The establishment media is now not only acknowledging that Donald Trump can win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, but also apparently conceding that he has an objectively reasonable shot at prevailing in next year’s general election in addition.
Most American politics observers came to the same or similar conclusion long ago, but the realization only recently reached the denialists in the ruling class, the know-it-alls who prefer listening to the sounds of their own hysteric (Not Trump!) voices in place of closely examining the signals from the American people themselves.
Trump’s most recent indictment (number three) and arraignment in Washington could complicate the analysis, but still, the writing is on the wall. Is opinion shifting regarding Trump’s chances in 2024? In an opinion piece titled “Trump Actually Has Pretty Good Odds of Getting Back to the White House”, regular Trump antagonist Rich Lowry wrote at Politico Magazine:
“What we are looking at, then, is an unpopular incumbent who doesn’t control Congress, so has limited power to change his image, and who’s a hostage to fortune regarding his health and the state of the economy.
“And he may well be challenged by an unpopular opponent who’s one of the most famous people in America, with limited power to change his image and who’s a hostage to fortune regarding his legal issues and the state of the economy.
“It’d behoove Republicans not to play this game and offer someone who’s fresh and relatively young, with much less baggage, beginning with not having committed or been indicted for any crimes. Failing that, the GOP is going to bank on Trump not being literally unelectable, and hope for the best.”
As I’ve been saying a lot lately, it’s not the GOP that’s going to bank – or not bank – on Trump’s electability. Nor is it the Democrats, liberal donors, tech barons, consultants, snobby elites, university political science professors or anyone else who thinks they understand human nature and voting behavior better than the average guy on the street.
It’s the millions of citizens across the country who are doing so collectively when they vote in their individual state’s primary (or caucus). It’s not what one party, or state, or politician, or former president, or gas station attendant, sales clerk, beach lifeguard or unemployed recent graduate thinks. It’s what they all think, as mixed together in a giant cauldron of unfettered opinions in the form of ballots.
Or so we’d like to believe. After the counting fiasco in 2020 and the subsequent naked political witch hunt targeting Trump that’s transpired ever since, who knows if we can ever trust another election again. Are there enough watchers to watch the election overseers? Are the lawyers in place and ready to object when the time comes?
But it’s convenient for Lowry to synopsize the choice the way he did, because that’s what card carrying members of the establishment media do – they search and search for ways to dumb down a complex choice into a “Biden is a corrupt old idiot, but he can still beat Trump”, or a “Most of America never stopped hating Trump, but he might yet win if this and this and this happens” type argument.
Lowry in particular seems especially adept at getting in his anti-Trump digs without making his writings sound as though the world would come to an end if Trump were to win another term, which is more honest than most of his #NeverTrump cohorts who’ve crossed over to the dark side in the Trump era, like former Weekly Standard “conservative” publisher Bill Kristol and half the analysts at MSNBC and CNN these days. Or Jonah Goldberg. Or George Will. Or Peggy Noonan. It’s a sorry list of formerly respectable people, for sure.
The thing that’s missing from most of this type of “He can still win” columns is the fact Trump continues to command one thing that reasonable people will weigh in the lead-up to next year’s elections: he’s right on the issues. Trump is most definitely correct on the illegal immigration plague; he’s dead-on on the need to get the U.S. military back to respectability; he’s salient on the weakness of the current U.S. foreign policy regime, and he’s 110% truthful on the dire need to restore America’s energy exploration capacity vis-à-vis our enemies and the rest of the world. It's not just about gas in the tank, it’s about family budgets, heating and cooling homes and quality of life. People aren’t dumb – or at least those who aren’t bent on accepting rolling brownouts.
Oh yeah – Trump is also prescient on judicial appointments and the Supreme Court. If he was right about more political topics, he’d almost get tired of being right.
Once you move off the “nobody likes Trump” emotional position for Democrats and the media, they don’t really have much left to argue against him. The more recent Biden-fostered indictments, arraignments and prosecutions are a new tack, most likely employed because the old one (that Trump is unpresidential and “unfit” for office) didn’t stop Trump from succeeding.
At the same time, Democrats instinctively figure they can elect any old (or young, corrupt, etc.) bag of bones president. Ideology isn’t nearly as important to Democrat voter deliberations as demographic factors are, which, for liberals, includes place of birth, sex, gender, marital status, whether or not he or she inhaled forty years ago, if they can play the saxophone, answer a “boxers of briefs” query from the audience, whether they know a lot about college basketball (Barack Obama) – and, perhaps most importantly, whether said candidate is adept at defining Republicans and conservatives (a.k.a. “deplorables”) in the most insulting manner possible as backwards, racist, against progress, ignorant (“climate change”), opposed to “voter rights” (i.e. demand voter IDs and that states purge their voter rolls of illegal aliens and dead people).
Past associations with terrorists (Obama with William Ayres) or proven racists (all Democrats with Al Sharpton or Obama with Louis Farrakhan) or America haters (Obama with Jeremiah Wright) doesn’t matter a lick to the gimme-gimme crowd who just require that whomever they put before the voters can be packaged as “moderate” or “middle of the road” so as to fool the biggest swatch of non-ideological voters. You know, the ones who formulate most of their political opinions at the intellectual level of “The View” and typically decide who to vote for based on hair style or preference for Hip Hop or Country Music.
Democrats elect the “suit” rather than delve into little details about the individual candidate’s past history or legislative record. If you don’t think it’s so, review the types of people they elevate. Democrats went for a no-resume “community organizer” over the much more established person of Hillary Clinton in 2008, simply because he was black and had the “it” factor of “Hope and Change”.
Then they chose Clinton herself eight years later even though the woman had been more than exposed for corruption in her post-hubby presidency years. Trump’s moniker of “Crooked Hillary” was very apropos in 2016. Hillary was tied up in a scandal where she’d been caught red handed mishandling top-secret information and abusing her position as Secretary of State. Did it matter to the Democrat faithful? Heck no!
Then there was 2020, when Democrats hauled Joe Biden out of mothballs to run on their behalf even though he was obviously mentally and physically deteriorating. And his family’s crime syndicate was well-known to party faithful, no matter how much they try and deny it. The lawlessness didn’t mean anything to the “just win, baby” forces of empty suit politics that occupy Democrat-land. This is not the case for Republicans and one of the main differences between the two parties. “Character” absolutely counts, but a person’s soul – or lack thereof – isn’t necessarily determined by the absence of harsh language, middle of the night tweeting or decorum that meets the approval of Ms. Manners. Donald Trump was nothing like the Bush family or Mitt Romney, which explains why the grassroots loved him so much.
Trump exuded real world experience and an ability to connect with the people. He articulated political issues in a way that everyone could understand. Trump wasn’t afraid to put forward Angel families to demonstrate what happens when government policy goes bad. He promised to give the government back to the people, to make NATO allies pay their share for their own defense and swore he’d tear up “fair trade” agreements that didn’t benefit the United States workers.
Trump made it so the Republican Party was about more than just tax rates and dumping endless appropriations into the military without accountability. He relayed the story of how he became pro-life and promised to appoint originalist judges. And he came through with most of the policies where he wasn’t blocked by Congress. He did it all with nothing but contempt from the ruling elites and many of the establishmentarians in his own party.
The negativity continued long after he left office, and it will sustain until he agrees to leave on his own. Which will never happen.
No one is claiming that Donald Trump is a lock to win the 2024 Republican nomination much less a sure thing to be elected president – again – late next year. But he can win, and there are a number of scenarios where he’ll do very well. Any media commentator who argues Trump is wholly unelectable is biased or ignorant. Or both. For now, sit back and watch the sparks fly.
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