Thursday, June 01, 2023

The Problem With Another Trump Presidency

Every time Donald Trump calls Florida’s governor “DeSanctimonious” or something similarly juvenile, 10,000 registered Republicans groan. The reason this is not being reflected in the current polls is because of the sympathy that Republicans feel for a man who has been unfairly reviled and hounded by Democrats and the media for the last six years. Indeed, if Trump is indicted for any of his alleged crimes, he is probably unbeatable in the race for the GOP nomination.

Maybe that’s the Democrats’ plan, because if there is anyone in the country that the failed and widely disdained Biden might beat it is Trump. Seen this way, the push for indicting him (for something, anything) isn’t so much that he’s sure to be convicted, and therefore toast in the general election, as it is that his indictment will stop Republicans who are more likely to win the general election, like DeSantis, from getting the nomination.

If this hypothesis is correct, the biggest loser will most assuredly not be Biden or Trump, but the country.

When has there been a more fraught time than now? We are running the risk of a nuclear war with Russia (perhaps aided by China) over our policy in Ukraine; we are about to enter a recession; our banks are under stress, in consequence of which the Federal Reserve is caught between a rock and a hard place; inflation is running three times the desired 2% annually; and most sinister of all, the country is being divided by race and religion and gender by woke-themed gibberish that has traveled, by speed of light, to capture institutions from academia to Fortune 500 corporations to the Democratic Party.

Perhaps the least consequential, but most revealing, manifestation of this curse is the assault on pronouns that have centuries of history, and science, behind them. Should biological men be allowed to compete against biological women in sports? Is it accurate or fair to level accusations of “white privilege” at school children? Is it smart, or even legal, for government to allocate federal jobs by race, gender, or religion?

For all this, what would happen in a race for the White House between Trump and Biden? If the winner were Biden, we know the answer to that question: more of the same until he retires or dies in office and is succeeded by…Kamala Harris?

And what if the winner was Trump? Well, we can be sure he would return to those policy positions that characterized his first term: support for the fossil fuel industry, the canning of every governmental DEI program, the completion of a wall on our southern border, and a lessening of tensions with Russia and China.

But along with these arguably favorable outcomes of a Trump second term, we would almost certainly see at least a couple that were unfavorable. Because of his personality and careless use of language, and because of the hatred of him by the press and the Democratic Party, a second Trump tour would likely be marked by the same kind of unrelenting and divisive battles with his enemies in the media and among Democrats generally. The problem with this isn’t most importantly the unpleasantness of the conflict itself, but the stress of it on the making of sound policies in Congress and elsewhere.

Another problem with a second Trump administration would likely turn on the fact that, as sound as his policies might be, he is a poor administrator. This can be seen in the high turnover of his past administration’s officials, and in his reliance on his daughter and son-in-law for important projects, foreign and domestic. This, while many positions in the White House and federal agencies were left unoccupied, or in the hands of holdovers.

To put it simply, a race between Biden and Trump is not an optimal prospect. The U.S. is desperately in need right now of a president, unlike Biden, who is alert and wise, and one who, unlike Trump, knows how to charm and disarm people who don’t share his agenda.

This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and made available via RealClearWire.