Top Ten Ways to Re-Elect Trump

Not too early to think about 2020. Hillary only got more than 1.5 million more votes than Trump and we can’t assume WikiLeaks, Putin and the FBI will always be there for him. As he did in 2016, he’s going to need Democrats and liberals to help him win in 2020. Here are 10 practical steps you Blue Americans can take to make sure you lose again:

  •  Focus on the past: A unified front is hard to defeat. If Trump is to win in 2020, Bernie fans must continue spending the intervening time villainizing the Democratic National Committee and obsessing about Hillary’s imperfections. Meanwhile, Hillary fans need to keep devoting their posts to how Bernie and his bros cost her the election by fighting too hard in the primaries.

  • Riot: Protesting peacefully is so passé. Sure, it worked for MLK and Gandhi, but what did they know? Loot and be violent instead. You’ll help keep independent voters away and give Trump the excuse he needs for a law-and-order crackdown.

  • Do it all: Why focus on meaningful opposition when you can feel good while accomplishing nothing? For example, sign an online petition pleading with the Electoral College to vote against Trump. You’ll not only get to turn your email address over to a stranger, you also will have expended your time on something that has zero chance of succeeding and that would cause a civil war if it did.

  • Avoid change: Treat this like any other loss and return to the old ways of doing things. Ignore Brexit and blue states turning red; focus on traditional polling methods, plus assumptions that voters can’t be that gullible/foolish/uninformed, etc. Also disregard the voice of millennials. Sure, Hillary would have won in a landslide if millennials were the only group voting, but they’re so young. And not full of good ideas like you were at their age. They see the world as it might be. Quiet them down while we reminisce.

  • Avoid creativity: Liberals have an unfair advantage with so many comedians, musicians, actors and satirists on their side. Democrats get unusual enjoyment out of things like donating to Planned Parenthood in the name of VP-elect Mike Pence. All such tendencies must be quashed. The Donald Trumps of the world hate being made fun of and we should respect that. Creative political dissent risks more people paying attention and ideas slipping through the armor we all have come to wear against views that are not already ours. Lay down your weapons.

  • Assume the best: Remember that if you act nobly, everyone else automatically will too. For example, if you promise not to criticize Trump, then the GOP and tea party will do the same if Trump loses in 2020, just as they showed only politeness and respect to the president and first lady the last eight years.

  • Treat Trump as normal: Believe your friends/relatives when they say this is no different than when Ronald Reagan got elected. If you don’t remember Reagan being a Muslim-hating, genital-grabbing, Mexican-labeling, disabled-ridiculing, white-supremacist-appointing sort of president, instead focus simply on the fact that he and Donald were actors before entering the White House. See, they’re not so different after all. Geez, relax a little, won’t you?

  • Assume opposition is free: As soon as you start to fear opposition to Trump is going to cost you (say, a Facebook friend, golf partner or business opportunity), drop it. How pleasant your life is right now matters much more than the world you leave your nieces, nephews, children and grandchildren. You’ll probably be gone by the time climate change kills millions — and whose grandchildren wouldn’t enjoy living closer to the beach?

  • Cancel your subscription: You could save some $3.50 a week for each newspaper subscription you cancel or don’t sign up for in the first place. Rely entirely on Facebook for your news. The crowds elected Donald; now trust them to tell you what’s what. The fewer the reporters to do the digging, the fewer the scandals to be uncovered and cause you alarm. Think of all the money and time saved if the Washington Post hadn’t had the staff to devote to Watergate coverage.

  • Tune out and give up: You’ve tried it for a couple of weeks now and liked it. You’ve joined those who don’t follow the news and found it’s easier on the gut than paying attention and fighting back.

Imagine: “TRUMP RE-ELECTED.”

[This originally appeared in the November 22, 2016 Waco Tribune-Herald.

The Day After Trump Loses

Wow. Hillary Clinton won with a bigger electoral and popular vote margin than seen since the 1980s. So much for that “50-50 nation.” Democrats also took the Senate. Between Democratic Party gains in the House and the defection of tea party supporters, Paul Ryan accepts that he will have to rely on some Democratic votes to be re-elected speaker of the House.

The rest of the world — Vladimir Putin and Julian Assange excepted — breathe a collective sigh of relief. Celebrations break out around the globe as the world’s citizens toast what did not happen.

Donald Trump has not conceded, but only his loyalists (about 20 percent) continue to admit they voted for him. They’ve quit calling themselves the “tea party.” Now it’s “the Trump Party.” To no one’s surprise, Trump’s team is announcing the launch of a media empire. Not IRT (“It’s Rigged TV”), nor WYT, but PUR (“Purity TV”). Fox News is terrified. It is right to be so.

Donald will wake up in a sweat at 3 a.m. tomorrow, terrified that he is no longer newsworthy. The Franklin Grahams, Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwell Jr.s likewise are panicked. Their brand of Jesus-loves-you-but-I-hate-you theocracy has been defeated by a new generation of evangelical leaders who prefer caring for the downtrodden to seduction by the siren song of political power.

Conservative thought leaders acknowledge the culture wars are over. No one cares about same-sex marriage anymore. The conversation on abortion turns to how to come together to actually reduce the need for and number of them, rather than obsessing over Roe v. Wade. The surviving GOP leaders (Reince Priebus is not to be among them) announce plans to improve rather than abolish Obamacare. Comprehensive immigration reform is visible on the horizon, the Hastert Rule having died the painful death it and its namesake so richly deserved.

Given the Trump (and Bernie Sanders) phenomenon, both political parties look seriously at ways to shrink what for decades has been the growing chasm between the wealthiest and the rest of the citizens.

Trump and his 1st Regiment of the Army of Deplorables promise to fight on. In the years ahead, they will win a rare election here and there, more often claiming victory for having ensured the electable Republican loses in the primary. These victories will be a replay of the Battle of Palmito Ranch — a skirmish the Confederacy won in May 1865, near Brownsville, Texas.

The problem is the Civil War had been over for more than a month, after General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia, on April 9. As with the Battle of Palmito Ranch, each casualty in Trump’s war will die in part from malignant futility.

Historians will wonder at the year that America came close to electing someone who showed every sign of a dictator-in-the-making, from gigantic ego to thin skin, from scapegoating to media-bashing. Future students will ask: Was it because of sky-high inflation, skyrocketing unemployment or the ravages of a contagious disease that the country almost did this?

No, their teachers will answer. It was because some people started telling themselves lies and eventually they believed them. And their lies got bigger and still they believed them. And eventually they could not tell truth from fiction. But it was stopped by record-setting numbers of voters turning out to say, no, we don’t believe it, you’ve gone too far, pull it back, you’ve left us.

Why did it take more than 230 years to elect an African-American and then a female, the students then will ask. No good answer.

Originally appearing in November 1, 2016 Waco Tribune-Herald, where David is a member of the Board of Contributors. Submitted to the paper October 25, 2016.