It’s all true. Donald Trump’s various and intensifying attempts to overturn the result of the November presidential election are all those things and more. We may have become inured to such things, but calling up a state election official in Georgia and threatening them is a new low, a Mariana Trench level of low, even from this guy.
It is also great news. For it suggests that Trump may well now be living in a fantasy federal republic of his own, a world where he is still the president, was responsible for the Covid vaccine, and has done more for Black Americans than any president “maybe”, including Abraham Lincoln. It also demonstrates just how unhinged and dangerous he can be. Over the past few days he has destroyed his chances of a comeback in 2024, however improbable that might have been.
As the British Labour Party has frequently demonstrated, the key to losing the next election is to refuse to accept the lessons of the last one. Because, it should hardly need pointing out, unless you accept you lost the last one and are willing to learn from your mistakes, you will be poorly prepared to recover.
So it now is with Trump. If the only reason he thinks he lost is because of some vast fraud, then why change anything else? Why, for example, appeal to the suburban female voters who switched to the Democrats this time round? Or to any sections of society who felt threatened by your words and actions? Or to commentators and opinion-formers – some in your own party and many who worked for you – who came to the conclusion that you were unfit for office? Why bother to change if you think you won?
And so Trump will present to the American people between now and 2024 the same nutty cocktail of prejudice, conspiracy theories and infantile insecurity that proved so unappetising last November. Sure, it’ll appeal to the base – but the base is not enough.
Indeed it’s worse for Trump, and America, now than it was in November. Because the huge irony now is that it is Trump himself who is trying to steal the election, to rig the results and to “find” precisely 11,780 votes in Fulton County, Georgia. Look! The president’s the thief!
Before Trump lost bigly in November, no one could be sure how far he’d go to violate the constitution and the will of the people. Would he try to drive the car over the cliff? Now they do know – and who’d want to to let him back into the driving seat? Even conservative Republicans must have come to the conclusion that neither they nor the bureaucracy could restrain Trump from continually attempting to grab absolute power in a slow coup d’etat by Twitter.
Another irony: it is Trump who is a Republican in name only, and in reality a rogue elephant. He’s the radical revolutionary, contemptuous of the constitution and democracy. He wants to establish a family dynasty, a hereditary monarchy. Let’s just say moderate opinion has not been won over in recent weeks.
If Joe Biden is sensible, he will spend the next four years proving Trump wrong about his wild predictions. It won’t be that hard. He will not turn the US into a Venezuela-style socialist nightmare. He will not “surrender” to Iran, but prevent them developing nuclear weapons. He will not abandon Israel. He won’t do what Beijing wants. He won’t tear down every statue.
After four years of sleepy Joe, America should be a calmer country, one more at ease with itself, that has come through Covid and past the worst of recent racial tensions (stoked so much by Trump). The economy should be improving, and America’s alliances renewed, so that she can better confront her enemies, not least Putin’s Russia, so strangely ignored and indulged by Trump.
Why would anyone want Trump back?
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