Let’s check in on Donald Trump’s boldly transformative economic populism, shall we:
When President Trump steps on the debate stage Tuesday night in Ohio, no doubt he will claim the Buckeye State as his turf — living proof of his economic prowess, his ability to deliver an American manufacturing renaissance.
“It’s incredible what’s happened to the area,” he said Monday, in remarks at the White House previewing his talking points about supposedly resuscitated Ohio factories. “It’s booming now.”
It’s a lie.
Not only because the poorly managed pandemic recession has destroyed 720,000 manufacturing jobs on net nationwide, including 38,000 in Ohio alone. Also because even before covid-19 broke out, Trump had deserted Ohio’s manufacturing workers.
Just ask the laid-off workers themselves whether they agree that their fates represent, in Vice President Pence’s terms, “promises made, promises kept.”
“They’ve betrayed the American worker, they’ve betrayed all those people who voted for them and supported them,” says Dave Green, the former president of the UAW Local 1112, which represented workers at a now-defunct General Motors plant in Lordstown, about an hour away from the presidential debate stage.
You can bullshit through this kind of lie a lot easier than you can bullshit your way through a pandemic — people’s assessments of the economy has become highly partisan. But economic conditions do matter, and Trump’s polling in Ohio is looking notably bad. (Not that I expect Biden to carry the state, but if Ohio is even a narrow Trump win he’s toast.)