A Probable and Deserved Victory

As I have a number of things to write tonight, this is an experimental foray into composing in advance the comment I would like to be able to write when the election result is known. This will not be altered even if the anticipated result is far from what actually occurs. The following is written before any of the polls have closed and is a wishful fantasy and will be followed by an epilogue when the result may be reasonably forecast.

The campaign of 95 percent of the national political media of the United States on behalf of the Democrats has been the most odious, dishonest, and unprofessional chapter in the history of American political press going back even to the violent and scurrilous exchanges between the journalistic partisans of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. For the most part, there has not been even the slightest pretense of a separation between comment and reporting, which in my 35 years as a newspaper and radio and television proprietor was always considered and required as the principal criterion of responsible journalism. 

In their desperation to avoid a Bernie Sanders candidacy on a platform so far to the left, it would have no chance of victory, the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party salvaged Joe Biden from the pre-nomination ash heap and carried him across the finish line to the nomination. Apart from the evident fact that he does not have the intellectual stamina to persevere in the uniquely challenging office that he seeks, his candidacy in other ways has been the most unfeasible of any major-party presidential nominee in history. Alton B. Parker (1904) and George McGovern (1972) would have been candidates for Mount Rushmore before it was sullied as a racist affront, in comparison to Joe Biden.

This entire Democratic campaign has been a fraud: a house of cards with a nominee who is not presentable, standing on a platform that is incapable of more than fringe approval by the enthusiasts of ecological terror, open borders, capitulation to the coronavirus, nuclear proliferation for the world’s least responsible governments, sharp tax increases, war on the oil and related industries, continued appeasement of China, and a complete whitewash of those responsible for the corruption of the intelligence agencies and the FBI before and after the 2016 election. This, all before one even gets to the likely impropriety of the Biden family receiving $9.44 million from dubious foreign regimes while Joe Biden was vice president.

Apart from drastically reducing illegal immigration, virtually eliminating unemployment, and creating the conditions in which the lowest 20 percent of income-earners were advancing in percentage terms more quickly than the top 10 percent, Donald Trump’s greatest distinction as president has become his status as the world leader in refusing to be terrified by a virus that mortally threatens one percent of the population—a part of the population that can be identified and protected. 

Alone among leaders of prominent and advanced democratic countries, he is pursuing a policy of targeted protection and medical segregation of the vulnerable while restoring the 99 percent of the population that is not endangered, including the whole school and academic community and almost the entire workforce. 

It is hard to think of a more stark contrast in substantive policy and abstract leadership qualities than that which has existed these last weeks between the president intrepidly campaigning among large and enthusiastic crowds while his opponent and his predecessor skulked tentatively about like moles in the sun, be-masked, inflicting platitudes on diminutive knots of listeners and on half-filled parking lots of honking supporters.

Of course, this president sometimes displays a juvenile ego and behaves boorishly in a manner that is unsuitable to his great office and embarrasses his countrymen. But he was elected in 2016 because he identified the profound worry, anger, and alienation of about half the entire population, which practically nobody else had noticed. Despite being more severely and unconstitutionally harassed than any other president, he has enacted most of the ambitious programs he outlined four years ago, except for comprehensive healthcare reform and infrastructure renovation. 

But because he attacked the entire system, all factions of both parties, he has been relentlessly and savagely assaulted and defamed. The election campaigns just ended set up a cardboard effigy of a candidate with an energetic chucklehead of a running made, incapable of answering any policy question otherwise than with a call for a national “conversation” on the subject. No self-respecting population of an advanced country could possibly have legitimized such an absurd imposture. 

The president had won the election prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The public-relations disasters of his overconfidence, micromanagement, and daily press briefings in which he allowed himself to be baited by insolent reporters have disguised his excellent executive direction of the crisis. The entire campaign against him has been Trump-hate and false charges of COVID blunders. It is quite possible to dislike the president, but hatred of him is not a serious argument for determining who should be president, especially in the absence of a credible alternative. 

Trump inherited an antediluvian public health crisis management system, shortages of everything that was necessary, and an instant state of media-propagated and sustained public hysteria as if the world was being scourged by a plague that was apt to kill everyone. In all of the circumstances, and despite his stylistic infelicities, this president has had the best first term in the country’s history, except for Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Nixon. 

It is a relief to see that the country has rebelled against the media and their phony and incompetent poll-takers and has rebelled against the dangerous authoritarianism of the senior management of the social media outlets as well, and has rewarded a president who has rendered great service. We may legitimately hope that he has a better-developed idea of how the president, whom FDR described as ”the head of the American people” in “what is preeminently a place of moral leadership” should conduct his office. And historians, at least, when cant, emotionalism, and snobbery have subsided, will record with satisfaction the objective merits of a successful administration that prevailed over a despicable and febrile campaign of defamation and monstrous falsehoods.

The election of Joe Biden, to cite the super-Trumpian hyperbole of Ronald Reagan campaigning against the election of Lyndon Johnson in 1964, would have been “a step into a thousand years of darkness.”

Epilogue at 2:45 EST 

The president’s tremendous wind-up campaign was a singular triumph over the corrupt media and social media and polling organizations, and barring a monstrous fraud, he should prevail in Pennsylvania (a 700,000 lead with 70 percent of the votes in), North Carolina (80,000 lead with six percent of the vote left), Georgia, Michigan (320,000 vote lead with 70 percent in), Wisconsin (120,000 vote lead with 91 percent of the vote counted), and Alaska, and possibly Nevada (still counting). 

The president has just spoken and served notice that he considers that if the counting were completed he would certainly be reelected and promised legal action at once to preempt apprehended voter fraud. Naturally, his media enemies are at his moment doing somersaults of righteous peevishness about his “inflammatory” remarks. 

The president has probably won and will probably be confirmed as having won by normal vote-counting, with or without high court judicial review. It is refreshingly likely that he will complete his victory, one of American history’s great personal election victories. His enemies have received a shattering rebuff, with a brief delayed reaction, and media hysteria about Trump’s aggressive legal posture. 

We have heard it all before, and he has retained an adequate level of public support and Republican control of the Senate. He deserves respect.

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: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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