America is at a critical “tipping point” in determining who will lead the country, Trump or someone else, come November.
Trump’s Best Days as President
In recent days, Trump celebrated his most successful time as president. He survived an attempt by Democrats to impeach and remove him from office. His annual State of the Union speech, touting his achievements over 2019, was the best of his presidency. He led the strongest economic performance in US history.
He fulfilled many promises made to voters in the 2016 election. His job approval rating rose to a personal best. Some 90% of Americans reported being satisfied with their lives; and 60% reported that their lives were better than three years ago.
He concluded trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, China, and Japan. He eliminated Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and Iranian terrorist leaders. He rebuilt US military power, adding a Space Force. He completed more miles on the border wall with Mexico.
He even served as “master of ceremony” for America’s most prestigious and largest stock car race, the Daytona 500.
At the same time, Trump watched as Democrats messed up their first election primary (caucus) in Iowa to choose their presidential candidate. He witnessed leading Democrat challengers falter and fall out of contention. He chortled as Democrats confronted one another causing major divisions in the Party as to who would be most “electable” against him.
It’s the Economy
The economy is the deciding factor in most presidential elections. Incumbent presidents with a strong economy are difficult to beat.
Trump has presided over the strongest economy in US history, yet his Democrat challengers have repeatedly tried to show that the “numbers” are misleading or fiction. Additionally, for the past three years, Democrat-leaning economists and news media have argued that an economic recession is imminent.
When the economic numbers consistently proved strong, Democrats then argued that Trump’s strong economy was all to Barack Obama’s credit.
Democrat attacks on economic performance thus far have proved ineffective.
But, Trump’s domestic and foreign triumphs may be quickly undone by possible reversals in several key areas.
Here are some major threats to watch over the next 8 months.
Coronavirus a Grave Threat
Twenty-four countries now have cases of the coronavirus breaking out in their populations. Globally there are 71,000 cases and 1,770 deaths, mostly in China, but spreading rapidly. Trump seems to have the US response to Corona under control. But, Corona is threatening not only lives but is quickly devastating economies, by reducing production, impeding trade, and halting transportation. Corona could not have come at a worse time for Trump’s presidency.
Continuing the Coup against Trump
Democrats have launched numerous impeachment attempts and investigations against Trump not only since he took office in 2017, but also in 2016 when was a candidate. All have failed. A special prosecutor, Robert Mueller conducted a two-year, $34 million investigation concluding that Trump was not a Russian agent or traitor.
In December, congressional Democrats impeached Trump on charges of abuse of power over military aid to Ukraine and Trump’s investigation of Democrat candidate and former Obama VP Joe Biden over corruption. In February, Trump was acquitted.
Nonetheless, Democrats have promised even more investigations now and if Trump is reelected.
Each time the Democrats try to derail Trump, he seems to bounce back even stronger. Democrats need to satisfy their constituents who want Trump gone whatever it takes, while Republican supporters are committed to keeping him in office.
Why are Democrats impeaching Trump? Party leadership, news media allies and supporters do not believe any Democrat candidate can beat Trump. And, most Democrats believe Trump is an illegitimate president because he stole the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton. Democrats refuse to accept that their own investigations have found their allegations to be patently false.
The best news for Trump is that Democrats are running out of time to remove him from office. And, it does not appear that Democrats have been able to shake Trump supporters.
Global Hotspots Could Derail Trump
Global “hotspots” that plagued the Barack Obama administration are still ongoing under Trump. There is not much hope that Trump can resolve them before November.
The problem for Trump is that he is vulnerable to manipulation by leaders of other countries who might see an opportunity to obstruct his presidency by engaging in some provocative action, then daring Trump to respond. Here are some possibilities.
The Middle East remains a quagmire of “endless wars” and new conflicts for Trump. Iran remains the curse of US policy. Trump withdrew the US from the nuclear weapons agreement negotiated by Obama. Iran responded by renewing its nuclear weapons program. Trump responded with more economic sanctions. Iran then launched attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, shot down a US drone, and launched attacks on US troops in Iraq and overran the US embassy in Baghdad. Trump retaliated by killing the leader of Iran’s terrorist operations, General Gassem Soleimani. Congressional Democrats passed legislation inhibiting Trump from confronting Iran. Iranian Ayatollahs can easily thwart Trump’s reelection possibilities by increasing terrorist attacks on the US. Democrats tend to be apologists for Iran.
Trump recently released his Middle East Peace Plan that attempts to resolve the 70-year conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinians rejected the plan as it seems to favor Israeli interests. The Democrat Party under Obama began to shift support from Israel to Palestine. Democrats, in 2018, elected two congressional representatives who have successfully promoted Palestinian interests in Congress. Democrats support the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) movement to damage the Israeli economy to such an extent that it will give into Palestinian demands. Trump is a staunch supporter of Israel, perhaps more so than any other president. This issue could add even more conflict to the region, as Iran is a major supporter of Palestinian Hamas.
Russia and the US are in a renewed nuclear arms race. Both countries are abandoning the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in place since 1994. Both countries want to add new weapons to their arsenals and replace obsolete, aging ones. But the real problem is that China refuses to join the US and Russia in a NEW treaty. Democrats are pressuring Trump to renew the Treaty even without China. This could become a major defense issue were Democrats able to withhold funding for Trump’s nuclear strategy.
China and the US continue to oppose one another over trade issues. Democrats and some Republicans are mostly opposed to free trade agreements, generally because they wish to impose US domestic concerns—human rights, worker rights, environment, health care, and more—on other trading partners. Trump is vulnerable on China because later phases of the trade agreement contain the most contentious issues yet to be negotiated. The Chinese have thrown “monkey wrenches” into Trump trade deals in the past.
Are Democrats Electable?
Democrats—major donors, political pundits, Party leaders, and constituencies—are concerned that none of the Democrat candidates can beat Trump. Of the 22 contenders, there remain only 5 left standing. These will likely reduce to 3 in February: the leader is Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders—78; second, Pete Buttigieg—38, former small town mayor; and third, Joe Biden—77, former Obama vice-president.
No one can stand up against Trump in a debate and his communication skills are deadly. Trump pioneered the use of Twitter as a potent weapon to counter negative attacks on him from the legacy media.
Trump is at heart an entertainer who has the ability to draw crowds. Trump held a political rally in New Jersey, and more that 100,000 tried to get tickets.
Democrats have drifted to the far left on policy, most seeking to transform the economy and society: free health care, college, day care, and housing. Everyone will be guaranteed a government job or subsidy even if not working. There will be open borders for anyone wanting to live in America. Government will take over ownership of basic industry.
Cost estimates for this “free stuff” range from $60 to $100 trillion, sums exceeding annual GDP at $22 trillion. No one is addressing the US debt at $23 trillion owed on past free giveaways. Democrats want to dramatically increase taxes on everything and everyone, so ironically there is really no free stuff. Democrats literally hate “rich people” who they portray as corrupt and exploitive of working people. Ironically, most candidates are, themselves, multi-millionaires.
Democrats cannot beat Trump either on personality or extremist policies, especially when the economy is booming at record levels.
Enter Michael Bloomberg—77. Many are now viewing Bloomberg as a possible candidate to beat Trump. Bloomberg owns a media, financial services, software empire and has an estimated personal wealth of $61 billion. Bloomberg was a Democrat before he switched to the Republican Party to run for mayor of New York in 2001. He was elected mayor for three terms, during which he reduced crime and managed the city exceptionally well. Now he has switched back to being a Democrat to run for president.
Bloomberg, seeing the extreme shift in Democrat policies to the left, has now switched his once held conservative policies also to left. In other words, his is an opportunist according to the rest of the Democrat candidates.
Interestingly, Bloomberg has decided to forego the tedium of raising money for his campaign: he is funding it with his personal wealth. In the past few weeks, he has spent $415 million on campaign advertising across all media, most of it attacking Trump. He now has 2,100 paid staff across the US managing his campaign in key states.
Many Democrats are accusing Bloomberg of “buying the election.” Supporters of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who represent the most extreme factions in the Party are warning they will not support a super-rich person, a former moderate Republican, who is ruining Sanders’ changes of becoming the Democrat nominee. Sanders claims that Hillary and the Party leadership stole the election from him in 2016, employing “dirty politics.”
It’s too early to tell whether Bloomberg can actually become the Democrat nominee. More likely, he will split the Party so the summer convention will begin with no candidate who is preferred by a majority of Party members. This will force a “contested convention” in which all factions fight for control. Trump will certainly enjoy sitting back while Democrats destroy one another.
To make it even more interesting, Bloomberg and Trump immensely dislike one another. Both are New York billionaires who have had dealings in the past. Some think Bloomberg is running for president just to deny Trump’s reelection. Who knows.
Trump is becoming increasingly more dominant as a “force majeure” against the Democrats. If the economy holds up, Democrat chances of beating Trump narrow substantially. The current crop of Democrat challengers, with the possible exception of Bloomberg, will wither against Trump. No one can stand toe to toe with Trump, but more importantly, it’s hard to see extremist, transformational candidates convincing Americans to change their political system under the terms on offer.
It’s also unlikely that any one of the numerous Democrat impeachment efforts will pay off. Democrats have run out of time, and Trump supporters and many other Americans are growing tired of Democrat attacks. Democrats could be trying to wreck Trump’s second term, rather than win this election.
The only factors that could destroy Trump are unpredictable foreign policy events. Ordinarily, Americans come together when threatened from abroad. Democrats, though, so dislike Trump that they may not support him even under a national crisis.