Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Has Trump Reached His Peak?

The husband and I attended a Clinton-Kaine event tonight - something I suspect that we will be doing much more of between now and November (along with making campaign contributions).   I hope others will step up their efforts and contributions to make sure that Donald Trump is NEVER elected to the presidency.  A piece in Vanity Fair questions whether or not Donald Trump has perhaps reached his peak of support.  Much depends on how the balance of the Democratic Convention plays out and how effective the Clinton-Kaine is in getting its message out.  Here are article highlights:
If the Republican National Convention was characterized by order on the streets and disorder on the floor, perhaps the Democratic National Convention will be characterized by order on the floor and disorder in the streets. It’s a tidy notion, at least, and there is discontent. Americans on the left have been angered by a trove of hacked e-mails showing that the Democratic National Committee was biased toward Hillary Clinton, a revelation as shocking to the world as that of Liberace’s secret attraction to men. They have also been disappointed to see Clinton pick as her running mate Virginia senator Tim Kaine . . .
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has had a surprisingly good few days. In the wake of last week’s Republican convention, Trump’s numbers have experienced a bounce, something Trump needed in order to stay in the game, even if, with further speculation about Ted Cruz’s dad, he seems determined to drive them back down.
So, according to at least one poll, Trump leads. The question next becomes how much it means. Is this a blip, a brief moment of low-point Clinton and peak Trump, or is it something more enduring?
While I still think that Hillary Clinton ultimately wins this election, Trump does have a respectable chance for reasons I’ve given and still affirm.
Whether this is Trump’s high point or not depends a lot on how well this week goes for Clinton. Picking Kaine was a good start, despite the complaints. Kaine and Clinton respect one another; they’re in sync politically; and Kaine doesn’t overshadow Clinton or look like a gimmick. Keeping the week on the right track will depend most on three other things, all of them obvious, but still worth considering:
1. How persuasively Bernie Sanders appeals to his supporters to settle for Hillary.Bernie Sanders has already endorsed Clinton, and it went all right. But he’ll have to grit his teeth and do it again Monday and do it even more enthusiastically.  . . . . He’ll have to suggest that he’s very much at peace with Hillary. It will hurt. But only a thoroughly convincing performance has any chance of draining the energy and quelling the rage of die-hard anti-Hillary Bernie supporters.
2. How peacefully dissenters go about their demonstrations.This is related to point one. Everyone who is fanatical about Sanders will listen to what he has to say, and if he does his job well they will simmer down for the rest of this week. Nevertheless, the left is energized at the moment, and many of its activists have causes that they intend to promote, regardless of Bernie’s status.
If people—even just a few hundred—are determined to get violent or unruly, then they can create a lot of trouble and there isn’t much that the police can do to prevent it. Such behavior would help Trump and hurt Clinton, but there’s not much Hillary can do to influence whether it happens. Democrats will just have to keep their fingers crossed.
3. How effectively Clinton addresses voter discontent.
Obama ran a great campaign in 2008, one that emphasized both the failings and staleness of Republicans and the youthfulness and vigor of Obama’s Democrats. What Obama doesn’t recognize, however, is that some of the same messages can now be directed at him. When Trump stresses that things are bad and Obama replies that they’re not, Obama looks out of touch, even if the facts he cites are correct. Clinton, therefore, must find a way to align herself with Obama yet also address the concerns raised by Trump. 
On the first two points, so far things are going well as exemplified by Bernie Sanders' call for Hillary Clinton's nomination by acclamation - some thing I was lucky enough to witness.  The big issue, therefore, will be how well Hillary does in convincing would be Trump supporters that she, not Trump, will better address their disaffection.  Granted,  nothing will change the minds of the Hillary hating Christofascists and white supremacists.  Others, however, can potentially be convinced to see Trup for what he is: a lying con-artist who cares nothing about anyone other than himself. 

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