How Trump Will Win Or Lose In 2020

Currently, polls have President Trump losing to all the major Democratic candidates in head-to-head contests. What may happen between now and the Election that would enable Trump to capture a second term?

The first thing to consider is the polls themselves. It appears that Trump’s base continues to be about 40% of the electorate, obviously not enough to win a general election. He needs 10% more support to gain a majority. Keep in mind the winner must win the majority of electoral votes to claim the presidency. But unless another anomaly occurs, the winner of the popular vote will also be the victor in the Electoral College.

The obvious place for Trump to gain a majority is with independents. Because this group is the least vocal, it’s sometimes hard to read their state of mind. A thriving economy will certainly have a positive impact on Trump’s fortunes with independents, especially since economic conditions are already moving forward at a good clip. The opposite, a poor economic outlook, would be a huge problem for the president.

Trump is treading on thin ice in a number of areas diplomatically that could lead to military action. Specifically these might involve Iran, North Korea and any number of hot spots around the world, in particular, the Middle East. A military strike against either of the countries above will not help Trump’s cause in 2020. However, a resolution of one or both brewing conflicts would substantiate the administration’s tough negotiating style.

Economic warfare is another issue that can make or break the president’s campaign. A positive end to the Chinese standoff would be a huge win for Trump. His unwavering strength in conversations with his Chinese counterpart could be a disaster or a monstrous step forward for America. Moreover a win against China will greatly impact other trade confrontations under way with Europe, Mexico, Canada and Japan.

Turnout will be a big factor in the 2020 Election. Certain groups historically have not been reliable at the polls, in particular young people and blacks. Both groups are overwhelmingly supportive of liberal candidates, but they must go to the polls to exert their influence. High turnout will greatly enhance the prospects of Democratic candidates. The bigger question is whether liberal aspirants will inspire millennials and people of color to ensure their participation.

There are a plethora of other possible events that could sway the electorate, one way or the other.

If Republicans effectively label Democrats as socialists, the latter will lose votes. Given the persuasion of most liberal contenders, this campaign strategy should be a winner for the G.O.P. The country is not, nor will it ever be, anything but a capitalistic society that rewards hard work, ambition and creativity.

A terrorist attack is always a big risk for liberals as it validates all of the paranoia of Republicans. Conservatives are much more aggressive in their rhetoric against enemies of America that as of late include unbridled illegal immigrants on the southern border. The right’s desire for a strong homeland has always been an advantage.

Massive protests are occurring regularly around the world. The latest is in an unlikely place, Hong Kong, as it fights against China’s efforts to stem the tide of personal freedom. If unrest grows in the US, it will probably be in support of one or more liberal causes. This form of expression is very powerful and will benefit the left. The likely issues include income inequality, racial inequality, health care and women’s reproductive rights.

Right now the scales are tilted towards Democrats. But their field of candidates is weak and untested. Nevertheless it would be hazardous to place a bet on the outcome of the 2020 Election at this time.

Incivility In Government

What has become of American politics? How could our government and the two major political parties behave in such a dysfunctional manner? Who is responsible for the current state of affairs?

Dirty politics and bad blood between the president and Congress is not a new phenomenon. It’s existed since the time our country was founded nearly 250 years ago.

Even before our nation was formed in 1776, the leaders of the revolution were fighting with each other about states’ right, slavery, commerce, banking, voting rights and how to control the dominance of the more populous states. It finally came together and our forefathers crafted a wonderful document we call our Constitution.

The animus that exists between Republican and Democrats has hit an all-time highpoint. The venom, mudslinging and lies that are prevalent today have made it impossible for the federal government to do its job. The vacuum resulting from the ineffective and conspiratorial Obama years paved the way for a mean-spirited, narcissistic megalomaniac to win the presidency. Our country was so brutalized prior to his introduction that it scorned “the establishment” and the mores that enabled America to thrive with its two-party system. We elected a man who was not part of Washington and now we are paying the price.

Consider the way that Trump governs, bad and good. For one thing the president had no idea how the federal government operated. It’s not a dictatorship. The president is the most powerful man on Earth, but he does not have absolute power. He needs to collaborate with Congress to implement policies, spend money, go to war, make treaties, appoint justices to the Supreme Court, etc. The president is responsible for creating an agenda for the country and convincing lawmakers to approve his ideas, even if the opposition party controls Congress or part of it.

Donald Trump was the undisputed autocrat of his real estate empire. For his whole life he gave orders to his sycophants, and they did his bidding. When he moved into the White House he attempted to govern similarly, and his administration has and continues to fall flat on its face.

Exacerbating the situation has been Trump’s inability to recruit and retain high quality people to advise him. One person cannot operate the federal government. Obama never learned the same lesson. This inability to keep together a strong cadre of insiders to deal with a myriad of problems every day has resulted in probably the most ineffective administration in history.

Similarly Trump convinced himself that, as the leader of the greatest country in the world, he could bully leaders of other nations. His tendency is to strong-arm people he negotiates with, including heads of state and other politicians. This worked well for Trump as he bought and sold buildings and casinos, but it’s been a disaster during his two plus years as president.

Trump resents anyone who resists his will. He has to be right all the time. He never admits missteps. Americans prefer leaders that have the courage to trust and listen to others and are not embarrassed to accept a better way to accomplish shared objectives.

But one of the worst characteristics affecting Trump has been his propensity to belittle anyone who takes a contrary position. This includes firing cabinet members and advisors wantonly. Political opponents are fair game and have been since the 2016 primaries. Assigning childish nicknames to those who disagree with him is just not befitting a president. Trump has not hesitated to use the same tactics on domestic politicians and world leaders.

It feels like we have a spoiled child in the White House. If he doesn’t get his way he has a snit, and watch out. Heads roll.

The president speaks off the cuff too often. Some may find this to be refreshing and entertaining. Unfortunately, going off script results in inconsistencies, and even accusations of lying. Fact checkers have had a field day with his transgressions ever since he miss-estimated the attendees at his inauguration.

And finally there is character. How many times have you heard that Americans don’t want their children to grow up to be like Trump? The president must be a role model. Sadly our president has a long history of bad behavior that includes misogyny, racism, self-importance, aggression, untruthfulness, exaggeration and so on. He is not one that should be emulated in most Americans’ opinion.

But there is another side to this story. Donald Trump has ignored tradition and recrimination. He never apologizes for America, whereas, too many presidents and politicians have spent much time doing mea culpas for the past. American leaders often feel the need to say they are sorry for historical actions taken against people worldwide. They say America is too prosperous, too aggressive and too invasive. It does not support the needy at home or around the world. Everyone in America is rich while millions are starving to death in Africa. Obama spent eight years saying he regretted the actions of America. Trump has not spent one minute doing so.

Donald Trump was elected to change the direction of the US. We were losing ground to our greatest rivals and enemies. We were being abused by immigration policies. All of our trade partners imposed tariffs on us that were higher than what we imposed on them. NATO was underfunded The US used its economic might to make gains diplomatically. Trump is turning all this around and making a lot of enemies in the process. In this day and age of ever-dwindling resources and huge deficits, the country can no longer operate frivolously.

Trump changed it all. It hasn’t been pretty or polite or tactful, but he’s getting the job done. Trump puts America first, and why shouldn’t he?

The blowback from Trump’s adversaries has been relentless and shameful. It’s one thing to criticize policy, it’s another thing to attack the president and divert his attention away from important issues. Democrats wanted to boot Trump from office before the new president-elect moved into the White House. Their tactics have been despicable. And in all fairness, Trump has responded in a similarly inappropriate manner.

So where do we go from here? We are about to experience the dirtiest and most vicious presidential campaign ever. Democrats are swinging far left, socialistic left, and are not pulling any punches with each other or towards Trump. The president thinks Democrats are out to get him and are lying, spinning, spying and pleading with the electorate to approve an effort to impeach him. This is because none of the empty suits vying for the Democratic nomination will be able to defeat Trump in 2020.

 

The Pope’s Performance Is Deplorable

Pope Francis has once again proven he is not going to be a proponent of change in the Catholic Church. Consider the following quote from the New York Times: “The Vatican on Monday flatly rejected what it cast as the notion that individuals can choose their gender . . .”

The Church has officially dashed the L.G.B.T. community by declaring, “acceptance of flexible ideas of gender pose[s] a threat to traditional families and ignore[s] the natural differences between men and women.”

Francis is digging in his heels every time he makes a new announcement about non-traditional life styles and age-old unproductive dogma. His promise to be more “tolerant” has not been kept. His supposed crusade to lead the Church out of the dark ages has not commenced. His commitment to clean up the horrible and disgraceful actions of his priesthood has fallen flat. The only thing the leader of the Catholic Church has proven is that he is cut out of the same cloth as his predecessors, and his only concern is the reputation of the Catholic Church.

Perhaps the pontiff is getting bad advice from his advisers and colleagues about what his flock expects of him, or maybe he really is a conservative who has no intention of cleaning up the missteps and sins of his fellow priests. In order to get the pope back into the good graces of his followers he needs to aggressively change many perspectives of the Church. The following are a few obvious examples.

The genie is out of the bottle relating to sexual abuse. Thousands of young boys have been raped and abused over the past century. Many lives have been destroyed. Who knows how widespread this behavior has been since the Church was founded over 2,000 years ago? Additionally, it has become public that even female worshippers and nuns have been the subjects of attacks along with young priests by older priests.

Every one of these accusations needs to be investigated and guilty priests must be defrocked immediately. When possible these criminals should be turned over to civil authorities for appropriate punishment.

The Vatican should form investigative groups around the world that can work on this project full time. Emphasis must be placed on exposing the abusers who are still living, rather than chasing ghosts. This process would surely be a great embarrassment to the Church and take many years to conclude. It is only then that the individuals that were abused will be able to find some closure in their lives.

Related to these crimes are those affiliated to Church leaders who protected sexual criminals. They are equally culpable with the abusers themselves and should be sanctioned similarly. This group will likely include pastors of small parishes as well as bishops, cardinals and even popes. Enablers are guilty of sexual abuse by allowing known offenders to run rampant among innocent churchgoers.

The Church needs to change its holier than thou arrogance and update its tenets. The list of changes that needs to be made is extensive.

Birth control is a perfect issue that demonstrates how antiquated the Church is, and how it does not address the needs of a changing world. To begin birth control is not a sin. Practitioners of it will not be sentenced to eternal damnation. It is a necessary, healthy and effective way to stop bringing unwanted children into the world. Moreover, it’s a critical method in lesser-developed countries to combat excessive population growth, starvation, poverty and disease. Many Catholics in impoverished areas do not practice birth control because their priests have taught them that it is a sin.

Abortion is an essential element of a woman’s basic right to care for her body. Policies (legally and spiritually) that allow aborting fetuses, before they are viable, are a perfect way to end the unproductive abortion controversy. The Church should lead this effort, especially since half its members are women. It’s barbaric to say it is a mortal sin to control the size of one’s family.

The number of gays and lesbians coming out seems to be increasing at frenzied pace. The right to choose one’s sexual preference is not in the domain of Church. There is no conceivable damage to society when two loving people of the same sex want to share a life together. The Church’s dogma on this issue is not empathetic and creates turmoil. The pope’s dismissive attitude towards this group of people is shameful.

It is becoming more obvious every day that many individuals are struggling with their sexuality. They feel they don’t fit into society because neither of the current sexual categories (man or woman) accurately represents their perspectives. The pope’s callous response to people sorting out their sexuality is truly unfortunate and ignorant.

And finally the Church has taken advantage of its status over the centuries to accumulate hundreds of billions of dollars. It has the gall to continue to solicit poor parishioners for more contributions. Just like well-endowed universities and colleges, the Church should begin a program to liquefy holdings and return the proceeds to its needy members around the world.

The Catholic Church is at a crossroads. It will either become a relic of the past or regain its influence. This will be dependent upon how priests interface with parishioners. It will also depend upon resetting antiquated ideas and reconsidering the definition of sin.

 

Millennials And The 2020 Elections

Millennials around the world are clamoring for more responsibility in every aspect of society. It makes one wonder how millenials in the US will respond in the 2020 elections.

Americans are very idealistic in their early years and have grandiose observations about what is wrong with the country. It happened big time in the 1960s when civil rights and the Vietnam War dominated our lives causing massive protests and civil disobedience. Today the issues are different, but just as important to young people.

What are some of the most important issues to millennials?

From an individual perspective, young people have been complaining on end that they are saddled with significant debt, in particular loans used for higher education. Not many colleges have done much to rein in ever-higher tuition costs in recent years. However, some institutions have taken dramatic steps to give more scholarships in lieu of loans that must be repaid. For some schools, huge endowments have made entitlements readily available. Other wealthy institutions should be encouraged to do more, rather than increasing investment assets.

The irony is that some students are breezing through college taking courses that have little relevance to the jobs they ultimately apply for. It would be wise for students to take courses that are affiliated with areas they wish to pursue after graduation. History majors are soliciting administrative positions, for instance. It would also be beneficial for schools to offer more classes that teach students trade skills.

The pressure of high debt has impacted the number of marriages among millennials (they are less and later in life), the timing of having children and the ability of young people to buy homes (and move away from their parents). It’s unfortunate that some life decisions are directly related to the amount of money one has in the bank.

More generally, young people think the previous generation has been screwing up things for them prospectively. Many believe the government is too intrusive, and there are too many restrictions and laws that impede their lives. Prohibition of the sale and personal use of marijuana are major items for a large number of young people. Additionally this same group feels the government is spying on them and invading their privacy.

Scores of young people are sympathetic to the plight of the downtrodden and to income inequality, more so than their parents, or so they think. Somehow being successful and becoming well to do is considered evil and all Americans in this category (the 1%ers) are not paying their fair share. Note: the definition of “fair share” is debatable and highly elusive.

Related to the life styles of the rich and famous are young people’s concerns for those who need assistance. What they believe is that every conservative either does not want to help Americans that ask for support, and that Republicans purposely elect leaders and lawmakers that perpetuate poverty in the country.

In fact most rich people are inured to paying an oversized share of taxes in the US. The frustration for 1%ers is more related to irresponsible government spending and the inability of free-spenders to creatively fund entitlements.

Over time young generations must assume responsibility and take over the government. America is at a crossroads, as older politicians are unable to pass the baton. Ironically, Democrats that include most millennials, have three seventy year-olds seriously contending for the presidency. And, in the House of Representatives, the top leaders are all significantly over seventy. In the meantime, several young (and mostly female) neophytes defeated incumbent Democrats during the mid term elections.

What has been the response of the Democratic establishment? They have threatened anyone who assists a Democrat in an effort to replace an incumbent Democrat.

Our Congress is chock full of old white men whose time has come to retire. Both parties are suffocating because old dogs don’t do new tricks, and old incumbents don’t want to give up their seats. Term limits are desperately needed on Capitol Hill and throughout all government.

Let’s discuss Democrat presidential candidates. The old adage that you must be radical in the primaries and moderate in the general election has already come into play. Every Democrat has either overtly or implicitly espoused socialism- that’s how far left the group has come. Their proposals are idiotic, too expensive and totally pie in the sky. They’re promising new entitlements that cannot be delivered.

Increasing taxes on the wealthy is the only source of new revenues for Democrats. There has been no thought given to abrogating entitlements that are no longer productive or doing what they were intended to do.

There are plenty of young people in the Democrat’s mad rush to regain the presidency, but none of them are leading the group. The Democrats are headed towards a real catastrophe next year that will become more obvious in the impending debates.

Young people have some important decisions to make. Many may just stay home on Election Day as they have done historically. Let’s hope not.