Election 2020: Time for a Reality Check for Team Blue

I had a conversation with a friend of mine a few days ago, and honestly, it was quite the reality check.

Prior to the conversation, I had watched all four nights of the Democratic Convention, and it really made me feel good. I enjoyed seeing the incredible coalition of people who are under our umbrella right now, and I saw that a lot of others watching the convention felt like I did. We are all feeling hopeful and uplifted — a very nice contrast to how we’ve been feeling under this administration.

On top of that, the information trickling out about the Republican Convention has been, if you ask me, embarrassing. Fully half of the “key” speakers for the convention have the last name of Trump, according to Fox News. And their party “platform” is a joke. A bunch of bullet points of goals and lies.

So, as I was riding this good feeling that we are a unified party, and the Republican party is looking disjointed and ineffective, I reached out to an old friend of mine.

This is someone I’ve known for 3 decades, and we chat about once a year. He’s always been a conservative and in fact now works in DC doing tax law. He does a lot of work with Congress. He’s one of the smartest people I know. So, even though we don’t see eye to eye about politics, I enjoy hearing his point of view. Want to know what he sees?

He sees that it is Republicans who have the edge on enthusiasm for voting. (I checked. He’s right.) He said that in midwest swing states, Republicans are registering more voters than Democrats. (That’s a bit more complicated but some of that checks out, too.) He thinks the “shy Trump voter,” i.e. the ones that aren’t so vocal about their support for Trump when pollsters call, is a real effect. He also is seeing a LOT of visual support of Trump, like hats/yard signs/bumper stickers/etc.

He recognizes that Trump is a polarizing figure, but believes that he will win again. Especially if the election gets framed as Trump vs. Kamala Harris, at which point he thinks Trump wins easily.

Our exchange made me feel really uneasy. Hearing the confidence he had, and backed up with some substantive data, made me wonder about what I might be missing.

I wanted to tell you about this conversation to say, that under no circumstances can we let up because we have a good convention, or because we see that Biden is polling well, or any of the other reasons why you might be feeling good about the election. If my friend, who is no MAGA, sees that Trump being re-elected is well within the cards, know that millions and millions of others will, too.

And unlike my friend, we’re up against Trump supporters who are absolutely in a right-wing news bubble. They still support Trump because they’ve quite literally not seen any reason to drop their support. They don’t believe anything that is reported by the “mainstream media” because Trump has been telling them that they lie for over 4 years. They truly feel that if the Democrats win, that all the great things they’ve gotten under Trump will disappear. (Now don’t get me started on what they think those “great” things are.) They are very motivated to make sure Trump stays in office.

Don’t believe me? Pay attention to the Republican Convention. (I don’t mean watch it — let’s not give Trump extra ratings.) But watch how excited and jazzed his supporters get about the speakers. Watch what ratings it does get. Watch them announce how much money they raise. If you look for it, you’ll see the enthusiasm.

I want to win this election. I think our country NEEDS for us to win this election. Furthermore, I do worry about our democracy if this is a close election. So I want to win this election by a lot — so there is no question at all that we won and a clear majority of this country is done with Trump and his ilk.

But I also think we’ve got a lot of work to do. Every one of us has to vote, and we each personally need to make sure that other people vote for our candidates. We’ve got 71 days until Election Day. Let’s make every one of those days count.

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29 replies

  1. Have to say, this email depressed the s—t out of me. ):

    November is coming. Make sure you’re registered to vote here . Request your ballot to vote by mail here .

    • As you know, I’m very much an optimist. But we have to be clear eyed about the situation. This election is not going to be a cakewalk and we really do need all hands on deck to make sure we get the outcome that we desperately need.

  2. Had an enlightening conversation with our 22yo son after reading this, and asked him if he and his friends are discussing politics in general, and the election in particular, at all. “Only when we get together- it is always a topic of conversation.” was his reply. They seldom talk about policy, as they have already discussed and agreed on most things. Headline distractions are more what gets mentioned now.
    BUT, that means they are engaged and paying attention. All registered, and ready to vote. A few are more conservative, but they are a minority in his friend group. Also, most of them are white suburbanites from conservative households, but all want to get rid of the current administration.
    I realize this is just a small sample, but there is hope. Sometimes it is just hard to see.

    • Thank you for this anecdote. One, I’m thrilled that these conversations are happening in real life, and not just on social media. Second, I’m glad to hear of evidence backing up the recent polling that Biden is doing far better than Trump with college-aged students.

  3. I felt the same after watching the DNC convention last week. I positively cannot bring myself to endure the torment of watching the RNC trump love fest, but I will read about it. Your thought provoking post reminds us that it is imperative that we join our voices by overwhelmingly voting blue. It is equally important to ensure that our ballots are not rejected for any reason. As Elizabeth Warren says : “We will persist.” Thank-you!

  4. I just had a long conversation with MY good friend who is a Trump supporter. We talked for over an hour and although, issue by issue that we talked about he told me he agrees with me, it was apparent he really did not want to let go of his view that Democrats were going to destroy Democracy by turning this country Socialist and take away all his freedoms. He is convinced that Joe Biden is a far left wing socialist and truly has no intention of letting go of that belief. That, is what we are dealing with everyone. My friend is not evil and he is far from stupid, but he lives in his bubble and is happy there. And I can empathize with that, because I too am happier in my bubble.

    • Thanks for telling us this anecdote. I’ve seen studies that demonstrate that issue by issue, a lot of voters on both sides of the aisle agree with Democratic policies, but Republican voters just cannot be convinced to vote D, regardless. Your friend exemplifies this. Good for you for talking to them, by the way!

  5. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    TokyoSand has some cautionary words for us all. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch! The Convention last week was encouraging, but … it ain’t over yet, folks!

  6. I know there is still a lot of support for Trump but I’ve seen far fewer yard signs of support for trump in my area of rural Minnesota then there was four years ago

  7. Very prescient words. We need this warning!!

  8. No one should take this election for granted! In addition to the excellent points you mentioned, polls are notoriously inaccurate, we haven’t gotten to the debates yet, and it’s already clear that Trump and his minions are going to pull every dirty trick in the book to win.

  9. TokyoSand. I don’t want people protesting after the vote and not voting. The most corrupt and deceitful president in my lifetime, including Richard Nixon, was elected in 2016 by about 100,000 votes combined in PA, MI and WI.

    If people care about fighting climate change, protecting access to healthcare, restoring our global reputation, addressing civil rights, and protecting our democracy, we must vote this corrupt incumbent out. Plus, there will likely be one or two SCOTUS openings, so if we want to avoid another Kavanaugh, we need to vote.

    The president has, is and will cheat to win. Just ask his sister, the judge. Or, take the word of his attorney/ fixer Michael Cohen who said under oath “Donald Trump is a racist, he is a con artist and he is a cheat.”

    Joe Biden is not perfect, but he is a decent and empathetic person. And, he will actually try to unite us. Former Trump sec of defense General James Mattis said Trump does not even try to unite us. Keith

  10. Unfortunately, I agree. And let’s not forget one more element–the Republicans are already working to scare the bejesus out of their voters with tales of Democrat-run cities overrun by rioters and set on fire. I live in Portland, so yes, I know this to be BS and a complete exaggeration of what has happened here (not to mention an insult to the peaceful protesters for racial justice who were out in droves), but the people who live in their FOX bubble will not realize this. So their logic will be “Sure, Trump has failed us on some things, but do I want to elect the Democrats and have my town be looted and burned?” Sadly, this is what we’re up against. It’s no accident the gun-wielding couple from St. Louis will be among the “stars” of the convention.

    • I’m a bit south of you but still in Oregon. Never thought I’d see the day when Fox and the GOP turned Portland into their new “Venezuela.”

  11. I respectfully disagree with you that Trump has any chance of winning this time around. Many of the swing voters from 2016 really hated Hillary, well Hillary’s not around anymore.
    Also nearly 4 years of lies, deceit, corruption etc has turned many conservatives against him, ie the Lincoln Project.
    Also Republicans are not running on the same idealistic platform of 2016, now it’s disjointed without a core message to rally and unify his base. I’m sure his base has diminished dramatically.
    Realistically I can’t see this clown winning again with all these odds stacked against him. It’s pretty much over, barring a Biden scandal, Joe will win in a landslide i’m 100% sure of it.

    • 1 Earth United….With respect, I think you are dead wrong, but I hope like hell I’m dead wrong….

      • Curious… why do you feel Trump will win? What more can we possibly do, that we’re not already doing. I know it’s a lost cause trying to convince a brainwashed Trump supporter, but we can motivate the undecided or apathetic to fulfill his or her civic duty, help them register and vote by mail!
        I know some friends considering voting by mail AND in person hoping their vote for Biden will be counted twice… not so sure that would work and it’s illegal. That’s how divisive & desperate our nation has become.

      • Maybe it’s because I live in a very red county in Central Florida and I feel surrounded by ignorance and religious extremism. They absolutely love trump. And it’s kinda a gut feeling and things like the rioting in cities will really work against Biden and fuel further racism, not that’s it’s in any way his fault.
        I also think that in a couple more months, the virus levels will be down, which is great, but will work trump’s favor. And people here are so blinded by the fear of socialism, even democratic socialism, which I believe is a good thing. Look at Europe, but I digress.

        Religion and racism are powerful forces here and pretty much run the “fear” game here.
        It’s just a feeling…..

      • !EarthUnited,

        I hope you are right, but one thing the Republican candidate will do is lie and cheat. Yesterday, he claimed the Dems were going to try and steal the election like they did last time. Two comments – mr. president, did you not win last time? And, the Senate Intelligence Committee reported last week that your campaign was more involved with the Russians than the Mueller report revealed, i.e., Senate Republicans confirmed you cheated in 2016.

        As for the intent of TokyoSand message, there is an old saying if you are going after the king, you better make sure he is dead. By not convicting Trump in the Senate in February, these GOP Senators missed a chance to rid the country of this corrupt and deceitful person. All they did was open Pandora’s Box and inspectors generals, whistleblowers and testifiers were forced to leave their positions.

        So, every Dem must get off their fanny and vote. Biden needs to win and win overwhelming – none of this hanging chad business. Keith

      • And Dems trying to vote twice will come to light and screams of other fraud from the democrats will work in trump’s favor, as well. Not a good idea at all.

      • I understand, you are right to be concerned. I’m sure when you relocated to Florida there was no “enemy camp” and such extreme political divisiveness as now.
        No matter who wins come Nov. 3rd, i feel it’s only getting worse. The world’s a big place, relocating to a peaceful more prosperous country may be the answer. There are so many good expat videos on YouTube to help you decide. Good luck.

      • Believe me, if I was younger, that’s precisely what I would do. I’d love to live in New Zealand…but…

      • Excellent points you’ve brought up Keith, that’s why voting by mail is so important, voter suppression is a very real issue. I’m hoping US postal will get the 25B infusion from Congress, either way I’m sure the Trump camp will rant and rave about mail in voter fraud etc.

  12. I think that the Republicans showing enthusiasm doesn’t show they pick up points from that.Not even the money they raise. Democrats have the edge om that.

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