Tucker Carlson took to the airwaves last night and delivered a message some don’t want to fathom. Namely, that Trump could actually lose the 2020 election. Later, he would make his case by laying out the current chaos engulfing the nation, the shifting public sentiment against the President, and by playing audio of a woman having her car attacked by rioters. She was told by the 911 dispatcher to “call city all” and that she was in the middle of a “sanctioned event.” Eventually, the mayor of her city would apologize, not to the terrorized woman, but to the rioters.
It was a powerful reminder that people are being abandoned across the country, whether it’s business owners in the “CHOP” or residents in Democrat cities in red states. Governments are failing their people out of a fear of retribution, or in some cases, direct support of anarchy. But perhaps more troubling, and something Carlson brought up, is that so many voters seem to agree with or sympathize with the chaos.
Here’s Carlson last night.
As Carlson points out, the affirmative case for Trump has always been to avoid the moment we are in right now. Trump ran as the law and order candidate and has continually promised to stop anarchy in its tracks. Like the “security moms” of the Bush era, many voters put Trump in office, not because they are enamored with his personality, but because they saw him as strong. He’s not currently living up to that image. To many on the right, that’s not a bad thing. They want to see people in these Democrat run cities reap the consequences of their voting patterns, with the assumption that they won’t like it and will turn back.
But what if there is no backlash coming? Carlson points that possibility out by noting that GOP leaders in Congress, in all their fecklessness, have said little about the current chaos except that it’ll blow back on Democrats. Everyone keeps thinking we’ll reach the end of the track on crazy train, but the truth is, the train never gets there. People just end up giving ground and becoming more and more conditioned to the current reality. The only real way to not let this become the new normal is to stop it.
This is about the point where people will say “but he’s running against a potato, how can Trump look weak.” Here’s the problem. The worst thing that can happen to any candidate, incumbent or otherwise, is to have the election become a referendum on them. When people are focused on only one side’s flaws, the person on that side typically loses. 2016 was a referendum on Hillary Clinton’s corruption and career failures. Right now, 2020 is looking directly at Trump while Biden happily and smartly hides in his basement.
That means Trump has to retake the initiative. The case for Trump was never to sit back and watch the country devolve into chaos. Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz could have done that with a lot less consternation about their tweeting. Trump was not elected for his awesome personality or ability to bring the country together. People know that, and I don’t think anyone is pretending that’s who he is. He was elected precisely to avoid moments like we are currently in. It’s not a coincidence that his failure to take action over the last month has led to his worst approval ratings in recent memory. Meanwhile, Trump was tweeting about Carly Fiorina yesterday, someone most swing voters don’t even know exists.
Many will scoff at Carlson’s warning, but they ignore him at their own peril. Even assuming every single poll is fake, including Trump’s internal polls which also show him losing, wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry? Every Trump supporter should be treating this election like he actually is down 10 points (which is his current RCP average deficit). Over-confidence and assumptions about the economy rebounding or a “silent majority” are how you wake up with Joe Biden as President-elect in November. That’s a reality the country can’t afford.