If the ongoing, escalating, and exhausting news cycle has been enough to leave you feeling spun around, here’s a straightforward calendar statistic that should bring you right back to reality: the 2020 presidential election is one year from today. So now what?
There are in fact a few different realities simultaneously at play here. Donald Trump is being impeached. There are serious doubts as to whether he’ll even still be in office by election day. His poll numbers are awful enough that if the election were held today, Trump would get blown out. But the election is not being held today, and a lot can happen in a year.
Donald Trump has already been caught treasonously trying to conspire with a foreign nation to rig the 2020 election in his favor, and the fact that he’s gotten caught doesn’t mean he won’t try again. Career criminals like Trump don’t suddenly get scared straight just because they’re being investigated for it by their employer, or because a grand jury in New York is targeting them for criminal indictment.
Trump is, of course, almost hilariously inept at all of this. He spent the entire 2016 election criminally conspiring with Russia, yet for all those efforts, it wouldn’t have been enough to put him over the top if not for James Comey’s misleading last minute letter about Hillary Clinton. Trump’s attempt at rigging the 2020 election was even more boneheaded, as he did it in way that he should have known would almost guarantee he’d get caught. But desperate criminals tend to do desperate things – particularly when they know they’re headed to prison for the rest of their life unless they can somehow magically pull off a longshot scheme to save themselves.
Donald Trump will likely lose in 2020, both because he’s historically unpopular, and because his attempts at cheating keep getting more incompetent and ineffective. But we’ve reached a point in history where “likely” isn’t good enough. There are those who are 100% certain Trump will lose, and will use this as an excuse to rest on their laurels for the next year. There are also those fatalists who are convinced Trump will somehow magically win no matter what happens, and they’ll also use this as an excuse to do nothing. If you care about America, these two groups – who are each just looking for an excuse to not have to put in the work – are the stuff of nightmares.
Those of you who want to save this country will have to spend the next year working hard and working smart. That means having a spirited 2020 Democratic primary, and then unanimously lining up behind the eventual Democratic nominee. That means working full-time to continue to expose Donald Trump’s scandals and spread the word about just how guilty he is. That means eventually going door to door, working phone banks, and all the other kinds of hard work that election results always come down to.
If you work hard and work smart, starting now, Donald Trump will lose and go to prison, his base will largely climb back under a rock, and we’ll have our country back. If you work hard and work smart. It’s really up to you. One year to go.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report