The smart money says that Donald Trump will not run in 2024. The smarter money says that he might, but that he shouldn’t because he’s too old and too divisive. I have no accounts at either of those depositories, so am not going to participate in that panel discussion. Instead, I propose to make a few obvious points. If they’re obvious, why make them? Because the obvious is not always so obvious.
René Descartes is widely detested by all the clever people, for whom ‘Cartesian’ is term of snobbish contempt. I think Descartes was a great genius but one who was wrong about a couple of important things. No, I do not mean what he says about ‘extended substance’, the ‘Cogito’ or any of his other epistemological and metaphysical flights.
I am thinking, rather, of his bold claim in Discours de la Méthode that ‘Le bon sens est la chose du monde la mieux partagée’: ‘Common sense is the most widely shared thing in the world.’ That, I submit, is almost Panglossian in its optimism. Indeed, experience tells us that something close to the opposite is the case. Really, common sense is the among the least common of virtues.
That is obvious point number one, and for confirmation I invite you to consider the phenomenon of the Biden administration. I am not one of the sensible, smart-money people who believes, or says he believes, that Joe Biden fairly won more electoral college votes than Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential. Contrary to The Narrative, I believe that the Big Lie is that the election was on the up-and-up. But — and this is obvious point number two — it doesn’t matter, by which I mean that there is nothing that can be done now to alter the outcome of the election.
Then why bring it up? Because (moving on to OP number three), the Biden administration is an unmitigated disaster unfolding in real time. It is a disaster fully owned and operated by the people that brought you the hysteria of NeverTrump and, as a part of that long-running entertainment, told us repeatedly (indeed, ad nauseam) that with the installation of Joe Biden the ‘adults’ were back, America was back and ‘normality’ was back.
That was about 15 minutes before the Great Unraveling commenced. It started on the domestic front as Biden’s economic policies stepped like a rhinoceros into the dinghy of the American economy, swamping it with eye-watering levels of debt, out-of-control inflation, an energy crisis and an unsustainable labor situation in which people are paid to stay home and not work.
Then there was the ongoing hysteria about COVID and the fraternity-house-like variants — that Big Pharma, the ‘experts’ and the media are exploiting for fun, limelight and profit. Trump confronted the novel virus, mobilized American ingenuity and scientific know-how and produced several effective vaccines in record time. His big mistake was engaging St Anthony Fauci and Lady Deborah of the Hermes Scarf as advisers. They muddied the waters and dispensed conflicting and contradictory advice. And they, at least he, would neither leave nor shut up.
But the curtain was most rudely pulled back, the bandage most publicly ripped from the suppurating wound, in Afghanistan. Yet another obvious point: we’re far from finished totting up the damage that Biden & Co did to itself, to its allies in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and to American prestige and influence on the world stage. The world caught its breath in horror as it watched those Afghans plummet from the landing gear of that departing plane, but that was nothing compared to its horror it faced when a suicide, which is to say a homicide, bomber murdered some 170 people, including a baker’s dozen of American servicemen, outside the airport at Kabul.
Hundreds of Americans are left cowering in Afghanistan while thousands of unvetted, unassimilable Afghans have been relocated to the US. This is the situation that Biden, barking at the TV cameras, called an ‘extraordinary success’. The media, aka the Biden press corps, are now, after a brief, painful contact with reality, scurrying like rats to excuse and cover up the facts of the debacle, but to no avail: the laden airliner of truth has lodged itself violently in the structure of a shaky political edifice and it is just a matter of time before it implodes.
It is not yet clear what collateral damage its collapse will involve. The answer will depend on a number of unpredictable factors, foreign as well as domestic. How will hostile powers seek to take advantage of the chaos and confusion that the Biden administration created for itself? There is no doubt that they will; the question is how, and how dramatically. I write in early September. I predict that by the time you read this, we will already have a better sense of that melancholy eventuality.
In any event, people are beginning to claw through the preliminary wreckage of the Biden administration. Some earlier enthusiasts have retreated in panic. Like earlier tyrants, the Fourth Estate is playing uplifting music to distract the populace from the reality that they, the media, helped bring about.
Just a couple more OPs. The Republicans will take the House and Senate in 2022. The forces of inertia — which can be expressed mathematically as the Romney Factor x McConnell squared — will probably prevail, notwithstanding the addition of dynamic new faces in both Houses. Discontent will grow, not diminish. In 2024, the candidate will be Ron DeSantis or Donald Trump. Possibly, they will share the ticket (some loophole would then be found for their both being Florida residents). In either case, the Republicans will win and — last OP — the United States will then face its last, best chance for a stay of execution.
This article was originally published in The Spectator’s October 2021 World edition.