With each passing week, the left appears to be more and more certain that Donald Trump will try for the brass ring one more time in 2024. But is this more a product of fear – or wishful thinking? Are Democrats girding their loins, panicky at the prospect of another scorched-earth election campaign dominated by the towering presence of the immediate past president? Or, to the contrary, are they attempting to induce a third Trump run for the White House?
It has become increasingly impossible to get into the mind of the left. After all, the twin images of progressives seared into the national consciousness over the last half decade are, first, a single-minded, hate-filled, withering campaign of destruction against Trump, and second, arguably the most hard-left agenda ever presented by a major American political party. So, the question of their ultimate political motive cannot be answered with certainty, but it can be surmised through the lens of a professional Trump-hater who actually gained a shockingly high level of access to the Trump White House.
Wolff at the Door
Thus, the headline emanating from an essay by one Michael Wolff in the Sunday New York Times is worthy of note: “Why I’m Sure Donald Trump Will Run for President in 2024.” Wolff has penned three books on the Trump presidency, the latest entitled Landslide, which is essentially another exorbitantly adjectival, ain’t-Trump-awful, left-wing pile-on, enumerating the lengthy list of Trump atrocities in the waning days of his administration.
But is Wolff making such a cocksure prediction because he believes it to be true, because he wants it to be true, or because he is afraid it’s true – and is warning his comrades-in-arms based on his unique – almost inexplicable – access to the Trump White House? He boasts of his extensive knowledge of the enemy in the essay’s first sentence, saying his exhaustive writing on Trump “has been an immersion into his obsessions and fixations. This is why I know the obvious: Donald Trump will run for president again.”
The narrative that follows is wholly representative of the leftist view of the former president, but how does Wolff reach his conclusion? Well, he was invited to interview Mr. Trump at Mar-a-Lago – incredible considering he had already written two damning books on the 45th president – and recounts a red-letter moment. It is when he rather innocuously “asked about his plans for a presidential library, the traditional retirement project and fund-raising scheme of ex-presidents.” Wolff describes the reaction:
“There was a flash of confusion on his uniquely readable face, and then anger, aroused, I figured, by the implication of what I seemed to be saying — that his time in office was past. ‘No way, no way,’ he snarled, ‘no way.’”
Vengeance is Mine – and It’s Yuge
Trump repeatedly refers to the election outcome as “the steal,” leading Wolff to “believe he will run again just to stop the men who, in his view, helped take the presidency from him from trying to get it for themselves.” Wolff goes further on the issue of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, “to whom Mr. Trump has not spoken since vilifying him with a heap of obscenity after Mr. McConnell acknowledged Joe Biden’s victory, as unfinished business. (Trump aides believe the two are likely to never speak again.)”
Apparently, the prevailing thought here is that Donald Trump will not be content leaving vengeance to the Lord.
Then there’s the matter of Ron DeSantis, rising star in the GOP on the coattails of the America First agenda. Aren’t the former president and Florida governor sympatico? Aren’t they on the same team? Or is DeSantis viewed by Trump as a threat to his iron grip on the GOP? To Wolff’s telling, Trump believes he “made” DeSantis with his endorsement, but that the Florida governor “might not accept his dependence on and obligation to Mr. Trump” which Wolff describes as a “personal affront that must be met. Mr. Trump pointedly blew off the governor’s request that he postpone a Florida rally in the aftermath of the Surfside building collapse. Clear message: The governor is not the boss of him.”
Might a third run by Trump amount to some sort of quasi-legal strategy? Despite his targeting by Trump-obsessed prosecutors in New York, charges of tampering with the vote in Georgia – on top of January 6 – Wolff writes that, “in Mr. Trump’s logic, this will run the opposite way: Running for president is the best way to directly challenge the prosecutors.”
What Are Democrats Thinking?
If the prevailing view of Democrats is indeed that Trump is neither gone, forgotten nor content to remain on the sidelines, the specter of a president they took down on the wings of a once-in-a-century pandemic is likely to evince one of two possible reactions. The first is fear. They know he will remind voters in his uniquely outspoken fashion of his unapologetically pro-American administration, the booming economy, full employment, energy independence, and his other yuge accomplishments. The second is based on the Democrats’ hope that if they don’t screw up what they inherited from Trump – a rapidly recovering post-COVID economy, vaccines produced just in time for Biden to administer and take credit, and a world at relative peace – they will be able to claim credit, and then go postal on Trump again, using January 6 as a disqualifying issue.
Is it written in the stars that Donald Trump will run for president one more time? Has he already decided, as many on the right and even more on the left seem to believe? Do Democrats fear him – or pine for a third shot at him, believing the pandemic-plagued 2020 election represented a repudiation of him and a mandate for them?
As the famed writer Hunter Thompson once famously observed, fear and loathing go hand in hand. And when it comes to Donald Trump, Democrats certainly possess an abundant supply of both. With the growing likelihood of a third Trump run, the question will soon shift to whether that fear and loathing leftists are sure to project can take down Trump again – without his pandemic-worn hands tied behind his back.
Drilling down on the writer’s opinion, expressed without reservation and with a level of absolute certainty, a few phrases prove to be revealing. If he wasn’t a threat, why would they keep attempting to demonize him – after they already accomplished their goal of destroying his presidency?
Are they afraid? Or are they so certain they’ll win that they are just begging him to run? Did they outfox him by going full-on for mail ballots, forcing him to embrace in-person voting when they had a strong inkling most would vote by mail – and most importantly, that they could run up the numbers?
Perhaps they believe, in the wake of January 6, that Trump can never be elected again, and is so easy to demonize that it will again, with the obvious help of big corporate media, hide their own deficiencies, and the distance between them and the beliefs of ordinary Americans – luring him inexorably toward a third and final run – the one to break the tie forged by the 2016 and 2020 elections – one win, one loss.
Read more from Tim Donner.