Can Trump win the 2024 election? Should we care? Jeff says ‘Yes’ to both.

February 4th, 2024Can Trump win the 2024 election? Should we care? Jeff says ‘Yes’ to both.

The 2024 contest to see who will be the next president of the United States, between incumbent Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump, is being called the most important in the country’s history, by many professional political observers.

The 2024 contest to see who will be the next president of the United States, between incumbent Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump, is being called the most important in the country’s history, by many professional political observers.

Adding to the dramatic tension is that if one word can be used to describe the political situation in the US today it is “divided”. Between the progressive liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans there is no apparent common ground, no space for negotiation, no mutual respect.

Democrats want to win in 2024 so they can continue trying to find solutions to the myriad problems facing the country. Republicans want power and they want to obliterate their Democratic opponents in the process.

In early 2016 I was greeted by a friend in the Coles parking lot in downtown Daylesford. He had a question for me. “He can’t win, can he?” was the fearful query “he” being Donald Trump, and my friend was asking me, as an American, if I believed Trump had a chance to win in the upcoming US presidential election. “Yes, he absolutely can win,” was my reply.

It turned out I was wrong, but right. Trump lost to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election by almost 3 million votes, but through the peculiar institution called the Electoral College, he won the presidency.

Four years of a Trump presidency convinced enough Americans that he was unfit to hold public office – he lost both the popular vote and the Electoral College, and don’t let anyone tell you that the 2020 election was rigged or stolen. It wasn’t.

So now it is 2024 and I can feel the fear of my friend in the Coles parking lot welling up again. Trump can’t win, can he?

As I am writing this, Trump has been declared the winner of a piece of political theatre called the Iowa Caucus, which, in a normal presidential campaign, is a relatively insignificant event used to judge who the voters in the state of Iowa want to see as their party’s nominee in the national election.

In 2016 most political commentators dismissed Trump as a publicity seeking clown, a self-promoting con man and reality-show TV personality.

In 2024, after his so-called “landslide” victory in Iowa, even supposedly legitimate media sources such
as the New York Times are diving for their dictionaries looking for bigger and better adjectives to describe the significance of the event.

But looked at another way, Iowa is one of the most thoroughly conservative states, but only 51 per cent of eligible voters selected Trump, and he was running against inept Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and insignificant Nikki Haley.

In other words, after being embarrassed in 2016, the US media machine is blowing gale-force hot air
into Trump’s sails in 2024.

Previously I described a two-party system in play in the US, but it isn’t that simple.

Poised against the Democrats is a divided Republican Party: traditional Republicans, sometimes nostalgically called the party of Ronald Reagan, who served as president from 1981-89, who supposedly believe in low taxes and minimal government intervention; and a relatively new force, the MAGA Republicans, who have rapidly evolved into an anti-democracy cult with Donald Trump at its head and the Murdoch-owned Fox News as its propaganda wing.

The Biden administration has had to handle wars in Ukraine and in Gaza, steep economic inflation and worsening pressures on the country’s southern border brought on by many thousands of people seeking entry into the US in search of a better life.

China remains a potent adversary, and the Biden government has at least made an effort to address climate change, which should have been at the top of the list, but wasn’t.

Meanwhile, after four years as president, Donald Trump racked up 91 charges across four criminal cases, including 44 federal charges and 47 state charges, all felonies.

He has been found guilty of sexual abuse and defamation against writer E. Jean Carroll, his companies have been found guilty on multiple charges of criminal fraud and keeping false business records in a long-running scheme to avoid paying taxes.

Trump has been on the campaign trail since he was ousted from office in 2020, and his rallies across the country have taken on the air of holy-roller revivals or rock-star concerts, with his delirious followers (commentator Jeff Tiedrich calls them “worshippers”) decked out in MAGA outfits in red, white and blue.

In these events Trump rages and complains wildly and often incoherently about how badly he has been treated, how innocent he is of all the charges against him, how the 2020 election was stolen from him, and how he will punish all those who failed to support him.

Lately he has taken to paraphrasing the writings of Adolf Hitler, describing his opponents as vermin and accusing migrants of poisoning the pure blood of America. He has quipped about becoming a dictator, if re-elected.

Sadly, these deranged comments have increased Trump’s support in parts of the country. He has tapped into a bitter, hateful, repressed fear among many Americans: fear of migrants, fear of people with some “other” sexual orientation, fear of empowered women.

Trump speaks to these people, encourages their fears and hatreds, tells them liberal progressive ideas are destroying their way of life. And they hear him and believe him. They are willing to give up on American democracy.

Can he win in 2024? Yes, absolutely. But we all better hope not.

After many happy years living in Victoria, former Wheatsheaf resident Jeff Glorfeld, and his wife Carol, went back to California, where he has survived bushfires, snowstorms and drought. And Trump. Once so far. And Covid. The cicadas and locusts didn’t arrive…well, not yet. While he waits for them, Jeff hosts a radio show with 60 minutes of Australian music, the Down Under Hour, on radio KKRN 88.5FM, streaming live at KKRN.org, on Thursdays at 8am. Tune in!

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