TRUMP’S AMERICAN LANDSCAPE AND 2020 OUTLOOK
A few days ago, Nancy Pelosi became speaker of the house and the 116th congress was sworn into office. As the gavel came down, a feeling of uncertainty pervaded the halls of power. And no one could have felt more uncertain than the White House. Democrats now have what the Trump administration had been evading for quite some time: oversight.
It’s been two years of unfettered chaos. The country is more divided than ever. Haphazardly thrown together policies and makeshift enforcement has riddled our institutions utterly confused. The media seems gobsmacked that even facts and truth can’t seem to win over half the country. Nothing really makes sense. The landscape has changed drastically. Basic American institutions at the highest levels seem to be tainted with scandal ranging from accusations of rape (the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings), to incompetence, to the president himself dripping poison into the ears of the American people regarding long standing institutions. And to top it off, America has been thrown into the midst of the 3rd longest lasting government shutdown in history. It’s really messed up Norman Rockwell painting.
So this is Trump’s American landscape. The big question is, what is the outlook for a 2020 election involving Trump? And the answer depends on a few important factors.
First of all, there’s the years long Mueller investigation which has yielded some pretty shocking results. Among the highest profiles, Paul Manafort is headed to prison as well as Michael Cohen. The Mueller investigation always hung in limbo due to poor oversight, but with a blue house of representatives, we can be assured that Robert Mueller is protected. When Mueller finally wraps up his investigation and hands congress a report, we will get a much better picture at Donald Trump’s 2020 prospects.
Secondly, there’s his inevitable opponent, which democrats have yet to choose. With Elizabeth Warren announcing an exploratory committee, it is already proving tough for democrats to steer away from a failing formulaic candidate. Elizabeth Warren brings heat and energy to a party that needs it, but gives way to obsessive consistency, instead of being able to focus on her potential opponent. Her town hall meeting seemed to produce an energetic tirade against the upper echelons, but failed to really touch on Trump, the embodiment of everything she despises. If Trump wants a shot at winning in 2020 he’ll need a lukewarm, mainstream democrat with a long voting history, dull tongue, and most importantly, someone who won’t scream impeachment every 45 seconds.
Lastly, and arguably the most importantly, is Trump’s base. He’s an enigma, at times presenting a glimmer of humanity, but often reverting to nonsensical behavior and policy pushing. From the musical chairs game that is his administration, to the myriad of scandals plaguing him personally and professionally, how does he win a 2020 election? And that answer lies in the group of people who took a chance on him in 2016. The question we need to ask is: are college educated white men and women going to give Trump another chance? We need to look at the suburban districts in key swing states. We need to look at the middle class, every day Americans. Were the tax cuts enough? Probably not, since they didn’t actually affect middle class America. Was the wall enough? No, since it was never built. These key campaign promises that sold white America on Trump were never kept, so the rhetoric and fountain of untruth that has become the oval office, is no longer redeemed by the empty promises of Trump. This also turns the Trump presidency into a scathing indictment of white America. Meaning, by all accounts, white America is willing to excuse a man who sided equally with Nazis as he did with peaceful protesters, fighting racism, as long as the results yielded on their W-2’s, and quarterly reports please them.
Will Trump score 4 more years in office? It’s too early to tell, since so many key factors are still in the air. But as more indictments and jail sentences are dropped, and the rhetoric continues to blare without any real results, I think Trump should start focusing on polishing up his resume, and looking towards another GOP candidate to take the mantle.