During his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in the summer of 2016, after he finished falsely painting America as an apocalyptic hellscape, he famously declared “I alone can fix it.” It was obvious to anyone with any deductive skills, and the willingness to use them, that he didn’t have the slightest clue what he was talking about. Now, with the government shut down as a direct result of Trump’s ineptitude, and his scandals erupting in such furious fashion that they’re overlapping each other, America is hurtling toward that apocalyptic hellscape. So what now?
The good news, relatively speaking, is this: the worse Trump screws up, the more vulnerable he is. His fate will never, ever, ever be decided by the feelings of those within his base or those who have opposed him from the start. His fate will be decided by which of those two groups is more willing to dive in and convince the people on the fence to turn against him. Trump’s base is 15% of the country but his approval rating is in the thirties; there are clearly people outside his base who are still tentatively standing with him. Those are the people whose minds must be changed. That job just got a lot easier.
The trouble with the people on the fence is that they’re there for a reason: they don’t pay close attention to begin with. They don’t think politics is all that important. They think one party is as bad as the other. They tend to give equal weight to the true facts that the Resistance lays out about his scandals and criminal antics, and the phony alternate versions of those scandals that his supporters promote. But for all its political ambivalence, there’s one thing that the middle truly hates: incompetence.
Trump painted himself as a successful billionaire businessman who could apply his skills to the government and fix it all by himself. He promised he could make it happen. Anyone paying attention understood from the start that Trump was neither successful nor a billionaire, and that he’s one of the most notorious con artists in the history of the business world.
But the people in the middle never were paying attention when they should have been. Now they can see that not only was Donald Trump completely full of crap when he promised he could waltz in and singlehandedly fix everything, he’s so uniquely inept that that he’s managed to singlehandedly break everything. Now it’s up to the Resistance to make sure the people in the middle see Trump’s shutdown debacle precisely for what it is.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report