US Elections: Kellyanne Conway says ‘undercover’ Trump voters will ‘surprise’ at the polls

Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said in an interview released Wednesday that there could be a hidden bloc of voters that will back President Trump on Nov. 3 but won’t tell anybody about it, potentially taking poll watchers off guard.
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Kellyanne Conway wearing a green shirt: White House counselor Kellyanne Conway reflects on her time working with Trump on ‘Fox & Friends.’© FoxNews.com White House counselor Kellyanne Conway reflects on her time working with Trump on ‘Fox & Friends.’Conway called these people “undercover Trump voter[s]” in an interview with Showtime’s “The Circus”, reprising a term she said she coined in 2016 to help explain the president’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton.
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  • Clyde Duncan  On September 4, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Barack Obama Is Scared

    His warning to America during the Democratic convention’s third night was existential.

    Russell Berman | The Atlantic

    Barack Obama didn’t try to inspire Americans at the virtual DNC Convention: HE WANTED TO SCARE THEM.

    In a stark, sober address from Philadelphia during the virtual Democratic National Convention, a man elected a dozen long years ago on a gauzy promise of “hope and change” found himself instead turning to FEAR as a rallying cry.

    The former president offered no thousand-watt smiles or soaring rhetoric as he exhorted voters to elect Joe Biden and warned them about the perils of giving Donald Trump another four years in the White House.

    “Do not let them take away your power,” Obama said. “Don’t let them take away your democracy.”

    Devoid of an audience and its usual rapturous applause, Obama sounded at times like a disappointed father, his sighs audible as he delivered a speech, he never thought he’d give.

    Donald Trump was once a joke to Obama, a “CARNIVAL BARKER” who he famously mocked at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner as Trump sat and watched with a frozen smile. The humor in Trump has been gone for a while now, but for his first few years out of office, Obama held back on his successor as he kept away from the near-daily controversies and scandals emanating from the White House.

    THAT RESTRAINT ENDED INITIALLY WHEN OBAMA CAMPAIGNED FOR DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES IN 2018. And in Atlanta, he used his eulogy for the late Representative John Lewis of Georgia to assail — without naming the president — Trump’s attacks on the Postal Service and other efforts at voter suppression.

    Obama took Trump on much more directly at the Virtual Convention, and more aggressively than any ex-president has criticized his successor in recent political memory.

    “For close to four years now,” Obama said, “he’s shown NO INTEREST in putting in the work; NO INTEREST in finding common ground; NO INTEREST in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; NO INTEREST in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

    He went on: “DONALD TRUMP HASN’T GROWN INTO THE JOB, BECAUSE HE CAN’T. And the consequences of that failure are severe. More than one hundred and seventy thousand Americans dead. Millions of jobs gone while those at the top take in more than ever. Our worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before.”

    What was striking about Obama’s argument, however, was how little it was grounded in the traditional policy battles of the past decade:

    Though he ticked off a rapid-fire summation of the progressive Biden-Harris agenda, Obama did NOT tell Americans that Trump would take away their health care, or ignore climate change, or deport immigrants, or even threaten national security.

    OBAMA’S WARNING WAS FAR MORE EXISTENTIAL. If Biden is telling voters that “the soul of America” is on the ballot, Obama told them that its very system of government is at risk. “This administration,” Obama said, “has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win.”

    Obama summoned the legacy of Lewis and the civil-rights movement, but he withheld his typical reassurance that despite everything, the best of America would win out.

    Obama did not conclude his speech with the uplifting peroration that has been his trademark. Instead he said: “ANY CHANCE OF SUCCESS DEPENDS ENTIRELY ON THE OUTCOME OF THIS ELECTION.”

    For all of Obama’s reliance on hope and inspiration as motivators in the past, FEAR has always worked just as well, if not better, at turning out votes. And he was never as effective at getting people to vote when he was NOT on the ballot as he was during his two presidential campaigns:

    Democrats stayed home in both midterm elections during his tenure, and the coalition that elected him was unable to lift Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016.

    THEREFORE, IT WOULD NOT BE A SURPRISE IF OBAMA THOUGHT HE NEEDED TO UP THE ANTE TO HELP RALLY THE DEMOCRATIC BASE FOR BIDEN.

    But as Obama railed against the “cynicism” that he said Trump was relying on to win, and then as he recalled the sacrifices of those who were spat on and beaten as they fought for the right to vote, he seemed almost on the verge of tears. IT DID NOT SEEM LIKE AN ACT.

    If the former president hadn’t previously seen the need to tear into Trump for the sake of the country, what are Democrats to make of the fact that now, apparently, he does?

    Obama, suddenly a gray-haired father figure to his party, no longer sounded merely disappointed — HE SEEMED FRIGHTENED.

  • Clyde Duncan  On September 5, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Harvard University’s Weatherhead Research Clusters Found How Threatening Polarization Can Be.

    Auburn Seminary

    “While some partisan polarization is healthy for democracy, ONE OF THE KEY DRIVERS OF DEMOCRATIC DECAY IN NEW AND ESTABLISHED DEMOCRACIES IS INTENSE POLARIZATION, where political opponents begin to regard each other as EXISTENTIAL ENEMIES, allowing incumbents to justify abuses of democratic norms to restrain the opposition, and encouraging the opposition to use ‘any means necessary’ to regain power.”

    WHAT WE DO RIGHT NOW MATTERS. WHAT OUR LEADERS DO MATTERS.

    At the Democratic National Convention, we heard leaders working to unite the American populace. Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren used their speaking time to invoke our unity as a nation and to warn against the real dangers posed by authoritarian figures.

    Authoritarian rhetoric often divides the population, weakens faith in democratic processes — LIKE VOTING — and distorts facts while delegitimizing the very institutions that are designed to check political powers.

    In a stirring speech, candidate Joe Biden struck a unifying chord:

    AMERICA IS AT AN INFLECTION POINT. A time of real peril, but of extraordinary possibilities. WE CAN CHOOSE the path of becoming angrier, less hopeful, and more divided. A path of shadow and suspicion. OR WE CAN CHOOSE a different path, and together, take this chance to heal, to be reborn, to unite … In times as challenging as these, I believe there is only one way forward. AS A UNITED AMERICA. United in our pursuit of a more perfect Union. United in our dreams of a better future for us and for our children. United in our determination to make the coming years bright.

    THE PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE MUST NOT BE USED TO STOKE DIVISION AND HOSTILITY.

    No matter which party is in office; the Presidency is a role that transcends divisive politics. Professor of political science at Marquette University Julia Azari writes:

    The separation of the presidency from the president is a key democratic value. The presidency and its symbols do not belong to one president or his supporters, but to all of the American people.

    We look to our leaders to model democratic norms. Democratic leaders must vociferously defend democratic institutions — elections must be free and fair, government agencies – like the courts, the civil service, and regulatory agencies – should be treated with respect, and candidates who lose need to concede elections peacefully, just as winners need to treat their opponents fairly.

    Violations of informal norms of democracy, including toleration, forbearance, and equality before the law, must be called out and condemned. In a viral twitter thread, Stanford professor Michael McFaul points out all the ways PRESIDENT TRUMP flouted these norms at the RNC:

    SHOWING BLATANT DISREGARD FOR THE LAW, BLATANT DISREGARD FOR FACTS, AND COMPORTING HIMSELF MORE AS A MONARCH THAN A DEMOCRATICALLY-ELECTED PRESIDENT.

    As we face November, we at Auburn Seminary are committed to doing the work to shore up and rebuild our democratic culture and standards.

    History says,
    Don’t hope on this side of the grave,
    But then, once in a lifetime
    The longed-for tidal wave
    Of justice can rise up,
    And hope and history rhyme

    Irish poet Seamus Heaney

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