Didja hear the big story about how Trump only paid $750 in taxes? Or maybe it was $1 million. Or $1,000,750. It was definitely one of those, probably. If it even matters.
Does it matter? If so, why?
I would argue, Dear Reader, that it does not matter.
The goal of stories like the NYT’s latest “bombshell,” among our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters in the media, isn’t to convince anyone of anything. And it certainly isn’t to inform anyone. No, the goal is to reinforce the existing beliefs of their audience. People who hate Trump read this earth-shattering story and say, “See? We told you!”
But unfortunately for them, there’s a flip side to that coin: People who love Trump say, “So? We don’t care!”
Nothing is proven and nobody is swayed. And within weeks or even days, it’ll be forgotten. Remember the bombshell revelation about Trump insulting the military? I barely do, and it was three weeks ago. (I had to Google it just now to make sure I didn’t just dream it.) Hell, Trump was impeached this year, and it mattered so little that it wasn’t mentioned once at the Democratic National Convention.
Literally 0% of this stuff is news. Nobody’s confused about who and what Trump is. The media reported on his tax avoidance in 2016. Hell, he bragged about it during a debate. If it didn’t matter last time, it’s not going to matter now. Nobody’s going to vote for the other guy because of this. Either Joe Biden runs a better campaign than Hillary Clinton did, or he doesn’t.
How’s that going so far?
Trump and Biden have both been participants in American public life since the ’70s. The main difference: Trump is exactly the same guy he was when he was elected in 2016, and Biden is a faint shadow of the man he was when he dropped out of the presidential race in 1988.
If Trump is too old to be president, how is anybody supposed to get excited about a guy who’s even older?
That’s why I assume Trump is going to win. All the stuff we hear about Biden — “He’s up in the polls! Trump is a ridiculous lying boob! It’s very important to my sense of self to believe Trump can’t win!” — is the same stuff we heard about Hillary in 2016.
I know Trump supporters get mad when I say I’m not voting for either of these guys, and I respect their feelings. But if it’s any consolation, I’m assuming that Trump doesn’t need my vote anyway. I think he’s going to win and it’s not going to be close. That’s just my gut feeling. “Hey, at least I’m not Trump” isn’t going to be enough to drag Joe over the finish line.
Even if COVID-19 hadn’t hit, Biden’s precipitous mental deterioration would’ve been obvious by now. He waited too long, he missed his window of opportunity in 2016, and now it’s too late. Every time he shows up in public, he says something crazy like, “200 million people have died of COVID” and “It’s been 180 years since I was elected to the Senate.” That’s why he’s taken a baker’s dozen “lid days” in September, including today.
He’s not campaigning anymore. At this point, I’ll be surprised if he shows up for the debate tomorrow night. I assume the Biden campaign will come up with some sort of last-minute excuse. He can barely get through a 10-minute interview with a sympathetic MSNBC host, let alone a 90-minute debate.
“But he’s so far ahead, he doesn’t need to campaign!” And Hillary Clinton didn’t think she needed to go to Wisconsin. Is arrogance really the way to go here, Dems? I know you can’t help it, but as Joe says: Come on, man.
So that’s my unscientific prediction about Election 2020. I don’t think Biden has a chance, and nothing anybody says or does for the next five weeks is going to change it.
Unfortunately, that’s also what I thought about Trump last time. I’ve been wrong about everything for the past four years, so I’m probably wrong about this. Sorry, MAGA-heads!
Either way, at least we got Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett out of the deal. Even I’m not #NeverTrump enough to pretend that’s a bad thing.