The Right Resistance: The 2020 election and recovering from the fifth stage of Trump grief
Why is Joe Biden president today?
It’s something millions wonder about these days. As news reports stream on the new president’s stumble or political affront of the hour, one can’t help but consider how it was that a man so blatantly incompetent and politically compromised could’ve prevailed over an opponent who exudes leadership, even if it’s packaged in the crude unrefined person of Donald Trump. The most unique commander in chief of all-time, Trump cannot and will not ever be replicated. Now that he’s been out of Washington for over two weeks now, people are calming down a bit and entering an analytical phase. If Trump supporters are mired in the five stages of grief/loss (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance), then most of us should be entering the final phase, acceptance. We still believe there was massive voter fraud that was not properly examined and highlighted, but January 6th’s riot took care of the investigative urgency for a time. It’s now up to conservatives to ensure the matter doesn’t completely die away. To battle the establishment is what we do. No quarter asked for, none given. Others have performed more in-depth analysis of why Trump came up short and Joe Biden is in charge today. Katherine Doyle reported at The Washington Examiner:
“A detailed postmortem of Donald Trump's reelection campaign points to the former president's trustworthiness, handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and failure to capture ‘late deciders’ as key reasons why he lost. “The 27-page report, written by Trump's chief pollster, Tony Fabrizio, shows how the coronavirus loomed large over the campaign, figuring as a ‘top issue’ in the surveyed 10 states, but was most pronounced in states that flipped for President Biden. It undercuts the former chief executive's claims that Democrats stole the election via a voter fraud effort in a handful of swing states that he lost… “According to the memo, a majority of voters across all states ‘prioritized stopping the spread of [the coronavirus] over re-opening the economy.’ Trump pushed GOP governors to do the opposite just a few months into the pandemic.”
This is not the time nor place to relitigate whether it was proper for conservative lawmakers to object to various states’ electors on January 6. It was legitimate. There was more than enough evidence to lead a reasonable person to question whether those states acted irresponsibly in allowing certain types of votes to be counted (against their own laws) or if there were abnormalities in ballot counting itself.
But like it or not -- and I don’t -- Trump did lose. Or the establishment won. Either way, bumbling dufus Biden sits behind the Resolute desk right now with a bust of communist rabble rouser Cesar Chavez staring at his backside while Grampa Joe diligently signs legal orders to dismantle the energy industry and cancel the 1776 Commission, etc.
As I told a friend not long ago, politics is policy, not a personality contest. All of last year the media tug-of-war went back-and-forth over the Trump administration’s response to the China virus pandemic. Conservatives argued that the real focus should’ve been on China and the origin of the bug that forced the entire world to alter their internal affairs to combat an enemy in an undeclared war that could neither be seen nor understood. The blame was clearly elsewhere, yet the media relentlessly pursued Trump because he seemingly courted the attention.
When something went wrong, it was attributed to Trump. When something went right, Trump wasn’t credited for it. He was chastised for cheerleading for American businesses to function and the workers who were displaced through no fault of their own to be given the green light to return to their jobs. He was savaged for holding outdoor events that were said to be “super spreader” disease breeding grounds. The media manipulated statistics to make it seem like the virus was toxic to everyone. It wasn’t.
Now it looks like Trump lost the election -- at least in part -- because voters had the impression that he didn’t take the pandemic seriously. Expert after expert on establishment media cable news shows presented their point-of-view unchallenged by a Trump defender’s opinion. There was some pushback from conservative outlets, but it always felt like an uphill struggle to question the “wisdom” of bureaucrats like Dr. Anthony Fauci. The soothing voice of the CDC’s keen persona attracted frightened citizens more than the accuracy of his advice.
And scared people like to be mollified, not told be brave and persevere. It’s a fact of life in 21st century America, the product of a high standard of living and a government that mails checks to half the population.
Still, Trump won the undying devotion of just short of 75 million Americans, many of whom would’ve crawled over broken glass to vote for him. Some liked his fighting spirit; others his outsider resistance to stodgy established norms; still others took to Trump’s talent for putting on a good show. All liked his policies and his no-holds-barred defense of America.
But there were more fraidy cats than champions of success. These people, armed with mail-in ballots in their hands and CNN blaring in the background, took their time opting for the challenger. Late deciders? What was it about Biden that drew them to vote for him?
It could also be said that the small but vocal contingent of #NeverTrump establishment Republicans had an oversized role in Trump’s defeat. By the numbers, Trump had the support of most Republicans -- perhaps the highest percentage since Ronald Reagan -- yet the prevalence of RINO Republican anti-Trump gripers in the media gave the appearance of cracks in GOP unity. The party’s congressional leadership didn’t help matters as they consistently moderated their tone when Trump needed a firm backstop.
To the “late deciders”, it could’ve made all the difference.
Would Trump have won if he’d stayed further in the background to make it seem like he was letting the “experts” steer the ship? What could’ve he done to keep the frightened and discouraged onboard with his Make America Great Again agenda? Pure statistics alone weren’t enough. Democrats assumed the narrative of a “crisis” and never let it rest. Now Joe Biden is president and we’re wondering what tomorrow will bring.
It’s something to ponder as we head into Trump’s impeachment show trial.