Friday President Trump told a crowd at one of his pep rallies in Macon, Georgia that if he lost the election he might leave the country. Millions of Americans reacted by silently saying “Yes!” Trump’s people later said it was a joke. Where have we heard that before? President Obama could have had a second career as a standup comic; he is that talented at timing and humor. President Trump has no such career opportunity. With that in mind and perhaps anticipating another tidbit or two let’s explore.
If the election is free and fair (a big if) Trump will lose. Despite his public bravado privately he must know this. In 2020 a Republican making a campaign stop in Georgia less than three weeks before Election Day is very telling. The main reason for the stop was probably to boost Trump’s ego. If it was strategic that tells me his campaign knows it is in big trouble. With sycophant and skilled voter suppression expert Brian Kemp as Georgia’s Governor Trump shouldn’t have to play defense or bring it home in Georgia. That should be a safe state for him.
I was on a Zoom call with one of the country’s best political analysts last week and he had Biden at 290 electoral votes with four states (including Florida) not in either candidate’s columns. I have yet to do my Electoral College prediction chart but I currently have Georgia in the toss-up category.
With Georgia Republican Senator David Perdue having his “Macaca moment” last week his reelection is now legitimately in question. The other Georgia Senate race is a special election (with four candidates of consequence two from each Party involved) that is all but certain to go to a January 5, 2021 runoff because Georgia still has a Jim Crow era 50% + 1 rule. (With a third party candidate in the Perdue race it could also suffer the same fate.)
I contend (and I’m not alone) that one of the main reasons Trump is seeking reelection is to avoid prosecution and run out the statute of limitations on several offenses shielded by the office of the presidency. If he loses he will be subject to federal prosecution. He simply can’t afford that.
Speaking of affording, he has about $420 million in loans coming due during what would be his second term. He may have described that as “Peanuts” but to a man who has less than a $1 billion in net worth (he has yet to prove otherwise having lost a lawsuit over that claim) and whose underlying businesses are running in the red that is very serious money. Creditors will be much more aggressive with a former as opposed to sitting president.
I could very well see Trump fleeing the country if he leaves office. There are a range of possible destinations including Israel, Saudi Arabia and Russia. I’m certain he has some offshore money (most likely purloined) and depending on extradition treaties he might follow his cash. In any event with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in office and Amy Klobuchar or someone like her as the new AG – not to mention New York State AG Tish James along with other state AGs – in power Trump is certainly a flight risk.
One of the main reasons the public is turning against Trump is his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic. Many have finally come to the realization that when it comes to addressing a threat Trump is the “naked emperor”. A virus doesn’t succumb to bullying, a sycophant AG or frivolous lawsuits.
Staying on the pandemic for just a bit; it appears the administration’s current plan is herd immunity. That principle contends that after enough (in this case) people contract the disease those who survive will develop immunity to it and therefore it is no longer a threat. Let’s play with numbers a bit.
For simplicity let’s use an American population of 300 million. (I know it’s higher but I want simple numbers to deal with.) Some advocates of the theory contend to achieve herd immunity at least half the population would have to contract the disease. (In reality the percentage would probably be much higher but I’m trying to give Trump the benefit of the doubt.) That gives us 150 million infected Americans. It appears the disease has a fatality rate of 3% which means 4.5 million deaths. If you think the 3% number is too high simply remember that for each percentage point you kill 1.5 million.
Going beyond the numbers herd immunity, for good reason, has never been deliberately tried before. I contend that herd immunity is herd insanity.
In what I hope is an omen and in any event is good news, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden was reelected last week in large part as a reward for the good job she did combating the pandemic. Hint: she didn’t pursue herd immunity.
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