Yesterday I talked about how a “leave” vote would be a big positive for Donald Trump. And it is.
But it isn’t the slam dunk the over-reacting media is making it out to be today. (The same media which before today completely under-reacted by not covering it.) Here’s why:
- We are voting for a person, not a referendum. While I really do believe a referendum to “obliterate immigrants and kill trade deals” would have a good chance of winning by a lot right now in the US, that’s not what we’re voting for. We’re voting for Donald Trump if we want that stuff. And we’re trusting him to deliver, bigly. We’re not voting for the drug. We’re voting for the dealer. And people don’t like Donald Trump much. If he focused, he could turn the election into a referendum on those issues. But so far he hasn’t been able to do that. Why? Because he clearly thinks the world of himself, and he’s continually screwing himself over with his egotistical BS. At the same time, Hillary saying “I got your back” ain’t hardly enough either. She’s got to attack the person even more than his positions. “I’m qualified, he isn’t” doesn’t come close. Americans almost never care about competence in their Presidential candidates: they’re looking for someone transformative. It’s not enough to claim Trump’s unqualified. (Because people actually kinda like that in a candidate.) She’s got to convince voters he’s totally incompetent and completely insane. She has started doing this, a bit. Needs to do it more. Needs to draw him into fights where his ego will get the best of him. Where he swings himself silly and loses focus. She’s got to be Ali.
- As I mentioned yesterday, Britain is much further along the anti-immigrant, anti-free trade road than the US. At least by a decade. Yes, it’s accelerated with Syrian refugee crisis and fear of radical Islam, but it’s been a steaming undercurrent for years and years and years. A lot of this has to do with the fact that although the US has it’s problems, we are actually not too bad at assimilating non-fundamentalist immigrants. (See my blog yesterday for more on this.) Britain is really bad at that. (See Fawlty Towers.)
- One other take-away: polls and odds-making cannot be trusted this time around. TONS of people in the UK who would not publicly admit they were going to vote “leave”, did. Trump wins that same cowardly constituency. As others have pointed out to me, there were also a ton of people who stayed at home thinking their votes wouldn’t make any difference.