Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

How the 2024 election is hinging on capitulation versus character

By 37ci3 Jun19,2024

One of the biggest developments in this campaign — and the biggest difference between 2016, 2020, and today — is not to fear another Donald Trump term.

That may explain why President Joe Biden’s campaign — and Republican primary campaigns like Nikki Haley before him — struggled to turn voters away from Trump by citing his questionable character traits and chaotic management style.

Now, with Biden’s campaign determined to do whatever it takes to make this election a referendum on Trump and his character, not being afraid of Trump could be a real stumbling block as voters try to remember what a Trump presidency was all about. i really liked it.

Think of it in simpler terms. The first time you rode an upside-down roller coaster, you probably had a pit in your stomach and worried that you might fall off. For some, this fear is so great that it prevents them from even trying to walk. But after riding the roller coaster, which we call without falling, this fear disappeared.

One of the biggest flaws in Trump coverage today is the public’s lack of memory for many details of the Trump years, as opposed to the scarred memories that those covering Trump still have. Thanks to the pandemic and the human mind’s ability to memorize unhappy times, much of the public has forgotten the daily chaos that Trump’s presidency has purposely created.

And yet, I am convinced alone The reason Trump lost the 2020 election is not because of his machinations in 2017, 2018 or 2019, but because of his erratic leadership during the pandemic.

Not everyone believes that Trump lost in 2020. After all, Democrats were fired for doing whatever it took to defeat Trump long before he suggested injecting disinfectants into the body to kill Covid “would be interesting.”

However, elections were held in November 2020 during Covid felt like they were trapped there due to bad governance while the voters were sitting at home. And in 2020, there was one head of government who had to be held accountable: Trump.

Despite my work around 2020, there is no consensus on why Trump lost, in part because the Republican Party never issued its own after-the-fact report examining the question. How could they report after the fact when the person who still appears to be the head of the party did not admit defeat in the first place?

And the lack of debate on the right about why he lost meant there was no debate about why he lost at all. We’ve been so consumed (rightly so) with Trump’s attempt to subvert the reality of his election loss that little effort has been made to examine why the public rejected Trump in 2020.

Why am I bringing this up? Because if you don’t know why Trump lost the first time, you can mislead the 2024 campaign by asking why the voters didn’t return him to the White House.

Right now, Biden is trying a kitchen-friendly approach to making this election a referendum on Trump — from democracy to abortion rights to personal character to shady business practices. And so far, at best, maybe 1 or 2 percentage points of voters are still willing to act on that message. Now, as I said before, in very close elections, small actions can lead to decisive results. But none of these hits on Trump are gaining traction or scaring a larger public today than they did in 2016 or 2020.

So why aren’t more voters as scared of a Trump term as they were in 2020 and 2016, when many longtime Republicans and business leaders put aside their partisan ideology to prevent him?

I don’t think this is an answer. For the business community, even if Trump is not one of them — even as Trump tries to align himself with the business elite — there is a consensus on how to deal with him that revolves around managing two short-term elements: the stock price and the ability to navigate the regulatory landscape. All of these CEOs are typically evaluated on near-term performance, which starts and ends with stock price. While Trump is not preferred as an individual to deal with, these business titans know that when it comes to Trump, there is always a price to pay for a solution that satisfies them. If someone is rich enough to attract his attention, no decision is final for Trump. Don’t you believe me? Just follow its evolution on TikTok.

This mentality is very low the “operational” category of voters I wrote about earlier.

What about Republicans like Haley and Sens. Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio, who have previously expressed dismay at the conservative movement’s embrace of Trump? Why did they surrender? The business community is there for the same reason – it’s easier said than done to fight him, because fighting Trump would only damage or end fighters’ careers. They all look at former officials like former Rep. Liz Cheney, Sens. Jeff Flake and Bob Corker, and even Speaker Paul Ryan, and see people who no longer have influential voices in the conservative political movement. Haley and others would rather sit at the GOP table, no matter who is in charge, than try to unseat Trump.

This growing capitulation, or acceptance of the reality of a second Trump term, further complicates Biden’s challenge of instilling fear of a second Trump term.

To me, the most disqualifying period of Trump’s presidency was his fight against the pandemic. Whether it was the chaotic nature of his briefings or his whiplash decisions about when to open cases to fuel political debate within his own Covid response team, this was truly a disastrous example of presidential leadership. We’ll never know what unifying leadership might have done to the death toll, but I’d like to believe it wouldn’t have increased it.

Trump is likely to be behind in the polls around 2020, after the shutdown. But many voters, for a variety of reasons, remembered 2020, and some gave Trump the benefit of the doubt because the pandemic was, in theory, a unique challenge that could paralyze any president.

To add to Biden’s call to center Trump’s chaotic leadership style, the incumbent has seemingly chaotic decisions, starting with the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the management of the southern border. If you’re trying to convince people that Trump is incompetent, it doesn’t do you any good to display what appears to be your own incompetence for the world to see.

In the end, the winning presidential campaign will not be the one that successfully litigates Trump’s or Biden’s four years in the White House, but the one that creates the most convincing picture of the next four years.

It’s a cliché for a reason: Elections always about the future, and while character and competence should weigh more heavily in voters’ minds, if those voters don’t think much about either candidate’s character or competence, then don’t be surprised if voters adopt a more transactional mindset. and they are simply voting for their own interests to survive the next four years.

It is painfully clear to many in the business community that many have taken a more transactional path and decided to survive, if not optimally, to work with Trump. The more this mindset takes hold among voters, the more voters will have to turn Biden into a campaign about the future rather than a dystopian fear that many voters don’t fear will come true.

See social media accountability

Last week, I recorded a large majority in the New York legislature See timelines supporting a bill that would force social media companies to avoid using algorithms and social media feeding children under 18. I wrote in anticipation of more attempts to regulate social media companies from the perspective of protecting our children.

Well, in the last few days, California Governor Gavin Newsom has expressed his support for greatly restricting the use of phones in schools. Ideally, schools could force students to put their phones in a wall socket at the beginning of class and only use them between classes. In theory, this is enough time for children to deal with the messages they need to receive from parents or guardians. This idea has spread to local jurisdictions as well as other state legislatures. Many private schools have already implemented similar policies.

Another major push against big tech came from the US surgeon general, who called for youth mental health warning labels to be added to all social media apps.

While debates over the 1st Amendment may stymie attempts to regulate technology, there is overwhelming bipartisan consensus on protecting our children from the predatory nature of big tech company algorithms, even as we have yet to agree on how we protect adults.

Trying to force a cleaner information ecosystem for our children may actually mean we can have a cleaner information ecosystem for the rest of us. The tools tech companies will have to develop to comply with new laws designed to protect young people will hopefully be available to the rest of us who don’t want algorithms deciding what shows up on our social feeds or what to recommend to us. a music site, unless we want to.

There is a red state problem with selective voting

In just the past two months, five states have passed laws banning ranked-choice voting for any level of office, including any local jurisdiction within the state, according to state legislative news site Pluribus. Five states—Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma—are all one-party states where majorities fear losing power.

Selective voting has shown a tendency to favor more moderate candidates, but also more partisan candidates (think progressives in New York during the last mayoral election or conservatives in Alaska during the 2022 election cycle). When you look at the states that even outlaw the practice of local electoral voting, it’s clear that these are partisans who fear losing their grip on power.

Finally, the party pioneer process in this country accelerated the polarization. Elected Democrats and Republicans are often more liberal or conservative than their actual constituents. But because primaries are dominated by a very small fraction of the most loyal members of a political party, this leads to the election of less compromising candidates.

While many partisans think this is a good thing, it seems to disenfranchise more voters than it enfranchises. More and more states are seeing the two major parties shrink, while the ranks of unaffiliated or independent voters have grown. In many states, independents or unaffiliated voters lead at least one of the two major parties. And in many of these states, independents are barred from even participating in major party primaries.

However, while I support what ranked-choice voting advocates are striving for—more voters participating more in the primary process—the concept of redistributing second- and third-place votes is not transparent enough to give voters confidence in elections. results. It is difficult to create a “trust but verify” process that does not allow intentionally bad actors to mistrust the results.

A better goal is simply to open all primaries to all voters. All-party primaries, followed by general elections of either the top two or top four, with runoffs only held when a candidate doesn’t get, say, 40%, can go a long way toward making sure the majority of the public gets the candidates. they respond more to them.

The North Star should have more voters voting in the primaries, whatever it takes to do that. This is about the best solution I can think of to help mitigate this paralyzing polarization that has plagued most of us.

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By 37ci3

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