The New York Times David Leonhardt, a gullible fan of high taxes and Obamacare, rather pathetically tried to calm the nerves of “bed-wetting” Democrats by citing an op-ed from Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, in an online post titled “Don’t Bother With National Polls.” (So why is the Times currently trumpeting its own national poll on its main page?) Earlier in the week, Leonhardt conducted a course into how to hassle your friends into voting Democrat.
The frequency of bed-wetting -- to use David Plouffe’s preferred term for campaign anxiety -- has picked up in recent days.
“So what do you think the odds of a trump victory?” asked a text from a relative yesterday. Said another text, from a friend: “assure me that HRC is going to win...”
I can’t. Donald Trump -- by far the most dangerous nominee in our lifetime -- could win the presidency. That’s why I have urged everyone who sees him for what he is to do what they can over the next five days to prevent his victory.
But you should also do so optimistically. As Jim Messina, President Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, notes in an Op-Ed this morning, the tightening national polls don’t deserve as much attention as they get. “The best campaigns don’t bother with national polls,” he writes.
Far more relevant are state polls (particularly state polls that use the most sophisticated methodologies, taking advantage of voter files, for example). And state polls continue to look strong for Hillary Clinton....
To win, Trump would need a sweep of every state he leads (including Ohio and Iowa), as well as some where Clinton leads, like Florida, North Carolina and either Colorado or New Hampshire. In a few of these states, like Colorado, the early vote is encouraging for Clinton.
In a Tuesday column, Leonhardt, who has served as the paper's Washington bureau chief and as an economics columnist before editing the paper’s feature The Upshot, was avid about using high-pressure social tactics to stop Trump at all costs, “What Did You Do in 2016?”
One day, Americans who were too young to have followed the 2016 campaign will look back and try to make sense of it. They will want to know how such a dangerous person could have gotten so close to the presidency -- a man who spoke of abandoning our allies, admiring foreign despots, weakening constitutional rights, and serially molesting women.
Those future adults may also pose a more personal question to their elders:
Mommy and Daddy, what did you do in response to Donald Trump?
Leonhardt, casting aside any idea of journalistic objectivity, issued a high-pressure “how-to guide for fighting Trumpism.”
....,tell other people about your plan, and ask about theirs. The power of peer pressure increases voter turnout. One aggressive experiment mailed people a sheet of paper with their own turnout history and their neighbors.’ A more gentle experiment presented Facebook users with head shots of their friends who had posted an update about having voted. Both increased turnout, as have many other experiments.
Leonhardt’s campaign took a creepy tone.
And when people tell you their plan, don’t just nod and smile. Say that you expect to hear from them after they’ve executed their plan. “Social pressure is mighty persuasive,” says Carolyn DeWitt, president of Rock the Vote.
Third, with the people you feel most comfortable, consider taking the risk of talking politics. I’m well aware of how awkward the subject can be. I come from a close and politically diverse family, and we avoid politics at most gatherings.
But this election is different. Trump threatens American values, threatens America’s interests and -- as is clear from the financial markets’ dire view of a Trump presidency -- threatens the economy.
In conclusion, he exhorted: “Then go out and do your part to keep America great.”
Last week, Leonhardt nervily lectured Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton, in a column that surely has the GOP’s best interests at heart: “Dear Republican Voters....”
After smearing conservative legend Barry Goldwater as a far-right nut:
For Republicans today, Trump is scarier than Goldwater. He is scarier because he resembles a double agent dreamed up by liberal screenwriters. He embodies almost every left-wing caricature of Republicans that Republicans despise.
Any guesses what his convenient solution is?
I don’t take lightly how hard it is for you to consider a vote for Hillary Clinton. I’m sure that George H.W. Bush, who’s signaled he is voting for her, will do so out of duty, not joy. The same applies to many Republican military figures and conservative newspapers. Any other choice, as the former Reagan aide Ken Adelman says, is at least “a half vote for Trump.”
This year, the most important statement that any Republican can make is clear: I am not Trump.
And he knows this about Republicans...how?