Nov
02
2020

Trumps Voting “strategy” is Immoral… and stupid.

On the day before the election, my thoughts go back six months. The Democrats had proposed a stimulus package for COVID-19 that included many provisions to maintain and improve voting systems during the pandemic. Trumps response:

“The things they had in there were crazy. They had things, levels of voting that if you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

The predominant reaction from the center and left was, omigod, he just gave away the game. He said it out loud finally – the GOP suppresses the vote because they can’t win unless they do.

My reaction is a bit different. Let’s go back four years, when the GOP made a choice to stand for positions in the minority. After the 2012 Romney loss to Obama, they did an well-known autopsy report. They understood that in order for them to win, they needed to (among other things) moderate their position on immigration and reduce the tolerance for racism within the party. Instead chose a different path, of doubling down on anti-immigration and anti-minority speech and policy. It was a foolish strategy. It was not a strategy at all, it was the radicalized base defying the more sensible parts of the party. And it certainly would never have worked if Trump hadn’t been fortunate enough to be running against the hated Hilary Clinton.

Now here we sit four years later. Trump got worse and worse on everything the GOP took from their 2012 shellacking. And when Trump can’t get enough voters to win on policy, he doesn’t think about changing policies. The policies are the given to him. What is not a given is voting rights. Rather than fight for policies the majority of the country supports, he chooses to fight instead against the law and Democracy.

I wonder if he ever made the choice consciously. I wonder if he even considered for five minutes how easy it would be to get re-elected if he would simply do what Americans asked him to do. I don’t think he ever thought about it. His policies are the given. Voting rights are not.

(I have used Trump and the GOP interchangeably here. In this regard, they are the same thing.)

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