The Misery Compact

The wisecrack in MAGA world is that coronavirus hysteria and the catastrophic consequences of related lockdowns have an expiration date: November 4, 2020.

That, of course, is the day after the presidential election, which our political experts currently predict will be won by Joe Biden. Panic over the flu-like virus will disappear; power-grabbing governors will ease house arrest orders; children will go back to school; face coverings will be torched; and the news media’s coronavirus dashboards will be archived for history.

Further, inner-city unrest magically will be cured. Antifa thugs will go back to Starbucks or their bedroom in mom’s Westport mansion or their Ivy League dorm rooms. 

Crisis over.

But that scenario is more than just the cynical view of Trump supporters wary that the current turmoil is the latest attempt to oust the president from the Oval Office—it appears to be the election strategy of the Joe Biden campaign, the Democratic Party, and the news media. And they are making no effort to keep it a secret. 

“[I]f Trump wins a second term—especially if that victory relies on another rural surge to overcome massive opposition across the big metros—the chaos in Portland might look like only the preliminary skirmish for an even more incendiary collision to come,” threatened Ronald Brownstein, a senior editor for The Atlantic, in a recent column.

In other words, rednecks, mayhem, and destruction will continue unless Bad Orange Man goes back to Mar-a-Lago in January.

Reversals of Fortune

The country’s abrupt turn-of-events since the spring has deeply jeopardized Donald Trump’s reelection chances. 

Just four short—long?—months ago, the president appeared to be sailing to a second term. His approval ratings were at record highs following the failed impeachment attempt; internal strife threatened to divide the Democratic Party or, at the very least, dampen voter turnout and election enthusiasm. Democratic presidential candidates continued to embrace radical policies demanded by “the squad” to offset the fury that Donald Trump’s opponent would be one of two old white men.

But Trump’s political fortunes have changed rapidly since then. As I’ve noted repeatedly, he is partly to blame; the decision to follow the advice of Doctors Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx in late March to shut down the economy for another 30 days after the failed 15-day “flatten the curve” order may well be remembered as the worst decision of his presidency.

Not only did the lockdowns crash one of the greatest economies in American history, they unleashed the inner tyrant of every governor, mayor, journalist, and homeowners’ association president. Our children left school in March for spring break and most won’t return until at least the end of this year. It’s a slow-moving tragedy with lifelong ramifications that might never fully be calculated.

Lockdowns Aid Democrats

Democrats, smartly if not wickedly, are exploiting it all for political gain. 

Rather than assign blame to the incompetent Democratic governors of New York and New Jersey—two states that account for almost one-third of the total COVID-19 deaths in the country while acting as “super spreaders” for the rest—Democrats daily accuse Trump of killing the more than 150,000 people who reportedly succumbed to the disease. 

Democrats and their media mouthpieces push for universal testing even for healthy people, then subsequently caterwaul about the number of cases as if the increase in numbers is somehow Trump’s fault. Puerile outbursts about face coverings stoke continued panic over a virus that increasingly looks to be less dangerous than the average flu to most people.

While Democrats prolong stay-at-home orders in their states, reopening and then again closing small businesses on a whim, fueling unemployment, and preventing any sort of recovery, they weaponize every piece of bad economic news against the president. What better campaign slogan for Team Biden than “Donald Trump Killed 150,000 Americans and the Economy”?

Further, the lockdowns provide multiple political benefits for Democrats. Their clearly mentally compromised presidential candidate can campaign from his basement, safely sheltered from journalists and voters he was publicly harassing before the virus arrived, with no questions asked. Hype about rising coronavirus cases in Florida prompted Republicans to cancel the national convention planned for next month. The status of fall debates between the two candidates remains up-in-the-air; Biden’s team assuredly will do whatever it can to avoid these customary and necessary events.

As if this upheaval isn’t enough, major cities remain besieged by domestic terrorists disguised as “protestors” while Democratic mayors and the news media cheer from the sidelines. The destruction, however, couldn’t be the fault of ideologically-sympathetic “leaders” who are either incapable or unwilling to halt the madness; no, only Donald Trump is to blame. “The President did not quell it, he escalated it,” tweeted Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, whose city perhaps has been permanently wrecked, on July 14. “His heavy-handed tactics led to a serious injury and enflamed (sic) an already tense situation.”

Twisted Gratification

Longtime Democratic consultant David Axelrod offered a similar spin. “The [sic] is precisely what @realDonaldTrump and his campaign were hoping for,” Axe tweeted on July 26 along with an article about Seattle’s riots. “He’s an arsonist, not a fireman. He wants to stir violent protests to fuel his ‘law and order’ campaign ads.”

Get it? Donald Trump, not lawless thugs occupying Democratic-run cities for weeks on end, is the real culprit. When he goes away, the deal is, that goes away. It all goes away.

Agree to the Democrats’ terms . . . or else.

The NeverTrump Right, again acting as the Left’s useful idiot as it has done for the past four years and counting, echoes the Democratic Party’s latest sinister warning. “Joe Biden’s election will end national nightmare 2.0,” George Will concluded. “Many of Trump’s current campaign ads portray a dark, fraying America.” Biden’s campaign theme, “Build Back Better,” is a promise to fulfill the “national desire . . . that the world as they know it is recoverable,” Will explained.

Biden, for his part, is giving the same message in his shaky, scripted “campaign” appearances. “He’s quit on you, he’s quit on this country,” Biden said of Trump during a July 21 appearance. “[D]onald Trump fails the most important test of being an American president. The duty to care. For you. For all of us.”

The Left and NeverTrump have proven they will stop at nothing to get rid of Donald Trump. From launching corrupt, abusive federal investigations and illegally leaking classified information that put the country at risk to supporting impeachment over a brief phone call with a foreign leader, #TheResistance has no boundaries. Yes, they will destroy once-great American cities and keep us under house arrest while crashing the economy to regain political power.

The country’s collective misery gratifies them in a twisted way; the boot comes off the throat only after they win. It’s the most pernicious political strategy in modern times—and, unfortunately, it just might work.

About Julie Kelly

Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. After college graduation, she served as a policy and communications consultant for several Republican candidates and elected officials in suburban Chicago. She also volunteered for her local GOP organization. After staying home for more than 10 years to raise her two daughters, Julie began teaching cooking classes out of her home. She then started writing about food policy, agriculture, and biotechnology, as well as climate change and other scientific issues. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1990 with a degree in communications and minor degrees in political science and journalism. Julie lives in suburban Chicago with her husband, two daughters, and (unfortunately) three dogs.

Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

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