The Huge Snag in Trump’s Reelection Pitch

Donald Trump is betting his reelection on convincing most Americans that the “chaos president” can deliver order.

“Chaos president” is how former Florida Governor Jeb Bush described Trump in the final Republican presidential-primary debate of 2015. Bush’s argument against Trump’s erratic leadership style didn’t save his flagging campaign, but his coinage may have been the single most accurate forecast of Trump’s turbulent tenure. Trump’s presidency has been marked by constant turnover in personnel, hairpin turns in policy, angry feuds with politicians in both parties, perpetual Twitter wars, the disregard and disparaging of experts, a torrent of lies and misrepresentations, and the most open appeals to white racial resentment of any other national figure since George Wallace.

All that history looms over Trump as the coronavirus pandemic, the accompanying economic collapse, and nationwide protests and unrest over racial inequity have left millions of Americans uneasy. Trump is trying to overcome Joe Biden’s consistent lead in the polls by presenting himself as the leader to restore calm to the streets and normalcy to the economy. But the volatility that has infused each day of his presidency hugely complicates his effort to convince Americans that he can stabilize their lives.

“These are problems that are not friendly to Trump’s management style,” says Donald Kettl, a federal-management expert at the University of Texas at Austin. When it comes to both the virus and the unrest, “the great risk is that he could increasingly lose control of the definition of the problem, seem increasingly out of synch on the solutions, and fail to develop confidence he knows where it is he wants to go.”

The biggest problem with Trump running on restoring order is that his performance in office has caused many voters to view him as the candidate of disorder. In a Yahoo/YouGov national survey conducted immediately after the Republican National Convention last week, only 30 percent of registered voters said they believe that Trump “will protect us from the chaos”; fully 50 percent described him as the “source of the chaos.”

On the civil unrest, after some initial expressions of concern about police misconduct immediately following George Floyd’s killing, Trump has turned almost entirely toward confrontation with the protest movement. He has derided Black Lives Matter demonstrators and local Democratic officials with inflammatory accusations and has downplayed concerns about police shootings. In an interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham this week, he even likened police who shoot Black men to golfers who “choke” on a short putt. At the same time, he’s repeatedly refused to condemn vigilante violence from his own supporters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Portland, Oregon—a choice that extremism experts say amounts to an open invitation for more of it.

“Absolutely he has legitimized it at this point,” says Elizabeth Neumann, a former assistant secretary for threat prevention at Trump’s Department of Homeland Security, who has endorsed Biden. “I have to think that, yes, we’re probably going to see more of that.”

Trump’s relentless attacks against Black Lives Matter protesters the past few weeks have unnerved many Democrats, who fear he could peel away some older and blue-collar white voters now tilting toward Biden. Although most national polls released since the GOP convention still show Biden holding a substantial lead, a Monmouth University survey showing a tighter race in the crucial battleground state of Pennsylvania sent shivers through anxious Democrats yesterday.

Craig Robinson, the former political director of the Iowa Republican Party and the founder of The Iowa Republican, an online publication, says he believes that Trump’s warnings about unrest are resonating, even in a state that has seen little of it. “I think in being the ‘law and order’ candidate, there are more advantages than in trying to carve out this nuanced position” between the protesters and the police.

Yet it’s far from clear that Trump can persuade Americans to focus on just one source of this year’s disorder—police killings and the subsequent protests—rather the other big disruptor of American life, the pandemic. Citizens experience the street protests mostly on television, whereas the coronavirus and economic crises have unsettled people’s daily lives much more intimately.

“For 99.99 percent of Americans, [civil unrest] is not a problem in their life,” says Stuart Stevens, the chief strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and an adviser to the Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans who oppose Trump. “I just think that what’s going on in your living room is going to be more vital to you than what is [happening on] television in some distant city.”

In the Yahoo/YouGov national poll, just 7 percent of registered voters said they were very worried that violence would break out in their community; almost two-thirds said they were not worried much, or at all. In a Reuters/Ipsos poll released yesterday, more than three-fifths of registered voters said crime was not increasing in their community.  

And even if Trump shifts more Americans’ focus from the pandemic to the protests, it’s uncertain that enough voters will believe he’s better suited than Biden to address them. That’s a key difference from Richard Nixon, whose 1968 law-and-order campaign has inspired Trump’s offensive this summer. Although most Americans may have believed that Nixon could deliver order, many now say that Trump’s confrontational approach on racial issues increases the risk of violence. In the Yahoo/YouGov poll, a solid 56 percent of registered voters said they expected more violence if Trump is reelected, while only 24 percent anticipated less. In a national Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday, a 50 percent majority of Americans said that having Trump as president makes them feel less safe, rather than more. “He’s highlighted the issue … but it is quite plausible that it doesn’t break for him, because he doesn’t have an answer to this that brings more stability,” the Democratic pollster Stanley B. Greenberg told me.

Most Democrats I’ve spoken with are confident that Trump’s iron-fist response to civil unrest is misreading the public mood: In their view, most Americans want to calm dissent, not crush it. Matt McDermott, a Democratic pollster, notes that although most Americans have positive perceptions of the police, a significant majority also agree that law-enforcement bias against Black Americans is a serious problem. “The voting population is saying that there is something wrong here and something needs to be done to address it,” he says. Although surveys do show growing concern about violence at protests, and several point to eroding white support for the Black Lives Matter movement, recent polling by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute still found that 56 percent of Americans consider police shootings of Black men part of a pattern—a huge change from 2015, when a majority described them as isolated incidents.

But as he has on so many other issues, Trump is campaigning in blunt, culture-war terms, framing only the protests as the problem. Neumann says that Trump’s approach of drawing bright lines between allies and enemies virtually ensures an extended cycle of confrontation over racial inequity. The continuing conflict, she says, is partly “because of the president’s inability to facilitate the kind of conversation that’s necessary to address the very real issue that came up after the murder of George Floyd: that we have a serious problem of racial injustice in our country, particularly within policing.

“That requires leadership at the top saying, ‘Calm down and listen to somebody else’s perspective,’” Neumann continues. “He does the opposite, creating fear and [suggesting that] you better go protect yourself because your mayor is not going to do it.”

Over nearly four years, Trump has demonstrated that there is a stable and substantial audience for that approach, especially within his core constituencies of non-college-educated, evangelical, and rural white voters uneasy with the demographic changes remaking America. Political strategists in both parties whom I’ve spoken with believe that Trump’s tough line on the protests and his dismissive attitude toward the coronavirus are aimed less at persuading ambivalent voters than inspiring more of the nonvoters in his core groups to flood the polls in November. “Everything he’s done is about mining that one vein,” says Rahm Emanuel, the former Chicago mayor and former White House chief of staff for Barack Obama.

Yet the polarizing leadership style that thrills Trump’s core voters on other issues may carry a heavier cost for him on the virus and nationwide protests. The last circle of voters who stand between Trump and a second term may not be the Americans who are offended by his ideology, but those who are simply exhausted by the chaos surrounding his presidency, particularly in regard to these two titanic challenges. “I think people don’t want racial unrest in the streets and they don’t want COVID,” Robinson says. “They just want to get to 2021 and hope that things are better.”

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

What Are Parents Supposed to Do With Their Kids?

America’s essential workers are in the midst of a child-care crisis.

The combination of remote schooling, reduced child-care options, and a “reopened” economy leaves millions of American parents who work outside the home with an impossible choice. They can put their job at risk by staying home. (Some 74,000 Americans who had a job but were taking time off cited “childcare problems” for their absence during a sample week in July—more than twice the typical average, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.) They can send their children to in-school day camps that may be unaffordable—and potentially just as virus-prone as regular schools. They can leave their kids with vulnerable relatives. Or they can leave their children home alone.

Some parents are already being forced to let their kids fend for themselves, news reports suggest. The Los Angeles Times reported on the story of one mother who is leaving her first grader home alone and asking a neighbor to check in on the child “from time to time.” A single mom in Oxnard, California, set up a webcam to monitor her teenage son while she works in the strawberry fields. In New York, a 22-year-old is leading her special-needs brother through online education.

Although some parents have jobs that allow them to work remotely and keep half an eye on their kids, more than 40 percent of working Americans have to leave home for their job. Not all of those who are parents can simply send their children to day care or hire a nanny. Many child-care providers have shut their doors because of the pandemic, and private child care is expensive, at more than $700 a month for preschoolers on average. In some areas, child care has grown even more expensive as federal aid for child-care funding has expired. The cost is a huge burden for many essential workers, including cashiers, who make $2,000 a month on average; fast-food workers, who make $1,937; and meatpackers, who make $2,460. Many workers—women, in particular—are leaving their jobs because they cannot find affordable child care.

Beyond the CARES Act, the federal government has not stepped in, and many states have no clear plan to help parents. Over the past two weeks, we asked each of the 46 states that have embraced at least some form of virtual learning whether they offer free child care for people who can’t work from home, and if so, how many children they can accommodate. As of publication, representatives from 30 states had responded. Just five said they had free child care available—and 15 told us that they had no free child care available for parents who can’t work remotely.

Perhaps the most puzzling option, at least for parents, has been the opening of day camps in public schools and other spaces. In addition to public schools, 28 states and the District of Columbia now have YMCAs that operate virtual-learning labs for small cohorts of school-age kids.

These labs and camps operate very much like schools. Kids come in wearing masks, work all day on a computer, and then do an enrichment activity before returning home. To reduce the risk of infection, they don’t intermingle with other cohorts or eat in cafeterias. But there is a twist: Parents pay for this privilege. Judging by local news stories, the rate is about $100 to $200 a week.

Derrik Coulter, a 40-year-old single father near Spokane, Washington, recently found out that if he wanted someone to supervise his 5-year-old while the boy Zoomed into online classes, his best option was to drop his son off at the local YMCA—for a fee that would stretch his budget.

Coulter doesn’t want his son attending a glorified kid-cubicle farm. Rather than paying for the YMCA, Coulter plans to wake up at 7 a.m., supervise his son’s online schooling, then leave his son in the care of a cousin while he goes to his job as a metalworker. He’ll return home at midnight, having spent no nonschool time with his son. “If you want your kid to go to school, you have to pay,” Coulter told us. “And they’re saying that’s safe. But to just go to regular school is unsafe?”

Schools say they have to charge these fees because they’re relying on extra staff to supervise the camps. (Regular teachers are teaching online.) Adam Swinyard, the superintendent of Spokane Public Schools, told us that the district is holding day camp for students at $25 a day, and that scholarships are available for those who can’t afford it. To parents who ask, “Why not just open schools, then?,” he said that in terms of COVID-19 safety, “there’s a substantive difference between having 600 kids in an elementary school and having 50 to 100 kids.”

But many parents are nevertheless mystified that they’re being charged for what looks an awful lot like public school—and sometimes even takes place at one. “So if I have the money, then I can get extra supervised help for my child, but if I don’t, I don’t get that extra help—that’s odd to me,” Heather Kosloske, a mother in eastern Wisconsin, told a local news station. Some parents are so incensed by this that they have joined a lawsuit against California brought by the Center for American Liberty, a conservative legal group, seeking to reopen schools.

More than half of the respondents to the Morning Consult/BPC poll said they would be “very or somewhat comfortable” sending their kids back to elementary school, and three-quarters said they would be unwilling or unable to pay for a separate child-care program. The YMCA told us that while its virtual-learning labs offer financial assistance and “in some cases” offer free slots, “Y’s desperately need more from our government in order to continue to respond the way we have.”

The federal government did, at one point, throw some money at the child-care problem. The CARES Act gave states $3.5 billion for child care. But according to Hamm, that wasn’t even enough to cover child care for a month for health-care workers only. Many states told us that this money has run dry, and they are now awaiting new federal funds that may not come. And Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming told us they have no free child care for parents who can not work from home.

Even in some of the states currently subsidizing child care, workers have to be very poor to qualify for help. And the co-pay, which could be hundreds of dollars a month, might still be too much for some families because many of the companies that were giving frontline workers “hazard pay” earlier in the pandemic have since stopped. For example, in Georgia, child care for essential workers is subsidized, but there are far from enough slots to accommodate all the state’s children, and families making more than $1,214 a year still have to pay a fee for child care. (Some states, such as Mississippi, have either waived those co-pays or created programs to cover them.)

Because of these hurdles, some parents are likely leaving their kids unattended. (Child advocates call this “self-care,” in a dark twist on the Millennial relaxation trend.) “We spend a lot of time in this country trying to deal with [parents] leaving children in self-care too early,” Smith says. “And I think this is going to be a big backtrack.”

Though there are no strong data on the number of parents leaving their children home alone—likely because parents who are forced to leave their kids unattended are loath to admit it—a fair amount did so even before the pandemic, Gina Adams, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., told us. “There’s literally often no place for them to go,” she said. “So, if you have an 8- or 9-year-old who you would trust, or even if you don’t, I can’t imagine there aren’t parents doing that—and feeling terrible about it at every moment, and being very, very worried.”

Some states told us that they don’t track cases of children left unsupervised. Sadly, one of the only ways to judge the scale of the problem will be to monitor how many children die of abuse or neglect this year. That number is usually about 1,700. But with so many parents stuck without child care, many more might leave children at home all day with little more than a locked door for protection. Young children don’t appear to spread the virus as much as adults do. But their health, and their lives, are still at risk from America’s failure to contain COVID-19.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

EDD MercadoPago 1.3.2 version

EDD MercadoPago 1.3.2 version

MercadoPago is one of the largest and most important payment gateways for many Central and South America countries.

This platform allows the payment of products and services electronically through many different payment methods. They work with national and international credit cards. Payment links, QR payments, offline and cash payment methods through companies given in each country.

This allows a very important and necessary flexibility when it comes to checkout a sale.

Our EDD MercadoPago plugin is an integration of this payment gateway with Easy Digital Downloads plugin to sell digital products with WordPress. From eBooks, to WordPress plugins, to PDF files and more, they make selling digital products a breeze. Easy Digital Downloads is simple to use and free to download.

MercadoPago continues to make improvements to its platform, and so do we. In this new version we’ve included the “Binary Mode” for the Custom Checkout, that allows it to request a successful/failed purchase status immediately.

We have tested it in many countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, etc. Thus simplifying e-commerce for Latin American countries and without risks.

In addition, a fix was added that corrects the redirection of a failed purchase in the Custom Checkout and we’ve added the portuguese translations files in it.

New major version WPeMatico 2.4

New major version WPeMatico 2.4

We released version 2.4 of WPeMatico.

In this version there is an outstanding feature that is the new external cron process.
From now on we have deprecated the calling to the old file wpe-cron.php
We still have it to keep the compatibility backwards, but if you use external cron you would have to modify the call to the new URL that follows the WordPress standards.
We’ll keep it a few more weeks and we’ll announce in the administration screens that it will be removed.

This new process to run with cron follows strictly the WordPress standards, cancelling external calls to configuration files, improving performance and data processing for the execution of the campaigns.

So much in so little.

A major version composed of several minor versions.

Although it seems that there are no big changes because it is a major version, we have divided all the new features and fixes in several small releases.
This helps not to deal with all the changes together, reducing dramatically the error margins and the generation of bugs with their corresponding support tickets.

So many of the features listed below were added and several more that come in the following minor releases.

Changelog

  • Added custom statuses to campaigns.
  • Improved from scratch external cron processes . If you use external cron, you should take a look at the new URLs in Configuration.
  • Improved insertion of tags and categories in messages.
  • Added possibility to add tags in the post type Topics of BBPress.
  • Resolves a problem when getting the source coding chrset
  • Solves a problem in the controls of duplicated by hash.
  • We changed the transient name from encoding_hosts to wpematico_encoding_hosts.
  • Increased transient cache time of encoding_hosts to 6 hours.
  • Improved security when saving data in all admin screens.
  • Fixes a reported vulnerability that was only available to users who could access the WPeMatico Settings screen.
  • Implementation of the sections by WordPress filters in the different tabs of the Settings.
  • Installed extensions are now showed in the plugins page in the row of the WPeMatico plugin.
  • Fixes some warnings on the Licenses page.
  • Fixes the Uncaught Error: Calling a get_columns() member function on the page…
  • Changed the constants printed in the debug file to a limited white list of them.
  • Fixes some problems with multiple alerts in the campaign edit js.
  • We fixed many bugs based on your feedback. Thanks for helping us out!

Take a look and download it from WordPress.org by clicking here!