There has been an avalanche of Trump-related news over the past week, such as the release of his income taxes, his debate with Biden, and being diagnosed with Coivd. Here are some of my observations and predictions:
1, The income taxes story is pretty much dead, having been overshadowed by the Covid diagnosis. Even if he recovers quickly, by then most people will have forgotten or moved on. Contracting a potentially deadly virus is perhaps not the ideal way to bury a story, but I suppose it shows there is a silver lining to everything, no matter how bad.
2. The second debate, scheduled for October 15th in Miami, will be probably be cancelled just to be safe, but it won’t matter. The data, compiled by American historian Allan J. Lichtman, who pas predicted all by one of the outcomes of presidential elections as far back as 1984, shows that debates do not move the needle much in spite of all the attention and scrutiny by the media they get. The ‘winner’ may only get a tiny, temporary bump, if any at all, and losers of past debates have gone on to win, such as George W. Bush and Trump. By October, the vast majority of voters will have made up their minds, so the power of debates to influence voting, compared to ads and other factors, are small.
3, America is more powerful and relevant than ever. For all the of the talk on the dissident-right about the ‘decline of America’ or how America is like Rome or will be superseded by China, the huge outpouring of responses to Trump’s Covid diagnosis tweet, garnering 1.8 million likes in just 24 hours, shows that America is still the undisputed the world leader. Follow-up tweets by Trump about his health garnered half a million likes each. That is how the US Treasury is able to borrow trillions of dollars for endless stimulus and bailouts, while keeping taxes at historic lows, without inflation budging or US dollar falling, because as bad as thing may seem here (such as BLM protests, Trump’s Covid diagnosis, and a high unemployment rate), they are worse elsewhere. Lenders flock to the safety and just sheer size of America’s economy and hegemonic dominance, because they have no where else to park their money than near-year yielding US treasury bonds. By comparison, Boris Johnson’s Covid diagnosis tweet got just 368 thousand likes. The huge disparity between the number of Johnson likes vs Trump likes, shows how much further ahead the US is in terms of economic and political power compared to the rest of the world, including even the UK (assuming we use twitter likes as a proxy for power). When Trump announced his diagnosis, it was as if everyone around the world had covid too, in that it affected everyone. Upon news of the diagnosis, dignitaries, leaders from all countries stopped what they were doing as mark of solemn respect , similar to how 911 temporarily put the world on pause. Only the Us has that sort of power.
4. The US media is bigger than ever. Much of the focus is on how ‘big tech’ such as Amazon and Microsoft benefited from the lockdowns and Covid, but so have media companies such as Fox News, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Vox, which have seen their traffic and ad revenue surge as people compulsively refresh their bookmarks for the latest developments about Trump and Covid. In the past the past two days alone, thousands of articles have been published across hundreds of media sources about Trump’s diagnosis, in addition to probably tens of thousands of articles about Covidd, the US economy, BLM and a litany of other topics. This show that online journalism, contrary to all the doom and glom about how ‘journalism is dying,’ is thriving. There are thousands of people working full time or part time writing articles about the latest Trump developments. Just reporting on Trump and Covid has become a growth industry in and of itself, sustained by hundreds of millions of dollars of ad revenue and billions of page views.
5. Trump will likely survive with only minor complications and no lasting damage. Despite his risk factors (advanced age, borderline obesity) he is getting the best possible healthcare in the world, including experimental treatment. If anyone can survive this mostly unscathed, it is Trump. His polls numbers will likely rise due to sympathy and admiration of his bravery from voters [as many have noted, Boris Johnson saw an uptick in approval after his diagnosis], negating any decline attributable to his purported mishandling of the virus and minimization of the dangers.
6. Tons of stimulus coming down the pike. Just days after being diagnosed, Trump tweeted about the need for more stimulus, and the tweet got an extremely favorable reaction (400k likes), which shows that is is a popular position and a top priority by Trump. There is gonna be tons of stimulus spending over the next 2 years regardless of who wins or what happens in regard to Covid, and inflation and treasury yields will not budge, and tech stocks will keep surging. Like before, such spending is pure top-line growth for multinationals and ‘big tech’ such as Amazon, Walmart, Microsoft, Tesla, Google, Facebook, Netflix, etc. It is more like the ‘Amazon recovery act,’ as a good chunk of that money is gonna flow right into Amazon’s pockets.