How has the new presidency shaped America and what lessons can be learnt at this juncture?
President Trump was recently asked about his sister’s recordings, which were published in the Washington Post in which she defamed him and undermined him. His response was very simple: “Who cares.” And this is indeed the whole Bible on one foot, because in truth no one cares anymore. In 2016, Trump voters voted for him despite the recordings being revealed at the time, and despite being portrayed everywhere as an inexperienced man who ran to the White House as if he were on a reality show. Today, when he already speaks to his audience every day from the Oval Room or the briefing room, they are already sure that they do not care about his image. This election is not a 2016 rerun, and it’s both excellent and bad for Trump, and so is fellow contender Joe Biden.
Let’s start with the obvious benefits to the incumbent president: The rules of the game have changed and it’s great for Trump because there’s almost nothing he won’t do to proliferate his image however it is received. His every statement and publicity is met with indifference, and even his opponents already know the man and his work. Those who resent the fact that he is delivering the important political speech at the Republican convention from an extension in the White House, and that the campaign signs are placed on the lawn, illegally, are neither his supporters nor to whom he addresses.
While reporters shout that the United States is recording 180,000 dead from Corona, the name “Trump” was written in huge fireworks over the White House at the end of the conference. This is not a shock to those who are likely to vote for the president. It is not certain that in 2016 it would have passed, but the threshold of indifference and sensitivity has changed substantially.
In 2020, unlike the previous time, he is already the incumbent president. He is photographed with leaders around the world, flies to Air Force 1, and speaks at State events from the Rose Garden. Trump won when he did not have it all, and now that he has – it’s a huge political advantage. It is not by chance that it is so rare that an incumbent president is not elected for another term.
Juravin believes that if the 2016 election was Hillary against Trump in which she was the favorite, now it’s for and against Trump. The question “Will the president be ousted?” almost becomes a referendum – and it strengthens it. The fear of losing is a very strong motive, more than the desire to win. After his supporters have already reached the White House they will not let “them” take the achievement, even if they disagree with Trump’s path: “He is not perfect, but he is ours.”
But that’s exactly the point that strengthens Biden, namely the fact that this is not a rerun of the election campaign from four years ago and this strengthens the Democrats, who were then a little more complacent. Then there were those who did not think Trump could really win, or those who really hated Hillary from the left side of the Democratic Party and simply did not vote for her. For many there was no real fear that Trump would win. Now, they have the motivation to get Trump out of the White House and that is a goal that can be united behind.
Who Will Be The Next US President?
It’s easier to unite against Trump than to unite around Hillary. Bernie Sanders and his supporters, for whom Biden is much closer to the Republican Party, also side with him. Sometimes they do not say “vote for Biden”, they just give the synonyms for “vote against Trump”.
According to Juravin, there are already allegations of interference in elections by foreign entities and the low style of the campaign is not surprising. Democrats simply will not use Trump’s tools – neither in his language nor on his level. What he is willing to do to win the election, they are not even willing to imagine. Trump’s propaganda machine is very well oiled and ruthless, but now – unlike in 2016 – Democrats know and understand from the start of the campaign what they are facing.
Another variable that differentiates the current election campaign from that of 2016 is the corona plague. Biden, who initially refrained from leaving his home, realized that it was impossible to run a campaign like this, probably when Trump was constantly touring the area, arriving in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Also in Trump‘s previous campaign he made excuses for Biden’s mistakes during interviews and speeches, and for the fact that for a long time his opponent avoided answering questions, but now every bite towards him is backed by a well-oiled mechanism of supporters spreading the message and video within seconds.
And what else has changed since 2016? That everyone is much more careful. Even if the gap currently averages 7.5% in favor of Biden, that doesn’t really mean much. Tens of thousands of votes in a specific country can change the whole picture – and most likely on the eve of the election itself, we will still not have a winner.