A Rock ’Em, Sock ’Em Campaign

When President Trump got a good look at the coronavirus in late January, and listened to the opening choruses of the Democratic attack on him as “anti-science,” he evidently concluded there was nothing for it but a two to three month shut-down followed by a declaration of partial victory in the public health crisis along with an exhortation to a massive and almost instantaneous economic renaissance coming to a head in late October. It is the boldest tactical political gamble that any American leader has taken since Franklin D. Roosevelt ran for a third term in 1940 on the policy of maintaining peace by arming the democracies fighting Hitler and ordering the largest peacetime arms buildup in history. 

Today’s Democrats, having advocated a shutdown until the election to maintain a depressed economy to hang around Trump’s neck, have caused their media puppets to recite ad nauseam rising incidences of the virus since most of the country has reopened. The nation was free to protest peacefully and riot together at close quarters but the Democratic Party and media have warned that the country is under a moral and medical obligation to revert to social distancing, masks, and other precautions. 

The increases in the numbers of those who have contracted the virus as the country has reopened are largely the result of conducting approximately 300,000 tests a day, and most of the new cases are cured. (The Democrats pretended Trump was serious when he told his rally in Tulsa on Saturday that he had asked his advisors to reduce the number of tests.)

A Weathervane Strategy

In the absence of a viable and articulate candidate for president, the Alinskyite strategists of the Democratic Party have forged an alliance with pestilence, the COVID-19 virus, and have handed their campaign to their allies in the national political media. The virus is represented as proverbially terrifying—no one is safe and it must be resisted by the discontinuation of as much economic activity as possible to facilitate tagging the president with both the illness and the resulting economic depression. 

The rest of the Democratic strategy is that of the weathervane: when revulsion at the killing of an African-American petty larceny suspect, George Floyd, by a white policeman in Minneapolis led to riots and then to arson and vandalism on a mighty scale—in ways having no more to do with George Floyd than with Peter the Hermit—the Democrats would only discuss racially bigoted police brutality and the fraudulent national self-accusation of “systemic racism.” There are a few lingering racists and racist attitudes, but everyone knows the immense, if belated effort the United States has made to extirpate racism, as two terms with an African-American president illustrated.

With more vehemence than ever, the wall-to-wall Democratic media are hammering the president on every issue and at every opportunity without pause or variation or any necessary connection to the facts. 

When the president, wearing leather-soled shoes at West Point, took the arm of the commandant in descending a metal ramp, it was intimated on the Democratic networks that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. When his campaign initially scheduled a rally in Tulsa (the site of a terrible massacre and burning of an African-American community nearly a century ago) on June 19, the anniversary of the emancipation of the last remaining slaves in the Confederacy, CNN’s Don Lemon cited it as evidence of Trump’s bigotry.

Democrats Are Bound to Corruption

The presumptive Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, has dodged the issue of defunding police and just stuck with police reform and African-American rights. Apart from the vaguest hints of regret, the multi-city recourse to urban terrorism, arson, vandalism, looting, and the worst rioting America has known in more than 50 years was not much commented on by the Democratic leadership. 

The Democrats’ presidential nominee is bound hand and foot to the corrupt urban machines in the country’s great cities that generate most of his votes. 

Almost all the violence and the immense destruction that followed the death in Minneapolis occurred in Democratic Party strongholds where the riots were grossly mismanaged and sharp divisions quickly arose between the mayors and their chiefs of police. It was a shocking and brazen spectacle of incompetence and cowardice. In their fear-stricken placation of racial extremists and militant subversives, the spavined hacks who, for the most part, are the mayors of the country’s most important cities, have truckled to the rioters, ignored the riot victims, and effectively invited their police forces to work-to-rule (“blue flu”), or quit altogether. 

Cynical as the Democratic strategists are, it is hard to believe that they imagine this is not a risky approach. As one administration spokesperson put it, “Who are they going to call when no one answers 911, Dr. Phil?”                                                  

The president took the battle to all of his enemies on Saturday at Tulsa, in the return to his campaign after three months. The anti-Trump media are practically celebrating their victory already, as polls show an average lead of eight points for Biden. Most of the polling organizations are too liberal to be trusted and were proved mistaken four years ago. According to those polls historically closer to the mark, the gap is much narrower and barely greater than the advantage Hillary Clinton enjoyed four years ago with her large Democratic majorities in California, New York, and Chicago. 

Looked at with a little perspective, and given all that’s happened—the three month shutdown, unemployment reaching 20 percent, and rioting in most of the country’s large cities that was carried into prosperous business areas—Trump’s polls have held up fairly well. The rally in Tulsa was a test of his ability to pull crowds even with the Democratic propaganda machine virtually announcing that those who attended were signing their own medical death warrants.

Lines of Attack    

From the president’s standpoint, it could have gone better. After all the claims of 1 million ticket applications, there were approximately 6,000 empty seats in a 19,000-seat arena. Trump spoke for an hour-and-45-minutes, was repetitive in places, and introduced his supporting speakers and local Republican candidates too late in the speech. My impression was that there were a flubbed introduction and a couple of dangling sentences. 

But for what was essentially an extempore address of extraordinary length by modern standards, and by a speaker who was out of practice, it was a competent performance. While the live audience was a disappointment, over 5 million people viewed the Tulsa appearance on television and the internet, a respectable Saturday night total in June. 

He gave a clear hint of the line of attack that will be used against his phantom opponent. Biden effectively was described as a mental incompetent, a crook, and a weakling who would be dominated by the extremes that have gnawed away at the underbelly of the Democrats: the urban terrorists, police defunders, and autonomous zone leaders do regard the Democrats as their party. 

Trump made the point that he had achieved more for African Americans in three years than Biden has in 47 years at, as Trump implied, the public trough. He described the Democrats as the party of high taxes, slow economic growth, public disorder, welfare addiction, open borders, poor trade arrangements, and invertebrate vacillation before practically all foreign and domestic enemies. 

The ululations of almost inevitable victory Trump’s enemies are now emitting are nonsense. It is inconceivable that Biden could hold his own with Trump in a series of debates, and presumably the Republicans will be able to assure that the debates occur before a significant number of early ballots are cast or mailed. The result will largely depend on whether Trump’s gamble succeeds. 

Over 90 percent of those afflicted with the COVID-19 virus have minimal or no symptoms, and the 80 percent of people who do not have compromised immunity systems suffer only about one fatality in 7,000. The president knows that economics is half third-grade arithmetic and half psychology—the country wants prosperity back and Trump is a great cheerleader. 

If Trump has calculated correctly, he will return to the voters as the man who defeated the coronavirus pandemic, cut taxes, ended illegal immigration, and delivered unprecedented prosperity to the country twice in four years. No such candidate is going to lose to Joe Biden. It should be an entertaining example of what Richard Nixon, who flung the invective around fairly flamboyantly at times himself, called “a rock’em, sock’em campaign.” Bring it on.

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About Conrad Black

Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world as owner of the British telegraph newspapers, the Fairfax newspapers in Australia, the Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun-Times and scores of smaller newspapers in the U.S., and most of the daily newspapers in Canada. He is the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, one-volume histories of the United States and Canada, and most recently of Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. He is a member of the British House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour.

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

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