A Theory On Why Trump Will Win
William A. Galston writes in The Wall Street Journal about the mood of the country as we approach a presidential election year. He notes how the mood of America affected the result of the 1960 election where Kennedy represented a “new generation” and Nixon was closely associated with Eisenhower as he had been vice-president for eight years under Ike. The United States was looking forward in 1960. He also cites the 1984 election where Ronald Reagan reminded everyone that it was ”morning in America” and that under his leadership the lives of most Americans had improved. People were not going to change horses in 1984.
Galston tries to identify the national mood now by citing a survey by the Economist/YouGov. He says that only 20% of Americans surveyed felt that “things are under control.” Unfortunately for Mr. Biden, 66% felt that things are out of control.
Galston speculates on the reasons for these results:
Inflation has hurt everyone. The economists say it’s a good economy. People don’t feel that way.
Crime is both up and perceived to be up especially in the large cities. Homelessness is rampant. Organized thievery in department stores has become a common occurrence.
The southern border is viewed as insecure and the country is at risk not only on the border, but now in large cities as migrants are sent to these “sanctuary” cities without the cities being prepared for the influx of new people.
Illegal drugs are killing many Americans and the government seems to be unable to do anything about the use of Chinese chemicals for their manufacture or their being smuggled into the country.
The greater international world is also viewed as unstable and the role of the United States in that world is not precisely defined. There is war in Ukraine and Gaza and neither seems to be close to conclusion, nor is there a guarantee that that conclusion will be in the favor of the good guys. In Gaza, we can’t even agree as a nation as to who the good guys are.
Given all of that, it should come as no surprise that a man viewed as a strong leader like Mr. Trump is viewed by many, has a distinct leg up on the weaker looking President Biden.
Galston’s analysis should be music to the ears of Mr. Trump. This is also ironic as today a news bulletin on Fox noted that Biden would be less likely to run if his opponent were someone other than Donald Trump. Biden still thinks he can beat Trump despite the fact that many Americans will ask themselves whether or not they are better off now than in 2019 and decide that they are not. I am not sure what Mr. Biden sees that the rest of us don’t. I think he’s in denial.
This can be juxtaposed with Terry Gross’ interview with Liz Cheney on December 5 on Fresh Air. Ms. Cheney has a new book called Oath and Honor that serves as a warning to the country about the likely scenario should Mr. Trump regain the White House after having tried to overthrow the government on January 6, 2021 by reversing the results of a fair election and empowering hordes of his followers to storm the Capitol. She notes that there were forces in the Justice Department and the courts to thwart Mr. Trump’s efforts to remain in power in 2021. If he is elected again, he will make sure those people will not be in his administration or in his way.
I intend to read the book as it is my belief that Liz Cheney represents the best possible alternative to either Trump or Biden in her conservative values and adherence to the Constitution. It is a shame that she was drummed out of Congress for following her principles when so many of her colleagues in the Republican House caucus knew very well that Trump is a liar and a seditionist, yet supported his nonsense anyway. Both the past Speaker of the House and the current one are in that camp. Cheney has harsh words for both.
Where does all of this leave us?
It is very likely that the American people will be faced with a choice between a man who would be Czar and a man who is fragile.
That being said, if the Galston analysis is correct and Mr. Trump is not convicted of a felony between now and Election Day, he may well be back in the Oval Office on January 20, 2025. That’s not half as frightening as knowing no matter who is elected, the country is in trouble and there is very little that the average, conscious American can do about it.
Is this really the best we can do?