web analytics

How Trump Can Return to the White House Without Really Trying

We are witnessing a classic reversal of fortune from 2020.

by | Feb 23, 2024 | Articles, Good Reads, Opinion, Politics

It is one of the cardinal rules of politics, as it was for war when Napoleon first stated it over two centuries ago: Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself. It is wise counsel to step aside, remain silent, and allow the self-destruction to continue. This was about the sum total of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in 2020, made possible by a media simultaneously kneecapping Trump at every opportunity while applying a pitiful degree of media scrutiny to his opponent. It was typified by that infamous question about what type of ice cream Mr. Biden prefers, and climaxed by their refusal to cover the Hunter Biden laptop story, which by most accounts would have cost Biden the election.

So, if Biden could win with that strategy in 2020, could Trump make the same magic work for him this year? And before you say, understandably, that he has proven to be incapable of remaining silent and unengaged, remember that his ultimate goal is to win the election. On the line is his legacy, currently teetering between that of a winner, a towering figure who changed politics in a most profound way, and a loser, a fluke and failure whose excesses damaged the Republican brand. This election will determine how Donald Trump is viewed by history, and that is why it is not unreasonable to assume Trump would be willing to tamp down his reckless style, but only if he can be convinced it will lead to victory.

Can Trump Remain Silent?

Liberty Nation discussed the broad outlines of a modified Trump basement strategy one year ago, and it would seem to make even more sense now with the issue of Biden’s decline front and center on the national stage. Indeed, the reversal of fortunes in the 2024 presidential election continues to mount. It is, like so many things in this election cycle, a defining characteristic of the most unexpected turn in public sentiment that has created a great irony. The issues that led to Trump exiting the White House following the 2020 election are the same ones that promise to send him back to the Oval Office this time around.

Trump was long depicted as an extremist on immigration, an issue constantly downplayed by the left. But now it has evolved into just the kind of crisis Trump predicted and is threatening to seriously damage the electability of Democrats from Biden on down. Trump need say nothing. Instead, he could just let Biden twist in the wind as he continues to insist the border is under control when everyone knows it is not.

New banner Memo - From the Desk of Senior Political Analyst Tim Donner 1Likewise, while Trump was president, even the left had to grudgingly admit the economy was strong and prices were under control. But while Biden could claim he would “build back better” in 2020, that rhetoric is out the window now as people pay 20% more for a bag of groceries than they did when Trump left office. Plus, a serious housing and real estate crisis has arisen, with mortgages now out of reach for many due to multiple interest rate hikes necessitated by Biden’s inflationary spending. Again, Trump need not comment. People experience inflation for themselves in their every financial transaction, which is why it is the most toxic of all crises for a president.

Similarly, Trump hardly needs to draw attention to Biden’s neurological infirmity. If there were any doubts in the minds of the electorate that Biden’s competence is wavering, they were eliminated with his angry, defiant response to the damning evaluation of him in the Robert Hur report. As is often the case with those suffering from the same affliction, it seems Biden himself is the last to know about the reality and extent of his condition. Not only is it unnecessary for Trump to hammer the issue of age, but it might prove detrimental by reinforcing the media-inspired impression that he is cruel.

Nothing Left to Prove

The point is that Donald Trump is as well-known a quantity as exists in the country, perhaps even the entire world. There is no one left to whom he must introduce himself; there is nothing he needs to say for people to understand his agenda. Everyone knows what it is. He hardly needed to say, for example, during his appearance on Fox News recently that on his first day in office, he would close the border because everything he has said and done up to now screamed the same message. What his campaign will seek to rein in is the type of language that directly preceded that assertion – that he would be a dictator, but “only on day one.”

For years, Trump supporters have cringed at just that type of unforced error, with The Donald often seizing defeat from the jaws of victory through untamed language easily exploited by enemies who have made clear they would love to see him thrown in jail for the rest of his days. If he is out on the stump less, he will not be as prone to offer up his usual diet of red meat to his enemies. Again, that is unnecessary, even detrimental, when Joe Biden is building the case for his defeat all by himself.

With his stature as immediate past president and likely three-time presidential nominee, Trump has earned privileges ordinarily unavailable to typical presidential challengers. One of those is the ability to be in many places in the course of a day without having to show up in person. He can easily deliver tightly scripted, tailored messages to select audiences via phone or video without inflaming undecided or wary voters. As Sarah Cowgill wrote about the strategy on Liberty Nation, “It’s so simple, and it is brilliant: Schedule a phone call to a preplanned event, call in randomly to speak to the crowd, and they go wild.”

The pandemic was all the fuel Biden needed for what came to be known as his basement strategy, his campaign of less is more. From the comfort of his home, he could just turn on the camera and blame Trump for hundreds of thousands of deaths and then disappear for days. He was the beneficiary of a political prize of untold value – last-minute alterations to election laws in vital swing states that opened the floodgates for a tsunami of mail-in voting, a massive advantage which now stands to benefit Democrats for years to come. Now could be Trump’s turn to reverse the curse of 2020, when every advantage accrued to Democrats in an atmosphere of crisis. This time around, there is a different kind of national distress caused by a conglomeration of decisions made not by Trump but by Biden, issues that were submerged in 2020 but have now become matters of broad national concern.

It has long been said, though not always accurately, that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Maybe this is the time for Donald Trump to test the theory.

Read More From Tim Donner

Latest Posts

Biden Says He May Close the Border – If He Can

President Joe Biden began his presidency trashing former commander-in-chief Donald Trump’s immigration policies....

Iran Attacks Israel While Biden Dithers

Tehran's leaders threatened to attack Israel this week in retaliation for killing one of their top generals. Now...

Glenn Youngkin, Veto King of Virginia, Strikes Again

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has vetoed more bills than any of his predecessors – and he isn’t done yet. Much...

White Farmers Matter!

The Biden administration’s assault on farmers now includes an openly racist and sexist dimension: allocating $25...

Latest Posts

Biden Says He May Close the Border – If He Can

President Joe Biden began his presidency trashing former commander-in-chief Donald Trump’s immigration policies....

Iran Attacks Israel While Biden Dithers

Tehran's leaders threatened to attack Israel this week in retaliation for killing one of their top generals. Now...

Glenn Youngkin, Veto King of Virginia, Strikes Again

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has vetoed more bills than any of his predecessors – and he isn’t done yet. Much...