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Assault on America, Day 363: Auld lang syne and what holds the future on the doorstep of 2020

Trump rally
Should old acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind
Should all acquaintance be forgot
And auld lang syne


What holds the future?

On the last day of what proved to be an incredibly interesting, fateful and important 2019, it’s time to contemplate what’s in store for the certain to be monumental year of 2020, as well as speculate on what Americans might be thinking and worrying about in the final 24 hours of next year. It’s inevitable that conditions will be different 366 days (leap year, remember?) from now -- but sadly, in terms of partisan division -- much will remain the same.

Politics is ever-changing, making predicting outcomes extremely challenging and often pointless and embarrassing. A minute, an hour or a day is a lifetime in the political realm where thousands (or millions) of people endlessly search for the tidbit of information that will alter the status quo -- or at least serve as fodder for a 30-second TV spot. Liberals, Democrats and President Donald Trump’s #NeverTrump enemies have been at it for well over four years now, and they’ll keep trying regardless of the sure to be ugly ending of the current impeachment drive.

Most respectable political observers believe Trump will be reelected next November, and in the process, the American people will hand him a mandate to further his quest to Keep America Great. But will defeating his 2020 Democrat opponent mark the end of the saga? Hardly. People who follow politics argue there’s much more to be done to heal the nation than simply prevailing in the Electoral College.

Roger L. Simon wrote last week at The Epoch Times, “In order to really ‘make America great again,’ so we can indeed live with each other, even if Durham indicts half a dozen of his opponents, even if he wins a smashing victory in November, the president must resist two powerful temptations: vengeance and gloating.

“He should be ‘the good father,’ which he evidently is to his own children, not the angry or cheated man, which he is to his political opponents, justifiably or not. This will be problematic for Trump, who thrives on confrontation, but he must do it. He could even begin in early 2020 at his State of the Union address, lowering the temperature of the rhetoric.

“Among his best assets is his humor. He is arguably our funniest president. Poking fun at yourself is a time-honored way of defusing the opposition. He should exploit this at every opportunity. And enough of the excessive bragging…”

An old saying goes that advice is worth what you pay for it, but assuming Simon isn’t directly on Trump’s payroll, the president should still take the wise observer’s suggestions to heart. Like the vast majority of conservatives these days, Simon made the ideological journey from Trump skeptic to mostly full-throated backer, a similar path to my own and a lot of people I know. In the beginning, many of us doubted Donald Trump the celebrity, real estate tycoon and traditional values-deprived American cultural icon could somehow transfer his talents to Washington and assimilate them into the job of chief executive. But he has.

I like to think Trump’s done the impossible. It’s not just that he’s been remarkably successful in implementing much of his outsider agenda -- it’s how he’s done it. The New Yorker speaks plainly, doesn’t care in the slightest about stepping on necks, names names and treats the office like a megaphone for his MAGA political platform. Trump tweets up a storm, defies the media, purposely insults establishment-protecting journalists, chides political opponents and pokes fun at the elites (such as telling enviro “climate change” sourpuss Greta Thunberg to “chill” and to go out to a movie with friends).

Or like the time he was informed that pop music sensation Taylor Swift was touting Democrats in Tennessee before the 2018 elections, Trump said he liked her music “about 25 percent less now” (with a grin on his face, of course). A great deal of his commentary is supplied with a showman’s flair for timing and delivery, which produces smiles for supporters and scowls for those who don’t like him. He doesn’t care. Politically speaking, Trump has skin thick as a rhinoceros, and his critics are mere gnats and fleas at the watering hole.

The impossible part is how Trump’s made politics fun and fascinating, even for those who normally don’t pay much attention to it. His grand rallies are akin to two hours of high-quality entertainment performed by a clever recording artist. Never before have millions of Americans tuned-in to hear a politician speak just because they think it’s worthwhile… and humorous. Not even Obama generated these kinds of reactions during his earliest days on the national scene. If the big O gave (MSNBC liberal) Chris Matthews a thrill up and down his leg, Trump tickles the funny bones of the forgotten Americans who felt left behind by the swampy ruling class.

There’s a name for it -- Cult of Personality. But unlike phony socialist populists like Fidel Castro and Eva Perón, Trump’s “cult” is a good thing. Few politicians have it… Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton and Trump come to mind. Obama had it at the outset, but his aura faded along with his credibility as a leader. Obama was a hypocrite, false secular prophet and a not-so-convincing liar.

But yes, as Simon argued above, perhaps Trump’s biggest and most arduous challenge in his second go-round would be making America livable again. The “Great” part will be accomplished through continuing his governing agenda, fostering and sustaining economic growth, stoking the fires of energy production, cheerleading and supporting the military, completing the border wall, pushing Congress to finally get serious on immigration, enacting long-promised and much needed infrastructure upgrades, encouraging law enforcement, advocating for his “America First” foreign policy and boosting the country’s standard-of-living through free enterprise and reduced government intervention.

If Trump would address the nearly bankrupt federal entitlements and the bloated annual government budget deficit, he’d be a true legend and perhaps the greatest president of all-time.

But for 2021 and beyond, it's the “healing” part that’s at issue. Even if he lost the election Trump would still be reviled by a large swath of the public. Democrats, liberals and defenders of the swamp status quo will forever resent not only his victories, but also the way he went about earning them. They view Trump as the (Cleveland Browns QB) Baker Mayfield of politics, the guy who goes into an opponent’s stadium and plants his flag at midfield -- after he annihilated them on their home turf in the big game.

They won’t forget. And needless to say, they won’t forgive. Trump’s second four years would be lost to this part of the nation unless he somehow changes his tone (as Simon advised) and realizes a way to welcome them into the fold, like Reagan did (or at least tried). To be fair, Trump’s made repeated attempts to include Democrats and his token few Republican detractors in his every move, only to be rejected, investigated, castigated, and now, impeached.

The Nancy Pelosis, Adam Schiffs, Jerrold Nadlers, “Chucky” Schumers, Kamala Harris’s and Maxine Waters’ of the world won’t ever get beyond their grudges and loathing. Trump represents too serious of a threat to their livelihoods and ultimate aims to give him credit for anything. His rapid reforming of the federal courts (stocking them with originalist jurists) is yet another way they’ve been defeated and humiliated. Now they’ll have to legislate their ambitions, which won’t be an easy chore.

So therefore, probably the best Trump could ever do is achieve the six-in-ten approval mark, which includes the roughly 45 percent he’s already convinced plus the semi-persuadable ten to fifteen points in the middle of the spectrum. The media won’t assist in this regard since negative slander against Trump gets them ratings and readers. And then there’s social media, which fans the flames of rumor and conjecture at the pushing of a few buttons.

But Trump won’t feel compelled to be as hardcore political in his second term. There won’t be the need for mass political rallies -- unless he uses them to tout his policy proposals. He eventually must pass the political baton, but it will be hard. Just as great players generally don’t make successful coaches, it’ll be near impossible for Trump to gift his inherent political aptitudes to someone else.

So maybe the best way to “heal” the nation would be through positive, transformative (in the freedom and liberty sense) improvements. As I’ve hinted a number of times, how about launching a countrywide effort to allow parents to choose their children’s educations through more charter schools, vouchers and/or home schooling? Or, as alluded to above, hammer out a way for Americans to rid themselves of dependency on entitlement programs in favor of saving for their own retirements and healthcare? Could state programs provide the basis for real progress on the big stage?

Few citizens are fans of unaccountable bureaucracy and waste, and Trump could engender much good feelings by battling the large teachers unions, liberal interest groups (like the AARP) and cultural institution-destroying organizations propelled by haters like George Soros.

The good news is Trump’s already making inroads in some Democrat strongholds. Can it get even better? Dave Boyer reported at The Washington Times, “Former NFL player Jack Brewer once raised campaign money for President Barack Obama, but now he’s among the increasing number of black voters who support President Trump.

“’There is an awakening going on right now in the country,’ Mr. Brewer said of black voters who traditionally support Democrats. ‘I’m going to take the guy who’s actually putting in the policies that are going to make life better for my young black son and my young black daughter, versus somebody who gives me lip service — like, unfortunately, the Democrats have done for our community for years.’ ...

“There’s some evidence that the president’s policies and campaign outreach are making inroads with black voters. Three polls in November showed Mr. Trump’s job-approval rating among black voters in the 30% to 35% range, a significant increase over other surveys that have generally shown black voter support of less than 10%.”

As would be expected, black Democrats don’t agree with Brewer’s assessment that times are changing in the black community and that African-American voters are about to embark on a mass exodus away from the Democrat party. Time -- and about a year’s experience -- will reveal if there’s “healing” in minority communities as the result of Trump’s positive policies, or whether Democrats maintain their stranglehold on these groups.

At certain points Trump’s in-your-face style has been off-putting. And yes, Trump is hardly blameless in regards to the increased size of the divisions in this country. He’s no saint and never pretended to be. But there must be considerable give on both sides if the future is to be welcome for all.

2020 is destined to be another memorable one in the annals of United States history. The presidential campaign and election will dominate the news cycles, one side will claim a mandate and the other will cry foul. What comes afterward will determine the fate of the country. Will we survive?

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