Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Donald Chronicles: Saying the L Word

As Trump spirals down into an angry puddle of ugly incoherence, the Clinton campaign seems very aware of the need to keep people from committing suicide before election day, or at least before voting.

But as Trump's hysterical assertions get more comprehensive and extreme--screeching that everything is fixed and therefore the election is a fraud--the necessity as well as the possibility of an overwhelming Clinton victory is entering discussion.  If it is a massive victory, people less crazy than Trump may conclude that it was fixed only in the Borowitz sense, by Hillary getting more votes.  Way more votes.

And so people are starting to say the L word.  There's a reason that "landslide" is kind of taboo--it sets expectations too high, and some would say that given today's nearly 50-50 split of the electorate ("polarization"), impossibly high.

Yet some are suggesting it is possible.  On the other hand, Clinton's poll advantages don't seem that massive, especially in state polls, so it seems dicey to be predicting it yet.  (Although of course, it takes only narrow victories but in a lot of states to produce an electoral vote landslide.)

But what about making it possible?  Maybe making a landslide is a realizable--and desirable--goal.

Not only because it would probably sweep Democrats into power in Congress and provide her a mandate.  But for its own sake, and our own national sanity.

I've seen only one media outlet--the Guardian--that characterized Clinton's call for "the victory we need" as a call for a landslide.  But maybe it's implied, as it was certainly suggested in Michelle Obama's much noted and praised speech that called for an overwhelming repudiation of Trump in a massive Clinton victory.

Some would consider it bad luck to bring up the L word, but it might just as well be the focus and motivation that the Clinton campaign can carry into November.  There's the bandwagon effect, an infectious sense of being on the winning team that can be powerful.  Even if it leads to election night pundit debates on whether or not it applies, the call for a landslide victory can become at least in part a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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