The idea of someone like Donald Trump becoming the most powerful man in the world would normally seem delusional. Unfortunately, we live in delusional times. Over the past week, it’s become increasingly clear that Trump has a fair chance of capturing the White House. Despite the fact that Trump is a policy ignoramus, a compulsive liar, a dealer in fraud, a white supremacist enabler, and an all-around creep, he has been inching up in the polls as Hillary Clinton‘s lead shrinks. And this would be very bad news indeed for all things LGBTQ.
Related: Donald Trump Thinks Anderson Cooper Is Temperamentally Unfit To Moderate Debate
In large part, that’s because of Clinton’s disastrous week: the news of her (mild) pneumonia coming out only after she appeared unstable in public, her comment that half of Trump’s supporters were a “basket of deplorables.” (Which, by the way is a classic gaffe: it’s undeniably true, but political civility forbids such comments–at least by Democrats.)
The odds still favor Clinton, but if the trend continues, that won’t last for long.
Scary as it is to consider, here are seven ways that Trump could actually become our next president.
1. Wavering Republicans make their peace with Trump
One of Trump’s main problems is that, compared to past GOP nominees, he is under-performing among key voting blocs, especially suburban women and college-educated professionals. If those voters decide that they would rather risk a Trump presidency, with all its unknowns, than a Clinton presidency, with its predictable agenda, Trump could start making up some lost ground.
2. Trump continues to temper his language
The shifting polls aren’t just because Clinton is doing worse as a candidate. It’s also because Trump is doing better. Up until last Friday, when he reverted back to his Big Lie strategy, Trump has been relatively calm, at least by Trump standards. No attacking Gold Star parents or federal judges. Intentionally muddying the water on his anti-immigration rhetoric. A benumbed press actually treated the candidate as if he were normal. If Trump can keep that up, the numbness may extend to voters who are uncomfortable with Clinton and want a change, no matter what.
3. Clinton has another health scare
The last thing you want as a presidential candidate is footage of you looking like you’re about to keel over, particularly when you haven’t told people you are sick. That’s the kind of thing that sows doubt in people’s minds. It also feeds another lie from Trump surrogates that Clinton is suffering from something more serious, like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s, which, of course, she is not. She’s healthier than he is, according to medical experts.
4. An October surprise frightens the country
If there is a terrorist attack, particularly if it’s large scale and on American soil, Trump will voice the visceral response, which is kill them all and let God sort them out. His rhetoric of retribution and demand for a policy change (guaranteed to be unspecified or nonsensical) will make him look like the strong candidate. Clinton is plenty hawkish, but Trump will blame Obama and by extension her for whatever happened. Voters may be scared and prefer the extreme response, not a measured one.
5. Clinton’s supporters end up concentrated in just a few states
It’s entirely possible that we could see a replay of 2000: the candidate who wins the popular votes loses the election. Clinton could rack up large margins in her strongholds, like California and New York, but if she loses by even a razor-thin margin in the swing states that matter–Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, chief among them–it won’t matter. Trump could lose by millions of votes nationwide, but if he wins the Electoral College, that’s the only thing that counts.
6. Third-party candidates siphon votes from Clinton
At present, at least, the two third-party candidates–Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein–are polling far better than past third-party candidates. And their success comes at Clinton’s expense, especially with younger voters. (Bernie Sanders did not help Clinton in this regard.) If young voters decide that they want to send a message, their protest votes could siphon enough from Clinton to clear the way for Trump to win.
7. The mainstream media keep insisting on false equivalency
Judging from the volume of coverage in the press, you might think that the candidate whose foundation failed to deliver on State Department access to its big donors was just as bad as the candidate who routinely stiffs people working for him and rakes in money from scams. The mainstream media keeps replaying Clinton’s decisions, like her e-mail server, because there’s smoke there (and Clinton’s defensive crouch doesn’t help her). But there’s never any fire. Meanwhile, Trump is a towering inferno of unethical and possibly illegal practices. Yet the press doesn’t treat the two differently. The media shouldn’t pull it’s punches on Clinton, but right now it’s signalling voters that they are facing two equally bad choices.
Just in case you’ve been asleep for the past year, here’s a bulletin: Trump is a lot worse than Clinton.
Photo credit: Above Average
Not wishing Hillary any harm now or in the future, but isn’t Tim Kaine far and away the best choice of these four to be president.
She has herself to blame for this. She is not an inspiring candidate nor speaker.
Lord this site is so full of shit. What ever you do people don’t talk about recent events in NYC. It won’t make it past the word police.
@Bob LaBlah: I agree but look at the alternative.
@robho3: Alternative as in Towelroad or in the candidates running for office? Either one you still come up with craps.
@Bob LaBlah: People who need to feel “inspired” to vote in their own self interested are at fault.
“She’s healthier than he is, according to health experts.”
HILARIOUS!!! Queerty, do you really have such disrespect for your readers as to insult their intelligence!?! As the polls indicate, the American people are not fooled by your ludicrous assertion that “she’s healthier than he is”. Keep trying.
Queerty, I notice you linked to 20 other articles in your post, but no link to these so called “experts”. How come? 🙁
PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
In France when faced with the prospect of a Front Nationale victory, the center right and leftist parties cooperated and the electorate held their noses and voted solely on the basis of the party best able to defeat the extremists. The Green Party position is indefensible given the circumstances.
As the old saying goes ……….. The people get the government they deserve
I know Americans don’t pay much attention to the rest of the world, but if you seriously think Trump will “make America great again” you might want to tune into some foreign news reports. A number of key US allies are already talking about how a Trump victory could lead to them revising their relationships with the US, particularly on the defence front – backing out of treaties, scaling back joint operations, etc. In short, he’s not trusted and nobody wants to be associated with a president whose rash actions could impact on diplomatic or trade relations, create local tensions or even provoke military actions. And it’s not hard to see how that could happen somewhere like the South China Sea. In other words, a Trump presidency is almost certain to alienate allies, cool diplomatic relations and curtail co-operation, all of which adds up to making America weaker, not “greater”.
The stat of their health looks pretty similar, though Trump is rated as having over three times the risk of heart attack Clinton does. Though that risk is low for both of them.
Of course, there are other very sound reasons to prefer Clinton over Trump. Two particularly important ones:
1. While she is alleged to lie and cheat by the right, Trump’s record of lying and cheating is clear (stiffing contractors, fraud in Trump University, fraud in the Trump foundation’s use of money)
2. He demonstrates impetuousness, thin skin, careless rush to judgement and lack of compassion (both of those clearly demonstrated when comparing the reactions of the two candidates to recent violent attacks). Those are huge liabilities in a president.
@OzJosh: “I know Americans don’t pay much attention to the rest of the world”
Absolutely correct, your comment is an important one.Now more than ever, the right demonstrates a naive and dangerous isolationism. The interactions they want with other countries are predominantly military.
I lived in California when Arnold S, ran against Gray Davis. Not many thought Arnold would win, but the next morning he had won (not many realize how republican California is). It was the last election I ever I voted. Same here with Trump. People thought if he got the nomination, Hillary was a sure winner, last I heard it was Trump 46 percent Clinton 45. I never thought about Hillary being so “unlikeable” but word spread like wildfire. She’s still a better alternative.
What’s up with this web site continuously dishing Trump? Two or three items in each edition downing Trump. I’m all for him because this country can’t take another 4 or 8 years of liberals.
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