Is Anybody But Trump Excited About the 2024 Election Beginning?
Didn’t we just have an election? Yes, yes we did. In fact, the outcome of some 2022 midterm contests is still unknown. Nonetheless, former President Donald Trump has announced his next presidential run, thus kicking off the 2024 election season already.
Why did Trump choose to announce so early? Especially given how poorly Trumpism performed in the midterms? Trump-backed, election-denying candidates lost a lot of key races, and those that didn’t (like J.D. Vance in Ohio) significantly underperformed expectations.
Perhaps Trump planned the announcement to come on the heels of big midterm wins and simply couldn’t be bothered to change course now. Perhaps he’s just impatient for a bigger spotlight—and to change the chatter away from how dismally Trumpist candidates just fared. Or maybe he thinks that announcing now will force Republicans to rally behind him and prevent them from getting too serious about Ron DeSantis or some other 2024 presidential hopeful. (In the wake of last week’s election, a lot of eulogies were already being written for Trump’s candidacy.) My bet is on all of the above.
Some think that Trump’s timing is designed to stave off criminal investigations and prosecutions. Of course, running for president doesn’t mean that you’re above the law. But it could bolster Trump’s claims that any legal actions against him are illegitimate and simply designed to thwart his political ambitions.
The only thing we know for certain is that this means the 2024 election season has already begun—less than two weeks after the last election took place. It’s absurd.
U.S. campaign seasons are now much, much longer than campaign seasons in other countries. To the extent that this takes some folks in government away from actually governing, libertarians might celebrate this as a good thing. But it also contributes to the feeling that American lives are now eternally beholden to tribal politics. There is no respite. We’re forever bombarded with horse-race pronouncements and new poll results. We’re forever being asked to pick a team. We’re forever being told that we’re in the middle of THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION OF OUR LIFETIMES.
It seems designed to put people in an eternally heightened state of political paranoia, in which the stakes are always furiously and dangerously high (so donate now!).
Meanwhile, media, activists, and elected officials seem to shove everything into the framework of “how will this affect the upcoming election?” instead of “will this be good for the American people?” Politicians have more incentive to pander and less to make moves that might be even a smidge unpopular. And lawmakers, governors, and others have incentive to lavish praise on their party’s presumptive nominee—either out of self-preservation or because it may be bad for the party’s election chances to do otherwise—even when they might disagree.
There’s simply no time for Republicans or Democrats to take a clear-eyed look at their own sides, or for anyone to put politics aside to accomplish common goals.
It sucks. But here we are.
“In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for President of the United States,” Trump said yesterday.
His announcement speech was long—so long that even Fox News cut away for a bit—and lower energy than many a Trump speech. It was mostly packed with the same self-aggrandizing platitudes, fear-mongering, and cruelty we’ve come to expect. Trump praised China for executing drug dealers and pledged to do the same. He called for the U.S. to eliminate electronic voting machines and said America is being “poisoned” by immigrants.
(“However, Trump’s speech, in a tone subdued compared to his traditional campaign rallies, avoided intra-party sniping and denials of the President Biden’s 2020 election victory,” notes Fox News.)
The big question now with regard to Trump’s candidacy is now how much of his party will fall in line behind him despite indications that h
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