Joe Biden’s present lead in the polls is a levitation. These are the dangling entrails of the panic that the national political media, which are unofficially conducting the Democratic campaign in the unheroic absence of the putative nominee, have sown about the coronavirus and the impression, desperately promoted, identifying Trump with the recent chaos.
A public opinion climate worn down by lengthy social confinement, arrested economic activity, and high unemployment is especially vulnerable to disgruntlement about its leaders. Given the pandemic, the recession, and the worst rioting in America in over fifty years, Trump has done well to maintain his approval rating in the mid-forties.
All of these elements are evaporating: the increasing incidence of the coronavirus is practically irrelevant since the fatality rate has declined by about 80 percent. Over 90 percent of those who contract the illness have minimal or no symptoms and each such person becomes a barrier to the spread of the virus, as those who have had it and have recovered are much more resistant to it thereafter. This phenomenon is known inelegantly as “herd immunity”: once the virus has gone through society, that society is substantially invulnerable apart from those with diminished immunities.
The increasing incidence of COVID-19 cases has been amplified in the anti-Trump media. The president, who was so reviled for inability to test competitively with other countries in March, has produced a regime in which an incomparable total of about 30 million Americans have now been tested.
The president’s appearance in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday has been much mocked because about 6,000 of the 19,000 places in the indoor stadium were vacant, and half of those that were filled were occupied by Republican Party officials and guests—but assembling 13,000 people in one place, in itself, is a breakthrough in the pandemic era, a first in four months. Trump is now engaged in converting the United States from being a frightened nation to a people emboldened to resume their lives, apart from those—especially the elderly—with handicapped immune systems. These must continue to be prudent themselves and to be thoroughly insulated from the illness.
As usual, Trump is swimming upstream against the tide of confected public opinion, but he is supported by the facts: all healthy people, about 80 percent of Americans, have almost nothing to fear from this disease and the cold terror inflicted on the nation by the president’s enemies will not survive discovery of that agreeable fact.
Ironically, the protesters, rioters, and hooligans who hate Trump the most (but have no use for the useful milquetoast idiots who infest Democratic ranks, even though they will vote for them), have demonstrated that to most people the coronavirus is a paper tiger. The Democrats have been shrieking fear and babbling utter nonsense about testing and tracing millions of people and badgering people suspected of being susceptible to the virus to self-quarantine, in order to prolong the artificial economic recession for their own political gain on election day.
The Democrats have the pathological riffraff of Antifa and the extreme factions of BLM to thank for the accelerated elimination of this barrier to the president’s reelection—they demonstrate that rioting together at close quarters doesn’t spike the virus. It always takes a few weeks for the polls to catch up with such tidal changes in the ever-mobile currents of public opinion. Though the physical attendance at the president’s rally in Tulsa was disappointing, up to 11 million people seem to have watched his lengthy address on television and the internet. It was a conspicuous success to attract seven or 8 percent of the voters on a Saturday night in June, more than four months before the election.
A remarkable fact about the continuing chronic disorder is the absence to date of a serious backlash. It seems that the national political media have been partially successful so far in portraying the president as unsympathetic to the victims of police excess and to the discontents of the African-American community generally. They have thus saddled independent opinion with the illusion that the president is responsible for the obscene levels of destructive urban violence and effrontery to the most revered personalities and events in American history.
And the president is only just beginning to draw public attention to his Democratic opponents’ ambiguous response to the mindless hate-filled violence of the mobs that have surged through many of America’s great cities. He is also just beginning to point out the extent to which this urban discontent is based on the incompetence and corruption of the Democratic city political machines that generate most of that party’s votes and to which Joe Biden has been bound hand and foot for nearly 50 years.
The Democrats’ prayerful attempts to retard the economic recovery, swaddled in fear-mongering and humbug about the coronavirus, run up against the popular ambition for restored prosperity. There is immense liquidity in the system, and the only feeble barrier to a sharp economic revival is Democratic media defeatism about the pandemic. It won’t work, though it will take some weeks to emerge from under the mountains of media misinformation that have been built up over the issue. Time is on the president’s side not only in public health and economic matters but in political realities. At some point Joe Biden is going to have to face questions from journalists who actually wish to have coherent answers to relevant questions, not just the toe-curling deference of Joy Behar and Don Lemon.
And before the campaign ends, the familiar and often dramatic finale of a mano a mano debate showdown between the two principal candidates will occur. It is hard to imagine how the pallid and inarticulate Biden of this shadow campaign will come through such a test intact. Biden narrowly lost the debate to the trivia question opponent of 2008, Sarah Palin, when he was in his prime, and Trump more than held his own with Hillary Clinton. This year should be a mismatch.
The attorney general, William Barr, has indicated that the Durham investigation into the origins of the monstrous scam of the Russian collusion investigation will be heard from before the end of the summer. There is no reason to believe that Biden himself will be charged, but the allegations against other senior officials of the Obama regime will not enhance the prestige of the Democrats. Biden’s limited verbal agility will be sorely challenged in explaining what he was doing while unprecedented, unconstitutional skullduggery was initiated by senior officials of the Obama-Biden administration, some of which skullduggery he must have been aware.
The Democrats, their confident masquerade as clear winners notwithstanding, have already done a campaign course correction. They have killed Senate debate on police oversight reform—they don’t want the problem resolved; they want police brutality and oppression of African-Americans as election issues, while ignoring mob violence and the physical, fiscal, and public relations assault Democratic and BLM spokespeople have launched against the police. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explicitly has blamed the death of George Floyd on Trump, without elaboration. The president has his limitations but this is malignant lunacy.
He faced a sudden and grave public health, economic, and political crisis in March, and elected to accommodate the hysteria that had arisen and the weight of plausible scientific opinion and shut down the economy to flatten the rise of the virus. In a quick-step, he moved to encourage governors to take the country out of the shut-down after two months as local conditions allowed, and the economy, despite prodigious Democratic media efforts to retard its recovery, has shown a spontaneous reflexive recovery that has startled the legions of Trump-hating prophets of gloom.
Despite the tumult and the controversy, aggravated by this president’s peculiar abrasiveness, he appears to have taken difficult executive decisions promptly and successfully and has guided the country through very serious challenges unfazed by the threat posed to his tenure of office.
The Democrats have descended to depths of mudslinging, demagogy, and indulgence of racial violence and national self-hate never before plumbed in a U.S. presidential election. They are afflicted by a death wish, and in the national interest and for their own sake, that wish must be granted by the voters.