk triumphantly through the front doors of the White House to evict that Kenyan Usurper in accord with the true will of the American People, then by god that system needs to be wrecked and we’ll just start over.
The chances we’ll avoid having some loony(s) pushed completely over the edge by Trump’s reckless flailing are not good.
The FBI just last week broke up a plot and arrested 3 assholes in Kansas for planning to blow up a bunch of people after the election, but the culprits were white “militia” characters stockpiling explosives and weapons, not Muslims like their intended victims, so that’s not going to occupy anything like the same amount of column inches as it might otherwise do, and nobody in Trump’s orbit is going to even mention it.
So here we are. Trump won’t sink, though he almost certainly won’t win on Nov 8th. He’ll still be talking crazy shit, and the people who love him will subscribe to his new television network (a good bet, wouldn’t you say?) and will talk themselves even further out into the dangerous weeds while they await Trump v2.0.
But in spite of all this, in some corners of the world, there is yet hope. On this occasion, it’s in Oz. It turns out that the Upper House in the New South Wales parliament has passed a resolution by MP Jeremy Buckingham, condemning Donald J Trump as “a revolting slug unfit for office”.
“It’s clear that all reasonable and decent people find Donald Trump’s behaviour obnoxious and that the world is hoping American voters reject his politics of hate,” Buckingham said.
Kudos all around, cobbers, and many thanks.
Since we’re kinda keeping track, the mighty Professor Hubbard’s EV chart this week is looking stronger for Clinton, and he has the odds of her winning at 99.93% if the election were held today.
Sam Wang has a Clinton win on election day at a probability of 98%, with an EV count of 332/206. Both Wang and Hubbard are substantially more optimistic about the trends in downballot races than is Silver at 538, though giddy speculation about a substantial majority in the Senate and even the House being in play is nowhere near justified by the current numbers.