The Crazy Contours of the Crazier 2024 Election

We start with the likely American landscape over the next two years.

Joe Biden has no choice but to focus on a purely negative message. So we already know his talking points for the next 18 months: “ultra MAGA” demons, “semi-fascist” insurrectionists, Trump!, Trump!, Trump!, and more Trump!, murdering fellow Americans by putting limits on partial-birth and early abortions, “censorship” as banning critical race theory indoctrination and grooming books, inciting racial tribalism, along with the corollary old boilerplate triad of isms—“fascism, sexism, and racism!”

There will be no Democratic primary debates, even if support for Robert Kennedy, Jr. surges to 25-30 percent of the Democratic electorate. The latter is banking on his name, his gut instinct there are still some JFK-like Democrats and Independents in hiding, the decline of Joe Biden, and the pushback against all things woke.

Biden is failing at a geometric rate of enfeeblement and would likely not be able to rest up, medicate, and prep full-time to salvage the debates as he did as a candidate in the attenuated debate series of 2020. His handlers do not wish to tempt fate a third time and hope that if it comes to a Trump-Biden race that they can goad Trump into offering an excuse to curtail or cancel the debates entirely.

Why Stick with Biden?

So why does the Left stick with Biden, given his high negative ratings, the red-flag example of an enfeebled Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and a disabled Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.,), and his daily lapses of cognition, his inability to read off a teleprompter, his slurring of words to the point of incomprehensibility, his peculiar short-step, hands-out gait, and the indiscreet flashing of his paint-by-numbers, bold-letter prompt cards?

Does the Left not grasp that Biden is one additional bad fall on the steps of Air Force One from full disability, one sparkle-in-his-eye fixation on a young preteen girl in the audience that earns his eerie quips, blowing into the hair, and 20-seconds-too-long hug away from scandal? One complete freeze, in which he loses cognition and the ability to identify those in his immediate vicinity, away from total befuddlement?

Do they not appreciate that Biden is one crooked tax-document dump, one Hunter new-old email release, one burned and flipped former crony whistleblower away from special counsel/impeachment territory?

Do they not understand that the subtext of the current toxic inclusion of Hunter Biden on Air Force One, the shakedown pay for his nose-brush paintings, his new move into the White House, and his cue-card presence at the side of his bewildered dad are all a sort of implied familial blackmail by a prodigal son who believes he got dirty and decadent enriching the Biden clan–his father especially—and yet was never appreciated for his skullduggery?

We are watching a cornered Hunter reclaiming his due as first son. He seeks exemption from the walls-are-closing in law, and wishes to remind the Bidens at any moment he can take them all down with him. Keep your friends close, your family closer.

Nevertheless, the Left Unites

Still, despite the downsides, there are various reasons that explain why the Left unites behind the unpopular and flawed Biden, who is perhaps the least physically able, oldest, and most corrupt president in modern history.

One, the hard Left has learned that despite the obvious liability of a non-compos-mentis president, the advantages of outsourcing the main decision-making of his presidency to the hard Left—the new Democratic Party of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, the squad, the recalibrated Obamas, the black caucus, and the wink and nod to Antifa and BLM—mark a rare moment in U.S.history.

A Jacobin crowd, whose agenda does not poll 50 percent on any issue, is now running the country. Joe Biden is its ancient, happy-face emoji. It has managed in two years to wreck the border, destroy energy autonomy, fuel racial tensions, create an entirely new cause of the aggrieved “transgender community,” tank the economy, spike crime, and put America into rapid decline abroad beneath the Biden façade—and call it all “progress.”

The wherewithal in lieu of popular support came from huge amounts of tech and corporate cash, and the fealty of most of our cultural institutions, from Silicon Valley and the media to the corporate boardroom, academia, K-12, professional sports, entertainment, and the weaponization of the federal bureaucracy including the FBI, Justice Department, Pentagon, CIA, and IRS.

In other words, for the Left having no president at all certainly has its advantages. No one in the Oval Office is warning the socialists, “You guys are crazy and will cost me the election if you keep it up!” Instead, with no one in charge, everyone is in charge.

Two, what choice is there?

The more Kamala Harris knows she must not cackle, must expand her vocabulary to 500 words, and must stop the endless Soak-Wash-Rinse-Spin repetitive cycle of Kahlil Gibran platitudes, the more she simply sticks to her one-trick shtick. No one knows whether on her prompt some aide composed such mush for her teleprompter, or she is freelancing, or if it even matters. Harris is the first vice president in memory whose liabilities prevent an accustomed presence at foreign dignitary funerals.

Three, the Left knows that the strategy of using the Biden veneer for an unpopular socialist agenda is dangerous. It risks Biden’s minute-by-minute octogenarian fragility and, in his vacuum, too much visibility to the absurd people who now surface to lecture the nation on a future of battery-operated tanks, “secure” borders of 6.5 million illegal entries, racist clover-leaves and overpasses, and Dylan Mulvaney’s heroics.

Given all that, the 2024 Democrat campaign in default style has pivoted also to lawfare.

If Alvin Bragg, Letitia James, Fani Willis, Jack Smith, and E. Jean Carroll can stagger their indictments and lawsuits, egg Trump to keep posting on social media, prepare all sorts of gag orders, stays, delays, hearings, and consultations that require Trump to appear in court in chronic fashion, then they believe they can win him just enough empathy to take the Republican nomination, but by November create enough nationwide exhaustion that Independents, Rhinos, and some shaky Trump supporters stay home with a sigh that they “can’t take it anymore.”

So the Left’s strategy seems to be that a few provocative early cuts will create enough blood to excite sympathy and enlist first aid, but subsequent hundreds of cumulative wounds leave such a bloody scene that supporters will recoil, certain either that the victim is terminal or the effort to resuscitate him too messy.

The Republican Strategy

As far as the Republicans, no one knows anything at this early stage and those who say they do know even less.

We forget that in May and June of 2015, we were variously lectured that Jeb! was the Bush who should have been president, that Chris Christie was the sort of blue-state governor that could win nationally, that it was time for Marco Rubio to meet his destiny, that a can-do Rick Perry of 2012 in 2016 would bring Texas know-how to the White House, that Ben Carson was the real outsider we’ve been waiting for, that Ted Cruise alone could unite the anti-Trump vote to rescue the nomination, that Mike Huckabee’s 2012 bid was a just a run-up for his 2016 surge, that the perfect governor Scott Walker had all but locked up on the nomination—and that Trump was a supposed buffoon with zero chance of being nominated and less than zero of being elected.

When Trump currently cuts commercials focusing on the Biden catastrophic record, when he gives televised interviews in which he outlines his solutions to the current self-created messes, and when he omits reference to the “stop-the-steal” past and focuses on 2024, he wins.

And when he detours from comparing his record and agenda to Biden’s and instead replays all the terrible injustices done him (and there were plenty) and goes full bore into ad hominem personal attacks against DeSantis and his sterling record in Florida, he loses the very constituencies he and other Republicans need to win—suburbanites, independents, Democrats terrified of cancel culture, and a few stray rhinos embarrassed by their past nihilistic votes for Biden.

The strange thing is that Trump knows this paradox better than anyone, and seems happy and content when he keeps to his record and future solutions, and morose and moody when he replays the past with himself as the central character rather than the suffering country.

The Democrats fear Ron DeSantis more, evident by the Left’s strange occasional praise of Trump and the latter’s own even stranger attacks from the Left on the Florida governor on abortion, Social Security, the Florida response to COVID, and the repeal of the ossified, crony-capitalist special exemptions for a now woke Disney. The Left’s operative strategy apparently is that it believes Trump customarily gets mad, but DeSantis even more dangerously gets even.

Still, the Left viscerally hates Trump more than it despises DeSantis. It knows the present pro-Trump strategy is risky, since, in 2016, that gambit gave a billion dollars in free media to Trump, only to see him win the Electoral College over a flawed candidate but perhaps even less flawed than Biden. It rationally knows that risk, but emotionally knows it cannot stop taking it.

Lots of candidates may jump into the race, either as vice presidential hopefuls, or hoping that DeSantis proves a Scott Walker, the great Governor hope, who nearly turned a purple state red, took on the right enemies, got reelected, had data and policy at his fingertips—and strangely fizzled out in the first debates.

In contrast, the apparent DeSantis strategy is to declare in mid-May to late June, as the Biden record becomes more depressing, as the Trump legal morass grows and empathy fades, and the more Trump attacks him, the more an above-the-fray DeSantis talks about his record and agenda and creeps back in the polls.

All of the parameters above may be what is known so far. Far greater are the known unknowns of the next year and a half.

If we hit full stagflation with more bank collapses, higher interest, soaring energy prices, and a scary expansion of the slugfest in Ukraine, then all the Democratic strategies in the world will not prevent Biden’s Cartesque fate.

Will Biden manage to simulate a presidency or continue to scare even his supporters? Which, if any, of the four or five legal attacks on Trump will stick, and if so, when, why, and how? And how will DeSantis do with crowds, rallies, and messy spars?

Again, the only thing that is now known is what is possible. What everyone now thinks is certain is likely unlikely. The 2024 race is not predetermined but more fluid than ever.


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29 thoughts on “The Crazy Contours of the Crazier 2024 Election”

    1. “Rhinos”?
      My bad, I noticed that too. (I used to edit medical papers before submitting to Journals.) Victor possibly had a reason for both. He is, after all, a genius in my estimation.

  1. Biden et al have become an avatar for all the utopian dreams, and atavistic impulses for POWER, of the Leftist/Marxist cabal that floods to the ramparts of an overweening and increasingly tottery administration. Seeming incompetence has a value all of its own. The sheer weight of ennui and obstruction is a Gordian knot that begs for an Alexander solution. The opposition candidates must pass through their own gauntlets as well and who will prevail is a guess. For me, the former POTUS has become a drunken brawler in one long bar fight who just swings at everybody in the hope to be the last one standing. It doesn’t work and will cost the Rs the election if allowed to continue.

  2. The left doesn’t care about voting. It cares about counting the votes

    This bulk of this article reads as an answer to : why the Democrats know voting is less important than counting votes.

    It’s so complicated it’s really that simple.

    1. Thomas O'Brien

      So, true, and that is what really worries me. They are so bold in presenting their absurd and unpopular solutions. Public opinion be damned!

      No longer do they hide what they are really trying to do. For me, that is a red flag that they are confident that they can (I’ll be blunt) steal yet another election.

    2. anna willhide

      I agree. Inspite of Dominion. lol I watched the videos of the goings on at election sites during the last election; how a box of ballots was pulled from under a desk after polls had closed. How the staff at a polling site aggressively shooed away authorized election monitors; etc. The changes in how elections were run, with ballots being sent out unasked for, identification and verification methods loosened. One of our first priorities should be to frame certain requirements that will underpin all future elections. Otherwise, how can we ever trust our elections; save our country?

    3. Mike Willner

      Absolutely correct!

      Victor writes, “… all the Democratic strategies in the world will not prevent Biden’s Carteresque fate.” Except for the strategy to rig the election. That will work if everyone keeps “advising” Trump to forget about the stolen 2020 election (and I’ll bet dollars to donuts that seats were stolen in 2022). What is the Republican plan to stop a 2024 steal? If there’s a plan, how is it going?

      Victor predicted the Republicans would win a boatload of House seats in 2022. What happened? You can’t talk about election rigging. The pollsters say the people don’t like it. So let’s just keep predicting Biden will lose, until he wins when the 2024 election is rigged. But we can’t talk about it… it upsets the masses.

  3. Alix Brennan

    Mr. Hanson- Thank you (again) for a thought provoking essay. Everything you stated is true, however you did not mention the flawed/ illegal – election process in this country. It is not believable that between midnight and the following morning on Election “Day” of 2020 in the battleground states Biden could pull out the numbers that he did. Experts – more knowledgeable than me – have stated this is even mathematically impossible. And that is why the Democrats and the crazy left know they can prop up a candidate like Biden and expect a win. I will vote in this election but for the first time in my life (because I’m usually an optimistic person) I feel it really won’t matter. Thank you again for your contribution to making me think.

  4. Kevin T Kilty

    Ted Cruz, professor. Otherwise a solid and depressing compilation of the political landscape.

    I had an interesting conversation with a retired teacher; one that my children had in gradeschool and who is quite likeable. She told me that she loves, yes loves, what Biden is doing for our country. A couple of questions from me revealed that she is thoroughly ignorant about several crises of direct importance to a retiree — continuing inflation eating away at her retirement, the open southern border, and the many-faceted disaster that was the official response to the Covid-19 epidemic. In fact, she was surprised to learn that we’d had epidemics in the past and had responded to them very differently.

    When people say they love where the U.S. is today and love what Biden is doing, they can only mean that they love having their own incoherent political beliefs validated through the incoherence of this adminsistration. Nothing more than belief. Yet, enough to have them continue to vote for more.

    1. I trust you did some home schooling on that child when this individual was in the classroom.
      I have a friend, extremely educated and ran his own business for decades, who sounds much like that teacher. He knows crime is rampant yet refused to see the root cause. He is against males competing in female sports and even females competing in male sports but overlooks the Left’s agenda and will vote for Biden over Trump.
      I have no idea how to get through to people with such an ideological bent.

    2. anna willhide

      I am such a news addict that I was surprised to also discover that there are actually people like you describe. lol

  5. Excellent points, but we still can’t be sure that the “fight” will really be fair. The tricks employed in 2020, the illicit money that insured counting in key districts, etc. — all those things leave doubts that even in what would be a normal landslide in previous times, will be impossible because of outright crookery.

  6. Jeffrey Sheff

    I believe that DeSantis’ position on abortion will lose him the election, if he is nominated.

  7. Dave Woodward

    Thanks to Victor Davis Hanson! From my place among humans, I believe him to be the current embodiment of the long string of geniuses our species has produced over eons. Salute Mr. VDH! 👍

    1. Serpentor of the 3rd Circle, Keeper of the Shiny Thing

      As a member of a superior species, I can assure you that what you say is true. Our science division reports that the composition of his cranium is almost 95 percent aluminum foil. We are still awaiting reports on the anal probe and the cow.

      Best wishes,

      Serpentor of the Third Circle, Keeper of the Shiny Thing

  8. Evan Mullaney

    “The Democrats fear Ron DeSantis more…”

    A rare point of vehement disagreement with Prof. Hanson. The Democrats’ ostensible rage against DeSantis is just more misdirection. We all know that what they say is usually the OPPOSITE of reality, so I’m not sure why anyone but a DeSantis fan would make a care-out for him. No one FEARS Ron DeSantis, except for the Republicans whose Party he is dividing. At the behest of the DEEP STATE.

    DeSantis is Controlled Opposition. And most people know this by now.

  9. Linlee Nelson

    I think it is clear that the Democrat Party doesn’t care who the nominee is. Why would that be? They know damn well who is going to win, that’s why, and I’m wondering when our Party will wake up and quit cowering like little kids in the corner while the bully beats on everybody in the room. Probably never, is the answer to that question, which is why I live in a Red State in a rural area in a home that is easily defended. I am hoping the Chinese are less stupid than the Liberals in their leadership and that Americans having lost America might then wake up and recognize the enormity of what they lost. It’s a difficult time fraught with worry and disgust.

  10. Fred Fairclough

    The Dem puppeteers holding up Giuseppe, Joe from Scranton, Biden and their underlings in the swamp are motivated by three things: (1) large mortgage payments. (2) private K-12 tuitions, and (3) elite university tuitions savings. Employee manual is Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals: lie (big), never admit mistakes, never apologize, and project your on worst personal flaws on the other side. It’s working.

  11. Why Biden? Because he’s totally controllable. And there’s pity. Don’t forget, they control much of what you get to see & hear.

    2024 will be story-telling time. Tall tales (film clips) of our commander-in-chief in idyllic settings. Truth be damned. Creative fiction will win. Tell people what they desperately want to believe. Why worry when Big Bro controls all TV, all news media, and can command the Feds to censor all social communications? They’ve had years of practice selling you drugs you don’t need.

    The mass hysteria of “hate-Trump”is a well-embedded psychosis in a major part of the US population, though none can argue rationally why they feel like they do. The lawfare against him gives the press a chance to reinforce this hysteria up until the election.

    All said ignores well-expected voting shenanigans.

    How did Big Bro get so big so quickly? Was I asleep?

  12. Gary Anderson

    In a view from 30,000 feet, so to speak, all this “craziness” is like unto an aircraft approaching the sound barrier. Nuts and bolts are flying off ……. the fuselage is shuddering ……. the wings are violently shaking ……. and the people inside wonder if the Captain has to go this route. Maybe it’s smooth sailing on the other side, but maybe it’s a different story.

  13. I was always impressed that you never went all-in on a candidate, Victor ( May I call you Victor? You can call me Wes. ), yet in recent days I have become aware of your complete endorsement of Ron DeSantis and a definitive push for his candidacy. It seems the same people that so desperately supported Cruz in 2015-16, and experienced much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments ( clutching of pearls? ) over icky, mean, and impulsive Trump, are now excitedly hoisting their sock-garters in support of DeSantis. I keep asking people, and not getting a satisfactory answer. Who is DeSantis? Where did he come from? Who funds and owns him? Where is the rectal exam Trump has never stopped getting since the escalator? Where are the phony indictments by Soros AG’s and DA’s with DeSantis’ name on them? I will not engage in an examination of Trump…we know everything. But why, with the stakes and people in play, would a 44 year old novice – Gitmo lawyer and Yale grandee- even enter the race? Why is the establishment lining up again, with a better candidate construct ( like they learned nothing from Trump? ), just like every other election? The right always looks for the easy way out, the nice way, the “bigger man” route. No. Those days are over. We’re not on the precipice, but already falling over the edge. After decades of failure, the brief Trump anomaly, the efforts to destroy that anomaly, and the feckless and impotent response of the right – not to mention its desire to return to

    1. Yeah. I’d rather Desantis stayed in Florida. It takes time to grow talent and become a fully known quantity.

      P.S. you should call him Uictor. I call him Uictor.


    Yes, the Dems may know their “sweet [sour, evil] spot” strategy is risky, but, as you articulated, what alternative do they have? And perhaps they can pull it off. After all, when you know you’re right and those who disagree are deplorable,, anything can be justified. I agree with the above commentators who have noted the shocking criminality in 2020 (video surveillance and geo-tracking constitute hard evidence that, yes, the national election was in fact “stolen”).

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