Trump Shouldn’t Cling Bitterly, But Rise Again

It is a tainted election, with a poor result and a disquietingly unprepossessing presumptive president-elect. The current president did great damage to himself by his frequent lapses into boorish self-obsession. He also had an outstanding  term of achievement in the face of unprecedented obstruction and illegal harassment, as well as the almost unanimous and hysterical antagonism of a totalitarian opposition media. And so he’s being evicted. Taking his place is a ramshackle coalition of big media, big money, big tech, big league sports, Hollywood, most of Wall Street, and an odious ragtag of urban guerrillas masquerading as civil rights crusaders. 

The Supreme Court, led in its pusillanimity by the chief justice of the United States, is afraid to touch a presidential election. This is a vortex in which the Republican Party has been almost entirely taken over by a talented and, in policy terms, very clear-headed leader who is unfortunately unfeasible to a majority of Americans, virtually brainwashed as they have been by an Orwellian media denouncing Emmanuel Goldstein every hour of every day. The Democrats, meanwhile, have been effectively taken over by socialist, self-hating whites, white-hating blacks, and guilt-ridden renunciators of any recognizable version of American history and values. 

Yet the American system, in its ineluctable way, is again adjusting to and coping with these tumultuous times.

The political atmosphere is so charged, it is intolerable. Donald Trump narrowly won his campaign in 2016 against the bipartisan post-Reagan political class that he and an adequate number of his countrymen believed, with a plenitude of evidence, had thoroughly misgoverned the country. The previous 20 years under administrations and congresses of both parties had been an unsatisfactory time of endless, fruitless war in the Middle East and an immense humanitarian refugee disaster, the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, millions of unskilled immigrants pouring illegally across the Mexican-U.S. border, unfavorable trade arrangements, and China advancing by leaps and bounds at America’s expense. Trump effectively ended almost all of that and eliminated unemployment and oil imports as well. 

But prominent among the forces he denounced were the national political media, and in a pioneering way, he used social media to communicate directly with the public and successfully countered the traditional political media.

The national media was generally offended by Trump’s garish personality anyway, and while they had enjoyed him as a tabloid celebrity, the idea of transforming his notoriety into election as president horrified and disgusted almost all of the principal media outlets and drove them to paroxysms of unprofessional bias and venomous mudslinging. The principal social media chief executives, having made huge fortunes very quickly and feeling themselves detached from customary big business conservative and capitalist attitudes, resented Trump’s use of their platforms and joined in the general media sandbag-job on the president while pouring huge sums into carefully conceived plans to exploit the coronavirus and make voting with posted ballots a superhighway to political manipulation in a handful of key states governed by Democrats or NeverTrump Republicans. 

Universally and relentlessly roasted by the press and outfunded two-to-one by limousine liberals and trendy high-tech billionaires, the president fought a courageous and energetic campaign in vivid contrast to his diffident, inarticulate, and generally unseen opponent.  

Trump loved attention and had built his career on the theory that all publicity is ultimately good, and the media gave him practically unlimited coverage, almost all of it hostile, and the huge number of Americans inclined to dislike his constant exhibitionism and self-glorification were lathered up into extreme electoral hostility. The country did not want a president in its face all the time, particularly a president almost always presented in the most unflattering possible light. The majority approved his policies but they were also tired of him and the disorder of riots, and constant political confrontation. 

Though most of the lawlessness was caused by his enemies, broad swaths of the public blamed it all on him. Removing him became the obvious way to improve the political climate. Yet in the end, so strenuous was his tenacity of office, electoral skulduggery on a scale unprecedented in American history was required to remove him. Without a miraculous surge of Constitutional virtue by the Supreme Court, he will go, so the system will have alleviated the extreme tension of the Trump era.

It had to be alleviated, either by Trump’s triumph or his defeat. But his party gained ground in the Congress and in the country, Trump’s policies, more popular than their author, have been effectively ratified. 

The Republicans will probably retain control of the Senate and win control of the House at the midterm elections, and prevent the enactment of any significant part of the official socialist program of the Biden-Sanders Democrats. Thus, “normalcy” returns, but little sound policy is undone and no radical policy is legislatively enacted. 

President Trump succeeded in heavily fortifying the Constitutional originalism of the federal bench, including three traditionalist Supreme Court justices. Their confirmation roused the Democrats to threats of court packing, but the reticence of the courts to look seriously at the election irregularities has caused that threat to recede. 

Again, the balance of the system is retained: the source of extreme controversy departs but his policies are not repealed; the Democrats occupy the White House with an enfeebled new administration and the Republicans will likely regain firm control of the Congress. The Supreme Court moves rightward but declines to intervene in a questionable presidential election, and will be undisturbed. All the bunk about Trump unleashing mob violence and clinging to the furniture in the White House and the Supremes frustrating Democratic voters evaporates.   

The strength and the weakness of America is that it is a jungle: constant fermentation, tremendous competitiveness, universal striving for success. But like all jungles, it is a very rough place and even when covered by a façade painted by Norman Rockwell or Grandma Moses, the 30-foot constricting snakes and the 700-pound cats rule. It is a society of immense innovation and achievement in almost every field, but one that grinds millions of people to powder in its ruthless and inexorable cycle. 

The celebration of Trump’s enemies will soon bore the public and the media will soon cease to lionize the ungalvanizing Biden and his entourage of political manipulators and faction-heads. There will be little leadership, little unity, and they will be to the left of the country, stalled by the Congress, and generally tedious and ineffectual. The times will not be gentle and the attempt of Anthony Blinken and John Kerry and the other quavering Obamans to sanitize the world and collegialize the Western Alliance will be an almost total failure.

If Donald Trump fights to the bitter end an election he would have won if he had responded early enough to the threat of ballot harvesting or if he had not so badly bungled the optics of the pandemic, and had not been so obnoxious in the first debate, and if he attempts to operate a parallel opposition presidency constantly inflicting himself on the public as if he were still at the head of the country, he will ride noisily and bumptiously into the political sunset. 

If, on the other hand, he holds his fire for a year and allows the mediocrity and ineptitude of Bidenism to open the kimono fully to the country so that it may be exposed in its infirmity, Trump will make the greatest American political comeback since FDR came out of his convalescence from polio and rolled his wheelchair into the White House, which would be his home for the remaining 12 years of his life.

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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.

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