Trump’s Biggest Campaign Mistake Was Running Against Biden, Rather Than California
One of the many reasons I have long been convinced that President Donald Trump will not be reelected (though it could be rather close in the Electoral College) is because his campaign has failed to take advantage of opportunities and has no coherent narrative. When you are behind in the polls, you only get a few chances to get back in the game, but the Trump forces have squandered each one they have been given.
Trump’s campaign is a like a football team that, as an underdog, has the weather (Covid) and the referees (the news media), clearly against them, and has missed recovering multiple fumbles and making an easy “Pick 6” interception. The likelihood of overcoming all of that is very small.
By far the biggest and most underrated of these missed chances comes in the form of Trump deciding to run against Joe Biden, instead of choosing an opponent which would have given him far more enticing swing-state, vote-friendly, targets. Instead of running against the former vice president, who represents the Democratic Party of the semi-rational past, Trump should have ignored him and decided that instead his real rival was the state of California, which represents the full-blown insanity of where the heart of the Democratic Party really is today, and is surely where its base will headed in the very near future.
This theoretical strategy of Trump using California (where I reside, and where the president was raising much-needed money yesterday) as his campaign foil was so obviously fertile ground that I am convinced that even our Governor Gavin Newsom has been shocked, and maybe a bit disappointed, that it has not materialized. In fact, a strong argument could be made that Newsom has been purposely letting his full crazy to be on public display as much as possible, seemingly to bait Trump, who is extremely unpopular here and would have absolutely nothing to lose by targeting the state, into taking him on directly.
Of course, Biden himself inadvertently opened the door even further to Trump taking this path by choosing California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. It is hardly a stretch to suggest that Harris, who, given Biden’s age, has an extremely good chance of being president by 2025, will be bringing California-style progressivism with her into the White House.
Trump’s campaign theme should have been that California, where there is no legitimate Republican opposition, is the perfect example of the liberal lunacy which Democrats will be bringing to the rest of the country, especially if, in addition to the presidency, they also control all of Congress. Here is a remarkably substantial list of recent developments here which would scare the heck out of voters in key states like Pennsylvania and Michigan (who, it should be noted, have Democratic governors who seem to be openly emulating Newsom on the Covid lockdown).
- California was the first state to shut down, doing so very dramatically based on a catastrophically flawed projection, and has become the personification of how “flatten the curve” was a lie.
- Newsom has made it impossible for most of the state to reopen, no matter how well it does with regard to Covid, and has added a “racial equity” hurdle to make sure many counties have an even tougher time if they have too high a percentage of people of color testing positive for the virus.
- The Los Angeles teachers union practically begged to become fodder for Trump’s campaign when, in response to his call for school’s to reopen, they hilariously released their list of demands for allowing that, which read like a ransom note from a progressive activist’s wet dream.
- The national mainstream media ignored it, but the Los Angeles Health Director was caught on tape cynically admitting that schools would not open at least until “after the election.”
- The state, in which the institution of slavery was never legal, appears to be headed towards paying reparations to the descendants of slaves. This a movement which Harris herself has backed, though the issue never even came up in her debate with vice-president Mike Pence, nor has the Trump campaign made it primary topic.
- While he was late to the party like nearly everyone else who suddenly became a pro-mask advocate, Newsom has become one of the most outspoken proponents of masks, absurdly tweeting, to well-deserved ridicule, that Californians should continue to wear their masks even while EATING!
- Acting like a King, Newsom has signed an executive order banning all sales of gasoline-fueled cars by the year 2035, an act which, if they even knew about it, would surely alarm those swing voters in the vital states of Michigan and Pennsylvania.
- Newsom has infuriated the Walt Disney Company, their employees, and many of their biggest fans, by single-handedly keeping Disneyland closed, even while Disneyworld in Florida has been open without incident. Trump could have not only used this issue to illustrate the stark difference between Covid life in “blue” states and more open “red” states, but if he played his cards right he might have even gained a rare media ally in the form of Disney-owned ABC News.
- Similarly, while many college football teams have had substantial crowds with no Covid issues, and some NFL squads have also had fans in attendance, thanks to Newsom, California’s NFL teams have had no spectators, and our colleges almost didn’t even have any season at all.
- California has two openly socialistic propositions on the November ballot which seem as if they should have been manna from heaven for the Trump campaign, and yet they have received ZERO national attention. Proposition 15 would revoke a critical part of California’s famous “Prop 13” protections against increased property taxes, while Proposition 16 would eliminate a similarly well-known ban on affirmative action with regard to state hiring and college admissions.
The fact that the Trump campaign has not decided to wage this war where they have some much ammunition ready to be fired on a very vulnerable target (one which Biden would have been largely forced to defend) is staggeringly stupid. As for why they has not occurred, other than their lack of imagination, there appears to be only one “logical” explanation.
Newsom’s ex-wife, Kimberly Guilfoyle, is both Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend and a top Trump campaign surrogate. At first glance, this might provoke even more motivation for the Trumps to take on Newsom, but it is also possible that, due to Guilfoyle’s “controversial” past, there may be fear of getting into a pissing match with Newsom, or maybe Trump just somehow sees Newsom as part of his tribe.
Regardless, if Trump does indeed lose this political poker match, his supporters should be irate that he never even played what might have easily been his “Ace in the hole.”
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.