America is in the middle of a collective reckoning, unpacking the country’s history of systemic racism and violence.
“The president really doesn’t have a playbook to frighten his base like he did in 2016.” — Adam Serwer, The Atlantic
The country is also in the midst of a presidential election, one with two, older white men at the helm of each party: President Donald Trump and former Vice President and presumptive Democratic nominee Joseph Biden Jr. It’s a simple fact and it’s one that is affecting the rhetoric we are so used to hearing from Trump and the pundits who support him.
Listen: How will Trump attack Biden?
Adam Serwer is a staff writer at The Atlantic and he recently wrote a piece looking at how the devices that helped propel Trump to the White House aren’t really working now that he’s running against someone who is, demographically, just like him.
“Donald Trump only knows how to campaign one way, and he’s going to campaign that way no matter who his opponent is,” says Serwer. He adds that Trump has long relied on sexist and racist fear-mongering to rouse his base of supporters. “The president really doesn’t have a playbook to frighten his base like he did in 2016,” says Serwer.
Facing Biden this election cycle has challenged Trump’s typical alarmist tactics, leaving the campaign with the options of doubling down or pivoting. “I think the most effective thing the president could do is actually address the nation’s problems…he can’t even bring himself to focus on the problems…The president’s big problem is that he can’t even pretend to be,” says Serwer.