In 2016, frequently bankrupt businessman Donald Trump triumphed because the news media has a pack mentality that would put jackals to shame. From The New York Times to local TV affiliates, they would not stray from their narrative that Hillary Clinton was somehow shady — and that Exhibit A was that Secretary Clinton had used a private email server.
That not a single email was marked classified mattered not, nor did it matter that, clearly, the revelations about those emails came from Russia – even though you’d think that if Vladimir Putin wanted Trump to win so very badly, maybe a Trump presidency wasn’t exactly in America’s interest.
But none of that made any difference, and the United States ended up with a catastrophic four years. (That’s not hyperbole. An estimated 234,000 Americans needlessly died of COVID-19 because of Trump’s cronyism and incompetence.)
Once again, there is now a narrative that the media is loathe to stray from: President Joe Biden is just a senile old man. But it won’t work this time, and I’ll tell you why.
In 2016, Trump got very, very lucky. It’s obvious even he didn’t think he’d win: He didn’t even assemble a real transition team. Trump just went through the motions to placate former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and immediately started over after the upset election.
One of the unsung bits of Trump luck was that he is too dumb to send emails. Otherwise, do you think there’s any doubt that Trump would have been pulling some shenanigans himself? And it wouldn’t be until 2018 that Ivanka Trump pulled exactly the same “crime” as Clinton, using her private account to send hundreds and hundreds of emails. But by then, it was no big deal. Of course not.
But Trump’s luck has been running out — and not just in state and federal courts. While Trump may not send emails, he sure does talk. And talk. And talk. And, media or no media, voters are going to hear gems like when Trump thought former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was the Speaker of the House in 2021, that World War II looms in the future, that General George Washington and the Colonial Army secured the airports, and that you need a photo ID to guy groceries. (For a list of recent senile gaffes from the Orange Jesus, check out my recent column here.)
That’s why it won’t work this time. People will watch Trump bloviating on TV and airing one great gaffe after the other, and they’ll begin to realize that Donald Trump, not Joe Biden, is the one in this election that is losing it.
But that’s not to say that you, gentle reader, cannot help that narrative to grow. In fact, we all need to emphasize how senile and how just plain stupid he is.
How? Every time someone makes a big deal about a Biden mistake, you need to look taken aback and exclaim, “What? Biden’s pulled a Trump?” That way, Trump’s deficiencies are no longer being underplayed, and voters will see Trump’s erratic nonsense firsthand.
Oh, and while you’re at it, take a page from the Right: It never hurts to work the refs. Just remember to use the hashtag #DementiaDon every time Trump pulls a Trump.