Myth #1: There is a Grand Canyon-Size Enthusiasm Gap in the Presidential Election
Pundits love to talk about the ‘Enthusiasm Gap.’ About how Donald Trump has rabid loyal followers and Joe Biden does not. That’s true, but it’s the wrong perspective. Trump fans are rabid, but anti-Trump fans are equally rabid. I love to bike in Trump country – rural backroads. For every five Trump flags or signs, I’ll see a little handmade “VOTE TRUMP OUT” sign in the front yard. Personally, I’m prepared to crawl over crab shells to vote in this election, and I’m not alone. On either side.
Myth #2: Trump Is Good for Christianity
Yes, Trump has advanced some Christian policy priorities. But as a Christian, my #1 objective is to love God and spread the word. So says the Bible. When the standard-bearer for Christianity in America is Donald Trump, you have a ‘spread the word’ resistance problem. God’s love and grace outstrip Trump’s selfishness and nastiness, but still, it’s like cycling into a stiff wind.
Myth #3: USPS Just Needs More Money to Be Successful
Democrats will tell you that the Postal Service only needs more money to flourish, but that’s crazy talk. The other day, we received four packages in the mail. Two were for us, one was for the next door neighbor, and the fourth was for someone at the end of the street. Everyone has a bad workday, but it’s an unusual week when we don’t receive at least one piece of mail addressed to someone else. Which makes me wonder what happens to all the mail addressed to us.
Myth #4: Trump Is a Shrewd Tax Guy Who Exploits Legal Loopholes
A tax accountant was arguing on my social feed that no rich people pay taxes, and that Trump simply took advantage of legal loopholes. There’s something to that, but even more sure is this: Trump cheats and lies about everything. Just one example of many: His charitable foundation was shut down for a “shocking pattern of illegality” and he was forced to pay a $2M fine and was barred from serving on any New York charities ever again.
Myth #5: The Next Democrat Mayor of Baltimore Will Turn the City Around
Baltimore is a political monopoly. The last time it voted a Republican for mayor was in 1963 (Theodore McKeldin). Business monopolies are bad for the economy and political monopolies are bad for governing. By most all objective measures, Baltimore is a mess and needs fixing. On top of that, two of the last three Dem mayors resigned in disgrace, with one still in jail. Fake definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I’m voting for Independent Bob Wallace for mayor.
Myth #6: Social Media Is a Mixed Bag but Mostly a Force for Good
Remember when Facebook was credited with positive social movements like the Arab Spring in 2010-12? That seems like forever ago. You would think with Siri and Alexa and Google that facts would reign, but mistruths and conspiracies have never been more widespread. And much of that is due to the easy sharing of fake news on social platforms. “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on,” goes the quote attributed to any number of famous people.
Myth #7: Trump is a Political Genius
Conventional wisdom is that Trump is some sort of political svengali with razor sharp instincts, but reality doesn’t match this. (And yes, I’m prepared to eat my words after the election.) If there is an unpopular position, you can be pretty sure that Trump will champion it: Confederate statues, coal, Proud Boys, limited healthcare, and on and on. Not surprisingly, the 2018 midterm election was a rout for Dems. Trump has weathered more scandals than the last 10 presidents combined, but I think the normal laws of physics will prevail. Stay tuned.
Myth #8: The Economy Was on Fire Before the Pandemic
If you listened to Trump and the right-wing media ecosystem and even some middle-of-the-road mainstream media, the economy was going gangbusters before the pandemic set in. But an objective review of the numbers doesn’t support this. Pre-pandemic, Trump’s GDP averaged 2-3%, same as Obama’s. Pre-pandemic, Trump’s job growth was slightly less than Obama’s (2.23M vs 2.16M/yr). Inflation and the trade deficit are way up under Trump. And then there’s the debt…
Myth #9: The National Debt Is Manageable
No one talks about it, because officials of both parties like to spend and undertax. The GOP likes to undertax to starve government, to force entitlement reform (Problem: it’s not working). Dems like to spend because they are Dems. Trump is the worst combination of both – he likes to spend and undertax. His biggest legislative achievement – the ginormous tax cut of 2017 – blew a massive hole in the federal budget. When the bill eventually comes due, all these pols will be long gone, but their grandchildren won’t.
Myth #10: If ______ Doesn’t Win, It’s the End of the World
Both sides love to fear monger about how the sky will fall if the other side’s candidate wins. GOP: “Socialism!” Dems: “Fascism!” Life will go on regardless, and even when the United States falls (and it will eventually, see Roman Empire), God still reigns eternal. There is comfort in that, and in the realization that we can place all of our troubles (political, financial, or otherwise) at his feet.