Trump's 2020 strategy: double down on 2016’s racism and fearmongering
Hordes of brown people invading. Socialist medicine. China. Fear. All the things Donald Trump ran on in 2016 got him to the White House (with an assist from Russia, James Comey, the traditional media, and Mitch McConnell), so Trump seems to think a repeat will get him back. Never mind that he hasn’t fixed any of those things he told America to be so scared of.
It’s as if 2018 never happened. Some Republican strategists recognize the danger in that. “The bet that they’re making is still the same one—that this is going to be a base election, not an election on persuasion, and so he’s hitting his key issues,” former spokesman for the Republican House leadership and the Republican National Committee Doug Heye told the Washington Post. “The challenge they face is it was, and will be, a very fine needle to thread. There’s not much margin for error.” All the same, Republicans tried their damnedest to make 2018 about immigration for their base, and look what happened there.
Now Trump is throwing health care back into the mix, telling a federal court to abolish the Affordable Care Act and promising once again that Republicans will come up with “a plan that is far better than Obamacare.” After 10 years of hearing that from Republicans, you’d think even their base is going to have a hard time swallowing that one. The Trump team, however, believes otherwise. “What we also see quite often with Trump is talk that he’s going to do something that he doesn’t ultimately follow through on,” Heye said. “But the base still gives him credit for starting that conversation.”
Read: As long as he’s being a racist, his team will be there, even if they lose their health care. That’s what appears to be the crux of Trump’s 2020 campaign: as much cruelty, as much racism, as much authoritarianism as the Republican Party will bear. By all appearances, that comes to as much as he’ll dish out.