I feel like Donald Trump has a good chance of winning the Whitehouse for two major reasons: his populism (a novel campaign strategy in this day and age), and the Democrats’ and the left’s lack of understanding as to what his appeal actually is (arguably, this is why his Republican opponents in the primaries lost, as well).
From the Plum Line this morning:
Donald Trump just made an extremely important promise. It’s one of his worst yet.
Believe it or not, Donald Trump has now made a very important policy statement. Introducing what he billed as an “energy plan,” Trump promised to “cancel the Paris Climate Plan.” Unlike so much of what comes from Trump on policy, this is a genuinely clarifying moment, with potentially enormous long-term implications.
Of course, Greg Sargent thinks this is an awful idea, one that dooms any hope Donald had of being president, if in no small part because it means Bernie and Hillary will totally definitely team up to stop Trump now, and that’s all it will take: Bernie and Hillary teaming up. The part where cancelling the Paris Climate Accords actually appeals to a lot of people, and increasing domestic energy production appeals to even more . . . that doesn’t seem to enter into it.
I think that’s just wrong. And the more the Democrats allow themselves to be painted as (or paint themselves as) the side where “it’s sad domestic energy production is losing all those jobs, but, eh, what can you do?” versus Trump’s promise of increasing domestic energy sector jobs and production (never mind the specifics, it’s magic!), the more I think they are mistaking what makes the difference between victory and defeat in November.
I also think it’s interesting that, for Greg Sargent, the significant thing about Trump’s “energy plan” (so-called) is how it will impact the Hillary/Sanders dustup. That’s the take away. Not that Trump’s own dismissal of climate change as an apocalyptic inevitability might actual appeal to Independents or swing-voters, not to mention his promise of supporting domestic energy production.
I don’t think Anthropogenic Climate Change is a big winner for the Democrats. Independents and Republicans can be peeled away by lots of things, such as talk of jobs (green energy jobs!) or ending of perpetual military engagement or promises of financial benefits to the middle class, but I think the prioritization of Climate Change as the Most Important Thing Ever is not the political talisman many seem to think it is. And Donald saying he’s going to pull America out of the Paris Climate Accords (pretty much just posturing bullhockey anyway, good for politicians to preen over and little else) is not going to send shockwaves and fear and disgust through the American electorate.
And it’s just one way they seem to be misunderestimating The Donald.
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