I’m an optimist by nature, but with a heavy dose of realism attached. This plays out particularly when I vote. In other words, I’m not a person who puts on blinders and obediently marches to the beat of a political party. I think there are good Republicans and good Democrats and I know there are terrible Republicans and terrible Democrats. And anybody with a smidgen of common sense knows that! Those who won’t admit that are foolish, period!
Based on that, I want to share with you exactly what I see that happened in the 2020 presidential election that appears to have Joe Biden heading for the finish line as our 46th president while Donald Trump makes claims of voter fraud. Calling on that realism that I spoke about earlier, I believe when the dust settles, Biden will win and Trump will lose. Actually, that last sentence is incorrect and provides the thought behind today’s effort. You see, I don’t believe Biden actually "won" the election nearly as much as I believe Trump "lost" the election.
Let me explain.
I should preface my comments before I proceed by noting that I voted for Trump twice — both in 2016 and again in 2020. Actually, the 2016 vote was more of a vote against Hillary Clinton than it was for Trump. But, before I get off on an anti-Hillary tangent, let me explain why I believe here in this crazy year of 2020 that Trump lost the election more than Biden won.
First, I think Trump did many things right during the past four years, including the economy (record high stock market gains), unemployment (record lows), protecting our borders, standing up for the United States, dealing with China and protecting unborn children are just a few on his many accomplishments that I appreciate and that matter to me and many, many voters. All those things aside, I believe the jewel of his four-year term will be his three appointments — three very, very good appointments — to the United States Supreme Court. Because of Trump, the Supreme Court will have a decided conservative majority for decades to come, and I’m happy about that.
But, despite those accomplishments, there are two things that I believe Trump could have done to easily defeat an inferior candidate like Joe Biden, who basically hid in his basement during the campaign and stuck his head out once in a while to field a few softball questions from a complicit media, who wanted desperately to see Trump beaten.
My belief is that if Trump would have shut up and shut down his Twitter account he would not have alienated, infuriated and aggravated enough voters — many who voted for him four years earlier — to send Biden to the White House.
You may think my logic is too basic and simple, but let me give you this very solid example. I was for Trump, I supported him, I encouraged others to vote for him and I defended him … but I grew increasingly weary, worn out and frustrated with the constant name-calling, insults, childish comments and outlandish and over-the-top tweets. At times it was exhausting!
So, if a voter like me who was for Trump was turned off by his constant barrage of negative words, actions and tweets, what about other undecided conservatives and moderates who were riding the fence trying to make a decision? There is no doubt in my mind that constant negativity does not sell with all voters. It might sell with some, but not the majority. In the end, I believe voters want to hear what you’ve accomplished and what you plan to accomplish, period.
Again, I’m an optimist by nature, but with a heavy dose of realism attached. And it’s those two qualities that prompt me to remind all those — including the biased media and inept pollsters — to be very careful what you wish for because you just might get it! And what they got in this case is a career politician that has spent 47 years in Washington, D.C., and accomplished nothing.
“Ridin’ with Biden” was the catchy Democratic slogan I saw often on social media during this strange social distancing presidential election. While my optimism tells me to give Biden a chance, my realism kicks in and prompts me to warn you to buckle up and brace yourself, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Jim Muir is the Franklin County Circuit Clerk.
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