I’m done with the Thrill of Shared Outrage (TOSO) about Trump’s America, so here instead are some facts and ideas that offer a glimmer of hope that America might yet be rid of him.
1. FACT: The bulk of Trump’s support comes from fear of losing status.
Trump voters were not primarily concerned with being in a financial pickle. Yes, his most enthusiastic voters were from the white working class, but University of Pennsylvania political scientist Diana C Mutz has produced a large and persuasive study that concludes that ‘it was about dominant groups that felt threatened by change.’
Whites of all classes in America are increasingly aware that they will soon be a minority, and Trump promised to slow that down by curbing immigration, and by dissing ‘political correctness’, which really means any assertion that minorities deserve to be respected. What drove voters was fear of losing their privileges for being white and/or male. Well-educated white people voted for the guy too.
Mutz also found half of Americans view trade as something that sends jobs to other countries at the expense of jobs for Americans.
Nor did Americans whose income was shrinking necessarily vote for Trump. In fact, employment was rising, not falling, as the 2016 election loomed, and in the end Ms Clinton beat Trump among people with household incomes below $50,000.
Trump is supported by white voters who believe that whites are more discriminated against than non-whites are. More than half of evangelicals think Christians are treated worse than Muslims, and nearly 80 per cent of white working-class folks reckon the ‘American way of life’ is threatened.
Trump, regardless of his spectacular fails, continues to get warm glows from this large chunk of the country who are pissed off at people not-like-them getting too much attention. Trump offers them attention, which is about all he’s good for.
Solution? A small percentage of them – and their kids more so – won’t be fooled again, and all a half decent Democratic candidate will need in 2020 is a very small swing.
2. IDEA: Fixing that crazy Electoral College.
And while we’re on the 2020 election, consider the electoral ‘college’ problem. It’s not a real college, just an arithmetic exercise really. It dictates that each of the 50 states shall decide which candidate for president won their state’s votes, then each state gets a number of votes in the college equal to its combined total of senators and representatives. There are a total of 538 electors, corresponding to the 435 representatives and 100 senators, plus three for the District of Columbia. The candidate with 270 or more votes becomes president.
The result is that someone in a low-population state, say, Wisconsin, has more say than someone in California. It’s why both Hillary Clinton and Al Gore won the majority of votes but lost the presidency.
Solution? Get enough state governments to pass a law stating that whoever wins the majority of votes for president nationwide, gets all of their state’s electoral college votes. Already 10 states and DC have passed such a law, and more are considering joining the movement, called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
3. IDEA: It’s unlikely Trump will be impeached. He could, however, be bankrupted.
A majority of the House impeaches presidents and the Senate tries them, but no-one has ever been tossed out of the White House that way. Members of Congress vote on many matters, very rarely on principles.
And even if Prosecutor Mueller gets convictions against Trump and his gang-members to fuel impeachment hearings, the president can pardon all his mates, his family, and himself. Plus impeachment would grind on for years.
Solution: Go after his business crimes. He is basically dodgy. His entire life has been about buying real estate with borrowed money, stiffing contractors, suppliers, partners, and creditors.
He can pardon himself for anything, including being a business fraud, money launderer, cheat, tax evader, thief and so on – but he can NOT pardon companies. So drag all his companies into court, freeze and seize their assets, sell them off, and bar him from practising his chosen profession (in this case, being dodgy) ever again. If the families’ possessions were bought through some dodgy company or another, seize their personal cars and watches and… everything they can’t prove they own legitimately.
This may be the very strategy Mueller his team of lawyers are pursuing. They keep sending bits of evidence of corporate dirty dealing to local prosecutors, who will prosecute. Bits pile up, and companies fall down.
This splendid idea came from a bloke who calls himself murfster35. He also points out that nothing would cause Trump as much pain as losing all his gold cufflinks and golf-links would. He’d also be remembered as a crook.
♦ Phillip Frazer bans TOSO up on coorabellridge.com.