Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Observing that the New York Times tax fraud story will change nothing among Trump’s die-hard base is both correct and missing the point. His base is very loud but also very small, and their fervor does not make their votes count for more than anybody else’s. He cannot win re-election solely on their backs; it’s doubtful he can even win a close enough margin of defeat to support his pre-emptive suspicions of electoral shenanigans.
The number of independents and undecideds who turn away based on this story may be very small — I assume he lost more such support based on the Atlantic reporting about his disparagement of the military, and more than that based on his evident mishandling of the pandemic and the revelation, caught on audio, that he knew how bad it could be but chose to downplay and muddle the message anyway. He lost some support when he tear-gassed a peaceful protest in front of a church for the sake of an empty photo op, and perhaps a few others who were convinced by the House’s impeachment case despite the Senate’s transparently corrupt trial. Every group of voters he loses is a group of voters he cannot afford to lose, and his inability to pivot his demeanor towards any tactic except stoking hatred makes it unlikely he can win any of them back.
I do not have to respect anybody who took this long to make up their minds on him. Indeed, if this tax story is finally their tipping point, after every other horror of the past four years, I absolutely cannot respect them for it.
My respect is not a factor, however, in recognizing that I need them for the next 40 days. Beyond that point I will continue to mistrust any opinions they hold on either governance or integrity, and the amount of penance it will take to shift me even slightly from that position will be significant indeed.