No one wants to be the skunk at the garden party, but sometimes a garden party needs a skunk to remind everyone about the reality of the world around them. Today, I’m going to be that skunk, at least a little.
I’ve been seeing a bunch of columns recently about how President Donald Trump has the election in the bag, how it’s over and there’s no way a senile sock puppet like Joe Biden can possibly win in November. That’s simply not true.
There’s a saying I like and use often: never spike the football on the 5-yard-line. It’s obviously true in football, but it’s also true in life. It’s especially true in politics.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton not only had measured the drapes for the Oval Office, she’d ordered them. She lost.
Hillary lost largely because she was an awful candidate and not a very good person, but she also lost in part because she assumed she had already won and took her foot off the gas early, and so did her supporters. They played it safe in the final stretch of the campaign, likely thinking that putting her out there more was only going to risk hurting her chances, not increasing them. That doesn’t work in any part of life – as Yogi Berra put it, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
The only way to campaign is to run like you’re behind by 10 points, no matter how far ahead your internal polls and conventional wisdom say you are.
I’m not suggesting that the Trump campaign is taking anything for granted, they don’t seem to be. But a campaign is only as successful as its supporters are, and I’m concerned there could be some complacency among Republican voters.
Yes, the Republican Party and the president just had a great convention and the Democrats had an awful one, despite the media’s push to pretend otherwise. But it’s a long way to Election Day, and if you don’t think every dirty trick, every lie, every cheat anyone has ever thought of isn’t going to be deployed by the left between now and then, you’re crazy.
The columns about how “it’s over” and “Trump can’t lose” are wildly popular, which is why they’re written, but they’re wrong. Everyone wants to be popular, everyone wants their pieces widely read and shared, but giving people a false sense of confidence is not serving anyone but the author’s ego.
The election is two months away, or 5 million news cycles in 2020-speak. The issues upon which the votes that will make the difference in the election are likely not yet known because they haven’t happened yet.
Add to that the fact that every resource available to the left will be deployed and no expense will be spared to defeat the president, and you start to realize anything can happen.
In 2016, Donald Trump benefitted immeasurably from free media. All the cable networks carried his rallies live because they were great TV and a ratings bonanza. That gave the Trump campaign unfiltered access to a huge audience. Those rallies are going to be scaled down this year and less frequent. There’s also no way they will be shown by a media that doesn’t even show more than a few select seconds of his White House press conferences.
The media helped Donald Trump four years ago, unwillingly, because they didn’t think he stood a chance. Now that he’s the incumbent, they aren’t going to underestimate him again.
You can think that doesn’t matter all you want, but when you couple it with their active campaign of lies and glowing coverage of every Biden event, sweeping his obvious deterioration under the rug, and you begin to see how the hill is much higher and steeper this year.
It’s not that Trump can’t win, he certainly can and I hope he does. But everyone, and I mean everyone, has to fight till the very end. The “he’s got this thing sewn up” pieces can breed contentment, which only leads to failure.
This election isn’t in the bag; no president has ever faced as much opposition as Donald Trump finds himself up against. The good thing is this: there has never been a Republican better suited to beating them back, so we’ve got that going for us. But the truth is we all have to work like we’re on the verge of losing.
Democrats will do anything to win – no law or normal practice is safe. That means we can’t take our foot off the gas; we can’t let up. Do not take anything for granted. Read those pieces with a skeptical eye and remember how they have the same tone Democrats had four years ago. Work, talk to your friends, family, and like-minded acquaintances. They have to vote too, and make sure others they know who think the same way do as well, even if they never vote or haven’t voted before.
Maybe I’ll end up being wrong and Trump wins in a walk, but it’s not like vigilance will be wasted. Wouldn’t you rather win by a margin so big the left can’t steal it?
I was one of those people shocked by the results four years ago. I want that feeling again, if only to fully enjoy the hopeful faces of these leftists on cable news being washed-over by the realization that the country rejected them in real time rather than watching them tear up later in YouTube reminiscing.
So don’t spike the football on the 5-yard-line, fight like you’re behind. Make sure everyone you know who will vote Republican votes. There will be plenty of red meat to eat along the way, just don’t get stuffed at the buffet during the pre-game. There will be plenty of food and drinks at the after party, which is the only party that really matters in the end.
Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.