Though it feels like an eternity, it was really only a few short months ago that Donald Trump was projected to be a formidable candidate against his Democratic rival. Once it was revealed that all the Democrats could muster up was that half-sentient gerontic called Joe Biden, Trump’s reelection seemed all but assured. Then, of course, came the roadblocks: first COVID-19, then the mass unemployment, followed by the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots.
Now the country is in disarray and the administration remains in frantic search of a plan of action down the homestretch. While the once seamless victory is now in serious doubt, President Trump is not yet foredoomed to wearing the dishonorable title of one-term president.
The reality is that the president still has a fighting chance, made easier by the sputtering gift of Joe Biden, who is nowhere near his prime, let alone the same man of even five years ago when he was Barack Obama’s clumsy sidekick.
The 2020 election is still President Trump’s to lose. This is largely because Trump’s opponent is the living embodiment of the Washington swamp. Should Trump lose to the walking carcass of the Obama Administration, it will be a terrible embarrassment—not only for Trump, personally, but for the rest of the country. Biden’s election would best analogize to America’s working-class fecklessly keeling over in willful submission to their slave-masters.
Biden represents everything Trump opposed in 2016: he is a corrupt and incompetent Washington insider; a bureaucrat with no real-world expertise; an out-of-touch politician lacking any semblance of moral decency.Looking past the myriad distractions of the past eight-odd months, this race boils down to a classic match of Washington outsider versus insider: nationalism versus globalism; Christianity versus woke moralizing; law and order versus anarcho-tyranny. On paper, Trump wins in each of these categories.
In practice, however, the prevailing narrative, supported by recent polling, is that the president’s campaign is in dire straits—which, admittedly, should be taken with a grain of salt, but not totally written off. At the very least, Trump’s 2020 campaign lacks the novelty of 2016, which is reason enough to take the grim polling at face value, even if it is ultimately fabricated.
The Stakes Don’t Match the Strategy
Given the stakes, whose idea was it for a slipshod campaign representative like Jason Miller to serenade the Washington Post, Joe Biden’s official newspaper, with inanities about how the former vice president is “actually a very good debater”? Is Miller thinking he’s playing four-dimensional chess by downplaying his own candidate’s talents in hopes of cajoling Biden into more debates? If so, it’s an imprudent move—first, because Biden is not a good debater by any objective metric; to think to the contrary is not only defeatist but divulges Miller’s total lack of competent judgment.
Second, despite Biden’s countless faults, his campaign is a sophisticated apparatus, bankrolled by virtually all the major corporate interests in America. America’s ruling class is salivating for a vendetta, one that will indeed be served cold to the deplorables who stand in the way of America’s full-throated takeover by its ruling class.
Despite their seeming lack of political clout, however, America’s corporate masters have played their cards well. Jared Kushner, for one, shamelessly capitulated to Wall Street, which always viewed him as a useful idiot, lining the administration with corporate kinfolk like Gary Cohn and Dina Powell, while obsequiously touting their globalist policies such as the H1B visa program and “First Step Act,” and committing such indignities as Kim Kardashian photo-ops. Kushner in effect is smiting America’s working class for Goldman Sachs; Trump voters be damned.
The gravity of America’s present crisis obviously is beyond Kushner, a Shakespearean flaw that often leads to dramatic lapses in his judgment. This also explains the campaign’s atrocious messaging: Americans are not outraged by Joe Biden’s record of political incorrectness, nor do they wish to be condescended to with emails suggesting they have failed to respond in time to an invitation to dine with the president, or have betrayed the president’s loyalty by not heeding every daily reminder.
This schizophrenic messaging not only plays Trump’s supporters for fools, but more broadly parallels some of the White House’s beleaguered judgment calls in recent months, such as its reluctance to invoke the Insurrection Act to put down the BLM protests swiftly for fear of offending the so-called black community. And yet, rioting hoodlums continue to ravage Portland with impunity. (To the Hannitys who prattle nonsense about how Portland foretells how “America will look under Biden,”—Hello? this is America under Donald Trump!) The trivialization of the political has convinced far too many Republican leaders that power, lacking a politically expedient motive, should not be exercised at all.
The running pattern of spectacularly bad judgment calls extends to former campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who was sidelined in July amid rumors that he was philandering with Hope Hicks. Parscale received well-deserved criticism for failing to register to vote in 2016, preventing him from casting a ballot for the man whose electoral victory he still takes all credit for. Given Parscale’s obvious failure to understand what made Trump a tour-de-force four years ago (it sure wasn’t corporate stimulus packages and black unemployment rates), his demotion was refreshing news for MAGA loyalists.
What all of this underscores is that Trump’s reelection is about much more than politics-as-usual: America is experiencing an unprecedented crisis for its very identity and survival.
Republicans may not have another opportunity come 2024 to recoup their losses should the republic buckle under a hard-Left tidal wave that will inevitably flow from a Biden victory. Hence this is not about advancing a list of grievances, but issuing a rally cry for the Trump team to start taking things seriously—or better yet, honorably step down out of deference to those who know better. A cadre of cognitive peasants lacking a deeper understanding of America’s maladies will not salvage the Republic, and a competent campaign would be well-advised to oust them at once.
Humble, God-fearing, philosophically literate public servants instead should take their places and anchor this sinking ship: neither careerists nor opportunitists nor corporate sellouts, but true men of character, fortitude, and resiliency. In short, what we need are real leaders—nay, we need new Founding Fathers.