Trump’s biggest problem in this election so far is that most racists appear to be on his side. At least it looks that way to the public. That awkward perception allowed Team Clinton to brand the Trump campaign as the racist team. Clinton’s strategy of racial politics has been effective. I recently blogged that “crooked” beats “racist” every time, meaning that unless something changes, Clinton has the persuasion advantage.
But today we see in the polls that the candidates are effectively tied. What changed?
The biggest change is not the FBI’s decision on Clinton’s email scandal, although that is clearly part of it. To my eyes, the biggest change is that Clinton’s team just became the cop-killing side. At least that’s how it looks to our irrational minds. Your brain thinks cops are probably Trump supporters (true or not) while you probably see cop-killers as Clinton supporters (true or not). And that means the recent slaughter of five policemen in Dallas changed your mental equation.
Now it seems – to our irrational minds – that we no longer have a contest between crooked and racist. Now we have a contest between cop-killers and racists. And in that contest, the racists win. That’s because most folks see in themselves at least a little bit of racial bias, but almost none of us see ourselves as cop-killers. So identity politics now favors racist because the alternative is cop-killer. There aren’t many ways to make peace-loving racists seem like a good thing, but compared to cop-killers, they come out slightly ahead.
You don’t have to like the current situation. I’m just describing it from a persuasion standpoint. I’m not rooting for the racists.
I still think Trump needs to come out clearly and unambiguously against racial politics. And I expect that to happen. But the police shootings in Dallas probably changed the Clinton brand enough that Trump can glide into the presidency as things stand now, unless there are new developments.
But stay tuned because there are always new developments.
For new readers of this blog, I endorsed Hillary Clinton for my personal safety, because I live in California. It isn’t safe to say good things about Trump’s talent for persuasion when you live where I live. And my policy preferences don’t align with either candidate.
Speaking of personal safety, no one has ever died while reading my book. But I’m sure whatever you are doing instead of reading my book is fine too. But just to be on the safe side, ask your doctor if it is okay to continue not reading my book.