Trump’s Unforced Errors
Let me say this first: I am very optimistic concerning this campaign. I refuse to believe that a half-demented, scandal-plagued nincompoop with 50 years of swamp in his CV, and who chooses to scare everybody with a child or a mortgage with his uber-leftist platform, can defeat the President who gave us such great economic recovery (pre-shutdown).
But there is no overlooking the signs that Trump is making mistakes.
Worse, Trump is making unforced errors, and he better stop soon. He is being, I am afraid, arrogant in his approach, and not attentive enough to what his voters really want from him, and how much they care for the issues dear to them much more than they care for the person of the President. Trump may have inspired a strong following, but their faithfulness is not unconditional. This is not a cult. This is an army following his general because (and as long as) they trust him to give them good leadership in the battlefield.
I see at least four big mistakes during the Presidency, three of them continuing to various degrees.
- He surrounded himself with New York Liberals. Say: Ivanka, Jared, or through-and-through swamp creatures like John Kelly. How he picked Anthony Scaramucci is beyond me. It took him a while to understand that he was listening to the wrong people. I am afraid “Jaranka” still has much more influence on him than it’s good for him.
- He slept two years on the Wall. He recovered from that, and I think the damage on that issue will be very limited. But notice this: his substantial inaction on the Wall ended when he lost the majority in the House. Maybe he got the message. Maybe Anne Coulthard calling him a “faggot” is what woke him up (my pint is on this). But notice this: he acted out of his Presidential powers, showing that he had just looked for excuses to do nothing when he insisted on the House following him. Had he not decided to be the Commander in Chief and take action already, he would now be half-toast. Thankfully, I think this will go well in the end.
- He is making DACA amnesty noises again (I have just published a post about this). I think this is a very dangerous place to be, with the upside vastly overshadowed by the downside if his core voters smell betrayal. I know he is likely playing cat-and-mouse with the Dems, but I still think this is a very dangerous game to play. There is no need whatsoever to do this. Trump’s voters want a strong line on illegal immigration, with no ifs and no buts. He needs to have the courage of his convictions, instead of trying to get a bit of support here and a bit of support there; and again, this is a far too dangerous issue to troll the Dems with.
- He has been too near to Fauci on the Coronavirus for too long, and there will be a (hopefully small, considering the alternative) number of shop owners and small entrepreneurs who will never forgive him for this. I think if there is anything that, in November, might prove fatal to him, is this, even more than back pedaling on DACA. Conversely, I think that if he fares a line of strong support for reopening, he will be well on his way to victory.
Let me say this again: things are looking good, and it works for us that the pollsters live on Planet Liberal. But Trump must avoid becoming overconfident, and letting his occasional arrogance prevail over his desire to help the American people.
With all his good traits, Trump has always been a bit of a maverick. You never know, when you wake up in the morning, which wrong fight he is picking (say: Mattis, Sessions…). In this, you can see why, excellent as he is on the whole, he will be Ronald Reagan.