Sunday, October 16, 2016

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

Unless Wikileaks drops a bombshell that blows the Clinton campaign out of the water, the Republican bid is probably doomed. 

It's interesting, in a tragic way, to consider how altering one variable would completely alter the race. If voters in Republican primaries and open primaries had chosen almost any other GOP candidate except Trump, the focus of the message, the focus of the conservative and/or Republican commentariant, would have been on the future direction of the country under Democrat rule. Warning about the disastrous trajectory of secular progressives–as well as the infamy of Hillary in particular. An outward-looking message. 

But because Trump was in the race, and instantly became the center of attention, the focus of the conservative and/or Republican commentariat was overwhelmingly on the future direction of the GOP, the conservative movement, and the religious right. An inward-looking, internecine fight. And those are necessary debates. But they were made necessary by Trump's presence. It became a debate, not about control of the country, but about control of the the GOP, the conservative movement, and the religious right. 

From a political standpoint, that's an exercise in misdirection. It deflects attention away from the policies of the opposition party. A diversionary tactic worthy of the Old Serpent. 

That also led to partial paralysis on the part of NeverTrumpers, because there's a tactical tension between attacking Trump and attacking Hillary. I think NeverTrumpers were hesitant to prosecute the case against Hillary for fear that would encourage people to vote for her opponent–Trump! And that would be counterproductive to their aims. That's a hard needle to thread. 

After Trump became the official nominee, some pundits who opposed him in the primaries pivoted to attack Hillary. But mid-July is way too late to begin making the case against Hillary. Moreover, that case is constantly obscured by the disruptive presence of Trump. He's always in the way. He remains the flashpoint of controversy. 

I guess we should give the Devil his due for successfully derailing the 2016 election. 

No comments:

Post a Comment