Steve Schmidt of the Lincoln Project wrote on Twitter: “This is the first time the music of the great Ray Charles has been used in a political ad. Thank you to the Ray Charles Foundation.”
Does it feel like something changed at that first presidential debate of 2020? Putting aside that it was exactly the kind of debate that the year 2020 deserved, it felt like during all that bellowing, bullying, heckling, and lying, Trump pushed a few more voters away.
I’m not a pollster. My observations are just that: the most elemental of research, what I see and hear around me.
The day of the debate, I heard Trump supporters talking about recording the show like it was a ball game their team was likely to win. I heard laughter about Biden. On a neighborhood walk, I saw mostly Trump/Pence signs. They appeared early and continued to outnumber Biden signs.
The day after the debate, I heard no chortling about how well Trump did. In fact no one mentioned the debate at all, the subject just too painful. When I came home, it seemed that my neighbors’ yards filled with Biden signs overnight. No matter where my eyes fell, there was a Biden/Harris sign in view.
The official polls reflecting post-debate sentiment won’t be out for awhile. But I’m cautiously optimistic they’ll back up what I’m seeing and show that Trump is sliding just a bit, losing support every time he opens that tight, pursed mouth to let all that anger out.
Watching Trump live-tweet Biden in person was hard. But it might be what it takes to turn enough Americans away from his nightmare presidency.
“This is an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves. It’s also a direct threat to all of the recent progress we’ve made and could potentially set us back.”
— Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) slammed President Trump Sunday night for violating state rules by holding a campaign rally indoors with thousands of people, NBC News reports.
“Mike Bloomberg plans to spend at least $100 million in Florida to help elect Democrat Joe Biden, a massive late-stage infusion of cash that could reshape the presidential contest in a costly toss-up state central to President Trump’s reelection hopes,” the Washington Post reports.
It took almost four years but here we are.
Trump used to rally his base with innuendo about shadowy others who threatened America: Mexicans are rapists and members of obscure, violent gangs. A Muslim travel ban would keep out terrorists. Orphaning the children of parents fleeing Central America by locking them away and concealing them from their families would ensure that only Americans would receive benefits from paying taxes.
Where we are now was a gradual and incremental shift but it’s easy enough to look back and see it coming. After all, Trump made his mark on the political scene by questioning Pres. Obama’s legitimacy and refusing to acknowledge that Obama was born in Hawaii, not Kenya.
We know the cascading inflection points ever since. Good people on both sides. Pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio before he could be sentenced for what the U.S. Dept. of Justice called “sadistic punishments” of Latino inmates. Trying to shut down the NFL because Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in response to police killings of Black people. Calling Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas. Labeling a free press the enemy of the people. Saying the members of “The Squad,” four Democratic congresswomen, should go back to their countries although all but one were born in America. Calling Jews who vote for Democrats “disloyal.” Retweeting white supremacists. The list is endless and neither of us has that much time.
Now, as Poltico’s Michael Kruse, Renuka Rayasam, and Myah Ward note, Trump is no longer talking about us versus them. He’s ginning up the base by making it us against us. […]
Last night’s litany of lies still sticks in our craw,
With the sight of an unmasked crowd spreading droplets with each hurrah.
Employing his typical mendacity
Trump showed his contradiction capacity,
By calling for law and order while blatantly breaking the law.
Outside the White House, just after President Trump concluded his speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination.
Vox: “It’s a moment that encapsulates what amounted to a week of gaslighting on Covid-19 by Trump and the Republican convention — an attempt to make America think that a president who had so clearly failed was in fact a victory for the US.”