June 14, 2024

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To put an end to “Trumpnesia”.

To put an end to “Trumpnesia”.

With the U.S. presidential election coming up in November, the big merit of the New York jury’s verdict in the Stormy Daniels case is that it reminds Americans just how toxic Donald Trump is.

This may seem obvious, but it isn’t.

Or, more precisely, I should say it no longer exists.

Because memory is a faculty of forgetting.

This is perhaps truer in politics than anywhere else.

As more time passes, the memories of most elected officials’ mistakes, bad decisions, incompetence and sometimes atrocities fade.

For example, try to remember why Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper was unpopular at the end of his term.

Who remembers in detail what we affirmed in our pages in 2015 that his ten years at the helm of government were “a destructive fuel for mediocrity and narrow-mindedness”?

The same thing is happening in America.

Presidents’ popularity generally begins to rise again once they leave the White House, regardless of their track record.

A notable example: In the mid-2000s from Washington, George W. I chronicled Bush’s political disaster and fell off my chair a few years after he left, watching his popularity soar. , especially because of the war in Iraq).

Photo by Alyssa Poynter, Associated Press Archives

Former US President George W. Bush, in 2020

Donald Trump seems to benefit from this strong trend.

The The New York Times It recently released the results of a poll it conducted last month to find out what people remember most about his four years as president.1.

Surprisingly, “the two biggest events in American news in decades, the Covid-19 pandemic and the storming of the Capitol on January 6th, rarely cross one’s mind when thinking about the Trump administration,” it says.

People often cited his behavior, but also economics and immigration.


“Due to recency bias – the tendency to focus on recent events rather than past events – people usually feel their current problems more acutely. In addition, they remember past experiences more fondly, which can cause a feeling of nostalgia,” the journalists explain. The New York Times.

Joe Biden’s re-election organization Blueprint polled 30-year-olds and found that many people have forgotten (or never heard of) some of Donald Trump’s controversial comments.

According to him, these are examples of “Trumpnesia”.

This is one of the factors to consider when trying to understand why the former US president is so popular with millions of American voters.

A New York jury’s verdict has confirmed that Donald Trump is a fraud, at least in the context of the Stormy Daniels affair.

Noting that the former president is now a criminal should, in my opinion, help revive some bad memories among some Americans.

The conviction will make headlines again this summer when the sentencing is announced. The scheduled date is July 11, just days before the Republican convention — Donald Trump’s party’s biggest gathering to officially announce his candidacy for the presidency.

Polls already show that a small but significant percentage of Republican voters would abandon Donald Trump if he is found guilty after a criminal trial (4% according to an ABC News/Ipsos survey in April).

Despite everything, almost everyone agrees that the consequences of this historic event in the November elections are not clear.

I wish I could contradict this burst of popular wisdom, but I can’t. It is very dangerous.

Firstly because the November elections are five months away. An eternity in politics. Anything can happen.

Imagine, for example, if Joe Biden gave a miserable performance during the presidential debates in September, and was at times confused. Let’s face it, all of a sudden, the condemnation of Donald Trump won’t have the same purpose or the same weight on Election Day.

The polarization of American society prevents us from predicting the impact of punishment with certainty.

The ruling is sure to make it even easier for Donald Trump and his allies to rally his loyal supporters to the polls in November. Almost US$35 million was collected within hours of the verdict.

Are they right? Will the number of potential Trump voters boosted by the conviction in key states (where it counts) be too high? Outnumbered potential Trump supporters who will back the candidate because they don’t want to vote for a criminal?

You have to be an astrologer to know that. Alas, I am not. Neither are Trump’s allies, for that matter! Until proven otherwise, their predictions are wishful thinking. “Whirl”.

However, we can predict without fear that confidence in the justice system will be further eroded by the attacks of Donald – staggering – Trump and the Republicans.

The disturbing attack is hoped to refresh the memory of voters who have forgotten just how painful a test Donald Trump’s time in the White House has been for American democracy.

1. Read the article The New York Times (In English, subscription required)

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