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Politics

If Democrats don't band together, Trump wins in November

By Rex Huppke, Tribune Content Agency on

OK, I need the following people to come here: liberals, Democrats, progressives, liberal-leaning centrists, alleged independents, guy at the coffee shop who doesn't believe in "political labels," and anyone else who hasn't taken membership in the Cult of Trump.

Have a seat and give a listen: Donald Trump is probably going to be re-elected in November.

Yeah, I know, you don't want to hear it much less imagine it, and neither do I. But in the wake of what just happened in the Iowa caucuses, with the Democratic Party effectively wetting the bed during its first sleepover of the presidential campaign, it seems some pragmatism is in order.

Trump has an immovable base that stands somewhere between 40% and 50% of voters, depending on which polls you trust. Those people's minds will not be changed. They march in lockstep with Trump, like stormtroopers flanking an incompetent version of Darth Vader. No breaking news, no investigative reports, no revelations of vile indecency or flat-out criminal behavior will impact their hero worship.

Add to that a good (mainly for rich people) economy, a strong flank of evangelical voters who care only about stacking the courts with conservative judges and a right-wing media system that gleefully amplifies the president's incessant lies, and you have a force wholly resistant to outdated concepts like "honesty" and "American decency."

It's hard to swallow these facts. We've watched Trump degrade the office of the presidency while Republicans circle the wagons tighter and tighter and pretend up is down and bad is good. It leaves those of us who reject Trumpism slack-jawed, feeling the world has split into two disparate realities.

 

So, let's consider what just happened in Iowa and why it portends another Trump term and America's continued slide toward authoritarianism.

First things first, the Iowa caucuses were a mess. The Democratic Party has no excuse for utilizing an app that wasn't ready for prime time.

Trump and Republicans ruthlessly mocked Democrats over the delay in caucus results, and the ridicule is deserved. When you've focused so much time on the importance of election security, and on highlighting Trump's enthusiasm for election meddling, you can't make a total cock-up of the nation's first primary.

But wait, you say, what happened in Iowa was a technology error that simply delayed the caucus results. There's no indication the final vote will be wrong or that there was wrongdoing.

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