Trump’s Rushmore speech shows he may be hard to beat

Trump’s Rushmore speech shows he may be hard to beat, by Daniel Hannan.

I had all but written President Trump off. His style is ill-suited to a crisis. When growth was strong and unemployment was low, voters were happy to indulge his chaotic, self-pitying streams of consciousness. But when the coronavirus struck, his narcissistic gabbling suddenly started to grate.

As I write, Joe Biden leads by between 10 and 14 points and is comfortably ahead in key states including Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona. Many pundits are already calling it for the elderly Scrantonian, and they may be right. But over the past week, I have come to doubt the consensus.

What has changed? In a word, disorder. There is almost nothing that voters hate more. People who are usually centrist liberals become suddenly conservative when they see violence and unrest.

One thing I learned from 20 years in elected politics is that the silent majority is always larger than you think. In Britain, as in the United States, hooligans have been pulling down statues. And in Britain, as in the U.S., the media have absurdly tried to frame their vandalism as some sort of civil rights protest, as if all they wanted were equal treatment.

Ordinary voters smell a rat. They know that we live in open societies, where all adults have the right to vote and are treated equally in law. People can spot a hard-left insurrection when they see one. And when I say “people,” I don’t just mean “white people.” There are plenty of middle-class black people whose first reaction to the sight of youngsters smashing property is, “Where the hell are their parents?” …

First, those with what they call “fixed” personalities (wary, conservative, hierarchical, Trumpy) outnumber those with “fluid” personalities (trusting, liberal, open to new experiences). Second, people become more fixed, or Trumpier, when they fear social unrest.

And most important of all:

The chasm between the working classes and the smirking classes that created Trumpism in the first place is widening.

Great line: The chasm between the working classes and the smirking classes is widening.

On the one hand, the western media has never been more biased or nakedly partisan, which helps the left. (Indeed, where would they be without it? A: Much further to the right.) Biden up 10+ points.

On the other hand, the toxic political climate has never given shy voters a greater incentive to hide their true feelings from pollsters and colleagues, and only reveal them at the ballot box. Advantage Trump, but how much?

Calling this election in advance will probably be impossible.