RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment

writing for godot

Some Thoughts on Trump and the 2020 U.S. Elections, Plus my Prediction for the Outcome

Written by Steven Jonas   
Monday, 16 November 2020 07:53

By Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

"Either this nation shall kill racism, or racism shall kill this nation." (S. Jonas, August, 2018)


This column was originally published just before the elections just past.  In my view, most of the observations made are still useful. I hope that you agree.


Here are some thoughts on the 2020 U.S. elections, not necessarily in order of importance.

1. In my view, Trump cannot win re-election, that is legitimately win by garnering the largest number of votes in the Electoral College. Unless all of the polls are way, and I mean WAY, off, and IF all the votes are counted, Biden will win. BUT Trump could remain as President past 12:01PM, on Jan. 20, 2021, IF all the votes are not counted and the Supreme Court certifies that they do not have to be, as they did in Bush v. Gore, (Florida) 2020. For more on that, see the last item in this list. (Hint. I don't think that that will happen.)

2. Many observers have noted that this is one of the most important elections in U.S. history. Among the contenders are those of 1860, 1864, 1932, and 1940. In my view, this is THE most important election in U.S. history, for two reasons. A) If Trump does remain as President and the Republicans retain the Senate majority, as what I have deemed the "Accidental Fascist" he will install a version of fascism. That of course would bring immense suffering to the U.S. and its people. But beyond that, it would bring a wider tragedy. See 3.

3. Trump himself and many of his closest advisors are Climate Change Deniers. In my view, the worst feature of a Trump 2nd term would be the end of any possibility of controlling the Global Warming that has been over-taking the world for the last 40 years or so (and of course actually began with the beginning of the coal-fired Industrial Revolution in the 18th century). This is because the U.S. would not re-join the "Paris Accords" (which, although not nearly as strong as they could be are at least a step in the right direction) and the governments of other major Global-Warming-Contributors would not feel bound to do anything much about it either. It would mean the World-Wide Triumph of "The Planet-Killer International Fossil Fuel Industry."

4. Trump is not a liar. By definition, a liar is someone who tells a falsehood, knowing it to be a falsehood. When Trump makes a false statement, he does not know it to be false or he just does not think it to be false. Each time, he actually thinks his statements are true. That is how come over time he can make two completely contradictory statements but at the time he is making them regard them each as true. An example of that is the statements about the oncoming pandemic he made to Bob Woodward privately while at the same time he was making statements, in chorus with Sean Hannity, about the "Democrat epidemic-hoax." To repeat, any time he makes a statement about anything that is either factual or "factual" he is absolutely convinced that it is true, or at least a statement of fact as the Trumpites understand facts (which of course are often of the Kelly Ann Conway "alternate facts" type). And so, arguing with True Trumpers about lies and truth is a waste of time.

5. On "October Surprises," in 2016 there was of course the "Comey Letter," which many authorities consider to have tipped the election to Trump. As it happens, in a column published after its appearance, and about a week before the election, I thought that it well might do so. The Trumpers have tried very hard to reproduce just such a thing this time around --- without success. Barr's investigation of the (perfectly legal --- happens about 15,000 times in a four-year Presidential term) "unmasking" events of course went nowhere. As did (so far at least, and after the election it would be meaningless) his investigation into the "Origins of the Trump-Russia Hoax." In fact, Trump's unhappiness with Barr's inability to do something about the Trump enemies --- his crowds, with his apparent approval, calling out for "locking up" former V-P Biden, former Pres. Obama, and former Sec. State Clinton --- indicate that if Trump remains in the Presidency Barr will be one of his first firings.

6. It's just fascinating, isn't it, that the "law and order" President is just fine with such things as the extra-judicial execution of a suspected assassin of a right-wing vigilante in Oregon, the murders of Black-Life Matters demonstrators by a right-wing self-styled "guard" in Kenosha, WI, and the threats of violence to persons riding on a Biden-Harris campaign bus in Texas. Interestingly enough, the Trump banners and over-sized US flags that the Texas-terrorists were flying were exactly the same as the ones I saw flying in a large pro-Trump pick-up truck demo. that drove through downtown Port Jefferson, NY this past Saturday. They are obviously mass-produced and then distributed all over the country. That is not a cheap endeavour. Is that possibly the reason why the Trump campaign is so short of funds?

7. Trump is using his Box of Magic Tricks right to the bitter end of the campaign: 1. The protectors and enablers, either personal, or financial or both. 2. His standard response when he faces an adversary of any kind, real or imagined: "Always attack; Never defend." 3. "When you run into a problem, just sue." 4. Never be responsible to anyone else. 5. As he has lived his whole life, Trump is surrounded by enemies, real or imagined or created for the purpose (even if totally irrational, like making the virus into a personal enemy that he has to send his warriors out to defeat (click here). 6. Finally, Trump is history's greatest con man, a skill which he running on right to the end of the campaign --- and beyond.

8. The question is often asked, why is the ordinary Trump voter a Trump voter? As I said back in 2019, the Trumpublicans would be running on " 'The 6 R's' and 'The 2 C's' ": Racism, Rage, Red-baiting, Religiosity, Repression (of the vote), and Russian (interference); and The Two C's: Cheating and Conspiracy Theories. Going into the last month or so, Trump has reduced them pretty much to Racism, Rage (at his purported enemies, including of course the "Fake News,") Red-baiting, Repression (of the vote, attempted, anyway), and its companion, Cheating. The crowds are lapping up the first three "R's". And so are his voters (for some of them add religiosity).

9. Finally, I think that Biden will win the popular vote (WOW, going out on a limb there), and I also think that he will win the Electoral vote. As anyone who watches any of the news shows knows (well, maybe not on Fox"News", but except for parts of the hour-long Trump commercial otherwise known as "Hannity" that runs every night I don't watch Fox"News" so I cannot say for sure) Biden is consistently ahead in most of the "battleground" states. Further, even when the polls are within the margin of error, he for the most part has over 50%, which means that in order to win Trump would have to take votes away from him, not just pick up those few undecideds who are left. It looks like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania will go for Biden (the latter narrowly but still a Biden win --- and those are all he needs, assuming he doesn't lose any of the states Clinton won last time). Then the polls indicate that he could pick up one or more of Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, and Iowa.

But supposing, somehow or other it gets to the Supreme Court, which is obviously what Trump is counting on. (How do we know that? He has told us so.) The issue that could get to the Supreme Court is the same one they used to give the election to Bush in 2000: counts and recounts. But this time is different, even though Trump is a nominal Republican. Nominal Republican maybe. But full-fledged fascist yes.

Now, a Fascist party is put into control of the State Apparatus of a nation (or takes it by military force as in the case of Spain) when a majority of that nation's Ruling Class wants it to be. It is clear, from such indicators as contributions to which campaigns, that a majority of the US ruling class does not want Trump back in.

This nation does not face a revolutionary situation now (which is the most frequent one facing a ruling class for which it installs fascism). But if Trump gets back in, it is a situation that could possibly face the nation within some reasonable period of time. Further, Trump has no plan for dealing with Trumpidemic2020©, something a majority of the ruling class wants to get done (for both health-of-the-nation-and-its-workers and economic reasons). The majority of the ruling class wants stability and predictability in the White House. 'Nuff said on that one. A significant chunk of the ruling class --- see, e.g., Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg --- want to have a massive national program for dealing with Global Warming. And so on, and so forth.

Finally, if you think that Supreme Court Justices do not talk to "various people of power" you have another think coming. Chief Justice Roberts has made it clear that he would like to secure the reputation of the Court as a Court-of-final-decision and not a final political body. Yes, he was on the team that made Bush v. Gore possible (with of course Kavanaugh and Barrett). But that was then and this time is different. Trump is a totally self-consumed, out-of-control, idiot. Not the type of person right-wing institutionalists like Roberts want in control of the Federal government. Although the Justice-from-the-Heritage Foundation, Thomas (his wife is a V-P there) and Alito would probably vote for Trump no matter what, Roberts would only need to get one vote from Barrett, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch and Trump would be shown the door. I have confidence that he could do that, for they would be getting enough phone calls from interested parties in, for example, finance, banking, real estate, retail, transportation, and the law (on their VERY private lines, of course).

And if Trump does lose there, or just loses without being able to get a case to the Supremes, which could very well happen, after resigning and getting his pardon from Pence, Trump would be grabbing the next charter flight he could finagle into doing it for him, outtahere, with as much of whatever is left of his money as he could take with him. Too much legal trouble to be facing, both criminal and civil. Much too much. That is, unless he is prevented from doing so by one or more security agencies who do not want anybody who has that amount of top-secret information that could be sold to the highest bidder, outtahere.


Note:  This column was previously posted at:  It is a set of pre-election comments and to be sure, predictions.  It is always interesting to see how many of the latter came true.  You, the reader, can judge that for yourself, of course.  On several of them, confirmation, or not, is necessarily reserved.  Notice the prominence of what I have for some time now called his "Box of Six Magic Tricks."  Post-election, he is using them full-time. your social media marketing partner
Email This Page


THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.