Sunday 7 March 2021

Trump’s election to lose

Much of the world has been appalled by US President Donald Trump's behavior since he was diagnosed with COVID-19. But his supporters love it, writes DW's Ines Pohl from the US state of Ohio.

OPINION by DW’s Ines Pohl from the US state of Ohio – “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters,” Trump boasted notoriously at the beginning of the 2016 election campaign.

The president hasn’t yet shot anyone in New York, but his recent reckless behavior after testing positive for the coronavirus comes pretty close.

- Advertisement -

After two days in hospital and at a time when he was almost certainly still contagious, he got into the back of his black presidential SUV and put his security staff at risk in order to drive by his fans. Wearing a black mask and an open shirt, he smiled and waved victoriously.

The next day, he returned to the White House and removed his mask triumphantly at the top of the steps leading to the White House balcony as he posed for the cameras. “Don’t be afraid of Covid,” he had tweeted before leaving the hospital. “Don’t let it dominate your life.”

Ines Pohl, US correspondent for DW

He said that he was “feeling great,” with the underlying suggestion being that the virus was not the potential threat to life that his political rivals depicted it as.

Far-reaching Supreme Court decision

- Advertisement -

From across the Atlantic, one might think that Trump’s recent behavior alone would be enough to ensure that he does not win the upcoming election. But here on the ground, that is not so obvious.

To understand US voters, one has to remember, among other things, the importance of the president’s role in nominating Supreme Court justices, who have life tenure and can determine the country’s political direction for decades to come. Their influence can be much more powerful and lasting than that of a president, who is in office for a maximum of eight years, two of which at least tend to be spent on the campaign trail.

In addition, some 25% of US voters are opposed to women having the right to an abortion. They do not care what presidents do or say so long as they fight against this right. Although Trump has been known to change course and backtrack often, he has been unwavering when it comes to this issue.

He has also been unwavering with regard to generous tax breaks benefiting the upper-middle classes and the super-rich, who already have plenty — but seem to need more.

So-called pro-lifers, or anti-abortion activists, are some of President Trump’s most vocal supporters

A defender of white America

Then there are the many Americans who didn’t really know where they belonged in a country whose current white majority will likely be a minority in less than 25 years’ time. But that was before Trump arrived on the scene as a political outsider and successor to the first Black president in US history.

- Advertisement -

He has capitalized on racist fears, seeming to stand as a guarantee for the preservation of white America, among other things through his curbs on immigration and an apparent reluctance to condemn white supremacist movements. He also appealed to working-class whites by promising to bring back jobs that had been outsourced to other countries and to restore former industrial hubs to their past glory.

Such supporters were shocked when their superhero caught the virus and seemed to falter. And Trump’s reckless behavior was part of a grand strategy to reassure them that all is well — he needs their unflinching support if he is to have any chance of being reelected. And his tactics have worked.

Trump’s election to lose

As for the others — such as Black people whose relatives have died because they did not have access to the same medical treatment as Trump or those who cannot fathom why the president has still not made it mandatory to wear masks nationwide — he simply doesn’t care, because he knows that he cannot win them over.

This might all seem completely crazy from a distance. But it is apparent that Donald Trump’s tactics are working among large swaths of the US public. No matter what happens, as long as he stays healthy enough to keep up his little games, Trump’s supporters will continue to root for him.

What will be decisive in the end is whether Trump’s behavior will motivate enough people to vote him out of the Oval Office, as Joe Biden on his own is not attractive enough to draw undecided Democrats and unwilling voters to the polling stations.

This article was translated from German.

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Related Articles

Trump’s Right wing supporters seek what to do with their anger

AFP - WASHINGTON: The American far right is angry: Angry at...

In Costa Rica we also have violent groups and angry Trumpists

QCOSTARICA - This week millions will watch the transfer of powers...


‘We want to work!’: Entertainment industry cries out to Government

QCOSTARICA - After a year of no work, engineers, technicians, producers, cleaners, food and beverage personnel, among others, held a peaceful march this Thursday...

The year of the pandemic: the Juan Santamaría went from ‘bustling’ to desolation

QCOSTARICA - Within a few months, the Juan Santamaría International Airport or San Jose airport (SJO), went from being “bustling” to becoming a practically...

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev celebrates his 90th birthday

Q REPORTS - The former leader of the Soviet Union and 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mikhail Gorbachev, who has been self-isolating to protect...

South Korea company to conduct Costa Rica rail feasibility study

QCOSTARICA - Korea National Railway (KR) will conduct a feasibility study for the restoration of 98.3km of Costa Rica’s San José-Puntarenas rail line. The study...

Tourist visas extended to June 2, 2021

QCOSTARICA - Before I get into my opinion of the irresponsible actions of the immigration service and the ICT, good news for tourists who...

Best Places to Retire in Latin America in 2021 —

International Living’s annual Global Retirement Index compares, contrasts, ranks, and rates 25 countries across 10 categories. “All over the planet, we’ve identified friendly, good-value, warm-weather...

Unemployment in Costa Rica has affected women the most during the pandemic

QCOSTARICA - The latest unemployment figures show that women have been affected the most during the pandemic: more than a quarter of the female...

Costa Rica pays tribute to the deceased and survivors of the pandemic

QCOSTARICA - Friday night, Costa Rica paid tribute to the memory of all the people who have lost their lives due to the pandemic...

In the first year of the pandemic, Costa Rica has the fifth lowest mortality from covid-19 in Latin America

QCOSTARICA -  How has Costa Rica done during its first year in the fight against covid-19? If you ask the demographer Luis Rosero Bixby,...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.