So who would have ever thought that bump-stocks would be the issue that causes cracks in Trump’s base?
I know there are strong opinions on the recent announcement of a bump-stock ban and many Trump supporters are angry, and they have a right to be. Trump was elected as a Conservative and many Republican voters feel Second Amendment protection should always be a top priority.
Note: The ban has already been challenged by a lawsuit so there is no guarantee it will ever go into effect.
However, we have to look at this decision in the larger context of the current insane political landscape going into 2020 to fully understand what was behind Trump’s decision to allow this ban, even if you disagree with it.
So let’s break down a few things that have to be considered:
Trump is facing an unprecedented fight in 2020 – Let’s be honest, the FBI, 99% of the mainstream media, and several intelligence agencies are working together to get Trump out of office. Not to mention that the CEO’s of the largest social media companies have openly stated they want to help remove Trump and have been removing pro-Trump users from their platforms. And let’s not forget, this is all before he has to deal with his traditional political adversaries in 2020. Overall, Trump is facing a totally unprecedented force of deep state agencies and media companies which are all looking to bring him down. This has to be kept in mind when he makes decisions on policy, and that brings me to my next point.
The midterms showed that Republicans (and by proxy, Trump) did poorly with suburban women – This is just a political reality. Trump won several states by a slim margin in 2016. If he loses those voters in 2020, he will not get re-elected. This is a simple political fact and it has to do more with simple math than political theory. At the end of the day, elections are decided by the numbers.
Due to this, Trump is going to have to throw these voters a bone as well as provide himself with some defense when he is inevitably attacked on the campaign trail and in debates.
If god forbid, there is mass shooting during the campaign, Trump can point to this decision and show he is pro-active on addressing the issue. And that is an issue that will resonate with suburban women which he is currently struggling with. Trump needs to appear more moderate to these voters.
Most gun owners see bump-stocks as a novelty – Now I know I will get some push-back on this but I believe it’s true. Most gun owners see bump-stocks as a novelty item and not something that truly improves the performance of a high quality rifle, and in fact, probably makes most rifles less effective in most every situation.
So the ban on bump-stocks is not even in the same universe as a ban on large magazines. Now, if a ban on magazines is considered, I do believe this is will signal a dangerous shift and people will need to reevaluate their political support and votes in regards to it.
So with all that being said, I think one has to be honest with themselves. They have to see that Trump is facing a completely unprecedented and near-impossible task in 2020. He has to simultaneously fight off the FBI, the mainstream media, and a Democratic house which has already threatened to subpoena him, his records, and those of his family. No president has ever faced such a thing.
All of these attacks will do damage to his poll numbers and he must do things to counteract these attacks. Although I am strongly against the ban on bump-stocks personally, I can also understand the thinking behind it, and why it makes long-term political sense.
If Trump doesn’t counteract the media’s narrative with something to appear more moderate, he will continue to slowly lose certain voting demographics which he needs in 2020. He cannot win without those voters he had in 2016. It’s going to be a very close race again and most likely it will come down to the exact same states and counties as 2016. In fact, most people are predicting an even closer race.
So Trump must act so that he has a defense and a platform he can present which keeps him from losing those swing voters which will once again decide the election.
Yes, I understand this hurts his base, but I believe it was a calculated effort. Most if not all conservatives, while they are upset, will not vote Democratic in 2020 because of this. The bump-stock ban is upsetting, but conservatives know a far-left Democratic president probably means an outright assault rifle ban.
And I also understand the slippery slope argument and how this sets a precedent for possibly more regulations. But as I have already stated, everyone must be aware of the current political climate. It’s unlike anything any president has ever faced in his re-election. Trump may have to make some moves that seem to concede on certain issues, but I truly believe they are made as part of a careful calculation.
The truth is, if Trump loses in 2020, gun owners and Conservatives will end up losing a lot more than just their bump-stocks.
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