If you’re old enough, you know exactly what I meant by the reference to “American Pie” in the title. If you’re not, then just substitute “Born in the USA,” or maybe “Staying Alive” instead. Every once in a while, the coolest song in the world comes out, until they play the ever loving shit out of it, and everybody gets so sick of the damn thins that they finally end up burning copies of the CD in their back yard, while they film it for You Tube.
Trump is the political version of “American Pie.” Remember July of 2016, when he creaked down the gilt escalator in Trump Tower, and slammed Mexicans in front of a paid crowd? He was so hip, so cool, and best for the media, he was free! But now, even the Trump Ministry of Propaganda, FOX News, won’t carry his campaign rallies live, and if the ratings sink much lower, he’s going to get voice mail when he calls in to Fox and Friends.
Back in 2017, the Democratic strategy was to hammer on Trumo’s obscene personality and actions, and ride a glorious wave of revulsion to victory in the midterms. But what actually ended up happening? The word “Trump” was just about the only word that never passed from a Democratic candidates lips. They talked about healthcare, infrastructure, jobs, anything but Trump, and it worked like a charm. Which is exactly what Republicans kept wanting to do too, except that Trump wouldn’t let them, he kept crashing their rallies.
People are sick of Trump. They’re sick of his face, they’re sick of his voice, they’re sick of his childish language and temper tantrums. Trump is the American Pie that makes you slip in the CD of Pat Boone’s Greatest Hits that your grandmother left on the console that time you took her to the senior center to play pinochle.
I noticed this personally in the midterms here in Nevada. Both Jacky Rosen and Steve Sisolak, running for Senate and Governor respectively, never mentioned Trump at all in their ads, and only mentioned their opponents to draw policy contrasts. Meanwhile, their opponents ran the standard attack ads. Rosen and Sisolak will both be gainfully employed in government service in January.
And I’m not the only one who noticed this phenomenon. The Daily Beast published an article today that showed that the Democrats had noticed the sea change as well;
“To succeed in 2020, a Democrat will need to have the skill and discipline to deftly pivot from Trump’s BS to the issues that matter,” Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, told The Daily Beast. “If you are trying to get retweets and social engagement, you are going to optimize for all things Trump and in doing so, you are playing his game.
The funny thing is, if the Democrats can figure this one out, so can the Republicans. And they’d love nothing more than for the Democrats to follow this strategy, because they’d like to follow it themselves. They know what an albatross Trump is around their necks, and the less they have to talk about him, the better it is for them.
Except for the fact that this strategy won’t work for the Republicans, for one simple reason. Because Trump is going to be on the ballot in 2020, and right at the top of the ticket. And if they think that Trump is going to just do his thing and leave them alone to do theirs, they’re crazy. Trump takes full credit for the couple of Senate seats the Republicans flipped, but completely ignores the 30+ seats that he cost them in the House, mainly by crashing their rallies all of the time to talk about his own august self instead.
And it’s only going to get worse. Trump is going to continue to devolve, as Democratic led investigations tighten around his neck, and the Trump tariff recession kicks into high gear. The Democrats can run on fixing everything that Trump has screwed up, without ever mentioning him by name. Which is the one thing that a maniacal narcissist like Trump cannot tolerate. If they won’t engage him, then he’ll engage them, in his usual style. And nothing makes you appreciate your own date more than watching somebody else’s date act up in a restaurant..
Are you all ready for another long year of “Build that wall!” and killer caravans full of migrants with leprosy? How about “Low IQ Maxine Waters,” or “Pocahontas!”? No? It should be music to your ears. because it’s “American Pie” all over again, and this time, people will do what they always do. Change the station.
The wait is over! Volume two of the trilogy, President Evil II: A Clodwork Orange is now available. Amazon is whining about me crashing their site, but the hell with them, I ain't in this for their health. You can also find volume one, President Evil as well. And fear not, work on volume three is just beginning.
Follow me on Twitter at @RealMurfster35
Joseph “Murfster35” Murphy is a lifelong liberal political junkie. Being born and raised in Chicago, he is no stranger to bare-knuckle politics.