Yes, Donald Trump Can Win

Yes, the con man can win

W.J. Astore

I had begun an article on why Donald Trump can still win when I saw an article by Michael Moore on the same subject.  I’m going to post Moore’s article below, and by way of introduction, here’s the gist of what I was going to say:

Trump has advertised himself as the “law and order” candidate, the new sheriff in town, the one who’s going to kick ass and save us all, from the very day he takes the oath of office.  It sounds absurd.  Laughable.  But I’ve seen this script play out before, and the “absurd” won.

I lived in rural Pennsylvania for nine years in a conservative area that went gaga over Sarah Palin’s visit in 2008 (she drew roughly 20 times as many people as Joe Biden).  The local election for mayor pitted a moderate Republican, cozy with the establishment (let’s call him “Hillary”) versus a candidate who had a billboard featuring his image and boasting to local criminals that “On Day One, You’re Done,” a candidate who was an outspoken outsider (let’s call him “Trump”).

Guess who won?  “Trump” won.  People got out and voted for “Trump” because they were tired of establishment politics and broken promises; they wanted the “law and order” guy.  Incredibly, the new mayor actually wore a bullet-proof coat when he was sworn in, allegedly because people had made threats against him (his wife, who stood next to him during the mayoral ceremony, had no such protection).

The people voted for the tough-talking “Trump.”  The guy who hung gun profiles with bullet holes in the window of his garage.  The guy who talked about the past and restoration (not reformation, and certainly not revolution).  And that’s what (enough) people wanted.  A reactionary.  A man in the saddle, a new sheriff, no matter how implausible it sounded.  This is the dynamic the real Trump is tapping today.

I’ve lived outside the liberal bubble.  I’ve spent 20 years in the military and nine years in rural PA, in flyover country, a place where limousine liberals would never come to, let alone get out of the car.  And based upon my many years of bubble-free life, I tell you the real Trump can win.

Now, I’d like to call on Michael Moore to tell you the same thing.

Five Reasons Why Trump Will Win

Michael Moore


I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I gave it to you straight last summer when I told you that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president. And now I have even more awful, depressing news for you: Donald J. Trump is going to win in November. This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president. President Trump. Go ahead and say the words, ‘cause you’ll be saying them for the next four years: “PRESIDENT TRUMP.”

Never in my life have I wanted to be proven wrong more than I do right now.

I can see what you’re doing right now. You’re shaking your head wildly – “No, Mike, this won’t happen!” Unfortunately, you are living in a bubble that comes with an adjoining echo chamber where you and your friends are convinced the American people are not going to elect an idiot for president. You alternate between being appalled at him and laughing at him because of his latest crazy comment or his embarrassingly narcissistic stance on everything because everything is about him. And then you listen to Hillary and you behold our very first female president, someone the world respects, someone who is whip-smart and cares about kids, who will continue the Obama legacy because that is what the American people clearly want! Yes! Four more years of this!

You need to exit that bubble right now. You need to stop living in denial and face the truth which you know deep down is very, very real. Trying to soothe yourself with the facts – “77% of the electorate are women, people of color, young adults under 35 and Trump can’t win a majority of any of them!” – or logic – “people aren’t going to vote for a buffoon or against their own best interests!” – is your brain’s way of trying to protect you from trauma. Like when you hear a loud noise on the street and you think, “oh, a tire just blew out,” or, “wow, who’s playing with firecrackers?” because you don’t want to think you just heard someone being shot with a gun. It’s the same reason why all the initial news and eyewitness reports on 9/11 said “a small plane accidentally flew into the World Trade Center.” We want to – we need to – hope for the best because, frankly, life is already a shit show and it’s hard enough struggling to get by from paycheck to paycheck. We can’t handle much more bad news. So our mental state goes to default when something scary is actually, truly happening. The first people plowed down by the truck in Nice spent their final moments on earth waving at the driver whom they thought had simply lost control of his truck, trying to tell him that he jumped the curb: “Watch out!,” they shouted. “There are people on the sidewalk!”

Well, folks, this isn’t an accident. It is happening. And if you believe Hillary Clinton is going to beat Trump with facts and smarts and logic, then you obviously missed the past year of 56 primaries and caucuses where 16 Republican candidates tried that and every kitchen sink they could throw at Trump and nothing could stop his juggernaut. As of today, as things stand now, I believe this is going to happen – and in order to deal with it, I need you first to acknowledge it, and then maybe, just maybe, we can find a way out of the mess we’re in.

Don’t get me wrong. I have great hope for the country I live in. Things are better. The left has won the cultural wars. Gays and lesbians can get married. A majority of Americans now take the liberal position on just about every polling question posed to them: Equal pay for women – check. Abortion should be legal – check. Stronger environmental laws – check. More gun control – check. Legalize marijuana – check. A huge shift has taken place – just ask the socialist who won 22 states this year. And there is no doubt in my mind that if people could vote from their couch at home on their X-box or PlayStation, Hillary would win in a landslide.

But that is not how it works in America. People have to leave the house and get in line to vote. And if they live in poor, Black or Hispanic neighborhoods, they not only have a longer line to wait in, everything is being done to literally stop them from casting a ballot. So in most elections it’s hard to get even 50% to turn out to vote. And therein lies the problem for November – who is going to have the most motivated, most inspired voters show up to vote? You know the answer to this question. Who’s the candidate with the most rabid supporters? Whose crazed fans are going to be up at 5 AM on Election Day, kicking ass all day long, all the way until the last polling place has closed, making sure every Tom, Dick and Harry (and Bob and Joe and Billy Bob and Billy Joe and Billy Bob Joe) has cast his ballot? That’s right. That’s the high level of danger we’re in. And don’t fool yourself — no amount of compelling Hillary TV ads, or out-facting him in the debates or Libertarians siphoning votes away from Trump is going to stop his mojo.

Here are the 5 reasons Trump is going to win:

  1. Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit.

I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states – but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat). In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) that the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done? Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states. When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35% tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States. It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next-door, John Kasich.

From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England – broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class. Angry, embittered working (and nonworking) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room. What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. Elmer Gantry shows up looking like Boris Johnson and just says whatever shit he can make up to convince the masses that this is their chance! To stick to ALL of them, all who wrecked their American Dream! And now The Outsider, Donald Trump, has arrived to clean house! You don’t have to agree with him! You don’t even have to like him! He is your personal Molotov cocktail to throw right into the center of the bastards who did this to you! SEND A MESSAGE! TRUMP IS YOUR MESSENGER!

And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four rust belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November.

  1. The Last Stand of the Angry White Man.

Our male-dominated, 240-year run of the USA is coming to an end. A woman is about to take over! How did this happen?! On our watch! There were warning signs, but we ignored them. Nixon, the gender traitor, imposing Title IX on us, the rule that said girls in school should get an equal chance at playing sports. Then they let them fly commercial jets. Before we knew it, Beyoncé stormed on the field at this year’s Super Bowl (our game!) with an army of Black Women, fists raised, declaring that our domination was hereby terminated! Oh, the humanity!

That’s a small peek into the mind of the Endangered White Male. There is a sense that the power has slipped out of their hands, that their way of doing things is no longer how things are done. This monster, the “Feminazi,”the thing that as Trump says, “bleeds through her eyes or wherever she bleeds,” has conquered us — and now, after having had to endure eight years of a black man telling us what to do, we’re supposed to just sit back and take eight years of a woman bossing us around? After that it’ll be eight years of the gays in the White House! Then the transgenders! You can see where this is going. By then animals will have been granted human rights and a fuckin’ hamster is going to be running the country. This has to stop!

  1. The Hillary Problem.

Can we speak honestly, just among ourselves? And before we do, let me state, I actually like Hillary – a lot – and I think she has been given a bad rap she doesn’t deserve. But her vote for the Iraq War made me promise her that I would never vote for her again. To date, I haven’t broken that promise. For the sake of preventing a proto-fascist from becoming our commander-in-chief, I’m breaking that promise. I sadly believe Clinton will find a way to get us in some kind of military action. She’s a hawk, to the right of Obama. But Trump’s psycho finger will be on The Button, and that is that. Done and done.

Let’s face it: Our biggest problem here isn’t Trump – it’s Hillary. She is hugely unpopular — nearly 70% of all voters think she is untrustworthy and dishonest. She represents the old way of politics, not really believing in anything other than what can get you elected. That’s why she fights against gays getting married one moment, and the next she’s officiating a gay marriage. Young women are among her biggest detractors, which has to hurt considering it’s the sacrifices and the battles that Hillary and other women of her generation endured so that this younger generation would never have to be told by the Barbara Bushes of the world that they should just shut up and go bake some cookies. But the kids don’t like her, and not a day goes by that a millennial doesn’t tell me they aren’t voting for her. No Democrat, and certainly no independent, is waking up on November 8th excited to run out and vote for Hillary the way they did the day Obama became president or when Bernie was on the primary ballot. The enthusiasm just isn’t there. And because this election is going to come down to just one thing — who drags the most people out of the house and gets them to the polls — Trump right now is in the catbird seat.

  1. The Depressed Sanders Vote.

Stop fretting about Bernie’s supporters not voting for Clinton – we’re voting for Clinton! The polls already show that more Sanders voters will vote for Hillary this year than the number of Hillary primary voters in ’08 who then voted for Obama. This is not the problem. The fire alarm that should be going off is that while the average Bernie backer will drag him/herself to the polls that day to somewhat reluctantly vote for Hillary, it will be what’s called a “depressed vote” – meaning the voter doesn’t bring five people to vote with her. He doesn’t volunteer 10 hours in the month leading up to the election. She never talks in an excited voice when asked why she’s voting for Hillary. A depressed voter. Because, when you’re young, you have zero tolerance for phonies and BS. Returning to the Clinton/Bush era for them is like suddenly having to pay for music, or using MySpace or carrying around one of those big-ass portable phones. They’re not going to vote for Trump; some will vote third party, but many will just stay home. Hillary Clinton is going to have to do something to give them a reason to support her — and picking a moderate, bland-o, middle of the road old white guy as her running mate is not the kind of edgy move that tells millenials that their vote is important to Hillary. Having two women on the ticket – that was an exciting idea. But then Hillary got scared and has decided to play it safe. This is just one example of how she is killing the youth vote.

  1. The Jesse Ventura Effect.

Finally, do not discount the electorate’s ability to be mischievous or underestimate how any millions fancy themselves as closet anarchists once they draw the curtain and are all alone in the voting booth. It’s one of the few places left in society where there are no security cameras, no listening devices, no spouses, no kids, no boss, no cops, there’s not even a friggin’ time limit. You can take as long as you need in there and no one can make you do anything. You can push the button and vote a straight party line, or you can write in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. There are no rules. And because of that, and the anger that so many have toward a broken political system, millions are going to vote for Trump not because they agree with him, not because they like his bigotry or ego, but just because they can. Just because it will upset the apple cart and make mommy and daddy mad. And in the same way like when you’re standing on the edge of Niagara Falls and your mind wonders for a moment what would that feel like to go over that thing, a lot of people are going to love being in the position of puppetmaster and plunking down for Trump just to see what that might look like. Remember back in the ‘90s when the people of Minnesota elected a professional wrestler as their governor? They didn’t do this because they’re stupid or thought that Jesse Ventura was some sort of statesman or political intellectual. They did so just because they could. Minnesota is one of the smartest states in the country. It is also filled with people who have a dark sense of humor — and voting for Ventura was their version of a good practical joke on a sick political system. This is going to happen again with Trump.

Coming back to the hotel after appearing on Bill Maher’s Republican Convention special this week on HBO, a man stopped me. “Mike,” he said, “we have to vote for Trump. We HAVE to shake things up.” That was it. That was enough for him. To “shake things up.” President Trump would indeed do just that, and a good chunk of the electorate would like to sit in the bleachers and watch that reality show.

(Next week I will post my thoughts on Trump’s Achilles Heel and how I think he can be beat.)

©2016 Michael Moore

18 thoughts on “Yes, Donald Trump Can Win

  1. And how does the Democratic party campaign for You-Know-Her deal with this “throw the bums out” attitude that Donald Trump espouses? Well, I caught a brief segment of CNN International this evening (Monday morning back in the U.S.) wherein a lady Democrat from Michigan tried to defend a batch of damaging Wikileaks e-mail disclosures by alluding to “a connection with the Russians.” I swear, I actually heard this woman say something so monumentally stupid that it could only have come from a pathetic, bewildered desperation. As if everyone doesn’t hack You-Know-Her’s e-mails to the DNC and other places of some interest to domestic and foreign listeners.

    Weak. Really weak. Anyone that dumb and deluded really has a lot of nerve calling someone else “unfit for the office of President.” And I really do suspect that You-Know-Her will probably give the fifth or sixth best speech at her own convention. It all reminds me of that old song by Leslie Gore from 1965: “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to>”


  2. As someone who has spent 30 years in the military I have to say the Trump the only one who has real skin in the game because of the economy does badly people don’t have the money to go to casinos and holiday and party whereas the largely lawyer controlled Democrats make money one way or the other as rent Seekers


  3. The Huffington Post just can’t get enough of the “scary Russian” thing. I now check in at the site for my side-splitting laugh of the day:


    I don’t get it. According the what passes for unintended “logic” at the Huffington Post, if Russian President Vladimr Putin wanted security briefings from the U.S., he would just check You-Know-Her’s e-mails via Wikileaks. Why would he need to bother with anything to do with Donald Trump? No one has even tried to accuse President Putin — yet — of hacking The Donald’s twitter feed.

    As one would surmise, on the Russia Today “Crosstalk” program, host Peter Lavelle and his guests had a field day with this kind of intelectual garbage:

    Peter Lavelle: “I had no idea that Donald Trump would play such a central, defining role in the U.S. presidential election. If you read the broad sheets in the United States. Donald Trump is under the hypnotic control of Vladimir Putin. Amazing

    Dmitry Babich: “Actually, if we believe the Atlantic Magazine, Donald Trump is not running. Here is a headline from a few days ago: “It’s official. Hillary Clinton is running against Vladimir Putin.”

    Very interesting. This would mean, then, that according to a recently released poll, Vladimir Putin now leads You-Know-Her 48% to 45%.

    Again, more from Dmitry Babich:

    “The author [of the Atlantic article] is Jeffrey Goldberg, the same one who interviewed Obama a few weeks ago … the same Obama who took all the blame off himself and put it on the European leaders. Now we know why this man was chosen [to do the interview]. The amount of baloney this man is capable of producing is astounding.”

    Baloney, indeed. But far too polite a characterization of Jeffrey Goldberg’s typical neocon ravings. I would use the colloquial English term “bullshit,” now apparently standard fare at the Huffington Post.


    1. Oh, just great. Now Heather Digby Parton [a big You-Know-Her booster] at has gotten into the Omnipotent Scary Russian thing, putting in her own two cents along with a link to an article in the New York Times:

      “The [DNC-Clinton] emails that had been previously reported to have been stolen by Russian hackers (possibly at the behest of the Russian government) were released by Wikileaks and confirmed what had long been suspected — that high-level executives and staffers at the DNC had been actively hostile to the Sanders campaign.”

      As for the New York Times article, see — if you have nothing better to do this whopper:

      “As Democrats Gather, a Russian Subplot Raises Intrigue”

      Oh, for crying out loud! Can anyone above the age of twelve actually swallow this unadulterated, rumor-mongering swill? Good thing for the Russians that they have a sharp sense of humor. If only the American public — collectively a herd of diaper-soiling bed-wetters — did. Hey, America: “boo!


      1. It’s “Red Dawn” all over again.

        The scary Russian bear is back in the woods. Now he’s stealing emails! The horror!


      2. When the bullshitters begin to believe their own bullshit. More banner headlines from the Huff-And-Puff Post:

        Trump’s Russia Connection Spooks Intelligence Community…
        ‘Never Have We Had A Candidate So Tied To A Foreign Power’…
        FBI Probes DNC Hack… ‘All Signs Point To Russia’…
        Meddling In Presidential Election?…
        Trump And Putin — Yes, It’s Really A Thing…

        I kid you not, fellow Crimestoppers. I would say that you can’t make up this kind of silly stuff, but apparently someone actually has. Do the Amerian people really want someone this delusional with their manicured fingernails on the nuclear trigger?


  4. Michael Moore & wjastore are right that Trump could win, but Moore confused me with the whole Hillary cares about kids and has a “facts, smarts, and logic” thing going on. I guess there is a liberal bubble. Where”s my needle? Maybe Dr. Stein can pop it for us. And if Trump comes up instead of Hillary, then so be it. Let the Republicans deal with their mess and make the Democrats stew in their failed “fake left, go right” suck up.
    And it’s not like Clinton will disavow herself of peddling similar crap about Russia (or Syria, Iran, China, or Israel for that matter) that gets peddled by neocon shills.


    1. I just checked in with the PBS Newshour. They’ve jumped on the Evil Russian bandwagon, too. Nobody seems to care that the e-mails in question actually tell the truth about the screwing that Senator Sanders got from not just the DNC, but the corporate media, as well. You know: those bought-and-paid-for shills who started counting the so-called “super delegates” for You-Know-Her from day one. If the e-mails had lied about that, then perhaps the Democrats could blame the Russians and Wikileaks for lying. But why would the Democrats complain about the Russians and Wikileaks telling us the truth? What do the Democrats and the corporate media have against the American people learning the truth? Curse those Russians and Wikileaks for telling Americans the truth. You sure won’t find the American government or the Oligarchy’s corporate media doing anything as dastardly as that. No ma’am.


  5. The Huff-and-Puff Post just keeps wading deeper and deeper into the stupid Russophobic sewer known as the Democratic Party. You just can’t get any weaker than this kind of libelous drivel:


    Suspected Russian Hack Of DNC Emails ‘A Breathtaking Transgression Of Privacy’…

    Putin ‘Treating American Democracy With The Same Respect He Accords His Own’…

    DNC Hack ‘Far More Widespread Than Initially Thought’… More Bombshells To Come?…

    REPORT: Hacker ‘An Agent Of The Russian Government’… ‘Beyond A Reasonable Doubt’…

    George Will On Trump Tax Returns: Could Show He’s ‘Deeply Involved’ With Russians…

    As a matter of fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin enjoyes an 85% favorability rating among the Russian people who have elected him several times and will do so again if he chooses to run. He has no political equal in Russia, and he certainly has no foreign policy equal in the United States. No American politician can come anywhere near his popularity and demonstrated competence. And given that 68% of the American people wouldn’t trust You-Know-Her as far as they can throw the Washington monument — it looks pathetic in the extreme to try to blame President Putin for You-Know-Her’s cavalier attitude about secure communications. When you leave your dirty little secrets lying out in the open digital street, so to speak, you really have no grounds for blaming anyone else — like Wikileaks — for picking them up.

    The United States government today reminds me of a scene from the remake of The Count of Monte Cristo, wherein the dissolute aristocrat, the Count de Mondego, sits at a casino roulette wheel, gambling away his family inheritance while Edmond Dantes and his sidekick, Yacopo, look on. Says Yacopo to Edmond Dantes: “He’s losing at the other casinoes and they’re not even cheating him.” Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t have to cheat You-Know-Her out of anything. She’s losing badly enough all by herself, and America will, too, if she ever makes it to the presidency. How humiliating.


      1. That might explain a hack by the Russians, Bill, supposing that they give a damn what You-Know-Her claims to think about anything. But what explains everyone else who hacks her, because everybody who wants to, does? Everyone with a cell phone or personal computer must hate her because she leaves her e-mails lying all over the place in the open?

        This whole “Putin did it! Putin did it!” Russophobia has gone way beyond risible. It has passed childish and seems headed for infantile. And this woman and her clueless crowd consider Donald Trump and idiot? One thing the Russians and Chinese have now learned beyond the shadow of a doubt: the United States government soon will have few, if any, adults with whom they can speak about anything that really matters. Donad Trump says outrageous things. You-Know-Her believes outrageous things.

        I mean, just think for a moment, Bill. If Russian President Putin had interferred with the American election, then it would make sense, would not have taken long, and reasonable people would now contend for the office of President. If anything, I would say that our rabid clown-car puppet-show of an election proves that Vladimir Putin — a popular and competent national leader — had nothing to do with it. Hysteria, arrogance, and ignorance we reserve for ourselves.


  6. Of course, Trump is just throwing fuel on the fire by inviting the Russians to hack Hillary’s email. The Donald: What an idiot. The guy has no internal censor.

    Of course, the Clintons are the opposite: they are over-managed. Combine that with duplicity, secrecy, and the old “fake left, go right” posturing, and they make people eager for anyone but the Clintons. Anyone, including Trump the Empty Barrel.

    Trump is Archie Bunker with money. Hillary is an establishment Republican, hence all the neo-cons lining up behind her.

    What a choice!


    1. Commiting journalism in the United States. Who ever heard of such a thing? Good for Wikileaks and good for the Russians if they can actually help us uncover the information that our own government refuses to share with us. I’ll take the truth from wherever it orginates.

      As I heard someone on Russia Today suggest: “If you vote for Donald Trump, you get Vladimir Putin? But if you vote for [You-Know-Her] you get Benjamin Netanyahu.” Talk about “choices.” Personally, I’d take Vladimir Putin. Can’t someone issue that man an H1B visa so we can outsource the Presidency to him. America certainly doesn’t seem capable of finding anyone qualified for the job.


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