Trumpology

Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness

Donald Trump has signaled he will announce his presidential intentions after the November midterm elections. Yet his record of endorsements is quite mixed. By the sheer numbers of winning primary candidates his stamp of approval is impressive, but in a few of the most important races, not so much.

The disaster that is the Biden Administration has been a godsend for Trump. Had Biden simply plagiarized the successful Trump agenda, there would have followed no border disaster, no energy crisis, no hyperinflation, and no disastrous flight from Afghanistan.

Had Biden followed through on his “unity” rhetoric, he could have lorded over Trump’s successful record as his own, while contrasting his Uncle-Joe ecumenicalism with supposed Trump’s polarization.

Of course, serious people knew from the start that was utterly impossible. A cognitively challenged Biden was a captive of ideologues. Thus, he was bound to pursue an extremist agenda that could only end as it now has—in disaster and record low polls.

Still, how ironic that the Biden catastrophe revived a Trump candidacy. Biden likely will cause the Democrats to lose Congress. His pick of a dismal Kamala Harris as vice president has likely ensured, for now, fewer viable Democratic presidential candidates in 2024.

So, will Trump run?

Some logic might dictate that Trump not try a second campaign. He would be 79. The recent record of doddering septuagenarian and octogenarian politicians—Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein—has warned Americans that one’s late 70s certainly are not, as the Baby Boomer generation may try to hype, the “new 50s.”

In addition, Trump’s old and new business ventures would take further and greater hits.

His family would again be targeted and unfairly maligned.

An otherwise nihilist progressive and media agenda would reawaken solely to destroy Donald Trump—not his policies against which the Left has offered nothing of substance.

The Trump MAGA legacy is now largely institutionalized.

All Republican candidates will run on secure borders, energy independence, deregulation, Jacksonian foreign policy, a populist, middle-class, nationalism, and deterrence against China—albeit with much-needed new emphasis on destructive deficit spending.

Candidates like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) are all close with or have worked for Trump and would, more or less, carry though the Trump agenda.

The Trump record itself between 2017 and 2021 would be assessed more positively, especially in comparison to what preceded and followed it, and with Trump in retirement.

On the other hand, in 2016 the Republican field was also hailed as a dream team. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was acclaimed as the hands-on pro who ran a purple state, battling successfully public-employee unions and left-wing monied special interests.

We know how that field ended.

Trump supporters would counter that a wiser Trump would hit the ground running. He would likely not recruit disloyal outliers or Republican Party apparatchiks.

Much less would he trust the ossified hierarchy of the FBI, CIA, DIA, CDC, NIH, or any of the other alphabetic, deep-state soups.

The Trump base would add that a non-Trump Trump candidate would never endure, much less brawl against, left-wing madness. They would claim that avoiding cul-de-sac spats while doubling down on the Trump agenda sounds nice—in the fashion that, theoretically, there could be sunshine without the sun.

In the end, none of the above considerations will likely matter.

Instead, the outcome of the midterms will tell a lot. A clear but not overwhelming Republican win will likely discourage Trump and empower his critics.

But a historic blowout will spur Trump. In the end, even if most Republicans would prefer he not run, they will likely vote for him over the hard-left alternative.

As for the Democratic landscape, it will not be the case that Joe Biden may choose to run. He will not run because the decision will not be his.

Even if he manages to last another two years in office, Democratic grandees know his cognitive faculties are eroding rapidly. They read polls and know what his non compos mentis optics have done to their party.

These same interests are just as terrified of Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Those two believe that the Biden disaster was not due to his embrace of hard socialism, but to his insufficient embrace of socialism.

Given the poverty of alternatives, all sorts of names will arise, from Mike Bloomberg-like billionaires and Michelle Obama to most of those dismal 2020 primary retreads.

In the end, a Republican nominee can win who convincingly promises a secure border, a pathway to a balanced budget, energy independence, a crackdown on crime, and a strong, nonpolitical military with a commitment to missile defense.

And the nominee would have to do all that neither with gratuitous insults nor playing by wishy-washy Marquess of Queensberry rules against those whose toxic agendas here and abroad have created the present disaster.

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24 thoughts on “Trumpology”

  1. I have only one caution: Mike Pompeo is, unfortunately, not to be trusted. Yes, on the surface he is a formidable candidate with a superficial history of approving of Trump’s approach, but he also presided over an extremely corrupt and dangerous CIA. The same CIA working in Ukraine, the same CIA working against citizens, and the same CIA that suffered no shake ups, firings, or repudiation under the stewardship of Mike Pompeo. He may be “nice” and a great podcast guest and speaker, but if it slithers on the ground, is cold blooded, and hisses…it’s a snake.

    1. Christina Lewellen

      Thanks for your reply; your analogy comparing Pompeo to a snake is a curious coincidence considering that VDH was born in the Year of the Snake (1953) & has many of the good features of a snake personality, not least of which is a sharp intellect 🐍 🧠👌🏼

  2. I think what Dr. Hanson is missing in this analysis is the “pro wrestling” factor in politics.
    Despite what the public and pundits might say, voters tend to gravitate towards those who talk the best smack.
    Which can take the form of insults, Forever Names, framing issues in Manichaean terms, hyperbole in general, you’ve seen it all in the last few years.
    I can imagine a non-Trump ticket in 2024 but it still looks a bit weak.
    Maybe a DeSantis-type at the top, and a Trump veep?

    1. Dude! Trump-DeSantis would make a lot more sense. With Trump as the VP on the ticket you get all of the baggage and none of the benefit.

      I don’t think Trump runs, but I think he’ll be a big part of the election. We could do a lot worse than DeSantis…

      1. Righto! DeSantis is looking better and better. What he did in Florida with the DevilRays was a brilliant move–standing up to the professional sports leaders who bend over backwards to be politically correct and pander with abandon. If DeSantis is strong enough to do that, he is strong enough to be president and to clean out the leftists in the DOJ, FBI, CIA, NSA and the entire swamp that is still there. DeSantis is also better at picking good people for important posts–a very important quality in a president.

  3. Carolee Wilson

    Mike Pompeo doesn’t have a chance of winning an election. I can tell you that with almost certainty. I doubt even I would vote for him. He may have talked with the foreign adversaries, but they weren’t his policies. Perhaps the think tanks & pundits should leave it to the people this time. Haven’t they done enough to destroy this country?

      1. Carolee Wilson

        No. Hopefully I won’t have to make that choice because too many people will feel the same way I do and he won’t make it past the primary.

  4. Trump is a true American hero. He will run. He will win. He alone can and will make America better. When excellence collides with mediocrity, people will feel uncomfortable. Take it or leave it. Lets stop whining, and prepare for a rough ride for the remainder of this decade.

  5. Regrettably, I do not think President Trump will ever be allowed to win another election considering the strong and controlling influence which the Democrat dominated and controlled Media, Press, Social Media and Big Tech/Wall Street exercises over the electorate.

    1. Carolee Wilson

      I refuse to accept that the media & there for the globalists will dictate our future. I for one intend to fight against it with all my being. The most enthusiastic part of the base wants Trump to have his second term. I frankly am tired of people rejecting Trump. The media has done it’s job well. It’s time to grow up & put fighter in. No one who is not chosen by Globalists will avoid the wrath of the media. This is basically a war for our country & the media is going to pick them off one by one.

  6. I am a Trump MAGA agenda supporter to say the least. However, this nation is tired to its core and in need of a president whom isn’t a lighting rod of irrational hatred from a contingent of this nation who has proven time and again to be utterly lawless and evil. We also need a president who isn’t an international criminal and lifetime grifter, lier, plagiarist, lifetime failure, and suspected pedophile and sexual deviant in his last few years of life with nothing to lose and no desire to run for a second term. Who does this leave us?… hopefully Ron Desantis. I believe he gets us Trump policy and practical intelligence, experience in law, military, DC swamp political experience and is very likable even to moderate left leaning practical Americans.

    1. Sorry Mr. Merkel, the rest of this country, the legitimate 70 million that voted for xiden aren’t deserving of our awesome Governor. This country is getting what it voted for, good and hard.
      The US is so far gone it would’t surprise me if a democrat won the presidency in ‘24

      1. You’re entirely welcome to disagree, however Trump’s campaign people estimated about 8 million fraudulent votes cast. Xiden “won” with 81 million votes meaning 73 million Americans, both “republicans” and democrats voted for him with both eyes open.
        My regrets ma’am but the complete intellectual bankruptcy of a nation has nothing to do with choice of news sources.

  7. I hope to God Trump DOESN’T run again. I asked him in a letter I wrote to him in August of 2020 why he didn’t assemble the best Covid minds available in the world to set the course of the shamdemic.
    I never received an answer.
    Trump is a stereotypical New Yorker, coarse, bellicose, loud and cowardly. He failed the U.S at the most critical time possibly in our history and shut the Republic’s entire economy down unflinchingly surrendering to a four foot nothing abject failure called Fauci.
    There is that old saw about oh s..its and attaboys…I need say no more other than I will never, ever forgive him for what he put this country through.

  8. I noticed something that none of you mentioned. The election fraud, do you really think they will give up the third world power of deciding elections regardless of the vote?

    The founding fathers gave you a perfect example of what to do with a government of this sorts.

    Spoiler alert; it’s a bit more difficult than braying and thumping your chest via a keyboard

  9. Of course they won’t give up their “third world” power and we the sheeple will do zip, zero, nada in response for fear of being castigated for defying their diktats.

    We’ll take them to task bleat the sheeple, we’ll nest them at the polls.

  10. So many changes for the U.S. in only 1-1/2 years. Napoleon, the Dowager Cixi, Hitler, Tojo, Mussolini and all those similarly possessed by self-righteousness and hubris also managed to destroy their nations in less than a decade, but all this chaos in less than 2 years? And yes, though I think that while it’s true that our own decline started with Obama’s second term in office, I fear a lot more drastic “Changes” are in store for the U.S. in the remaining 3-1/2 years of the Biden administration. There is even a serious possibility that the Union of North American states will be no more by November 2024 – replaced by an American Tetrarchy, perhaps. This all reminds me of the historian Shirer in his “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” description of the Nazi rise and fall as the strange German identification of Hitler and their selves as Loki taking down Valhalla.

  11. Roy Lindquist

    I too hope that Trump endorses DeSantis if for no other reason than that DeSantis is so strong in all the necessary areas (including his age) that he has an excellent chance of becoming a two-term president. Trumpf can no longer do this and it will take at least 8 years to even partially drain the swamp. After 8 years, DeSantis may even have the country running so well (e.g. Florida) that the next Republican candidate could likely win as well.

  12. 80 million votes? Says something about this country…

    They used the pandemic to change our voting from an election day to multiple days allowing them enough time to secure, many believe through coercion and cheating, enough votes to win.

    …they’re also dismantling other fundamental pillars of our republic…attacking freedom of speech and expression through rampant censorship; attempts at gun confiscation (which is their goal); dismantling of social norms; and most damming, destroying our economy for their perverse green and equity policies.

    …and the naive and cowardly Republican establishment sits back and allows this -shame on them!

    We talk about the Mid Terms… that will only put things on hold for a couple of years since the Democrats are never changing their agenda until they’re done fully implementing it.

    1. I’ll be interested in seeing how many horrible incumbents like “cocaine Mitch” win re-election this November.

  13. Hey Folks, there is this guy, Mike Pence sitting out there still a fav conservative. I know it seems hard to believe, but patch up the friendship for the sake of the country. Maybe Pence for President and Trump as VP? The libs would go insane.
    Bring in Peter Navarro to figure out how to prevent the falsification of electronic voting machines over multiple days. What could go wrong?

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