Aug. 10, 2018

TITLE: A bogey, not an eagle

When the stores at the mall start yanking beach blankets, flip-flops, and suntan lotion and replacing them with portable heaters and flannel sheets, it's time to think not only about back to school supplies but also about the Nov. midterms -- elections which former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt is calling "the most important midterms in our nation's history." Here's how Donny and the Trumpettes are planning to keep their house of cards standing.

>> The perfect round
In the current political environment, Donald Trump is like the world's worst golfer who takes out a state-of-the-art driver (the House of Representatives) and hits the ball horribly, which is immediately picked up by a hole-ward gust of wind (the Senate), which drops it on a fairway and balanced green (Fox News), where it rolls to within 12 inches from the cup. And if even all that is not enough, he's always got a sympathetic caddie standing at his side (the Supreme Court) holding a score card and a pencil on which is a big, fat, friendly eraser.

Hooray for democracy. But that, of course, is not how our political system was designed to operate. The executive, legislative, and judicial branches created as checks on one another, not enablers of the fever dreams of a monarchical president.

Come Nov., Americans will again reassert a modicum of balance to our government by returning at least one legislative chamber (likely the House of Representatives) to the people. And that brings us to:

>> The switcheroo
Here it comes. Up until now, the Russians were deemed to be responsible for subverting the 2016 presidential election by merely the CIA, FBI, NSA, Director of National Intelligence, and a dozen other US intelligence agencies -- but not Trump. Never Trump. Until now.

Now that Trump himself has finally gotten it into his head that Dems are going to win big in the midterms, he has been increasingly putting forward the notion that, yes, Russians DID influence the 2016 election -- but to benefit the DEMS, not him -- and they are preparing to do so again this Nov. That's the new plan; to invalidate the midterms by claiming the elections were "rigged" for Dems by Russians, the fantastical "Deep State," and "400 pound guys on beds" everywhere.

>> It's gotta be BIG
There will be only one way to rebut Trump's claim that the midterms "rigged," and that's with ENORMOUS wins in the midterms. And right there lies the risk for Dems and left-leaning Independents: that, as Nov. approaches, increasing media chatter about a "blue wave" will keep us at home. After all, it's in the bag, right? Well, just DO IT anyway. And tell everyone you know to DO IT. Tell people who normally say things like "Oh, I'm not political" or "My vote doesn't matter" to get off their butts, register, and make sure they VOTE come election day.

In California (where this column originates), you can register at public libraries, post offices, government offices, and the DMV. Hard to get out? Call your local County Election Office and they will mail you a registration form. You can also register online at RegisterToVote.ca.gov. To keep vote tampering to minimum (SAD!), apply to permanently vote-by-mail (paper trail!) either when you register to vote or online at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voting-resources/.

Close won't do it. Even a so-called "blue wave" won't do it. There must be a "blue tsunami" in Nov. Wins so large, so sweeping, so definitive, that not even the nit-wittiest of rightie nitwits will be unable to misrepresent the will of American voters.

>> The good news
Change is coming -- but we must work for it.

White college educated women have figured it out. They're fleeing Trump and his GOP cronies in droves. Since 2016, support has cratered from roughly 50-50 approve/disprove to 20-70 at present, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC poll.

Many are eschewing the Republican label itself. According to a 2017 Gallup poll, the percentage of Americans who consider themselves Republican or lean Republican has dropped from 42 to 37 since -- well, how long has Trump been president -- while those who identify Dem has held steady at 44. And it's even worse (for Republicans) now. Just last week Gov. John Kasich (R, Ohio) noted that GOP party affiliation shrunk to 25%, down about eight points.

Trump told us he would be "the greatest president God ever created." Well, let's help this fella out and give him the chance to show his chops without the aid of a complicit House and a supine Senate. And the way to do that is with wins in the midterms that are so massive, so incontrovertible that no one will be able characterize them as "rigged." Not a wave; a tsunami. Going back to my earlier golf analogy, let's see how good his game really is.

My guess?: Triple-bogey. On. Every. Hole.

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Multiple award-winning author Charles Carr writes and edits for many well-known publications. Carr is also a noted playwright whose newest show, "Mark Twain's A Christmas Carol" is in pre-production at the California Center for the Arts. Contact him at charlescarr.com.