Democrats succeeded in scaring enough people off Donald Trump in 2020 that they subsequently proceeded under the assumption that, even if the former president somehow had the chutzpah to run one more time in 2024, he would certainly meet with an even higher level of disapproval by the voters in the wake of 1/6/21. Even Trump loyalists would see the handwriting on the wall, they believed, and move on to someone like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. After all, who would vote for Trump again after the way his presidency ended – and after Democrats exploited Jan. 6 to maximum effect?
Well, to their utter disbelief and abject terror, Trump-deranged leftists stuck having to support Joe Biden again are seeing just how wrong they – and even many on the right – were when preparing the political obituary for the 45th president. And they are sending up emergency flares like travelers on a ship sinking at sea, hoping against hope that someone will respond and rescue them from an agonizing death. It’s so bad that if Trump is elected again, some or even many of those celebrity leftists who promised to leave the country in 2016 and again in 2020 if Trump were victorious might actually make good on their promises this time. They are that frightened of the man.
The Leftist Mantra: Trump Will Be Worse Than a Mere Dictator
Robert Kagan, senior fellow at the left-of-center Brookings Institution and familiar inside-the-beltway commentator, appears convinced that Trump would become a dictator, like so many others on the left these days penning hysterical pieces about the certain ruination of democracy if he becomes president again. What distinguishes Kagan from the others starting to melt down over the prospect of 45 becoming 47 is that he appears to have waved the white flag and all but conceded that Trump is headed for four more years in the Oval Office. In a piece headlined “A Trump dictatorship is increasingly inevitable. We should stop pretending” in Washington’s most famous newspaper notable for its deep ties to Democrats and the left, Kagan effectively throws his hands up in the air and seems to accept as inevitable that Trump will prevail in 2024:
“Let’s stop the wishful thinking and face the stark reality: There is a clear path to dictatorship in the United States, and it is getting shorter every day … The idea that [Trump] is unelectable in the general election is nonsense — he is tied or ahead of President Biden in all the latest polls … Like people on a riverboat, we have long known there is a waterfall ahead but assume we will somehow find our way to shore before we go over the edge.”
The writer envisions a sequence of events that will be triggered when Trump wins the GOP nomination, resulting in a level of power unmatched by any politician in memory, given his level of support together with his stated intent to finish the job of draining the Swamp with impunity. He says Republicans supporting other candidates will have no choice but to unite behind Trump: “Most of the candidates running against him will sprint toward Trump,” he contends, resulting in “a swift and dramatic shift in the political power dynamic, in his favor.”
With Trump as the nominee and the party laser-focused on winning the general election, Kagan continues, “[W]hat Republican or conservative will be standing up to Trump then? Will the Wall Street Journal editorial page, which has been rather boldly opposing Trump, continue to do so once he is the nominee and it is a binary choice between Trump and Biden?” Kagan foresees “a tsunami of Trump support from all directions” and that Trump “will again become the central focus of everyone’s attention … he will loom over the country like a colossus.” The writer understandably predicts Trump will use his multiple trials “to boost his candidacy and discredit the American justice system as corrupt – and the media outlets, serving their own interests, will help him do it.”
At the same time, Kagan is beyond nervous about Biden, asking successive near-rhetorical questions: “Is Biden’s power likely to grow over the coming months? Will his party unify around him? Or will alarm and doubt among Democrats, already high, continue to increase? Even at this point, the president is struggling with double-digit defections among Black Americans and younger voters.” Citing the independent/third-party candidacies of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Jill Stein and the “potentially devastating” entry of longtime Democrat Joe Manchin, the writer laments that “[t]he Democratic coalition is likely to remain fractious as the Republicans unify and Trump consolidates his hold.”
The Left Is Out of Answers for Stopping Trump
Obviously, a concession like this from a respected mainstream leftist thinker is noteworthy, as it carries considerably more weight than any similar analysis from a conservative pro-Trump writer. Others on the left will undoubtedly accuse Kagan of being defeatist and argue that all the polls showing overwhelming disapproval of this president’s job performance are meaningless one year before the election. But they have no answer to the border crisis, or to the crime crisis, or to the most politically damaging type of skyrocketing prices (for food and gas), or to the trio of international debacles in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Israel – all of which were stable during the Trump presidency. Most of all, they have no answer to Biden’s age and cognitive condition – and the reality that both will become even more damaging over the year between now and Election Day 2024.
As perilous as the path to a second Biden term may appear at this time, Democrats have been forced to accept the fact that there is little or nothing they can do to convince this president that his failure and insistence on running again while denying what everyone else can see in plain view is inviting the unthinkable specter of a second Trump presidency – this time a full-on dictatorship. And in the view of Kagan and a growing number of his shaken fellow travelers on the left, there is little they can do now to stop it.