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Watch Donald Duck

Donald Trump
Written by Ron Litchman

So, what if Donald ducks . . . ducks out . . . out of the election?

What if Donald Trump quits?

The script for his quit-twit isn’t hard to write:  “It’s all rigged,” he’ll grouse.  “The debate schedule is unfair.”  He doesn’t like the moderators.  “They” (whoever “they” are, likely including the RNC for withholding or diverting funding) haven’t been nice to him.

He’ll wants to get out before he actually loses . . . by a landslide.  Before history puts him down not for “leaping tall (eponymous) buildings in a single bound,” but for all-too-terrestrial electoral results akin to Goldwater’s and McGovern’s and Mondale’s and Dukakis’.

He’ll want to dodge SNL’s poking fun at him – making him a laughingstock, actually, like they did to Sarah Palin.  (Mr. Trump, what makes you an expert in foreign affairs? “I once saw Russia from my jet.”)

He did not seem to be enjoying his roasting at a certain Washington correspondents’ dinner a while ago.  And he skipped the next one.  Could be a precedent there.

He will not win.  As previously observed in this column, “Hurricane Donald Blows Away,” Trump has “offended the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, abused the Second, alienated women, immigrants, Muslims, Hispanics, blacks, soldiers, and posthumously disparaged a decorated war hero and his grieving family.  He’s alienated too many broad swaths of necessary voters – blacks, Hispanics, immigrants, Muslims, white college-educated suburban women.”

He cannot get them back.  

The damage he’s done with these voters is irreparable.  He’s solidified their revulsion and fear.  Trump’s been in their face since June 16, 2015, when he declared that Mexican immigrants are drug runners, criminals, and rapists and that he’s running for president to wall them out.

These voters may not have decided whom they’ll vote for, but they’re certain it won’t be Trump.

For example:  his jet-setting, make-nice, look-presidential foray into Mexico gained him no traction.   Back in Phoenix, he did not rise from the embers of his campaign, but  immediately stumbled into a dispute over who-said-what about paying for his iconic (and quite imaginary) Wall.  The New York Times reports that it was not the speech wanted by the Republican National Committee – fast becoming “STINO” (Supporting Trump in Name Only).

Trump has boxed himself in.  When he “doubles-down” on his braggadocio, he cements the resentment of all those he’s offended.  But when he backtracks now, his departure from 15 months of vitriol is seen as insincere, opportunistic, and politically-driven.  The New and Improved Trump will not win any converts, but it may actually immobilize his remaining true believers, who will take even his clumsy attempt at moderation as a betrayal.

Furthermore, as David Brooks observed, the adamant, resentful, anti-immigration (and anti-immigrant) stance that Trump has made the keystone of his campaign resonates with only a small fraction of voters.  Six percent consider immigration a major issue; the rest consider the economy, homeland security, and the deficit are more important than immigration.

So, what of the polls?  A New York Times poll-of-polls reports that Trump has closed his gaping shortfall behind Hillary, in nationwide popular votes, to within two percentage points.

That does not, however, rebut the thesis that he won’t win.  Even “if the election were held today” (in the pollster’s uniform phrase), Trump loses the popular vote 41% to  Hillary’s 43%.

National polls of voter opinions are for conversations among on-air talking heads.

Presidents are not elected by nationwide popular vote, but in 50 separate state elections that are the Electoral College.  Despite its headline, the New York Times, state-by-state analysis, concludes that Trump has merely a 18% chance of actually winning.  The website fivethirtyeight.com gives him 30%.  (A remarkable discrepancy, actually, presumably based on the same data . . .  It might cause one to doubt the stats – or the statisticians).  

A landslide loss either way.   Trump won’t be President.

What these headlines do provide, however, is the figleaf for Trump to claim he’s “quitting while he’s ahead.”  “I could have won the election,” he’ll say.

But Donald will duck it.

And the winners are . . .  Mike Pence.  He probably gets kicked upstairs.  Or Ted Cruz? He was the runner up, presciently held off endorsing Trump, had been endorsed by Mike Pence (who may graciously decline the top spot for him).  But Cruz would be foolish to take it, on a rebound, with only two months to go . . . better to pick up the pieces in 2020.  

Other winners:  Paul Ryan, the Republicans House and Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate.  That’s another worry for Hillary.  Bill, we remember, had a Democratic majority Senate at his impeachment trial.  A Republican House and Republican Senate adds to Hillary’s worries.

The big, big loser?  Hillary, by far.

Donald ducking out is the last thing she wants.  Since her nomination, her only rationale is she’s not Trump.  All she’s been doing is taking pot-shots at Trump.

With Trump out, Hillary has no rationale.

In the resulting two-person race – between Hillary and Libertarian Gary Johnson – Gary gets into the presidential debates.   He smokes Hillary out from her “I’m the lesser-evil” hiding place and challenges her to defend her record on Syria and Iraq and the whole of the Middle East and North Africa.  To prove to the country that she really isn’t untruthful, untrustworthy.   To make her own case that she, Hillary, is “fit” to be  president, not only because she’s not Trump.  

Because Gary’s not Trump either.

The even bigger winners:  the two-thirds of voters who don’t want Trump and don’t want Hillary either, but have been more afraid of Trump.  Now they’re “Liberated.”

 

Ron Litchman, Chair, The Manhattan Libertarian Party. RonL@manhattanLP.org.

(I express my own views, not necessarily those of the Manhattan, New York State or National Libertarian Party, nor of any other individual.)

Photo Credit:  a katz / Shutterstock.com

3 Comments

  • Ron,
    A pretty good analysis…of your wish list. But an analysis of the election? Or an analysis of Trump?
    I don’t think so.

    Shortly, the only default position either candidate has is Hillary dropping out…and claiming it is for medical reasons and not for her pending OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE indictment. If she won the election and then was convicted of Obstruction of Justice, would Tim Kaine take the oath in January?

    Really?

    After the legendary fail by the Comey for his non prosecution, do you REALLY THINK he will walk away from the OBSTRUCTION INVESTIGATION when the House and the Senate DEMAND IT? Sure Clinton could throw Huma Abedin under the bus or some other staffer and claim “I know nothing about the meetings or the phone calls. I gave no orders to destroy my black berry phones. I gave no orders to lose that laptop or thumb drive. I don’t know what you are talking about.” But voters are not going to buy it…no even the clueless ones that support her through thick and thin.

    The Clinton Era is ….over. Bill Clinton was called slick Willie for a reason. And now, he has given politicians an even WORSE NAME than ever before.

    I know your guy didn’t get in and we don’t have the sort of leadership on ANY local, state or national level that is IDEAL. But these are the times we live in. They’re not great, we’re not great and the country is suffering. But it doesn’t have to.

    With a smaller federal government, a reduced tax and regulation obligation and some new leadership in the White House and the Congress, our country and our people can find “the way back.”

    And you can find your way back, too.

    To mention Gary Johnson on a debate stage implies you may share some of his bad habits.
    The same habits that left him “fuzzy” at his moment of truth on MSNBC.
    I pray that is not the case.

    To get our country turned around, all oars have to be in the water…all the time.

    Yours, too.

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About the author

Ron Litchman

Ron Litchman, Chair, Manhattan Libertarian Party
(His views expressed herein are solely his own, and not necessarily those of the Libertarian Party, national, state or county, or Libertarian Party candidates for office.)

A lawyer, portfolio manager and investment advisor, Ron Litchman was elected Chair of the MLP in 2016, and writes on economics, government policy and current politics with a Libertarian voice.