Campaign Strategy

Alan Zendell, September 15, 2020

If you watched any news last week you probably saw coverage of Donald Trump’s indoor rally in Nevada. You probably also saw a maskless, sixtiesh guy wearing a red MAGA hat standing shoulder-to-shoulder, hip-to-hip with hundreds like him saying “I’m not afraid. God takes care of me. If I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die.” Let’s parse that for a moment.

He obviously was aware of the risk of being packed in with thousands of other sardines for hours. Nevada’s state health website ( reports that the positivity test rate for COVID-19 in that state is currently over 10%. If 3,000 typical Nevadans attended the rally, we would expect 300 of them sprinkled through the crowd to be carrying the virus. But people who attend Trump’s rallies are not typical. Because they reject mask wearing and tend to ignore social distancing, their infection rate is almost certainly higher. It’s a virtual certainty that those 300-plus Trumpers infected many more around them. We’ll know how many in about ten days.

When Trump was asked whether he felt safe at the rally, he said he was up on a stage far from the raucous, yelling, sweating, heavily-breathing crowd, so nothing could infect him. He said it with total disregard for the people he was putting at risk by encouraging them to be there. One doctor characterized it as negligent homicide, but that’s not fair – it was clearly premeditated.

Last evening, Bob Woodward played one of his Trump interview tapes for Stephen Colbert, in which Trump talked about a meeting in the oval office. When someone sneezed, Trump related, “we all bailed out of there. Me too,” and he was laughing as he said that. Going all the way back to the bone spurs that exempted Trump from the Vietnam draft, he’s more than willing to brag about his own self-preservation. Does he realize how it sounds that he treats his own followers like food tasters, or does he think they love it because by some convoluted logic it makes him sound tough?

To summarize: the unafraid guy in the MAGA hat sounded like a moron. The President sounded gleeful that the crowd was populated by so many other morons.

You may have also heard about two billionaires each promising to spend $100 million of their own money on the campaign. Michael Bloomberg said he would spend $100 million in Florida to assure that Trump doesn’t win there. Trump didn’t say how he’d spend his, but it doesn’t matter, because he was lying. The suddenly cash-poor Trump campaign hasn’t moved the polls at all with its post-convention television ad blitz, so someone drafted a letter to all Republicans begging them for money, suggesting gifts of $2,020. Catchy, isn’t it?

Although Trump signed the letter, we know someone else wrote it for him because it was reasonably literate and used words not contained in Trump’s sixth-grade vocabulary. One of my Republican friends was so disgusted by it, he offered it to me as “blog fodder”.

This gist of the letter is that if every Republican doesn’t ante up to help Make America Great Again, Democrats will do terrible things like repeal Trump’s wonderful tax cut; you know, the one that tossed his supporters a bone of a few hundreds dollars in savings that will go away in a few years while he and his wealthy donors will continue to make more billions with no sunset clause. But there’s much more.

Those damn Democrats will implement “Big Government Socialist Schemes” and job-killing environmental regulations, unfortunately not in time to prevent the entire western United States from burning down. They’ll also defund every police department, abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and promote open borders. They’ll even destroy monuments to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and defame Mount Rushmore. No kidding – the letter really says all that.

Just this once, let’s be clear. Except for a few crazies, We the People who believe Donald Trump is unfit to lead the country LOVE our police, George Washington, and Honest Abe. We LOVE the idea that every American is entitled to affordable health care, even the morons, and absolutely LOVE capitalism and HATE socialism. We LOVE secure borders, but we HATE seeing children in cages. We also LOVE our planet which will likely be the only one our grandchildren will have to live on.

Not coincidentally, Joe Biden feels that way, too.

I agree with one thing in Trump’s letter. If you care who is elected in the midst of the pandemic and our economic crisis, and you can afford it, your money will help. That’s why my wife and I contribute to the Biden campaign every few weeks.

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4 Responses to Campaign Strategy

  1. Carol Pooley says:

    Hi Alan, I never miss reading your post—Beautifully enlightening, as usual. Maybe just a little more in the “socialism” arena, as in universal health care for all. That is something I firmly believe in. It seems our world is falling apart all around us.

    Your posts sure sound truthful to me. That’s what all Americans want. Only with the truth can we act responsibly. If it is true, which I suppose it is, all government officials in charge are corrupt, trump has got to be the most corrupt ever. Or maybe I just never paid close attention before.

    Now that we are friends of a sort, I enjoy your posts even more. Carol Pooley in Louisiana

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. William Kiehl says:

    Trump’s campaign strategy seems to consist of repeating that Joe Biden is a socialist who wants to take all of your money and give it to “urban” people. Gee, I wonder who urban people are? Trump is reminding me more and more of George Wallace from 50 years ago. Republicans should be embarrassed by this awful man, but they are not. This speaks volumes about the GOP.

    The Republican Party has gotten whiter and righter. They have also become more stupid and anti science. The imbeciles in their red MAGA hats, packed shoulder to shoulder with no masks are exhibit A. The Trumpkins who claim the virus is a hoax are exhibit B. The climate change deniers are exhibit C. I could go on and on.

    The GOP used to have a moderate wing, but the moderates were chased out and derided as “RINO’s”. They were replaced by breathtakingly stupid Evangelicals who believe all sorts of nonsense. I used to be a Republican years ago. I did not leave the party. The party left me and everyone with an IQ higher than their body temperature. These new Republicans actually seem to revel in their ignorance (witness red hat man mentioned in Alan’s article). I wish that I had a solution but I do not, other than vote these buffoons and their clown prince out of office.

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