Opinion | Donald Trump Wishes He Were Running Against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – by Frank Bruni – The New York Times

” . . .  It’s no accident that around the same time that Trump fired off his racist tweet, Democratic strategists were, according to a report in Axios, circulating a private poll of potential swing voters — white people with two years of college or less — that showed that 74 percent of them recognized Ocasio-Cortez’s name but only 22 percent had a favorable view of her, while 53 percent recognized Omar but only 9 percent saw her favorably. If Democrats have numbers like that, Republicans almost certainly do, too. And Republicans know how to pick — and pick apart — their enemies.

But Trump is up to something else as well. He means to send liberals into such a fury that they believe that passionately calling him out and urging the opposite of whatever he’s saying and doing are strategy enough. He’s baiting them.

Why are so many Democratic presidential candidates recommending what sounds a lot like open borders, which won’t go down well with many of the voters the party needs? It’s a response in part to Trump’s xenophobia and cruelty when it comes to immigration.

Similarly, the candidates’ gusto for Medicare for all, whose popularity is highly debatable, owes at least something to Trump’s assault on Obamacare and complete disregard for uninsured Americans. Many Democrats are defining themselves as antonyms to Trump. That’s different from merely opposing him, and it might not be the way to go.

Trump gets that. He’s ignorant, not stupid. And he understands that if he causes enough offense and creates enough melodrama, the screaming in the public square will be so loud that many battered and baffled Americans won’t be able to hear the inner voice that’s telling them what they should and at some level do know: that he must go. That the price of giving him eight years in the White House could be the soul of a great nation. That we can’t afford that.”

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