Can Donald Trump, against all odds, still win in November?
It would be a remarkable political feat, on par with his stunning upset in 2016. A global pandemic (however statistically dubious) ravages the country, while riots ravage major US cities. The US economy produces a third less than it did a year ago, 40 million people are out of work and dependent on federal benefits, and 60 percent of all restaurants may go under. Millions of Americans will not pay rent, mortgages, or credit card bills for the foreseeable future. Millions of their kids will not go to school at all, or will simply stare at their teachers on Zoom. Others wear face shields and sit behind plastic screens at their desks. College football, a religion in America, may well be canceled altogether. Trump’s own Manhattan is a ghost town. And the media is intensely aligned against him.
Yet amid all this mayhem Trump’s poll numbers are no worse, and perhaps better, than they were heading into his contest with Hillary Clinton.
Is Trump feeling it? Since holding a series of desultory afternoon press conferences concerning covid earlier this spring, accompanied by the awful (and inexplicably still employed) Dr. Anthony Fauci, he has shrunk from the public eye. He surfaced in South Dakota over the Fourth of July for a rally in front of Mount Rushmore, and continues to spar with reporters, but his political buoyancy is not the same. America is exhausted, and the Trump Show lacks new scripts. Those scripts now issue from Fox News host Tucker Carlson: with 4.3 million viewers and searing monologues every night, he is the de facto populist voice Trump once was.
Surrounded by bad advisers and hamstrung by his own administration working at cross purposes, Trump is less than ninety days from the election with no clear message or direction. He appears particularly unfocused and seeking flattery from unaccountable insiders like Jared Kushner instead of serious counsel. Many people, including Donald Trump himself, seem to forget how and why he won the 2016 election.
His mandate, such as it was and thin as it was, looked something like this:
First, drain the Swamp. Injure the vested interests that dominate and leech off Beltway tax largesse; deny them their permanent sinecure. More than anything, his campaign represented a rebuke to the Uniparty, and a stark expression of populist contempt for technocratic elites. That contempt was and is entirely justified: the political class in America spent the last many decades screwing up education, medicine, foreign policy, diplomacy, money, banking, the US dollar, the federal budget, families, and social cohesion generally. The Bush/Clinton/Obama axis represented the worst profligacies of the managerial state, every bit as illiberal as Trump could ever pretend to be. That axis needed to be repudiated. It was never about Trump or his advisors or his policies; it was about an opportunity for 60 million Americans to go off-script and vote against the coronation of Clinton Part II.
That opportunity appea
Article from Mises Wire