August 21st 2016 Election Status Report

The USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Presidential Poll is a rolling poll that is updated daily. It’s based on a 3,000 eligible voters. Today Donald Trump is ahead of Hillary Clinton 45% to 43%. What does this mean? Well, actually who knows. What it means to me is that a non-republican polling group has Trump ahead. To me that makes it credible. It doesn’t mean he’s definitely winning. But it does mean that those ridiculous polls by every left wing pollster imaginable showing Hillary ahead by 10% or 15% or even 20 % are a bunch of crap.

And that’s important. It means the drive by media will attempt another hit piece about Trump eating baby unicorns. It also means that Louisiana and the other bad news for democrats stories have had some traction. Labor Day is getting close and it’s time for the campaigns to switch into high gear. Expect endless political commercials and endless democrat outrage at anything Trump says. Well, it’s time for him to up his game. And based on the last week’s worth of speeches (in Milwaukee and Louisiana) I think he might be ready.

Hopefully Trump’s folks are ready to start spending money on advertising. I just hope they use it to go for the throat. Playing it safe isn’t what got him this far and it isn’t what he needs to pull ahead. The appeal to black voters was smart and also innovative. It speaks to the fundamental weakness of the democrat coalition. A few more jabs like that would put a good scare into the dems and might even get some votes from unexpected quarters.

I think focusing on the Millennials would be a very smart move. They are the primary recipients of the Obama economic meltdown. The Bernie voters are still out there and ripe for the picking. Another good move might be focusing on some cultural factors. Playing up the political correctness aspects of progressive organizations and groups and how they restrict the freedom of everyday people would seem to be fertile ground for campaigning.

Finally I think pointing up the most obnoxious qualities and policies of Obama (IRS attacks, executive orders putting coal miners out of work) is a political winner. So prepare for the two-fold narrative push:

1) Hillary is already a “lock.”

2) Have you heard the latest Trump gaffe?

That’s what the Trump campaign needs to push back on. Hopefully they’ve put together a good strategy. If there are going to be debates I expect that will be Hillary’s weakest link. She’s not very good off the cuff. The only thing he has to be careful about is looking to mean to the old bag.

Independence Day – A Few Thoughts

So I’m an American. Great grandson of immigrants. Close enough to the boat to know what it is like to be one of the newbies but around long enough to feel a pride in belonging to something exceptional.

I was brought up on the notion that living here was as close to being in heaven as you could get without having to die. And in a lot of ways it lived up to the hype. The streets weren’t paved with gold. But they were paved. No one starved. And that even went for the “poor.” Even the marginally working class had enough to feed a family. Everyone could read and write and if you weren’t a hopeless sociopath chances were you could hold down some kind of job and support yourself. Most folks attended a church and dragged the kids along to help “steer them in the right direction.”

The general notion was that America was a machine that took well-intentioned people who followed the rules and worked hard and from them generated wealth and happiness for everyone.

But sometimes the machine ran off the rails. The two big hiccups that I grew up with were the 1930’s and the late 1970’s. Each of these events damaged the morale of the nation and brought into question the stability of our way of life. No one knows how the world would have turned out if the Second World War hadn’t “saved” us from the Depression but what is important is that by the twentieth century Americans believed that not only could the US government avoid recessions but if it didn’t it would be held responsible. Herbert Hoover was vilified as the epitome of a callous plutocrat. And Jimmy Carter was cast out as a loser who had allowed the American industrial engine to stall out into stagflation.

Coming up to the present, George W. Bush was blamed for the Crash of 2008. In an eight year period that in many ways resembled the ’30s, Obama seemed to mostly get a pass for not reviving the American economy. This is reminiscent of the treatment FDR received. Apparently if you can vilify your predecessor successfully enough you can avoid blame (if you’re a democrat).

So what have we learned? Americans expect results. Especially from republicans. Apparently people don’t expect democrats to make the economy work. They will settle for handouts. But republicans have to deliver. The logic must be, “you people are always talking about free enterprise, well, put up or shut up.”

So here’s the whole thing in a nutshell. If you want to be a republican president coming in under a bad economy and you want to be re-elected, you not only have to revive the economy but you also have to do it in your first two years. Otherwise you’ll lose the Congress and be hamstrung by the democrats.

Unless of course you can buy off the people with free stuff (a la the democrats) and/or distract them with some bigger problem. Trump is betting that immigration is that bigger problem. And he may be right. If he actually accomplishes a good chunk of his deportation idea, he may get some extra time to revive the economy.

All right, this whole convoluted essay is basically trying to confirm something that is becoming harder for even the purest free trade advocate to ignore. The American People are fine with business making lots of money, as long as they are part of that equation. If American companies move all their plants and their jobs offshore then they’re not American companies. And they should not be treated as such. And if a foreign company builds a plant in the US and employs Americans then they should be rewarded any way we can. It’s not all that complicated. Americans with jobs don’t turn into a mob. So get them jobs, now!

Whoever gets into office next better get results and fast. Or else there are gonna be fireworks.