The Establishment now says that Trump has almost certainly lost the election. Its polls show Clinton with a widening lead. Its pundits, who discuss Trump and his supporters in terms that suggest Der Stürmer talking about Jews (Charles M. Blow’s op ed in the October 3 New York Times is titled, “Donald Trump: Terroristic Man-Toddler”), are increasingly confident Trump is doomed. Paul Krugman, the Times’ kept Keynesian, sums up the Establishment view at the outset of his column in the October 3 edition of the paper:
Donald Trump has just had an extraordinarily bad week, and Hillary Clinton an extraordinarily good one; betting markets now put Mrs. Clinton’s odds of winning almost as high as they were just after the Democratic convention.
The reason for Trump’s supposed loss of support is that he commits “gaffes”. In Establishment terminology, “gaffe” means committing truth, the worst possible sin for an Establishment politician. If the truth also involves breaking one of the rules laid down by “Political Correctness”, a.k.a. cultural Marxism, the politician is doomed. Even if he crawls and grovels before whichever of the PC “victims groups” he has offended, his career is probably over.
If this were a conventional election, the Establishment’s analysis might be right. But it is not a conventional election, and I think the Establishment is in for a surprise on election day. I think Trump can win in a landslide.
What Donald Trump says or does from here to November will have little if any impact on the election’s outcome. Millions of people are going to vote for Trump for one reason: doing so is a powerful way to thumb their noses at the whole Establishment–not just the political Establishment, but Wall Street (which owns Hillary), Third World immigrants, black leaders who blame all blacks’ problems on whites, big corporations that move good-paying jobs overseas, universities that tell their white students they are inherently evil because they are white, the whole greedy, rotten, culturally Marxist bunch.
These millions of Americans are not telling anyone how they are going to vote. They are not contacted by pollsters. They are beneath the Establishment’s notice. In Hillary’s view, they are “deplorables”. But thanks to the secret ballot, on election day they can strike back at those who hold them in contempt. And they are going to do just that, by voting for Donald Trump.
Most of these millions do not usually vote. That is one reason why the Establishment’s analysis misses them. People who do not usually vote were behind Brexit’s win in Britain and the defeat suffered by Merkel’s party in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the German state she comes from. The same thing is going to happen here.
Or at least it can happen. I worked for more than twenty years with Paul Weyrich, who was one the the Right’s masters of political mechanics. One of the things I learned from him is that a candidate or an issue can have the votes to win but still lose because his supporters did not actually go to the polls and vote.
Winning requires what master mechanics like Paul call “voter ID and turnout”. Turning a potential win into a real one means identifying your supporters, making sure they are registered and then getting them to the polls on election day. You cannot rely on them to do this on their own. Many will not “get around to it”. You have to have an organization that hand-holds them all the way to the voting booth.
Does the Trump campaign have a voter ID and turnout operation in place? I have not seen one. They may be relying on the Republican Party to do that job. In many places it will, because its other candidates need it. But many Establishment Republicans are not happy with their party’s nominee. Will they do much for him? Maybe not.
If the Trump campaign does voter ID and turnout right, he will win and win big. The votes are there, angry votes by the folks out in flyover country. Without such an operation, it’s much more of a crap shoot. I hope someone at Trump campaign headquarters is not just starting to think about voter ID and turnout now. If Trump loses, the Establishment will rig the system so the American people never again get a chance to vote for an anti-Establishment candidate.