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How Trump could win 

The Democratic National Convention held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has exposed the deep schisms within the Democratic Party. Key speakers like Michelle Obama and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have painted America as a hellhole and that it has become that hell hole under Donald Trump.

SUNIL SHARAN  | New Delhi | Updated :

President Trump is trailing Joe Biden by about 10 points nationally, but in the key battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida he is only behind by some 5 points.

The Democratic National Convention held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has exposed the deep schisms within the Democratic Party. Key speakers like Michelle Obama and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have painted America as a hellhole and that it has become that hell hole under Donald Trump.

But why then do tens of millions of people around the world still clamor to come to America? Even the Covid-ridden, Trump-plagued America of today?

Bernie Sanders made clear that he wants Joe Biden to win the presidency, and once he wins it, that he wants to push him further to the left. But Sanders has already pushed Biden to the left in the primaries, for instance on the Green New Deal and the minimum-living wage.

This is a clear line of attack against Biden that Trump should take, and intensify. Take the Green New Deal. It bans fracking. But fracking has created nearly 10 million jobs in the US and led to the resurgence of the American economy. Even President Barack Obama did not ban it. As someone who has been a green energy pioneer for two decades, I find the Green New Deal impractical and unsustainable.

It is true that Obama restored the economy, and that Trump inherited a strong economy from Obama. But it’s also true that Trump lit up the economy with his tax cuts and deregulation, for which he must get credit. The economy promises to rebound post Covid. Left-wing measures that Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez seek will set the economy back.

Ocasio-Cortez did not even nominate Biden for president. She chose Sanders. It is clear that the Democratic Party is far from being united and that the disunity is only going to grow with time.

The second line of attack is vile, but then all is fair in love, war, and politics. Trump is painting Biden as senile. But it is also true that much of the anticipation around Biden’s veep pick was that she could find herself president if something were to happen to Biden, or if he opted for just a single term.

One has to be careful about opting for the single-term bit. Once presidents taste the elixir of power, they suddenly become restored. Still, Trump is playing up Biden’s age.

He’s also started playing up Kamala Harris’s Indian heritage. Notice how he and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, pronounce Harris’s first name. Harris herself says that it should be pronounced comma-la. They instead call her Kamaalaa. They stress the foreignness of her name, its exoticity. It’s going low, but then who doesn’t go low in politics? America is not that misogynist when it comes to white women. Hillary Clinton proved that. She lost because she didn’t campaign in key states, and because she lacked charisma.

Harris has oodles of charisma. But she is a black woman. Black women are seen to be angry, nasty, scary. Scary one can understand because the colour black scares white people. Black women are believed to give lip, maybe that’s why they are seen as angry and nasty. But legions of movies like Gone with the Wind have portrayed them as caring and kind.

So I am still unclear where the stereotype of the angry, nasty black woman emerged from. But it is a stereotype that Trump can play to. That were Biden to be elected president, an angry, nasty, scary black woman would be just a heartbeat away from the presidency. How would America’s whites, even its liberal whites, feel about that? Perhaps Biden would have been better off choosing a white woman as his running mate.

Five points. Five points is all that Trump is behind in battleground states. He who takes those states runs away with the ultimate prize. Trump’s lines of attack are clear. He’s going to press hard on them. Can Biden repel Trump? The writer is an expert on energy and contributes regularly to publications in India and overseas.

The writer is an expert on energy and contributes regularly to publications in India and overseas.