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How Covid-19 could get Trump re-elected The stumbling President's innate scepticism could yet be a threat to the Democrats

A Trump supporter at Tulsa. Credit: Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty

A Trump supporter at Tulsa. Credit: Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty


June 23, 2020   6 mins

Among the many weird and disquieting moments in Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa on the weekend, the one that has really driven his opponents wild was his little riff on Covid-19.

“Testing is a double-edged sword,” he began, “we’ve done more testing than anybody else. Here’s the bad part. When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down please! They test and they test
 we’ve got another one over here! The young man’s ten years old, he’s got the sniffles, he’ll recover in about 15 minutes. It’s a case!”

It drew laughs from the audience, but condemnation from commentators, conservative and Democrat alike. Can you imagine saying something so stupid? Having already played down the need to wear a mask at his non-socially-distanced rally, at a time when multiple states are seeing alarming surges in Covid-19 case numbers, he appears both to diminish the importance of testing (which we know correlates with fewer deaths) and equate the disease with a case of “the sniffles”. Cynical. Reckless. Anti-science.

This apparent embrace of full-on Covid denialism doesn’t even seem to make sense as a political strategy. The percentage of American voters who describe themselves as “not worried at all” by coronavirus, the hard-cores, is stable at around 13% — and only 24% of Trump voters. That’s around 26 million adults: enough to half-fill a lot of stadiums over the campaign but nowhere near enough to win a general election. Add in the fact that Republican states are only now starting to get hit hard by the virus, and it seems distinctly like, having already shattered any remaining reputation he had for competence, Covid-19 will finally consign Donald Trump to electoral oblivion.

Except
 what if it doesn’t? Is there a way that Covid-19 could become a net positive for Donald Trump — one that could even help carry him to re-election in November?

To find out, let’s go back four years ago to Philadelphia, when Hillary Clinton formally accepted the Democratic nomination. One line of her speech, part of a central credo section setting out what she believed, was received with a particularly rapturous cheer, both in the hall and online, for days afterwards: “I believe in science,” she declared, drawing a key distinction with her opponent, who on climate and much else, apparently didn’t.

Those four words encapsulate what many Democrats passionately believe is their mission in 2020, even more so than in 2016: to keep alive the flame of Enlightenment rationality and science against the threat of fake news and a dangerous post-truth President. It is a core part of what they will be campaigning for in this election.

In 2016, of course, this framing back-fired. The internal epistemology of the Clinton campaign, with all its data and ‘evidence-led’ policy plans, was almost unfalsifiable: to reject it was to be provably either bad or stupid. But, as the eventual defeat made painfully evident, that account of truth, and the world-order that went along with it, fell short on issues like culture and identity and meaning that are just as real to many voters as economics or science. In his intuitive, brazen way, Trump targeted this weakness and gleefully promised to bring the whole tilting edifice crashing down.

In the four years since that crash, the Democrats’ claim to be the sole keepers of the flame of Enlightenment rationality has got weaker, not stronger. The intersectional identity politics that animates their activist wing — gender pronouns, cancel culture, statue-toppling — seems even less rational than in 2016. The foot-washing and genuflection accompanying the recent BLM protests (not to mention the free pass given to protestors ignoring social distancing) has only added to the atmosphere of religious fervour surrounding the progressive movement.

If anything, the language of Enlightenment rationality is now more commonly invoked by those fighting on the other side of the culture wars — in 2018 Jordan Peterson and his ‘Intellectual Dark Web’ group famously claimed it as a defence against progressive tendencies towards humbug and censorship. Last week, Peterson’s friend and fellow IDW thinker the evolutionary psychologist Gad Saad made the argument in an interview with me that in a choice between Trump and Biden, he considers Trump to be the rational choice, on the grounds of resisting the fundamentalism of social justice warriors with something like low common sense. Whether or not you like his argument, the fact that he has arrived at that point is notable.

Interview
How Covid-19 could get Trump re-elected

By Gad Saad

It might seem overgenerous to associate Donald Trump with any coherent philosophy. Elements of Paranoid Narcissism and Nietzschean will-to-power have been detected. But alongside these we should include Scepticism: a tendency to question things that orthodoxy holds to be unquestionably true. This is itself a key strand of Enlightenment thought, and represents an allegiance to doubt that progressive idealists are distinctly less interested in, with their righteous certainties and plans to remake the world from first principles. Of course you can have too much Scepticism – some climate-sceptics, Euro-sceptics, Covid-sceptics are no longer rationally scrutinising and are simply following a different faith — but you can also have too little, and the progressive side of recent culture wars is vulnerable to that charge. Trump’s Scepticism has been politically effective.

So we entered this weird election cycle with both sides, if not necessarily the candidates themselves, already making different claims to be the defenders of common sense, keepers of the flame of Enlightenment rationality in a world gone mad.

Against this background, Covid-19 erupted. The different attitudes quickly started aligning with the political parties: Democratic governors were much more activist in response, issuing blanket stay at home orders (although it was primarily Democratic states that were initially hit), while Republican governors took their lead from a sceptical and chaotic President and have generally tried to minimise restrictions.

It is not yet clear exactly where, between these two poles, wisdom lies. While it is right to accuse the President and some Republicans of nonchalance and inconsistency, the progressives have been guilty of the same didacticism and lack of humility that put voters off last time. The official IHME models and forecasts, produced with all the spurious precision and data-richness that graduate progressives find so enthralling, have been woefully wide of the mark; arguments in favour of a more moderate policy response have been dismissed as irresponsible anti-science (with censorship duly enforced by the tech platforms); and states have rushed to close schools and other parts of society before evidence has proved them to be vectors of the disease (even the Norwegian prime minister now says she regrets closing schools). On these points and many more, while claiming the language of science, progressives have shown a shortage of, even hostility to, scientific scepticism.

Interview
How Covid-19 could get Trump re-elected

By Camilla Stoltenberg

So although Trump’s speech in Tulsa was typically free-wheeling and borderline incoherent, the target of his lampooning was well chosen. He is right that the emphasis on case numbers is misleading, as they are entirely contingent on testing (Oxford’s Prof Sunetra Gupta made the same complaint to us) so while many states have seen surges in case numbers, we have not generally seen surges in numbers of deaths (and the overall daily deaths continue to fall nationwide). He’s also right that for children Covid-19 is a very minor disease and often symptomless — and that the relative safety of anyone under retirement age has been bizarrely downplayed by the liberal media which sees its responsibility as only reinforcing the risks. This is fertile territory for Trump, even more so for its capability to outrage everybody.

If (and, yes, it’s a big if) the apparent second surges of Covid-19 turn out to be not too bad and overall deaths continue to decline over the summer, and if there is no big second spike in October, then Donald Trump’s scepticism would likely become more acceptable — and popular — as the months go by. Right now, only 13% of Americans are ‘not worried at all’ by the virus. But, equally, only 21% are ‘very worried’: that’s a lot of people in between, and they would surely become more relaxed if the pandemic dwindles.

An election campaign culminating in September and October in which Democrat voices are endlessly finger-wagging and calling for further restrictions, six months after the peak and with deaths right down, while Trump is promising freedom and a return to the ‘old normal’, sounds like a fight he is aching to have. Not even Make America Great Again – just Make America Normal Again.

As it stands, Trump sounds increasingly unhinged, is facing a tanking economy and couldn’t look less like a president who is about to be re-elected. But it’s worth bearing in mind that if the pandemic goes his way, Covid-19 could just about turn from being the thing that killed off his presidency into a re-animating mission that goes to the heart of Democrat epistemological overreach and puts him squarely back in the game.


Freddie Sayers is the Editor-in-Chief & CEO of UnHerd. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of YouGov, and founder of PoliticsHome.

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
4 years ago

For various reasons many people didn’t turn up for the rally, but the TV viewing figures smashed all records. Meanwhile, Biden apparently got about 20 people – yes, 20 people – for an event in Maryland, many of them journalists.

Whatever, if Trump wins it will probably be due to the ongoing death and destruction now taking place in cities all across America, with five children killed in Chicago last weekend. The inevitable consequence of the Progressive belief system is manifesting itself as the demoralised and powerless police simply give up. If Biden wins this will play out across the whole of America, not just the Democrat dystopias, and I think people are realising this.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
4 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Not just ‘five children’ but eleven people total were killed in Chicago last weekend. Crime is up dramatically in Democrat-held inner cities. This is being noted.

Richard Gibbons
Richard Gibbons
4 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The democrats have been boasting on social media that they bought all of the tickets so the republicans thought there would be a sell out crowd and those democrats did not attend. No one has either verified or disproved this rumour so we wait and see.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
4 years ago

AOC bragged about it on Twitter. She put them up to it.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
4 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

To be fair, buying up all the tickets is quite funny. That said, AOC might lose her Primary this week, and she won’t be laughing then.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
4 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

no, it wasn’t funny. Let us suppose that Trump did that to a Biden rally, and then got the local authorities to try and close the event down on the excuse of Covid-19 risk, but just to make absolutely sure that the event could not succeed, deploy an army of masked thugs brandishing weapons and intimidating the would be attendees to prevent them getting in. You mean, that kind of funny, Fraser?

Esmon Dinucci
Esmon Dinucci
4 years ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

A bit like the Telegraph a few years ago suggesting people pay £3 to join the Labour Party so they could vote for Jezza and make sure – with a little light headed glitch at Glasto – to ensure the Labour became utterly unelectable by anyone of sound mind. Entryism can work both ways.

mike otter
mike otter
4 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Words: Myron Magnet, Music: Charlie Daniels.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
4 years ago

I have enjoyed Freddy Sayers interviews immensely, especially as the voice of reason with great guests. But this article really does show a lot of bias, even though the conclusion is almost definitely correct.

For example, Freddy states that the economy is tanking. Not so fast. Not only is the stock market now higher than it was at its peak in February, but the number of new jobs last month was the single biggest increase in well over 60-70 years.

And in term of “The Science”, “The Science” has been consistently wrong at every stage of this pandemic. And if modeling can’t even make a correct prediction 2-3 weeks out, why one would even think it could make correct predictions 80 years out. Models are all very well for providing qualitative insight given a set of assumptions and specific values for the parameters of the model. But, if the latter are not correct, the quantitative answer will be wrong.

Finally, regarding “The Science”, it is worth recalling a quote from one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century (if not of all time), Richard Feynman: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts”. Real science is not “The Science” as espoused by the media, many scientific organizations, who are more interested in hype and in the case of Corona virus panic porn, and of course the progressive intelligentsia elites that seem to have so much outsized influence both in the UK and US.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
4 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Yes, I’m seeing ‘The Science says…’ being used a lot to justify some people’s scorn and contempt of others’ opinions.

Liscarkat
Liscarkat
4 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

I’ve noticed for a long time, first with AGW hysteria and now with corona virus panic, the leftists who weaponize the term “science” generally have little understanding of what science actually is, and how it functions. It has become a quasi-religious utterance, much like fundamentalist Christians use “the Lord”.

garethbrynevans
garethbrynevans
4 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Well said.

Andrew Crisp
Andrew Crisp
4 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

“The Science” turns out to be the OPINION of a few, lead by those with an agenda and profits in mind.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
4 years ago

Have to agree.
As chaotic as Trump is the Dems are not a lock in November.
Rumours and questions won’t go away regarding Biden’s health with the ‘dementia’ word being used.
Even if it’s all nonsense, that label will be difficult to shake.
IMO, the other issue is the summer of race activism.
You likely won’t have any trouble finding people that agree race relations could be better, that the police could be better, but any hint that the Dems will form an alliance with the ambitious ‘Bring it all Down’ BLM political anarchy wouldn’t go over well at all.

benbow01
benbow01
4 years ago

Stumbling? Unhinged?

I do so like balanced, unbiased, objective writing.

‘Can you imagine saying something so stupid?’

Yes. I read the above article. ( You did ask.)

But… the more you seek out, the more you will find.

*But then what: 50% asymptomatic, nearly all the rest mild symptoms?

What purpose is being served, except to feed the panic machine and justify the control freakery of those in ‘government’?

Speaking of saying something stupid… ‘… at a time when multiple states are seeing alarming surges in Covid-19 case numbers…’

Do you think that could be the result of more testing, Mr Sayers?

Alarming? Please see above at *

And. Norway’s Institute of Public Health on May 25th: “Given today’s contagion situation in Norway, health professionals must test around 12,000 random people to find one positive case of COVID-19. In such a selection, there will be about 15 positive test responses, but 14 of these will be false positives.”

That Mr Sayers is a 93% false positive rate.

The smart question is, why is anyone testing at all?

A Spetzari
A Spetzari
4 years ago
Reply to  benbow01

To be fair to Freddie – in the first part of the article he is “setting out shop” essentially. Describing the positions people are holding against Trump before offering the counter argument which starts at around:

It is not yet clear exactly where, between these two poles, wisdom lies.

Good point about the false positive rate though!

Andrew Crisp
Andrew Crisp
4 years ago
Reply to  benbow01

Hear, hear!

David Bell
David Bell
4 years ago

It’s good to see an article that actually reflects “middle” America and not the BBC view of the Washington and New York Bubbles and how much they hate Trump.

The truth is the election has a number of competing themes which has kept the overall process in a fine balance. The Democrats are in the process of repeating Clinton’s “Disposables” mistake as they call everyone stupid who doesn’t accept their narrative and our media is lapping it up those mistakes as “speak truth to power”. A Trump victory in November will be as big a shock to the BBC as his victory in 2016 was because they think Washington and New York is America. It’s not and, like the UK, America is must more conservative outside these areas just as the UK is more conservative outside the M25 ring!

Richard Gibbons
Richard Gibbons
4 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

I have started reading a number of US blogs and their point of view is totally ignored by the MSM in both the US and the UK but when you look at the numbers of followers you realise that this is a main stream point of view being ignored by those who are meant to report the news. Whilst I am not a fan, I find him too bombastic and strangely incoherent for such a successful businessman, I abhor the hypocrisy of the likes of CNN. ABC etc who do not even try to hide their bias and act as cheerleaders for the democrats. Any forensic investigation of Biden shows that he is a worse candidate than Clinton, but the MSM are strangely quiet about his (and his son’s) links to China and the Ukraine, his alleged sexual abuse, his strange and creepy habit when meeting females (particularly teenage and pre adolescents) and his habit of lying. Google his comments on his college days where he claims he was one of the best students, that he was on a full scholarship, that he has three degrees. All of these issues were found to be lies as far back as 1987 when he was running for President but still he persists.

David Bell
David Bell
4 years ago

Yep, the same thing was happening in 2016. Yet in the UK there was one view in the media, Clinton would win by a landslide. When Trump won they had absolutely no idea what to do or say and still don’t!

I think it was in 1988 whne Biden was caught plagiarising a speech by Neil Kinnock!

Donald Fisher
Donald Fisher
4 years ago
Reply to  David Bell

RG and DB are on the right path here. The landscape is strewn with the husks of people who underestimated Trump and Freddies view is very similar to the MSM template from 30,000 ft. that was so wrong in 2016. From that altitude of course you can interpret events without bothering detail. If you don’t understand whats happening at ground level, it looks like chaos to you. Simple fact, Trump is not talking to the commentariat. He has the knack of knowing what is important and impressing scribblers is not. Of course they think if he doesnt try to show them how smart he is then he must not be able to do it.

Esmon Dinucci
Esmon Dinucci
4 years ago

I do wonder how many BBC hacks and the like have actually seen or listened to Trump’s My Rushmore speech. It was long, coherent and a very statesmanlike performance. And the contrast of CNN’s voice over for Trump’s visit to the stolen plunderland of slave owning presidents, to Sander’s visit to the wonderful monument to some of the great founders if our nation – if. hadn’t seen and heard it in Akkad on YouTube I wouldn’t have given it any credit – made the BBC’s casual disregard for impartiality almost saintly.

Ian Manning
Ian Manning
3 years ago

ALL of the issues you lay at Biden’s door (undoubtedly he is not by any measure the strongest candidate for POTUS put forward by the Democrats), they ALL apply to Donald Trump – in spades! As I said above, the choice before the American people in November is truly parlous.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago

An excellent appreciation of the state of play in the ‘Land of the Free’.The emphasis on the power of scepticism was succinct and convincing, and may yet prove the perfect rapier to lance the Democratic boil that sits so assiduously on the backside of Washington politics.
A few too many gratuitous slanders about Mr Trump, but I suppose even you, Mr Sayers, have to pay lip service to the all pervasive, pestilential, Woke dogma that currently dominates the Media. You have off course, correctly, to think of your future career.
All in all though, a splendid piece of journalism. Well done.

gordon.pedersen
gordon.pedersen
4 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

@Mark Corby: Your “slanders” comment perplexed me. If you would call out a few of those many slanders, and explain what you mean about one of them, it might lessen confusion.

tmazllc
tmazllc
4 years ago

“It might seem overgenerous to associate Donald Trump with any coherent philosophy. “

David Dingley
David Dingley
4 years ago
Reply to  tmazllc

I think even many of his fans would agree with that. Good article and useful for sending to left of center friends who have no clue what might be happening due to their media of choice.

David Simpson
David Simpson
4 years ago
Reply to  David Dingley

except that in my experience they simply won’t read it or believe it. I have lived with an otherwise intelligent and humane American woman, a grown up, who more or less literally puts her fingers in her ears whenever I attempt to say anything positive about either Trump or his supporters.

Esmon Dinucci
Esmon Dinucci
4 years ago
Reply to  David Simpson

I have some very intelligent academic US friends and they were celebrating the CHAZ/CHOP – they – as they say – hail from Seattle and have a visceral almost psychotic hatred for Trump – I think they call it TDS and became quite batey with me when I recommended they listen to Trump’s speech at Mt Rushmore – saying because of my climate scepticism my opinion was essentially worthless. We’ll see how it goes in November when there is more knee bending and looting and rioting and murder because black lives matter – it’s just a pity that they don’t seem to Matter to a lot if their fellows.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
4 years ago

May I assume you have the misfortune to be an American? Then please accept my sincere commiserations. Your country seems to be going through a terrible ordeal at this moment in time.
Now to help with your confusion, if I can.
I find such remarks as, “Paranoid Narcissism and Nietzschean will-to-power have been detected” as frankly ridiculous hyperbole. Off course I understand that Mr Sayers has to play to his peer group, but that remark was just gratuitous nonsense, and might have spoiled an otherwise provocative article.
Viewed from the UK, the internecine struggle going on in Washington is quite revolting. Where on earth did you find creatures such as Polosi, Hillary Clinton or even Biden? What happened to your old WASP elite?.
Trump, brash as he certainly is, speaks as the ‘vox populi’ for millions of Blue Collar and Red Neck Americans does he not? He may not be perfect, but he is not Rasputin.
Off course all this could be mildly amusing were it not for the fact that the world is expecting the US to snap out of its current torpor and confront the real and present danger represented by China. Your facile kindergarten politics are endangering the rest of us. It is time to stand up, and be counted.

Paul Theato
Paul Theato
4 years ago

President Trump is the only choice America has if it wants to hang on to its first and second constitutional amendments. The Democrats seem fully, knee-bendingly allied to the postmodern/Marxist left whose aims do not include the protection of free speech nor the bearing of arms to protect against rogue government (because that’s precisely the type of government they would represent. Viva President Trump.

Andrew Crisp
Andrew Crisp
4 years ago
Reply to  Paul Theato

Despite his flaws, Trump’s saving grace is he is not a slave to an ideology. He CAN change is mind; this of course can also be detrimental!

Steve Olding
Steve Olding
4 years ago

Come the election in November you can be sure the Defund the police slogan will feature heavily in the Republicans electioneering campaign.
Until Covid appeared unemployment was the lowest for 50 years including African Americans and Hispanic workers.
No wars.
Interesting times.

Simon Latham
Simon Latham
4 years ago

Come on Freddie, don’t sneer at the American President so much. Whatever your personal feelings it is clear that Biden is unfit to be president and the Democrats are responsible for fomenting outrage, rioting and intolerance. I suggest you look at Topher Townsend to get a positive, black, conservative, American perspective.

Adrian
Adrian
4 years ago
Reply to  Simon Latham

I wouldn’t take Freddie’s comments as sneering @Simon. In the UK, only the party faithful have a good word to say about any politician. We don’t take offense if our poiticians get mocked by people from other countries either. It’s part of our tradition of skepticism, which is unfortunately receding at an alarming rate.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
4 years ago

I view Trump as the real-life version of the main character in the 1994 film ‘The Mask’. Absolute chaos. However, the American political system was totally corrupt and needed that kind of devil-may-care attitude to smash the political-correctness that has been slowly (and now rapidly) stifling our democracies.

For too long the West has been subjugated by a managerial and bureaucratic elite that has delighted in making us work more for less pay; and at the same time working hard to dismantle and render meaningless our institutions while paying themselves top dollar in the process. They are now using the desperation of black people to stifle dissent and fire those who speak out against them.

Despite being fairly apolitical (I used to consider myself mildly left-leaning), I felt a huge wave of relief crash over me when Trump was voted in 2016. I hope he wins again this year. The Democrats and their supporters really let their masks slip this year.

William meadows
William meadows
4 years ago

All the left had to do, is not act crazy, they failed. Women, especially in the burbs dont like trump, but unrest turns people to the right, and the left support of it will probably get him realected.

Marc James
Marc James
4 years ago

“All the left had to do, is not act crazy, they failed”
LOL, the best comment I’ve read. I live in Australia but do follow American politics quite closely. I was happy when Trump got elected. Obama was such a disappointment, any change was good. But the instant vitriol and ugly anger spewing from my so-called liberal friends shocked me to my core. Post Trump Stress Disorder. It’s irrational, it’s insane, irrational, downright scary. I’ve a feeling that Sleepy Joe will go the same way as Crazy Hillary.

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
4 years ago

I’m a doc, working on the front lines. And I actually kind of agree with the Great Tangerine on this one. Availability of testing is great. Testing more is different than testing logically. There are lots of folks who probably should just stay home when they are ill. “The number of cases” have shot up in the USA (ie: they are testing more) while the number of deaths continues to taper off (ie: there is no more COVID, we are just finding more). But the unhinged media (always eager to pillory Trump) is using the rising number of cases as “evidence” that opening up the economy and ending lockdown is dangerous, and fodder to lock us in our basements for another 6 months, or year, or two – however long it takes to get an effective vaccine. I think they should mandate tinfoil hats as well.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
4 years ago

Yet another biased article written by the “fake news” media. They still don;t get this at all. Thick as mince.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell
4 years ago

Not unlike Climate Skeptics ……. The left professes to quote Science as their basis for fighting Global Warming ( or heating if you like The Guardian !!! ) ……. BUT only a small amount of research is needed to open the curtain and reveal that C02 is far from the devil that the Democrats would have you believe. Like ” The Covid ” time will tell its own story regarding Climate and viruses ……. The pandemic is not nearly as bad as the computer modeling has predicted in parallel with Climate. Not one prediction in the last thirty years from the panic mongering Climate Soothsayer’s has come true. Time will out ……

Go Away Please
Go Away Please
4 years ago
Reply to  Richard Bell

Indeed. That’s because modelling isn’t science. It’s just a mathematical construct whether it’s climate or pendemic. In the case of climate it’s been used as a political tool. I’m not sure how it’s been used for the pandemic … but there’s a fair bit of politics there too.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
4 years ago

It is said that a lot of people will vote to remove Trump because they want to get back to ‘normal’. Presumably they mean by this that they want to get back to:
– starting insane, immoral and even illegal foreign wars
– shipping yet more American jobs to China
– opening the Mexican borders to an unlimited flow of people and drugs
– generally selling the country to China

Because make no mistake about it, that is the ‘normal’ that the Democrats will revert to.

mike otter
mike otter
4 years ago

I’m not a gambler by nature and for Nov 2020 there are too many factors to make any bet a sure. If forced to bet i’d go for Trump and here’s why: With the huge amounts of liquidity being pumped into the markets as in 2009-10 the true level of SARS-CoV2 era recession may be masked long enough to get Trump off the economic hook for Nov 2020. Also the majority non racist, non violent US residents of all ethnic groups deplore the mainly white BLM race haters. However even those who think, like Charles Manson, that race war will bring them power must realise the support the Dems give them is pure realpolitik. If they get power the Dems will get their foot back on the collective throat in both their plantations and beyond, as Callaghan/Healey did to Joe Gormley and co 1978 UK. Finally the SARS-CoV2 “scamdemic” shows that scientists aren’t always concerned with science. The mundane fact that if SARS-CoV2 evolves and survives it will be no more lethal than HKU1 or H-CoV 229e is something they refuse to accept in the same way Lysenko or Mengele refused to accept results that failed to fit their twisted theories. Even the scientifically illiterate know BS when the see it and that includes many US voters.

Andrew Crisp
Andrew Crisp
4 years ago

No wonder Trump is sceptic, “the science” has been anything but trustworthy in this
scam to terrorise the population. Lockdown is the OPPOSITE of what should have been done. In normal times the medical advice would be to isolate the infected person. This would have been the scientific advice. Unfortunately Trump listened to the advice of Fauci et al, which has proved disastrous and INCREASED the fatalities, not just from covid, but neglect of the rest of sick people needing treatment.

giancarlo sallier de la tour
giancarlo sallier de la tour
4 years ago

I think Freddie Sayers may have a point but from the point of view of Trump’s campaign 5 months is a lot of time, time that might work in his favour but also against him. The president is so unpredictable, we do not know what his next gaffe may be. He might insult the pope and lose some catholic voters, he might appear in some compromising pictures, he might do the wrong move in Venezuela or Mexico. He might also be badly damaged by a decision of the Supreme Court forcing a release of his tax returns. At the other end we do not know what the Democrats might do, they might take advantage of these weaknesses but also make bigger mistakes themselves. I think with such a character in the White House, anything can happen.

Addie Schogger
Addie Schogger
4 years ago

Very true G but Trump also has the incredible good fortune, much as last time, of having a woeful opponent. Biden clearly is not up to the job.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
4 years ago
Reply to  Addie Schogger

David Moyes has not been up to the job for many years, but he continues to be appointed. The same can be said of many people.

George Wells
George Wells
4 years ago

If we reframe ‘Trumps gaffes’ as features, not bugs, and appreciate the shear inventiveness and freedom in the way he communicates, his success makes more sense. He is on another level. An artist.

Richard Gibbons
Richard Gibbons
4 years ago

If he gets the economy back on track then it will be difficult for the Democrats. As Clinton said – “it’s the economy ,stupid.” Unfortunately 5 months is more likely to work against their candidate Biden who sadly appears to be suffering from dementia and we all know this will only get worse over time !

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
4 years ago

Anyone who calls president Trump unhinged and incoherent hasn’t been paying attention, or at least not to the middle American voters who make up his base.

V. M. I.
V. M. I.
4 years ago

I wish Freddie Sayers would invite Dr. Jordan Peterson for an interview on Lockdown TV, instead of making only a vague reference to him here. Please, more interviews like that with Prof. Gad Saad and less Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Steve Craddock
Steve Craddock
4 years ago

I think leadership is what many countries are currently crying out for. Consensus building should not be confused with leadership, as it is more correctly a subtle form of abdication of leadership and is used as an ass covering mechanism. A good leader does not need much of anything other than a resolute vision they are working to, the ability convey this vision to those around them and much more importantly the capability to empower and energise the people around them to do to their best to work toward this target. I think Mr Trump may have these skills which confounds the techno and bureaucrats of the government as it means they are told what the objectives are rather than them being asked to develop them for themselves, or more correctly to develop them to serve their own ends. Remember the truism a bureaucracy will only ever expand itself. On a side note, for me the jury’s is still out on Mr Johnson. There are occasional flashes of leadership but these are quickly squelched by the media.

normanted
normanted
4 years ago

There is one way that the Democrats could ensure a defeat; pull Biden and insert Michelle.

Liscarkat
Liscarkat
4 years ago

“Old normal” implies that what we have now is “new normal”. Both phrases are wrong. Prior to a few months ago there was normal, and we are currently in the midst of a hysterical, restrictive, burdensome overreaction that cannot be sustained. This is not “normal”, “new” or any other kind.

Scott Allan
Scott Allan
4 years ago

Freddie you are a bloody dreamer if you think Creepy Sleepy Joe is going to win this election. The DNC and all their little cronies can pull all the dirty tricks they like. That will only firm the resolve of the core American people. Winston Churchill said “the United States is like a ‘gigantic boiler. Once the fire is lighted under it there is no limit to the power it can generate.”

I know you, your Muslim Brothers and BLM degenerates want to pull his statue down but the man knew how to win a war while the flaccid intellectual elites shook in their shoes with the last totalitarian regime raised its ugly head. Get ready for the sizzle because the fire is lit.

Robin Bury
Robin Bury
4 years ago

Freddie. You state the Ugly American is ‘increasingly unhinged’. No, he is totally unhinged. To argue that this brain of a linnet man with his sociopathic madness, indulged by the GOP, will win him 1920 election is nuts. I have no idea what you mean by ‘the heart of Democrat epistemological overreach’ Gobledegook article.

Monica Elrod
Monica Elrod
4 years ago

Thought provoking article. I read unHerd to see if there is a less biased view of politics overseas. I watch several news stations in the US hoping to get a realistic view of what’s happening, but am getting tired of the hyperbole coming from right and left. I only hope that there are more people with a more moderate, middle ground approach that can see through the extreme “reporting”. While Trump is a horrible president, the alternative of Joe Biden is an anemic choice at best. I am hoping for a “deus ex machina” during the Democratic convention and we end up with a more vital, current, middle of the road candidate. It’s sad that at this critical time all we have to choose from are two antique white males, one who is focused solely on himself, and the other who is losing touch with reality.

David Simpson
David Simpson
4 years ago

except of course for the resulting fatherless child who has to live with the consequences of her empowerment. I hope the poor b*****d isn’t a boy.

T J Putnam
T J Putnam
4 years ago

Points to a way things could fall out even though the attempt to dress it up in Enlightenment thematics was not illuminating. Trump’s ‘scepticism’ towards anyone or anything he senses as even potentially contrary is more akin to delusional denial rather than any form of reasoning. Whatever others do or don’t do, his personality will remain the chief motivator for opponents as well as supporters. He is trying to play on pandemic hopes and fears among other things and his best ally is the high levels of insecurity which push many into socially and personally risky positions, asserting their freedom to act irrespective of conditions or consequences. This always leads to trouble and the shift of centres of infection to areas where such ‘All-American’ thinking is prominent will itself become a political factor.

David Radford
David Radford
4 years ago

Is there a nationwide sampling study under way in the USA? This, as I have pointed out since early March, is the only way of estimating the spread of covid in the population as a whole. Now we have this but if the US don’t they are adrift in a dangerous sea with a hopeless man at the helm. That will, thank God, be the end for Trump. The writer of this article should be well aware of sampling studies given his previous occupation.

Esmon Dinucci
Esmon Dinucci
4 years ago
Reply to  David Radford

The spread is essentially unimportant – the virulence is the important thing. If you compare deaths in care homes and hospitals in 2018 with this year the figures – I’ll try to come back with them – I have them in a saved tweet – in total are very similar except the mortality statistics for this year are down to COVID19 – very little else mentioned.
In 2018 there were 341,620 deaths aged 75+

101,966 care homes
115,899 hospital
from.
Cancer 21%
Heart disease 11%
Stroke 6.9%
liver disease 1.1%
Dementia 25.5%
COPD 10%
other inc flu 31%
By 2020 we’d found a cure for all the above. And everyone died of COVID.

Bill Bolwell
Bill Bolwell
4 years ago

Trump is a better “type” gangster than Hillary Biden or Obuma.
“In 2018, Joe Brown, the U.S. attorney for EDTX, set an example of outstanding investigative work when they extradited defendants out of Colombia for major drug related crimes. In 2019, Brown’s office ranked fourth in the nation in the number of experienced and sophisticated indicted organized crime cases pursuant to the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) program. This was until they began investigating the shady Opioid practices of Walmart.

After a two year investigation, in the fall of 2018, federal prosecutors were prepared to present “highly damaging evidence” in Walmart’s Opioid dispensing practices and their deep involvement in being an Opioid pill-mill pipeline. However, Trump’s top appointees at the DOJ instantly suppressed the evidence and killed the case, leaving Walmart to play the “victim role” and get away with continuing their dirty pipeline between their pharmacies and the nation’s drug-dealing pill-mill murdering doctors.” https://jamesfetzer.org/202

Also the virus exists, but the statistics are overrated. There are two types of test, one is prone to false positives , because it can’t differentiate from normal colds, and the other is based on symptomatic type data. The truth is most so called corona virus cases are not the virus. The virus is a hoax.

mattclarke153
mattclarke153
3 years ago

Hinokitiol is a great alternative to Hydroxychlorquine, if not better.

Ian Manning
Ian Manning
4 years ago

As a UK citizen, I find the general tone of the pro-Trump comments here from people I assume to be in the US deeply depressing, but not entirely surprising. You have a President who is clearly way out of his depth, just as we have his rather more intelligent (albeit as corrupt, narcissistic and unstable) twin in Boris Johnson who seems intent on rolling over to offer Trump a trade deal that will both disadvantage and damage my country. What is especially worrying to an outsider is to see how parlous is the choice the American people have before them in November. Two rich old men, one a corrupt and unhinged narcissistic failed casino owner, and the other even older and one uncertain to have the abilities needed to lead your country with intelligence and strength into a difficult international future. Interestingly, our countries’ democracies are dogged by systems which are, in my view, similarly nuts politically. You have the Electoral College and we have First Past The Post for election to our parliamentary seats. Both disenfranchise millions of people in ensuring any election hinges on a small number of electors in a few ‘swing’ seats or states. Hence, the President of your country and the Prime Minister of mine are very rarely elected by a genuine majority of the individual electors. If Freddie Sayers is right and by hook or by crook, Trump squeaks in again, the future for both our great countries looks bleak indeed.

Paul Theato
Paul Theato
4 years ago
Reply to  Ian Manning

Donald Trump is pro-America, pro-free speech and pro-second amendment. His opposition stand for none of those things. No one is perfect but case closed for me. Boris Johnson is failing conservatives lethally in the UK. Signalling support for the far-left Marxists that control BLM was the last straw. Bring us a Donald Trump for gawd’s sake.

Esmon Dinucci
Esmon Dinucci
4 years ago
Reply to  Ian Manning

I smell a remainder.

Ian Manning
Ian Manning
3 years ago
Reply to  Esmon Dinucci

You reveal a lack of literacy and/or typing ability. I assume you meant an opponent of Brexit, not a spare digit left over in a calculation!

Esmon Dinucci
Esmon Dinucci
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Manning

Mea culpa.

Esmon Dinucci
Esmon Dinucci
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Manning

I imagine the rioting, arson, looting, anarchy and murder in Democratic states hasn’t changed your mind – I only called by to thank you for your corrective reply – but obviously was tempted to add something more up to date too.