There has been much chatter in the media this week about Donald Trump’s tweetstorm against four freshmen Congresswomen, known collectively as “the squad.” Is this a divisive political offensive that reveals what is to come in the 2020 campaign? Is it indicative of deeply-seated racist proclivities that the President simply cannot escape? Is it a cruel distraction to keep our focus away from the ongoing horror at the southern border, or from upcoming revelations about accused pedophile and “former friend” Jeffrey Epstein? What has prompted his absurd and sustained explosions on twitter and elsewhere?
I guess it is understandable. After all, these young women of color could not be more different from him. But, I started wondering, is there something else? Something that has been overlooked that really gets under his skin about these women? So, I did a little research to see if I could arrive at a theory. I didn’t have to look far.
I wondered how these women, who have been so swiftly thrown into the national limelight, were actually supported in their respective districts by the voters they claim to represent. I found some fascinating information from Ballotpedia.org.
For no particular reason, I began investigating Representative Ilhan Omar. Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District is 2/3 white; Rep. Omar, is an African refugee from war-torn Somalia. She won with 78% of the vote! An overwhelming majority.
Then I checked into the diverse New York City district represented by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez—who is of Puerto Rican descent—which is only 40% Hispanic. She also won with 78% of votes cast. Hmmm, is there a pattern here?
Continuing, I discovered that Rep. Rashida Tlaib was so popular with voters in her district that she had no Republican opposition in 2018. She was elected with a whopping 84% of the vote!
The final member of “the squad,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley, an African American, ran unopposed and won with an astounding 98% of the vote in a Massachusetts district that is more than 50% white.
It seems clear to me that the ire provoked by these women who the President perceives as “other” is, at least in part, because they have done what he has been unable to do. As President, Donald Trump—who lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost three million—continues to obsess over the legitimacy of his victory. Yet, these women have each won clear electoral mandates. Having been thrust onto the national stage, publicity surrounding them will continue to increase as the nation is plunged into the 2020 campaign. They have proven themselves at the ballot box in a way the President has been unable to do.
This is not to minimize the obvious racism in the President’s malicious comments or to excuse his raising a huge distraction in the face of impending difficult news—a common tactic emanating from the White House. But it is curious, is it not, that the individuals he is attacking have proven the very thing—legitimate electability—that continually alludes Donald Trump’s sense of security. It seems to me that whatever else afflicts the President, he also suffers from an acute case of election envy.
Just to let you know, I will be taking vacation in Nova Scotia for the next couple weeks and will not be posting a blog—trying to stay off-the-grid as much as possible. I will resume posting the week of August 6th. Be well, all. And thanks for your continuing interest in these posts. Bob