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Wed Oct 28, 2020, 09:20 AM

The coming decade of Democratic dominance

Opinion by George F. Will

By a circuitous route to a predictable destination, the 2020 presidential selection process seems almost certain to end Tuesday with a fumigation election. A presidency that began with dark words about “American carnage” probably will receive what it has earned: repudiation.

In “Three Exhausting Weeks,” a short story in Tom Hanks’s collection “Uncommon Type,” a man has a short, stressful relationship with a hyperactive woman: “Being Anna’s boyfriend was like training to be a Navy SEAL while working full-time in an Amazon fulfillment center in the Oklahoma Panhandle in tornado season.” After the past four years, Americans know the feeling, which is why President Trump’s first and final contribution to the nation’s civic health will be to have motivated a voter turnout rate not seen for more than a century — not since the 73.2 percent of 1900, when President William McKinley for a second time defeated the Democratic populist William Jennings Bryan. The poet Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931) had fun making fun of Bryan’s populism: “Nebraska’s cry went eastward against the dour and / old, / The mean and cold. . . . / Smashing Plymouth Rock, with his boulders from the / West.”

Imagine what fun Lindsay could have had with today’s preeminent populist, who has taken more than $70,000 in tax deductions for hair styling. His style has been his substance. His replacement for Obamacare remains as nonexistent as his $1 trillion infrastructure program. He resembles the politically excitable woman in Philip Roth’s novel “American Pastoral,” whose “opinions were all stimuli: the goal was excitement.”

In defeat, Trump probably will resemble another figure from American fiction — Ring Lardner’s “Alibi Ike,” the baseball player whose talent was for making excuses. Trump will probably say that if not for the pandemic, Americans would have voted their pocketbooks, which would have been bulging because of economic growth, and reelected him. Americans, however, are more complicated and civic-minded than one-dimensional economy voters. But about those pocketbooks:

The 4 percent growth Trump promised as a candidate and the 3 percent he promised as president became, pre-pandemic, 2.5 percent during his first three years, a negligible improvement over the 2.4 percent of the last three Barack Obama years. This growth was partly fueled by increased deficit spending (from 4.4 percent of gross domestic product to 6.3 percent, by the International Monetary Fund’s calculation). Bloomberg Businessweek reports, “In the first three and a half years of Trump’s presidency the U.S. Department of Labor approved 1,996 petitions [for Trade Adjustment Assistance] covering 184,888 jobs shifted overseas. During the equivalent period of President Barack Obama’s second term, 1,811 petitions were approved covering 172,336 workers.” And the Economist says:

“Recent research suggests that Mr. Trump’s tariffs destroyed more American manufacturing jobs than they created, by making imported parts more expensive and prompting other countries to retaliate by targeting American goods. Manufacturing employment barely grew in 2019. At the same time, tariffs are pushing up consumer prices by perhaps 0.5 percent, enough to reduce average real household income by nearly $1,300.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-coming-decade-of-democratic-dominance/2020/10/27/538d4cb2-188e-11eb-82db-60b15c874105_story.html

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Reply The coming decade of Democratic dominance (Original post)
Zorro Oct 28 OP
C_U_L8R Oct 28 #1
bullimiami Oct 28 #2
Zorro Oct 28 #4
Harker Oct 28 #5
Freddie Oct 28 #3

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 09:23 AM

1. We've got a huge Republican mess to clean up, again.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 09:25 AM

2. darn paywall. i would actually have liked to read the rest.

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Response to bullimiami (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 09:34 AM

4. "This nation and its patience are exhausted."

That's George Will's conclusion.

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Response to Zorro (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 10:48 AM

5. It's patients are exhausted, too. n/t

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Wed Oct 28, 2020, 09:34 AM

3. "Fumigation Election"

Love it! May it please be so.

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