Why Donald Trump Will Be Re-Elected

In 2020, Donald Trump will be re-elected President of the United States.

Why?

Is it because Trump is a political savant? Well, no. Although the septuagenarian claims to be “like, really smart,” according to analysts at Factba.se, Trump speaks at the lowest grade level of the last fifteen presidents. Though, rather worryingly, Trump’s inability to speak in a coherent manner appears to resonate with millions of Americans, many of whom find his approach comforting and relatable.

But Trump’s imminent reelection will be due to the fact that, at this time of writing, Democrats have very little to offer, very few candidates willing to get down and dirty with Trump—and, after all, politics is a dirty game.

When it comes to possible presidential candidates, Democrats appear to be spoilt for choice: they are old, young, liberal, centrist, woke, super woke, etc. However, the large number of potential candidates doesn’t mean that any of them are actually capable of defeating the juggernaut known as Teflon Don.

What about Beto O’Rourke? He’s cool, hip, relatable, charming, easy on the eye, young (ish) and a good talker. He has even played bass in a rock band. But Beto also happens to be a white male. And we all know how the left feel about white men. To make things worse, Beto comes from a place of privilege and has never known hardship. He didn’t have to fight his way to the top because of his gender or race. For these very reasons, perhaps, the forty-six-year-old Texan refuses to play rough, opting to only discuss the positive things he hopes to do if elected. Favoring platitudes over policy, Beto regularly spouts pseudo-profound drivel, which doesn’t mean anything, yet makes a certain subsection of voters feel all mushy inside. He is the human equivalent of a cute puppy video. But, in political dogfights, cute puppies are no match for rabid wolves. Political campaigns are not amiable dinner parties. Political campaigns are chaotic riots.

Beto, a confrontation avoider, failed to call out Ted Cruz on his lies when the two competed in the 2018 United States Senate election in Texas. In the race for the 2016 presidency, Trump, one of the biggest liars ever known to man, continuously called Cruz out on his lies, even giving him the nickname Lyin’ Ted. Cruz is widely detested. John Boehner, the former House speaker, once referred to him as “Lucifer in the flesh.” If Beto can’t defeat Ted Cruz, one of the most unpopular politicians in the United States, he sure as hell can’t take on Trump. Beto is way too nice, and nice doesn’t win you the presidency. In politics, nice guys finish last.

How about Bernie?

During a recent town hall discussion in Kansas City, Missouri, potential independent 2020 White House contender Howard Schultz predicted that President Trump will win if the Democrats nominate Bernie, the self-described socialist. Mr Starbucks has a point. For millions of voters in the United States, the S word is a dirty word. The stigma associated with socialism has dogged not only Sanders’ campaign but almost the entire Obama presidency. Of all the programs introduced by the Obama administration, was there anything more contentious than Obamacare?

Even though Obamacare has done a lot of good, its inextricable association with socialism has tarnished its reputation. For socialist-style policies to work, there needs to be a high level of trust among the populace. This is why the S word is not a dirty word in Scandinavia. The homogeneity of opinion in that part of the world makes it easier to implement socialism. However, in the United States, such homogeneity doesn’t exist. Trust is at an all-time low; suspicion is at an all-time high.

According to a 2018 Axios poll, many Americans think people in the other party are ignorant, spiteful and evil and are destroying the country. 61% of Democrats see Republicans as “racist/bigoted/sexist”; 31% of Republicans view Democrats in the same light. In a low-trust society, people are constantly guessing others’ intentions and looking out for cheaters. People are unwilling to support programs that may benefit the enemy. When people don’t trust their governments and their fellow citizens, is it really so difficult to see why millions are reluctant to back socialist-style policies?

This is why Bernie can’t beat Trump. This—and the fact that the left, spearheaded by the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar—appears to be going through a phase of rejuvenation. Bernie is an old, white man. There doesn’t appear to be much room for white men in the Democrats’ current Millennial-driven, solar-powered bandwagon.

Dismal Dems

The nouveau Dems aren’t the most likeable bunch. The new recruits are the type to get distracted by virtue signaling and identity politics—exactly the sort of thing that will get President Trump re-elected. People often vote for the most palatable candidate. They regularly vote against things instead of for them. They vote against philosophies, candidates and parties. As Gerard Alexander argues in a 2018 piece for The New York Times, “liberals may be more effective at causing resentment than in getting people to come their way.”

In a frantic attempt to make themselves more palatable to a wider audience, Democratic candidates are desperately trying to out-left one another. Take Kamala Harris, for example. At a CNN town hall event in January of this year, Harris outlined her plan to raise taxes on corporations and wealthier Americans. But the senator also argued not just in favor of Medicare for all but also for the elimination of private health insurance. Even Bernie was lost for words. Harris also promised universal pre-K education and debt-free college. This sounds great—except that, as Trump showed with the wall, making big promises is one thing, but paying for them is another. According to a recent report by the libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a Medicare-for-all plan would cost the government $32 trillion over the next decade. To a paraphrase a line from Top Gun, Harris and her fellow lefties are writing checks that the country can’t cash.

When it comes to big promises, Harris is not an anomaly. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is offering an overly aggressive wealth tax. Meanwhile, Julian Castro, a presidential candidate from San Antonio, Texas, gleefully echoes the demands of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a 75% marginal income tax rate.

Can Anybody Stop the Trump Train?

Trump seems to speak a language—albeit a rather erratic one—that resonates with the masses. Of course, nothing is set in stone. Trump’s volatility and fragile ego are repellent to many moderates. He could very well shoot himself in the foot. I mean that literally—Trump is not the brightest and you certainly wouldn’t trust him with a gun. This is Trump’s election to lose.

What about Pete Buttigieg, the telegenic mayor of South Bend, Indiana? Pete what? Buttigieg, pronounced BOOTedgedge.

Buttigieg has an impressive CV. He holds degrees from Harvard and Oxford; he has also worked as a consultant for McKinsey. Buttigieg speaks eight languages, including English, Maltese, Italian, French, Spanish, Dari, Arabic and Norwegian. In fact, he learned Norwegian to read the work of a specific author (talk about clearly defined goals). Elected mayor at the age of twenty-nine and re-elected at age thirty-three, Buttigieg also served in Afghanistan. All these experiences appear to have fashioned him into a surprising presidential candidate. At thirty-seven, Mayor Pete barely meets the constitutional age requirement for the job.

If re-elected, Trump would be the oldest president in history, at seventy-four. If elected, Buttigieg would be the youngest. Humble, judicious, pragmatic, accomplished and “a near parody of normality,” as Andrew Sullivan has so brilliantly observed, Buttigieg, the son of two professors, is the antithesis of Trump. (Though, some may argue that Trump’s bad qualities are the very qualities that got him elected in the first place)

Buttigieg is also America’s only openly gay 2020 presidential candidate. Is Buttigieg’s popularity a sign of tangible progress? Would Americans elect a gay president?

Well, yes, it appears they would. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, first published in March, shows that Americans’ attitudes toward a gay presidential candidate have changed significantly over the last decade. 54% of Americans said they would be comfortable with a gay or lesbian running for president; an additional 14% said that they would be enthusiastic about a gay or lesbian candidate. The responses represent a huge contrast from a similar poll conducted in 2006, which found that more than 50 percent of Americans either had “reservations” about or were “very uncomfortable” with the thought of a gay person running the country.

Nevertheless, when it comes to policy Buttigieg is thoroughly underwhelming. His delivery is rather bland. He lacks the charisma of a Biden or a Bernie. And the few good ideas he has are shared by other, more captivating candidates.

Furthermore, even if Mayor Pete gets the nod from the Democrats, Trump still has an ace up his sleeve. It’s the economy, stupid.

Voters (rightly or wrongly) tend to hold the sitting president accountable for either economic prosperity or a brutal recession. A strong economy is the most decisive factor driving support for the incumbent. Right now, the US economy is doing great. In fact, in March 2019, using economically based predictors, Politico published a piece stating that Trump appears to be “on track for a landslide” victory in 2020. At the time of writing, Trump’s economic rating is up eight points from April 2017, and five points from April 2018.

What’s more, since 1916, only three elected incumbents have lost reelection: Presidents Hoover, Carter and H. W. Bush. Interestingly, each experienced negative real annual GDP growth during the year of their reelection. However, nine elected incumbents have won reelection in the last century. Unsurprisingly, not one of them experienced negative growth in their reelection year. If Trump can maintain this economic boom, he will be in a strong position to depict his eventual challenger as a risky bet, someone who could unsettle this economic harmony.

The economy’s impact on reelection is as profound as it is irrefutable: the economic climate clearly shapes popular opinion of the president. As a result, there is every reason to believe that Trump’s approval rating has considerable room to grow between now and 2020. Democrats are right to be concerned. Presidents riding the wave of a strong economy simply do not lose. This has held true for more than a century. What makes you think that it won’t hold true for another few years?

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27 comments

  1. These mainly male people who run nations simply were never and still are not brilliant people. Unfortunately, the world’s populations give credence to ideologies which are entirely made-up up by males who still maintain the power—due to male dominated and falsely sacrosanct entitlement beliefs they are somehow superior and “best candidate” for the job. Will this false entitlement belief system ever end which encompasses all males of all race origins?

    Trump won by electoral vote not by the populist vote. It seems many nations people don’t understand this outdated way of voting still held by law in the U.S. but that’s okay because every country has its myriad as well as antiquated laws to contend with unless you are unlucky to be born into a religiously ruled single-focused kind of hell on earth whereby you think nothing of the only reality you really know and put blind faith in a “Heaven” or better place which has yet to be proven exists.

    Why and how a nouveau riche immature television personality like Trump won is why the electoral vote needs to be abolished. Unfortunately, changing laws takes so much time due to the pea brains who seemingly get elected and re-elected by a voting system desperately needing an update. At the very least it’s a humanitarian and great system compared to the unquestioning religious or other kinds of male-dominated dogmatic structures of power which threaten ALL existence for mankind.

    If Trump should win in 2020 then it would be a day for everyone in the U.S. to get drunk out of their minds on Guinness (or whatever floats your boat) because it shows there is no intelligence as to why so many hard working people would choose to elect someone who only supports the highly rich 2% who never pay taxes or supports Putin’s okay to hackers to impugn our elections is ignored because of his (Trump’s) so-called victimization by the Democrats in their efforts to oust him for many the many things he’s done which brings shame to this country as a president, husband, father.

    When the antiquated electoral vote allowed Trump the win it meant a disastrous thing. It meant people are making decisions based on the what superficial programs they choose to watch on television. How can it not be addressed that today’s people are influenced by the shallowness of programs they watch on television for entertainment purposes are the only education they receive and use to base their reality on many varied subjects. But at the very least it’s better than blind faith in man-made and male influence for power usage of religious dogma.

  2. I wouldn’t be so bold to call the election in favor of Trump already, but while it depresses me to say it, I do agree that his chances aren’t as slim as some people think.

    One good thing about the highly polarized political climate is that elections feel much more consequential than they have in the past.
    The recent election in Alberta, which was very polarized, had a voter turnout of 70%, a percentage not seen in decades, and their premier was not nearly as polarizing as Trump.
    There were a lot of politically moderate people who, unimpressed with Hillary and possibly intrigued at the prospect of a Trump win purely for the potential disruption of the status quo, (and possibly just to witness the surreal spectacle of it all), stayed home in 2016 and have been kicking themselves ever since, I don’t think that will happen twice.

    I haven’t been excited about any of the Dem candidates but the more I see of the BootyJudge, the more I’m impressed, he seems almost suspiciously tailor made to have something to please everybody.

    1. Yes, however, after watching BootyJudge ‘s town hall performance, he clearly lacks substance. When it came to actually discussing policies, he had nothing to offer.

  3. I think the problem for the dems is that moderate policies that most americans favor such as tax cuts and economic growth are rightly claimed by Trump, so they can’t use those. They have fallen for the temptation to promise free stuff but have gone to extremes with these promises (free college, medicare for all, green new deal, reparations) and to pay for it are promising to raise taxes. In the name of empathy they want open borders and refuse to acknowledge that there is a border crisis, which is a view most americans do not go with–even hispanic americans. I do not think this is a winning hand no matter who wins the primaries.

  4. The Democratic establishment presumably understands they need to win back working class whites, but will their primary voters tolerate the kind of moderate candidate that has that appeal? The intersectional candidates surprisingly are underperforming, but that segment of the base can certainly be counted on to try to sabotage an “old white male” candidate. The combination of sidelining black and brown candidates and Trump’s surprising appeal in those demographics (Trump got 17% of the black vote for people earning over $100k) might spell trouble for Democrats in some surprising districts. Now that the deal is broken and the chaos the media promised Trump would bring never materialised, I expect people who would not have voted for him before would come out this time. People certainly won’t fall for the sky-is-falling routine a second time.

    This article was a little strange because it sounded like the author was shaming Americans for not being sufficiently united for socialism, then lamenting the market-friendly policies of the Trump administration causing such surprising economic growth. Let’s recall that Obama presided over the slowest recovery in modern American history, and proclaimed the days of 3% growth were over. Why should Americans risk their livelihoods on someone with Obamaesque fiscal policies, or worse, someone even further left?

    1. Stephanie, I certainly wasn’t trying to shame Americans. I simply tried to outline the reasons why socialism is viewed with so much suspicion in the United States.

  5. I hate to say this; but I think you are absolutely right in predicting his re-election. Bernie Sanders put up a good fight in 2016 and also seems strong this time around. But I can already see centrist Democrats reviving the red baiting they hurled at him in 2016. I also see troubling developments in the divisive rhetoric around reparations, which Sanders does not endorse because he favors a broad redistributive economic justice agenda (education, health care, housing, living wage, et cetera) that benefits communities across demographic categories. I used to find the argument for reparations convincing until I started reading black materialist writers with critical evaluations of reparations. We desperately need a united front focused on combatting economic inequality that Senator Sanders has tried to build, and the divisive rhetoric around reparations is chipping away at this possibility. I also just find it very suspicious that corporate centrist Democrats are suddenly endorsing it – most likely because it doesn’t require any sacrifices from them or any fundamental restructuring of society. I stopped following the news a while ago because the rhetoric on so many issues has become so divisive.

    So many people did not vote in 2016: 42 percent of eligible voters. This phenomenon of a disengaged plurality has existed for decades – it’s pretty common for less than 60 percent of voters to turn out in the presidential election, even less in local and state elections. Nobody ever seems to ask why or to ask how the current dynamic of bipartisan neoliberalism and corporate two party system contributes to it. Voter turnout was down among young voters of every demographic in 2016. I think that many of them did not vote because they wanted Bernie Sanders and perceived that he was treated unfairly by the corporate Democratic Party structure. I’m trying to remain hopeful about the 2020 outcome, but I’m not optimistic. I agree with some of the above commenters that it is very likely that the Democrats will align around a corporate centrist for the nomination. And that person will probably lose to Trump.

  6. If you’re Irish I can understand the skepticism, but the US political climate has changed dramatically in the last 3-4 years and, according to all polls (even the ones done in 2016) Bernie Sanders defeats Trump by huge margins. Moreover, if Sanders doesn’t get the nom for some reason it will be because the Democrats have mustered around a centrist moderate (Biden, Buttigieg, or similar) who is beholden to the same interests as Trump so that it may look for a while like a competition to see who is more Republican. However, this non-progressive will be met with severe criticism internally, from the left wing of the Democratic party which is stronger now than it has been since the 60s, hence B. will need to shift enough to the left to appeal to both progressives and independents. Shouldn’t be too difficult, the spoken and unspoken truth among conservatives and liberals is that Trump is a brazenly corrupt moron and an embarrassment to the USA. In short, you’re wrong, there is no way Trump is winning the 2020 election; preferably Sanders will be beat him, but at the very least some moderate Obama-clone with the corporations behind him will win (and go on to do as little as possible to anger his bosses on Wall St.).

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    1. I doubt a moderate centrist will be beholden to the same interests as Trump, being that the interests Trump is beholden to is his own capricious id. that’s the problem, not that Trump is somehow too constrained by the will of his corporate masters. if only! at least that would be some kind of moderating influence.

      and I think a moderate presidency is the best chance to heal from this presidency, and prevent from setting precedents going forward.

    2. The optimist in me agrees with you, I think it must be the Trump brigade downvoting you because the comment is fine.
      The pessimist in me agrees with the article, although I disagree aswell on some small points about some of the potential dem nominees.

      And then another, stranger, darker, twisted, new part of me only wants to see the left win again once we have reformed to kick the identity politics to the curb, no matter the cost.
      I almost don’t care if Trump sells out the environment, the financial inequalities grow to even more absurd levels, extremist violence escalates on all sides, and people become more desperate and scared than ever before. JUST so that we can all get together and say that intersectionality is a bad idea!
      How fucked up is that?? I routinely suppress those thoughts, but I have them.

  7. Looking at the situation in ‘socialist’ Scandinavia it would seem that the indigenous population are quickly becoming disenchanted with socialism. It’s open arms and open borders, the staggering cost of housing, feeding and just generally supporting a non-integrated multicultural society is no doubt a factor, though more recent attacks on them by the left for wanting violent criminals of all origins dealt with equally and not favouring migrants is probably a factor too.

    The West is slowly waking up to the insidious lefts active subversion, socialism was the ‘accepted’ and ‘acceptable’ face of this.

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    1. The author is right that aggressive taxation and redistribution (not socialism, which is state control of the economy) requires social cohesion, high trust, and ideological homogeneity. Scandinavia used to have those, but importing low-productivity people from incompatible cultures has ruined social cohesion and trust.

      The iron grip the State has on the media can only enforce ideological homogeneity for so long. At some point they’ll put a critical number of retirees behind bars for criticizing what Islam has done to their country, and the tide will turn. Either they will evict all their Muslims or their welfare states will collapse. Either way, this will expose how laughably ill-suited these policies are to America.

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  8. Ilhan Omar can’t help but to expose herself for the Islamist that she is by declaring that 9/11 was nothing other than some people doing something. No one should expect otherwise. But here is what we should be asking her about:

    • The slaughter of liberals and leftists by Muslims in Iran in 1979

    • The murder of Theo van Gogh

    • The assassination of Benazir Bhutto

    • The massacre in Orlando

    • The slaughter of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists

    Every single one of those incidents involves Muslims murdering people who were left-of-center. She claims to be a progressive, but what does she say about these incidents? Will she condemn them? These are the “easy” cases. If she can’t condemn these acts, then why would we (on the right) expect her to condemn 9/11? We could also ask her about the trafficking of young teenaged girls in Rotherham and other towns in northern England. I suspect she isn’t too upset by any of these incidents. But, hey Ilhan, surprise me. Tell me that you are terribly bothered by them, more than you by Islamophobia.

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  9. Trump could have been an opportunity for the left to take the mantle that the right abandoned (by electing Trump, but lets face it: it was always a flimsy facade to begin with) of the Grown-Ups In The Room. instead we sunk to a level so juvenile and desperate that we look somewhere between just-as-bad and worse.

    Trump will not win exactly. it’s just that the democrats will lose. some self control, coolness (as in cool-headed, not hip) and three-dimensional strategic thinking could have averted that, but we just didn’t wanna.

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  10. Well said, Glenn. Your analysis matches what I see whilst living overseas. Having said that, I hope you are wrong. Sadly, I fear you are correct.

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  11. As I wrote before, Trump is a clyster for America. But I’m afraid the treatment is belated.

    Take a look at your liberal achievements:

    Homosexuality is OK! Less children is good.
    Transgenders are OK! Less children is good.
    Millennials, think twice before have a child! Less children is good.
    Is it enough? No! Abortion until 40 weeks in pregnancy. Let’s kill children! Less children is good.

    You do everything to convince mankind to commit suicide and you still hope you can cause any feelings except disgust… Ship of fools

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    1. If homosexuals and transgenders had more children, you probably wouldn’t be happy either.

      Look at it as an optimization problem: Even if we grant that there should be more children – which you didn’t argue for, but merely assumed – is a pro-torture egomaniac who routinely lies to the public really the best solution to this optimization problem? There are no other things you pro-children advocates can do other than put a pro-torture, lying egomaniac in power over the largest military on Earth?

      You’re rationalizing backward, and you’re free to do so, but here’s the thing: You don’t *have* to. You can just say “Ok, Trump was a mistake, but we should really have policies that cause more children because children will…” and then add whatever it is you want more children for.

  12. I don’t live in the US but if I did I’d probably vote for Trump because as much as I despise the loud and tacky who overrun the natural world with their bloated hotels and golf courses:
    1. Somehow Trump is less annoying than those who rail against capitalism and while expecting it to keep funding their poorly designed do-gooder schemes
    2. Voting for a party bent on giving jobs to people based on some arbitrary DNA that has nothing to do with competence seems like a bad idea
    3. At the end of the day, I (a woman) would rather live in a world where a man can try to grab my lady bits and I am free to punch him in the face rather than one where I have to pretend enforced modesty is somehow empowering and feminist but a man accidentally saying the wrong thing is ‘rape culture’.

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    1. at the risk of mansplaining, actually what you’re supposed to do if a man gropes you is to be utterly emotionally devastated by that, and give up on all of your dreams.

      1. Back during WWII when my Mom was in high school, her step-father told her to never slap a man. “Ball your fist,” he told her.

  13. Man, I hate this. And I disagree with some of your opinions about the Dem candidates. But sadly, you are most likely right.

    – b

  14. Bernie Sanders has the best chance of beating Trump in a general election. His problem lies with some Democrats who are in bed with some of the same corporate donors as the Republicans.

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