The Impresario President Will Get an Encore

For anyone with any perspective on American elections, it is clear that the polls do not entitle us to predict with any confidence the outcome of the current campaign. Many of the polls included in the average of polls on aggregator sites are really just the products of Democratic Party front organizations, such as VoxPolitico, Quinnipiac, Monmouth, and others whose chief function is to facilitate the Democratic media locker room cry that they’ve already won and the counting of the votes is practically superfluous. Open the beer kegs! The Trump tyranny is already over. 

Trafalgar, the only poll that showed Trump winning four years ago, shows him winning again this year. And the next most accurate of polls that covered the 2016 campaign and are doing so again is Rasmussen, which has fluctuated and briefly joined the ranks of the Biden victory celebration squad two weeks ago but now has Trump’s approval rating back at 48 percent. 

All polls that put the question receive the answer that people think the majority of their neighbors will vote for Trump, and all polls of Trump voters indicate that they decline to discuss politics candidly with strangers.

There are constant arcane debates between pollsters about the accuracy of the echelon of people whom they poll. Most polls are of “registered voters” and this cohort, generally, is unlikely to bear much resemblance to the functioning electorate. And many polls consist of multiple questions posed on the telephone at inconvenient hours and are responded to only by underactive or unusually politically zealous people. 

There is ample evidence that Donald Trump, in both his elections, has brought out large numbers of people who have not been in the habit of voting since Reagan, and that he is pulling large numbers of working-class Democrats into his camp. 

Of course, there are apparent slippages in all directions in traditional voting blocs. Suburban women who were comfortable with GOP Democratic look-alikes such as the Bushes, John McCain, and Mitt Romney have been tempted by recent Democrats. A good many wealthy voters—not just the Hollywood and Silicon Valley communities who fancy themselves the cutting edge of American thought and civilization—are reliable and often financially generous Democrats. Their money undoubtedly helps their party. The implicit suggestion that because they are competent actors or computer geeks, they are necessarily astute political scientists, is demonstrable nonsense and such pretensions are nauseating to large numbers of voters. 

A greater source of funds for the Democrats is a large delegation of Wall Street denizens whose antipathy to Trump is somewhat counterintuitive. Some are offended by his garish behavior; some are critics going back to the days of Trump’s involvement in the junk-bond-financed casino business; some resent his frequent almost Sanders-like references to the tax breaks the Wall Street high flyers enjoy (which Trump did not attempt to repeal in his tax reform of 2018); some are heavily invested in China and are concerned about his policy toward that country. And some, in the highest traditions of the avarice of the ultra-wealthy, are simply envious of Trump’s money, his lifestyle of almost oriental opulence (replete with a plethora of startlingly attractive women), and above all of his astonishing achievement in translating wide but often negative celebrity into his election as the 43rd direct successor of General George Washington at the headship of the United States of America.

The whereabouts of the American voter just two weeks from the election is made more of a mystery by the overwhelming and unprecedented partisanship of the national political media. All independent surveys and the experience of every media reader, viewer, and listener confirms that over 90 percent of the national political media are not only opposed to Trump but go to the dangerously unprofessional lengths of suppressing negative information about his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden. 

Moreover, they deliberately propagate false or insignificant allegations about the president that can have no other object but to weaken him in the eyes of the voters at the approach of election day. Almost the entire media joined the great majority of the political establishment—Trump-hating Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans together—in saturating the news and attempting to brainwash the country into believing that Trump had colluded criminally and perhaps treasonably with the Russian government in producing the astounding results of the 2016 election. 

Almost the same cast of influencers relentlessly attached unjustified credence to the spurious impeachment of the president over an unexceptionable telephone call that he made to the president of Ukraine. It will not be the least irony of the Trump era that if the facts can ever be unearthed, i.e. if special counsel John Durham can use his broad subpoena and investigative powers to produce enough facts to clarify what happened in the murky but almost certainly illegal confection of the Trump-Russia investigation before he is shot down by a succeeding administration, it will be clear that it was Trump’s opponents who were in league with disreputable Russian elements, and it is also now fairly clear that if anyone had criminal or impeachable relations with Ukraine it was the Biden family and not Trump.   

If Trump were not mortally threatening almost the entire bipartisan post-Reagan political establishment—not only with the loss of position but in many cases with legitimate criminal prosecution—he would be facing a much less solid wall of determination to drive him from office. If he were not so gratuitously obnoxious at times, many more people would rally to the natural desire to support the country’s leader. 

The undoubted disaster of his belligerent interruptions of Biden in their debate, when the moderator, Chris Wallace, though clearly no chum of the president, was in the act of forcing answers from Biden that he would have had a great difficulty giving, drove many to to decide to vote for the alternative no matter how implausible he is. Trump then reinforced that feeling in them by saying that he was debating both Biden and Wallace and that he was absolutely right to interrupt the interchanges between the other two. It is this compulsive bellicosity with more than a hint of self-adulation, as well as the psychotic fear he has generated in the bipartisan political class, that threatens the president’s reelection. 

In the economy, immigration, the environment, nuclear nonproliferation, taxes, deregulation, recognition of the Chinese challenge, progress in the Middle East, shaping up the Western alliance, strengthening the judiciary and the national defense, and managing the COVID crisis, this president has had one of the most outstanding first presidential terms in the country’s history. It is his populist assault on the ruling class in Washington and the vagaries of his personality that will deny him the victory on the scale of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard M. Nixon seeking their second terms. Both men won 60 percent of the vote, and 46 of 48 states in 1936 and 49 of 50 in 1972, and except for the factors named Trump would do the same.

He will not, and much will ride on the last debate on Thursday and on public response to the media’s efforts to suppress the revelations of the Bidens’ skulduggery with Ukraine, Russia, and China. But it is objectively unlikely that so accomplished a president and so incomparably more forceful and capable a candidate will be turned out of office. The whole world has not followed an American election with such ardor since FDR ran for a third term in 1940 promising “All aid short of war” for the democracies against Hitler and Mussolini. At the least, Donald Trump, impresario and showman par excellence, is conducting the greatest spectacle in American history.

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: Caitlin O'Hara/Getty Images

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27 responses to “The Impresario President Will Get an Encore”

  1. Third debate scary. I am afraid it is not going to go well for DJT. Because of format and moderator, DJT should have pulled out and continue rallies. DJT, his personality and speech pattern just not suited for debates, and can only hurt himself by calling Biden all kinds of names to his face, and creating sympathy vote for the ‘ loving Dad just trying to help his drug addicted son’.
    I hope and pray I am wrong.

    • Yes..he should have pulled out and concentrate on spreading the virus!

      • The only name calling was by Joe Biden, calling the President a clown, a loser, and telling him to shut up. Trump did none of these. I question if you actually watched the debate. And you should continue to hide under your bed from the flu.

    • President Trump cannot (and should not) cancel the 3rd and last debate. It would give too many people the impression that it is HE who is afraid to debate Joe Biden. There are some that believe that Trump was already coming down with COVID-19 when he did the first debate. Presumably because his performance was not like the Trump that they know and love (says Rush Limbaugh). Trump was much more measured and controlled with his NBC townhall. Perhaps this will bode well for Debate #3. In any case, I am definitely in the camp that believes he should let Joe be Joe. Do not interrupt. Hopefully Trump will give Joe enough rope to hang himself.

    • The only name calling was by Joe Biden, calling the President a clown, a loser, and telling him to shut up. Trump did none of these. I question if you actually watched the debate.

  2. Mr Black, I read all your essays with appreciation. But along with Ben Shapiro, you fail to appreciate that in order to have the fighter Donald Trump in our corner, we must accept (and in my case, applaud) what you term obnoxious behavior. Probably one of his greatest accomplishments in office is to show tens of millions of Americans that is not just acceptable but right to fight back against the insidious attempts by socialist Marxist democrats to destroy this country. Stop WHINING!

    • Absolutely!!! …As Melania said, “If you pick a fight with my husband, he’ll fight back harder!” I’m fed up with the loser leftists getting by with their lies, bullying and stupid-thinking! Democrats think in conclusions without any reasoning of how they arrived. I’m praying that there will be a lot of firings after the election.

    • Great comment, C Mullen. The effete cognoscenti of American Greatness don’t have the capacity to understand the real American mind, which is Donald Trump.

      All well meaning snobs like Conrad Black have to do is pick up Niccolo Machiavelli’s 500 year old, The Prince and read it for comprehension. In it they will find the first natural law of power politics:

      NICE GUYS FINISH LAST

    • I agree with mr. Mullen. Trump SAID, during his introductory remarks at his escalator, “We don’t have TIME for “political correctness”. Those words alone propelled him to the presidency, I believe. Millions of white
      Americans are sick and tired of being shouted down by skinny little white punks who squeal about “racism!” every time a white conservative says anything.

      ANYTHING.

      Being tough, blunt and honest got Trump elected. He may lose this election, due to the overwhelming power of the leftist media, and the deep state sedition in the CIA, FBI etc, but it won’t be due to his “gruff manner”.

    • You’re correct! The only people turned away by his rhetoric were already leaning in the other direction. And there are as many polls showing he won the debate as there are to the contrary.

    • My sentiments, exactly. Conrad would enhance his already lofty position as a commentator if he were to stop this lording over Donald Trump’s style.

  3. Yes, it is the President’s own flaws which – if anything – will unhorse him; nothing that all his massed opponents (the Swamp etc) can do or say.
    He has achieved very, very much; not least, during 2015/16 by running for election and discrediting the ‘respectable’ candidates (owned by Big Money), most of the national media (throwing into staggering relief its unbounded unprofessional unethical bias), the ‘elites’, the ‘meritocrats’ (what utter misnomers!), and by retiring from front and centre of US politics that major crime couple, the Clintons.
    He has achieved much in office – foreign and domestic policy-wise.
    He has blazed a trail for other genuine patriots of socially conservative bent in future; by showing what they are up against and, by deduction, what they need to do to outwit the Great Blob of the odious modern establishment.
    But he tends not to take good advice from anyone, like that which Lord Black implies above (let Biden in debate have time to come across as fumbling and frankly at sea); does not read books, papers, do detail.
    This can be his Achilles’ heel.
    We have to hope that he wins in spite of himself; just as the Left have done everything they possibly can to lose, by making themselves obnoxious.

    • What you see as President Trump’s Achilles’ heel, 10’s of millions of Deplorables like me, see as his greatest strength. We love Donald Trump, the All-American ball busting brawler.

      Donald Trump is exactly what American culture needs 50 years in to its communist brainwashing.

      • Absolutely correct!! What some see as “obnoxious behavior “ others, including me, see is a Republican who is finally willing to “fight fire with Fire” and not the typical Republican “mamby pamby” who wants to “reach across the aisle “. President Trump understands the evil that is the communist/socialist Democrat Party and that it must not be compromised with and must be defeated.

  4. Yeah right “O Lord of the Frozen Tundra”.. News FLASH.. He PARDONED YOU. And this is what he gets? The pursed lips and Drawingroom depreciation of yet another of the “Entitled Class”. Trump is OUR GRANT. He doesn’t have the elegance or reputation of a Bobby Lee; but as Lincoln said; “He Fights!”. As for the 1st Debate.. It was BIDEN who began the interruptions and BIDEN with the ad hominem attacks that Wallace refused to stop OR call out. THAT’s when the gloves came off. So stuff it. Of course anyone who’s ever attempted to stagger through your hagiography of FDR knows.. Rewriting history is what you’re good at; so it’s hardly surprising you’d engage in it here… It’s your “go to” move.

  5. Conrad Black is one of the writers that I always feel privileged to read and I would add only one thing – that Joe Biden’s appeal to the Democratic party is based on two things.

    First, they have picked Biden because of very superficial similarities to Trump – his age, race, loquaciousness, perceived connection to the working class, etc. They did this because they don’t understand Trump’s success – the populist issues he has championed, such as illegal immigration, outsourcing / offshoring, unfair trade, government corruption, globalism, etc, are all in the dead center of their blind spot. To them, Biden is just Trump but a little older and fitter and polished. But the rest of us see the difference very clearly of course.

    Second, Biden has only shown one competency in his life, and that is his ability to be the financial industry’s friend in Washington and cut deals that enrich them both. With Chris Dodd and Barney Frank’s retirement, his stock soared to the point where he was able to become Vice President. This is the one and only reason he is the nominee because there can be no other reason, as Biden has accomplished nothing else in his almost fifty years in Washington. This both explains Wall Street and the broader financial industry’s support for Biden, and where the Democratic party is post-Obama. The overriding goal is to hold onto the reins of political power and policy is a secondary consideration at best.

  6. Trump has yet to loose a debate by my count, and will win Thursday as well no matter how they rig it against him.

    This election won’t hinge on any debate but on voter fraud in swing states. If Trump can reduce voter fraud to a minimum he will win in an electoral landslide. If the DOJ and Supreme Court choose not to do their job, and poll watchers are successfully excluded on the grounds of phony voter intimidation and phony racism, then Trump will illegitimately loose the election weeks or months later. You will know this is happening if the races aren’t called within 24 hours of polls closing, this is all it takes for real non fraudulent votes to be counted, and legitimate absentee ballots to be assessed.

    If the election is stolen, there will a civil war, the bloodiest the world has ever seen. Period.

  7. Black is again off-base in thinking the only thing hurting Trump is his demeanor. Where has the DOJ been in doing, well, anything in regards to Russiagate or Biden selling out the country? Where has the DOJ been in forcing governors to end lawless tyranny with illegal lockdowns? Where has the President been in dealing with riots? Seven months into “15 days” and far after the George Floyd phony protests belies any leadership this year. He’s only still in the race because the Democrats are a dumpster fire and nominated a vegetable who can’t read his script without drooling on himself. Both parties are completely dysfunctional, and Trump is still the best option. Think about that. Think about how much better we’d be with a President who would actually make his employees do their jobs, and ask why there isn’t a party out there representing the American people in that way.

  8. Last year, in Blue State America, I was at a small dinner party where all were friends, all were Democrats, and all were like-minded academics, lawyers, or educators. When desert was served, the hostess rapped the table and made a general request, not unlike one in an Edgar Allan Poe story, that each of us talk about our respective relatives who were voting for Donald Trump. (The gothic tales this produced reminded me of when Byron, Polidori, Percy Shelley and Mary Shelley, were at the Villa Diodati in 1816.) With dramatic effect I offered up all of my siblings, each of whom was once a partisan Democrat but who now were devoted to the Donald. But my relief was the same as that of Count Dracula being asked to talk about relatives who were vampires. If I had revealed that I too am an apostate Democrat voting for Trump, I would have ruined the party and would have risked having a stake put through my heart.

  9. I see that not only has the ability to reply to comments and like them or not been removed, but also (bonus points) some moderator person has taken it upon himself to disappear comments that are not entirely friendly to Conman Black. Let’s hear it for repression.

    • I found my comment from a few days ago gone. You are correct. Too bad American greatness has become another timid site, afraid to let openly white people post our opinions.

  10. I have a different take on this whole scenario. We put the onus on President Trump by scrutinizing his behavior, his mannerisms, his manner of speaking. I believe this is misguided. I believe the onus should be on each and every American citizen. If Americans are still asleep or overly woke and don’t realize what is happening to our country, what this election is about, then we deserve what we get. Just like we deserved when we got Obama. This election will determine where the soul of this country resides. Judge President Trump by his actions and there should be no reason why every life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness loving American would vote for anyone else.

  11. I hope Conrad Black is right. I am not optimistic. I believe between the dishonest media and mail-in voter fraud, Biden will win a narrow victory. I hope I am wrong. White people who vote for Biden are committing racial and cultural suicide. They are voting away their free speech rights, and their children’s future. But most white voters don’t understand what is happening, and will vote for Biden because they think he will make the Corona virus go away. This is stupid, but that is what i see happening.

  12. Right about now, Conman Balck is putting his finishing touches on his column in which he explains how Trump beat Lesley Stahl in their interview and how he demolsihed Biden in the third [sic] debate.