Sunday, January 22, 2017
How Trump Will (Probably) Win Re-Election
Well, it’s official: Donald J. Trump has been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. While many Americans hoped and prayed that his inauguration day would never come, unfortunately for them, it has, and Trump is going to be our president for the next eight years.
Yes, I said eight years. Not four. Eight.
As in Trump is going to be a two-term president.
I know many people don’t want to believe that. They don’t want him to make it past the next two years, let alone four or even eight. Then again, they also assumed that he wouldn’t win the primaries. Or the election. Or even the Electoral College. And yet here we are today with Trump in the White House.
If there’s one thing we should’ve learned from the election, it’s that we should never underestimate Trump. Never! Underestimating him allowed him to win this election, and it will allow him to win the next—and mark my words, he will win re-election!
Oh, not because I want him to, by any means. On the contrary, I hate him as much as any other decent thinking human being. But knowing that something is going to happen is not the same thing as wanting it to happen, and as much as I don’t want a two-term Trump presidency to happen, it mostly certainly will.
To answer “why”, I could easily point to Bush and Obama. If both of them could win a second term in spite of their failings, Trump most certainly can and will in spite of his incompetence. Thing is, we haven’t had a one term president since the original Bush, and that was nearly 30 years ago, so a two-term Trump seems almost inevitable.
Then again, just saying all that doesn’t make for a good think piece. So allow me to show my work and prove how Trump will be re-elected by Republicans, Independents, and, yes, even Democrats.
How Trump Will Win Republicans
Let’s start with the Republican vote. Winning that vote will be easy enough. After all, they’re Republicans. Of course they’re going to vote for him again! They’re not going to vote for the Democrat candidate no matter who is it. They’ll vote for Trump regardless of his opponent, and even regardless of whether or not he does a good job.
Of course, doing a good job will most likely help him secure re-election. And fortunately for him, all he needs to do in order to do a good job in their eyes is keep his two main campaign promises: build the Mexican border wall, and bring back the factory jobs overseas.
Trump made countless campaign promises, from destroying ISIS to “draining the swamp”, and chances are he’s going to fail to keep most of them. However, of those promises, his two biggest sellers were his promises to “build a wall” and “bring back jobs.” Those two promises aren’t exactly hard to fulfill. In fact, he could easily accomplish them within the next two years.
Let’s start with his promise to build the wall. While many of his detractors doubt that he will actually do this (and what did we say about underestimating him, again?), it’s not really a hard feat to accomplish. After all, most of the wall already exists. All it would take is for him to hire a couple hundred contractors to fill in the gaps and—viola!—instant wall! (A yuuuge wall! A beautiful wall! He guarantees it!)
Trump already reiterated his intention to getting the wall built once he’s in office. Considering it was his biggest campaign promise, of course it would be his biggest priority. To him, getting the wall built is like Obama getting healthcare reform passed.
The question at this point isn’t how he’s going to build it, but rather, how he will pay for it. While he has stated that he wants Mexico to pay for it (which isn’t all that impossible!), chances are his voters will most likely foot the bill. But as long as they see the wall built, they won’t really care about paying for it—or rather, having their grandkids pay for it!
Then there’s his promise to “bring back the jobs.” Again, this is another promise that many detractors assume won’t get fulfilled (Again, what did we say about underestimating him?!), but again, it probably will be. Thing is, at this point, Trump doesn’t have to bring back the factory jobs. They’re already coming back.
Contrary to his eulogizing of American factory jobs during the campaign, the truth is that the manufacturing sector has never been better. It’s not dead. It’s surely alive! Manufacturing has been expanding at the fastest pace in two years. If this trend continues on for the next four years, Trump can easily take credit for it and claim that he brought the factory jobs back from the dead.
As previous events have shown, Trump is not shy at taking credit for the accomplishments of others, especially when it comes to American jobs. He already took credit for “forcing” Apple to return jobs to America, and his biggest credit steal was to “force” Carrier to return 800 jobs from Mexico. If more factories continue opening in America, Trump will easily be able to point and tell his constituents that it was his doing all along, and their votes are instantly his.
But those are only the votes from his die-hard Republican base. He’ll need more than that to win re-election. Which brings us to:
How Trump Will Win Independents
Independent voters are the most crucial voting bloc in America. Republicans and Democrats, for the most part, are already expected to vote for their own, so it’s independent voters who end up swinging the elections.
If Trump wants to win re-election, aside from securing his own voting base, he’s going to have to appeal to voters who remain on the fence, voters who are undecided and “low-information”—but I repeat myself! The easiest way to do that is to push for a policy supported by most Americans, and fortunately for him, in spite extreme political polarization, there is one such unifying policy: infrastructure spending.
An overwhelming majority of Americans (75 percent, to be exact) support increased infrastructure spending, and for good reason: our roads suck! The American Society of Civil Engineers graded American roads with a D+, and the Global Competitiveness Report ranked America 16th in the world for overall quality of infrastructure.
Most Americans, ranging from business to labor, agree that our roads need to be fixed. This is why most of the top presidential candidates, from Trump on the right to Hillary and Bernie on the left, included increased infrastructure spending on their platforms.
Trump himself had proposed spending up to a trillion dollars on construction and maintenance projects. Will he actually spend that much? How exactly will he pay for it? Doesn’t matter! Most Americans support more spending on infrastructure, and many Congressman in both the House and Senate—most importantly, Senate Democrats and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer—have voiced their support of his infrastructure plan, and thus will most likely support it, regardless of what it is.
Honestly, Trump doesn’t even have to do a good job with fixing and building American roads and bridges. He simply has to do a good enough job to gain the independent votes. He doesn’t have to actually help Americans, but rather make Americans think that he’s helping them. What do I mean by this? Consider the following:
Imagine you’re John or Jane Q. Public. You didn’t vote for Trump, but you remain “unsure” of whether or not he will be a good president. You see as Trump signs an infrastructure spending bill that was passed by Congress with bipartisan approval. A few weeks later, on your daily commute, you see as your road to work, normally in the worst of conditions, undergoes construction. You watch as countless workers, many of whom were previously without a job, fill potholes and smooth out rough spots. You hear as the Orange Cheeto brags about his infrastructure plan, and how it’s improving American roads and putting Americans back to work. You believe him, and you gain enough support for him to vote for him come the next election.
Even if the overall impact on the economy and infrastructure remains minimal, the plan would have enough of an impact to have most Americans step off the fence and support him. As the National Review explains: “Whether or not infrastructure spending will help the economy, however, it could do a lot to help Trump…The total number of jobs in the country might not go up. But a lot of the people who got jobs working on infrastructure projects would be grateful to the president who brought it about. The best argument for passing a big infrastructure bill, in other words, is a political rather than an economic one.”
This is exactly how Obama managed to win re-election with his economic “stimulus”. Yes, the overall stimulus was botched and did very little to actually “stimulate” the economy, but it managed to “create” enough jobs and provide enough of an economic “boost” to benefit enough Americans to make them think that he was helping the economy.
If the past two presidencies are any indicator, politicians don’t really need to do a good job to get re-elected into office. They just need to do an adequate enough job to provide the illusion that they’re doing a good job.
And now comes the hardest vote for him to win:
How Trump Will Win Democrats
I can already hear people falling out of their chairs and rolling on the floor laughing. Donald Trump being re-elected by Democrats? There’s a better chance of pigs flying over a frozen hell!
However, Democratic support for Trump isn’t quite that improbable. After all, political surveys last year showed that at least 20 percent of Democrats were willing to vote for him. In fact, many blue districts that had once voted for Obama turned red during the election by voting for Trump. As the Washington Post reported, “of the nearly 700 counties that twice sent Obama to the White House, a stunning one-third flipped to support Trump,” with Trump winning “194 of the 207 counties that voted for Obama either in 2008 or 2012.”
Moreover, while the Democratic narrative is that the current political divide is between Trump and his racist, misogynistic base against everyone else, the truth is that a good portion of “everyone else” does support him. Trump was voted in thanks to more than half of women voters (albeit white women), more than twice as many African American voters than had previously supported Mitt Romney, and more than half of all Hispanic voters—this despite him claiming that immigrants were “rapists” and “criminals”!
And what people need to remember is that Donald Trump is not originally a Republican. For the longest time, he had been registered as a Democrat, even going so far as to donate to Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign. And despite him running on a predominately Republican platform, he’s really more of a RINO who supports progressive policies like higher taxes on the rich, single-payer healthcare, gun control, partial-term abortions, and eminent domain laws.
So while it may be unlikely that many of the anti-Trump protesters currently marching in Washington D.C. waving their “Love Trumps Hate” signs while tweeting #NeverTrump will vote for him next time around, there’s at least a small portion of Democrats who probably will, and there’s a good chance that Trump will succeed in winning their vote.
How will Trump go about doing that? The same way Democrats win votes: by offering voters free stuff!
As much as Democrats roll their eyes at the insinuation that people only vote for them because they promise them "free stuff", not only has that been their party’s modus operandi, but it's evidently been a successful one.
One recent survey revealed that counties that receive the most food stamps tend to vote Democratic. No real surprise there. You promise to give people free stuff, and they vote for you in turn. It's the "bread and circus" tactic that crooked politicians have been exploiting since Ancient Rome.
Trump knows this, and he clearly wants to use this tactic to his own advantage. That's why a cursory glimpse of his plan for his first 100 days contains so many proposed progressive handouts that you'd swear that he had copied them from Bernie Sander's own platform.
Aside from providing increased infrastructure spending (which, again, seems like something ripped from Bernie's platform), Trump also wants to offer an income-based repayment plan for student loans that would allow student debt to be forgiven after a certain period of time, as well as provide maternity leave and tax breaks for child care services, especially for single mothers.
Obviously, many liberal pundits have been critical of these proposed "progressive" policies, but their criticisms clearly don't matter. What matters is that enough Americans (especially Democrats) support such policies as increased infrastructure spending, maternity leave, and student loan forgiveness that they'd be more than willing to accept anything Trump gives them. The Don is literally making them an offer they can't refuse!
But perhaps his greatest support will come from the demographic most aligned with the Democratic party: black voters. Again, as I mentioned before, more than twice as many African American voters supported him than they did Mitt Romney, so the Donald is clearly the most popular Republican candidate among them.
That's precisely why the Donald want to exploit their support with his proposed "New Deal For Black America", which will provide tax breaks for African American business owners (who are currently on the rise) and school vouchers for black students (who show the most support for school choice).
While most Democrats are currently marching alongside the "resistance" against Trump, all it will take is for him to absolve college students of their student loan debt, provide single mothers free childcare and maternity leave, and offer African Americans tax breaks and school vouchers to have some of them singing a different tune when it comes time for them to march to the voting booth.
Of course, all of this is pure speculation. Trump could very well not make it past his first two years, let alone four. And all of this would require every one of his policies to be successfully implemented. That could happen with a Republican majority, or it could be obstructed by the Democrat minority.
Either way, there’s a slim chance that Trump will win over enough Americans to convince them to provide him a second term. Only time will tell. But keep in mind, if the past election was any indicator, underestimating Trump is never an option. Never!