Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. He is the author of ‘Midnight in the American Empire,’ How Corporations and Their Political Servants are Destroying the American Dream. @Robert_Bridge
After less than a year in power, Americans are already perplexed by Joe Biden’s unending string of serious blunders, as evidenced by Trump’s latest surge in the polls. Will the US welcome back the maverick in 2024?
It’s almost unthinkable, but America’s favorite beating boy, the menacing ‘Orange Man’ Donald J. Trump, seems to have gained a new respectability after losing the White House to Joe Biden just last year.
In a new Harvard-Harris poll, Trump, who survived two attempts at impeachment while in office, has acquired a popularity rating of 48 percent compared with Biden’s 46 percent. At the same time, 51 percent of respondents said Trump was a better president than Biden, while 49 percent held the opposite view. And since American politics has become more about winning the next election than anything else, rumors are already swirling that the former president will seek to be the Republican presidential candidate in 2024. And the numbers are on his side.
According to the same poll, nearly six in 10 Republican voters surveyed say they would vote to put Trump back on the ticket in 2024. No other potential Republican candidate comes close to exciting the same level of voter enthusiasm as the former real estate magnate and TV personality. Mike Pence, for example, the former cold-as-ice vice, came in a distant second place with 13 percent support, while Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor who managed to keep his state open for business through much of the Covid lockdown season, garnered just nine percent support.
It is tempting to suggest, however, that Trump’s newfound popularity among the American people is due more to Biden’s mangling of domestic and foreign policy than any sort of genius on his part. After all, the former president remains largely muzzled by both the mainstream media and social media, while the majority of press he gets carries a whiff of anthrax. Thus, Trump need only sit back and abide by Napoleon’s famous maxim that advises “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” And lord knows there have been mistakes.
From the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal, which saw the commander-in-chief leave behind numerous US citizens amid an advancing Taliban force, as well enough munitions on the tarmac to build a new army from scratch; to the crisis at the US-Mexico border, where thousands of illegal Haitian migrants are huddled under a bridge as they wait to be shuffled around the country; it has been one long, unmitigated string of ugly optics for the Biden administration. And that’s not even mentioning the Democratic leader’s embracing of racist critical race theory in the classroom.
Perhaps this avalanche of madness would be more forgivable if the US leader appeared to be in full command of his sensibilities, but unfortunately that does not seem to be the case.
Last week, Biden attended a conference in Boise, Idaho, about the ongoing wildfires that have plagued several states in the country’s west. When the US leader went off-script and began babbling with one of the attendees, the White House staffers went into panic mode and abruptly cut the feed.
Earlier, Politico reported that Biden aides are “filled with anxiety that he’s going to take questions from the press and veer off the West Wing’s carefully orchestrated messaging.” It’s times like this when a person can get thinking about ‘nuclear briefcases’, and ‘unintended consequences’, and other such things that modern nightmares are made of.
In any case, to employ the overused Trump measuring stick once again, try and imagine what would happen to the White House aide that dared to silence the former president as he attempted to answer questions from the press pool. There would have been a resounding “You’re fired,” and that would have been the end of it. The Idaho meeting, however, was not an isolated case of Biden being hushed up.
This week, he hosted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the White House, where once again the US president’s aides bound and gagged the dear leader – figuratively speaking, of course. Just after Johnson politely took three questions from British reporters, Biden’s staffers shouted over the assembled journalists like a fire alarm had just gone off, ordering them out of the room as Biden looked on with bewilderment in his eyes, muttering something inaudible. As the reporters were seen leaving, one could be heard asking, “What did [President Biden] say?” to which another responded, “I have no idea. I hope the microphone got it.”
In response to the latest snubbing, which is becoming dangerously conspicuous, the White House press pool filed a formal complaint against Biden for “refusing to answer questions from American media about the multiple crises that have erupted under his regime,” as the Daily Wire not-so-delicately put it.
This is a rather remarkable turn of events in that the diehard liberal media, which has had Biden’s back through thick and thin – even playing cover during his prodigal son Hunter’s laptop scandal, which they dutifully proclaimed as fake news (turns out it was true; go figure) – is showing signs of weariness. After all, even the most obedient dog will stray from an incompetent owner, especially if it is not being fed the essential soundbites now and then. This presents the Biden administration with a grave problem, and one they are certainly awake to.
First, not only are Americans coming around to the conclusion that Biden is not altogether upstairs, but his interrupted performances are also helping to propel the Democratic Party’s ultimate nemesis, Donald J. Trump, to the front of the polls once again. And let’s face it, Joe Biden is not getting any younger.
In November, America’s leader will be celebrating his 79th birthday, which means when the next presidential election rolls around he’ll be a ripe 82.
I have no idea what the Las Vegas bookies are predicting, but the opinion here is that America’s “most popular president of all time” will be lucky to make it through the summer of next year as far as his political shelf life goes. It will be very hard to keep the charade going much longer beyond then. But this will not improve the situation for the Democratic Party, since Kamala Harris, Biden’s cackling vice president, is herself stuck in the basement of the polling agencies.
So unless something unexpected happens, it already looks like smooth sailing for Trump in 2024. Don’t cry, Democrats: worse things have happened before in the circus known as American politics, even if you can’t think of them right now.