Donald Trump intends to return to the White House after the 2024 election as the saviour of the United States. This follows from his recent statements and information from his “inner circle”
Still numerous supporters of the ex-president will surely be happy about this, but Trump runs a great risk of becoming not the saviour but the gravedigger of conservative America.
In the old theatre anecdote, at a provincial variety show jubilee, everyone but the elderly tragedian and the elderly comedian walk around. “Not invited, forgotten,” saddens the tragedian. And the comedian laughs, “Not invited. They remembered, the bastards!”.
Now this joke is about Donald Trump and the state mourning events held in New York on the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. He, unlike other ex-presidents, was not invited to them (remember!), so he arranged his own – with New York firefighters and police officers, the “folk heroes” of 9/11.
At the meeting, timed to coincide with the terrorist attack, the billionaire was asked a question he has been asked many times before: will he run for president in 2024? Usually Trump was interesting – answering in the spirit of “time will tell”, “nothing is out of the question” or “a decision will be made later” – but this time he was quite transparent:
“I know what I’m going to do, but I’m not allowed to talk about it yet because of campaign finance laws… But I think you’ll be happy. Let’s put it this way.”
A few days later, in an interview with the Republicans’ flagship TV station Fox News, Trump’s response to the same question was as follows: “I don’t think we’re going to have a choice… We’re getting to the point where we simply don’t have a choice.”
In other words, President Joe Biden is about to drive the country to the brink, so Trump will have to come back to save America. He confirmed this interpretation on Newsmax: “When we go to the polls, we won’t have a country left”.
It turns out he intends to take revenge and return to the White House after 2024. Politico newspaper came to the same conclusion after interviewing its sources in Trump’s inner circle. Until recently, such a development was hard to imagine – the billionaire seemed like a cursed politician whose continued career was unthinkable. But Biden’s series of failures, including the withdrawal from Afghanistan and galloping inflation, have altered this attitude.
As several opinion polls suggest, if an election were held soon, Trump would overtake Biden – his electoral advantage is small (about one percentage point) but stable. At the same time, he remains the absolute leader in terms of sympathy within the Republican Party, which entitles him to an easy victory in the primaries.
Despite all this, Trump’s nomination is a bad idea, threatening extremely unpleasant consequences for Trump himself, for the Trumpists, for the Republican Party and for the United States as a whole.
A full-fledged Trump-Biden rematch is unlikely to happen at all for the reason that there is very little chance of a new run just for Biden. He looks like a one-term president and will be under serious pressure to give way to a younger successor. And with conflict in the party, the 81-year-old Biden clearly does not have the energy to get through the crucible of the primaries.
In other words, it is likely to be a younger politician without the weight of failure under his belt that will confront the vengeful Trump.
These are two of Trump’s own greatest vulnerabilities – past and age. In 2024 he will be as old as Biden is now. Americans regularly observe the nuances associated with the head of state’s advanced age, and they clearly don’t like them, judging by Biden’s ratings.
As for the “ghosts of Trump’s past”, the main one is himself.
One can sympathise with him as a politician (if only on the “Democrats are worse” principle) who promised to “drain Washington’s swamp”, but he clearly has not succeeded. The scale of President Trump’s actual achievements is also quite modest – at least far less than what Trump himself attributes to them.
The former president’s narcissistic personality type, exuberant temper, obnoxious nature and love of ill-conceived declarations is no secret to anyone either. Republican supporters tried to ignore this when Trump was a winner, because winners are not judged. But he suffered a very sensitive defeat at the hands of Biden last November, and after storming the Capitol, Trump was practically “finished off”, even losing his Twitter account.
Trump himself is convinced that his victory was stolen from him by rigging the election. It is more accurate to say that the Democrats cleverly exploited holes in the electoral law and the confusion caused by the pandemic home vote. This does not change the fact that Trump was defeated: if you are president, if your people are in government, if the majority of the Senate and state governments in “disputed” states are your partymates, if your appointments have created a conservative majority on the all-powerful Supreme Court and you still cannot prove voter fraud, you have lost, there can be no two opinions.
Trump is coming back now precisely because he hates to lose and is obsessed with proving his greatness to all detractors at once. He is driven by grievances and complexes rather than sober political calculation. Sanity has not always been his strong point, so scandals such as that of General Mike Milley are lime-laden on his reputation and will inevitably weigh him down in the final campaign for 2024.
It is a joke – the question is now being posed as if Trump’s policies were so aggressive and chaotic that they could lead to war with China and turn America into nuclear ashes. This is as unfortunate a backdrop to the campaign as possible.
All of these factors that predetermine another Republican defeat can be avoided by realising Trump’s virtues (which he has, including attracting millions of new voters to the party) and giving him the necessary “respect”.
For example, Trump could support one of his like-minded or even, one might say, disciples – loyal “Trumpists” – by handing over his electorate to him and becoming a kind of patriarch, ideologue, party celestial. Especially since there are successful candidates, most notably Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the most popular Republican politician since Trump.
He is known for his consistent and firm support for the Trump agenda, effective and decisive measures in the governor’s office and, most importantly, an untainted reputation. The liberal media have tried to fabricate provocations against Desantis, but they all turn out to be nothing.
But if Trump opts for himself, an elderly and scandalous egocentric, a very likely defeat will finally destroy him, undermine the position of the Trumpists and critically weaken the Republican Party. By retaining control of the White House and (also likely) of Congress, the Democrats will have time and energy to complete their cycle of “great reforms” and establish a one-party dictatorship in the country.
The process has now slowed somewhat – due to public discontent and Biden’s unpopularity – but a healthier successor will see it through. And then every conservative in America will greatly regret that in 2024 the eccentric billionaire Donald Trump has once again mistaken his personal wool for the state’s.
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