When Donald Trump became President in 2017, I expressed my concern for the Republican Party. On January 30, 2017, in a post, “And then the Republicans,” I questioned whether the Republican leaders in Congress could work with Trump. I asked, “This sets up a clash between Trump and the congressional leaders. Do the conservative leader’s tame Trump, so he obediently signs on to their program, or does he use his followers to bully Congress into submission?” For almost all four years, to my surprise, Trump and the leadership worked relatively well together. The fact the Democrats came down with a severe case of “Trump Derangement Syndrome ruled out any relationship with them. Democratic cries of Russian collusion will lead to impeachment precluded the Democrats and left only the Republicans. The GOP-Trump partnership resulted in a mass of conservative judges, tax reform, a strengthened military, and regulation reduction. The economy did well by a more significant swath of people.
This marriage of convenience was exposed during and after the election. When it looked as if the President would lose, he attacked mail-in voting. He told his supporters to avoid it in favor of in-person voting instead of using the pre-election time to getting their supporters to vote early. This stance hurt Republican early efforts. Even if you plan to vote on election day, something could come up preventing it. This is especially true in this time of COVID-19. In this close election, this proved to be foolish. The President seemed to want an excuse for losing while the party tried to win up and down the ballot. The alliance was fraying.
After he appeared to lose, Trump attacked the outcome. As I’ve written earlier, a close look at an election where widespread first time mail-in voting was done was certainly warranted. We needed to be assured the election results were correct. A wave of recounts and court rulings confirming they were followed. Even Bill Barr, the Attorney General, failed to find fraud that would’ve changed the result. Yet, Trump refused to accept the outcome. Worse, he attacked fellow Republicans. In GOP controlled states of Arizona and, more fatally, Georgia, President viciously attacked the Governor and Secretary of State of his own party. With two crucial Senate seats to decide the Senate’s control on January 5, a total Republican effort was needed to win.
To make things worse, Trump joined with the Democrats demanding an additional $2,00 in Covid aid. This put Republicans in a no-win position. The split in the party led to the double defeat. W.e may never know why Trump went so far off the rails. . Losing control of the Senate will undo much of his legacy. Walking away from his party made no sense. He demanded Congress and the vice-president reverse the election. The result was the horrible 1/6 riot descending on the Capitol.
There will be a cottage industry of books endeavoring to explain Trump’s actions leading up to and after the elections. Maybe losing relieved him of the party constraints that held his inner demons at bay. Why couldn’t his family and friends continue to keep him between the lines? Before the 2016 election, I asked if “the Republicans want to Exist?’ My fear was Trump would destroy the party. Strangely, the way he is going out may save it. Unless the Democrats make him a martyr, his influence in the party and the Nation will significantly be diminished.
President-elect Biden needs to be the uniter he claims to be. So far, he hasn’t come close. Rather than rein Speaker Pelosi in from impeachment in Trump’s last ten days, Biden waffled. Worse, he brought race into it. These partisan actions will significantly widen our divisions. Giving Trump the illusion of martyrdom benefits no one.
A really savvy leader knows violence, not restrained, will only escalate. This is based on James Q. Wilson’s “Broken Windows Theory.” Unpunished lawless acts lead to greater lawlessness. Acceptance of the rioting, looting, and destruction of the Black Lives Matter rallies was bound to escalate lawlessness. Instead of calling out evil actions no matter what side they come from, Biden is proving to be the doofus I always thought he was.
However, the allied press will do its best to make Biden appear successful. Take his Covid-19 first hundred-day plan. Biden is poised to take credit for things already in place. Take his guarantee of 100 million people vaccinated by the end his first 100 days. Even the slower than we would like to roll out won’t prevent us from doing better than without changing anything. We will likely have vaccinated 15 million people by the inauguration. Dr. Fauci has said we will soon be vaccinating over a million people a day. With at least two other vaccines coming online, that figure can only increase. Even at a million a day, we will reach his figure in his first 85 days.
To appear he will change things, Biden says he will order all available vaccines for first doses. We’ll wait for the second dose as the first doses are given. This is being done in the UK and has been proposed by many here. The problem is the first dose, maybe only 50% effective vs. the two-dose 95%. For us old folks, waiting for real two-dose immunity, which may never materialize on time, is scary. It would be reassuring if Biden went with his own program and waited for his second shot. By the time you read this, he will have had his second shot—some example.
His proposal everyone wear a mask for his first 100 days is more of the same. During the campaign, Biden claimed there would be 424,000 Covid deaths by January 1. He told the BBC, “We can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months.” According to Johns Hopkins, we totaled 347,788 Deaths by the New Year. Either the models Biden relied on were substantially off, or as polling now shows, the Nation was already masked up. Proposing something that has mostly taken place is hardly breaking new ground.
The first 100-day proposal should register even more scorn than the first two, is he will get K-12 schools open by the end of that time. The only reason such a large number of students aren’t in school now is the pressure brought by his allies, the teacher’s unions. Kids lacking in-person schooling are centered in Democrat-controlled areas. Remember, Europe, even in this Covid upsurge, has kept its schools open. It takes real chutzpah to claim credit for solving a problem Biden supporters created.
People should be aware of this when the propaganda press praises the Biden administration for its 100-day success in these areas. Biden either did nothing more than was already in place or fixed what his allies were responsible in the first place.
This is the kind of press spin that has contributed to the massive distrust of media. Not knowing who to believe has allowed misinformation to thrive. Our escalating woes, such as January 6, are in no small part due to the media’s abandoning objectivity for propaganda. Pointing their untruths before they’re trumpeted is a way to expose the deception.
I have promoted a broader political choice. My series on the “Future Party” looks at our last two Presidential election choices and asks why we can’t do better? Can the country succeed with leaders the caliber of Trump or Biden? More options improve most everything, and we certainly need them in politics going forward.