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Assault on America, Day 446: Three factors that will determine the winner of the 2020 election

Trump and Coronavirus
After having endured weeks of media-fanned COVID-19 panic -- and politicians bickering over whether President Trump’s calling of the sickness inducing source a “Chinese virus” is racist and demeaning to Asian people -- perhaps it’s time to ponder whether this unique crisis has permanently damaged Trump’s reelection chances.

Since the 2020 presidential race began heating up last year, commentators on both sides of the ideological fence surmised Trump would frame his reelection campaign’s message around the healthy and burgeoning economy, record-low unemployment and individual income gains that were heretofore unrealized for at least two decades prior. Trump himself devoted major portions of his well-attended rally addresses to touting the numbers, practically all of which (except the federal deficit and national debt, of course) were positive figures worthy of pride.

As everyone now knows, those arguments are a thing of the past -- or at least have been placed on hold until the world calms down and markets have a reasonable time period to stabilize and reassess who owns what and how much it’s really worth. We haven’t quite reached a full-on quarantine -- yet -- but citizens are largely confined to their homes without much opportunity to interact with anyone other than through electronic means.

Who would’ve thought fortunes would reverse so abruptly over a foreign generated would-be plague that no one could’ve foreseen? But then again, who would’ve thought Tom Brady would ditch the New England Patriots to join the perennially mediocre Tampa Bay Buccaneers either? Unemployment started going back up in earnest last week and it’s safe to say many will still be jobless come November.

In other words, Trump’s reelection prospects must be judged on a mostly new set of criteria, an improvised campaign strictly based on “wartime” leadership and public perceptions of strength and capability. Democrats have already made the switch, asserting that the president didn’t take the COVID-19 threat seriously and/or he incompetently bungled the response. And don’t forget, he’s racist too!

Whereas in early February folks-in-the-know were waxing over impeachment and whether it would impact Trump nine months down the road, no one talks about the witch hunt these days. Remember when lying snake Adam Schiff said Trump couldn’t remain in office because he’d irreparably damage the country if he did? What do people think now?

The talkers would much prefer poring over Chinese virus statistics from Italy and Spain than to look back to President Trump’s innocuous conversation with the Ukrainian president last July that caused such a kerfuffle among Democrats and media mavens.

Told you it was a waste of time! Now what? Will coronavirus make Joe Biden look like the answer to desperate Americans’ prayers? Stephen Dinan and Alex Swoyer wrote at The Washington Times, “The 2020 presidential race is the tale of two campaigns. First came the time before coronavirus — B.C., if you will — and then everything P.V., or post-virus.

“In B.C., President Trump was riding an economic boom and watching his approval ratings surge as a fractious Democratic field of opponents debated how far to tilt into socialism. Oddsmakers gave the president better-than-even chances of winning in November. Then the virus infected the political debate, the stock market shed 30% of its value and Mr. Trump stumbled through an Oval Office address that failed to calm things, sending his job approval ratings tumbling. And Democrats quickly settled their socialism debate, rallying around former Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

“Political analysts studying the race say there’s no way to predict what happens now. The only certainty P.V. is chaos.”

Chaos indeed. Trying to envision a logical conclusion to the panic now gripping the nation is a fruitless exercise. Remember, school kids are only entering their second week of mandatory sequestration and homework and there’s no end in sight. Parents who are able to work at home are dealing with their new realities. Most governors initially indicated the school closings would be reevaluated at the end of March, but there aren’t many signs they’re seriously considering opening the doors again next week.

It’s not unlike a scenario laid out in some futuristic dystopian society fantasy novel. Yeah, it’s strange.

The stock market goes up a little and down a lot but seems to have settled in a slight holding pattern. All the value gained since Trump was elected in 2016 has evaporated. Were three years’ worth of good feelings all an illusion or does Wall Street simply reflect the unease of Main Street now? Sheesh, it’s like a rock rolling downhill, gathering momentum and crushing everything in its path. But eventually there’ll be a flat spot -- or another mountain slope -- that will halt the boulder-like rush to sell everything and horde assets.

Heck, Trump’s administration proposed to send a family of four $3000 a month last week and Senate Republicans aren’t waiting for Democrats’ go-ahead to work on their own stimulus (the word gives me the willies, but it is what it is) plans. Whether dumping “free money” is wise or desirable is a debate for another time, the point being the president is out front offering a plethora of measures to try and restore Americans’ confidence in the economy well ahead of the eventual end to this crisis.

Meanwhile, the election is still seven and a half months away and it doesn’t take a genius to state a lot will happen and change in the time between then and now. Trump’s chances of returning to the White House next January may have slipped a bit recently, but there are several factors to weigh in the most unique of all elections.

First, how quickly and thoroughly will the economy recover after this artificially induced panic? There’s no way to tell, but if human nature is a guide, the recovery will be swift and furious. This isn’t guaranteeing we’ll be back at positive growth in the latter part of the year and everything will reset at “normal” (if there is such a thing), but people will be hankering to get out and live after being sentenced by the authorities and circumstances to the coronavirus home penitentiary.

To some extent, everyone takes things for granted, the passive slavery of regular routine. But if you haven’t been on vacation in a long time, you long to travel. Or if we can’t see our kids play little league baseball or dance in a ballet recital, we desire those things… and when we receive the go-ahead, these activities will reinstate with a vigor no one ever conceived of before. The same goes for flying somewhere or patronizing your favorite restaurant, winery or brewery.

And what about visiting with family members you couldn’t see because of the panic?

Here’s thinking society’s reaction will be intense and noticeable. Deprivation makes people crave things. And freedom -- and the newfound availability and appreciation of simple pleasures (being able to buy toilet paper?) -- will have a profound effect on the world population. Knowing that tomorrow isn’t necessarily promised, some folks might even take that dream trip or buy the car they’ve always wanted. And the easy liquidity of money will allow them to do it (again, not saying the “spend now” mentality is a good thing). They’ll just remember to wash their hands a lot more and avoid touching things when they arrive at where they’ve longed to go.

Second, how long will the dire consequences truly last?

Here’s thinking the freak-out will be short-lived. Either through the proficiency of the United States medical professionals or the overall relative weakness of the virus, people will realize that a lot of this was, as George W. Bush used to say, all hat and no cattle. Or, if you prefer, the old lady in the 80’s Wendy’s commercials famously wondering, “Where’s the beef?”

Cases will increase dramatically but mortality rates will remain under control (as they have in the past couple weeks). Sooner or later folks will wonder what it was all about, if they’re not asking it already. The economy’s nosedive has forced everyone to reflect on the events of the past month. The soul-searching will continue.

Third, will people see Biden and Democrat control as the remedy?

If we’ve learned anything from the coronavirus episode, it’s that government doesn’t have all the answers and seemingly doesn’t even understand the questions. Watching some of these elected officials and various medical personnel standing behind lecterns discussing the pandemic and what might happen from here on out was revealing. Trump’s been patient and solid. Will people truly feel good about handing more power to the government -- in the form of Joe Biden?

After all, Biden is a “default candidate” if there ever was one. He’s destined to capture the Democrat nomination because liberals ran through their other options and were found wanting. When it got down to Grampa Joe and Bernie Sanders, the establishment made the selection for them. It doesn’t mean Americans now believe second or third alternative warmed-over big mouth Biden is the solution. The man trips on his own words -- and that’s not even mentioning his corruption.

November’s election will definitely include much discussion on the coronavirus conundrum but there will be other major factors in play too, some of which we couldn’t possibly grasp today. What if there’s a foreign policy flareup or a devastating weather event (like Hurricane Sandy)? Anyone willing to lock-in wagers now without possibility of changing your mind this fall?

Biden’s absolutely the wrong one to deal with China, too. Roger L. Simon wrote at The Epoch Times, “Joe Biden has a questionable relationship to intellectual property (and the law) for a simple reason. He’s a plagiarist—not once but several times...

“[Plagiarism is] not mere braggadocio, the tooting of your own horn that is the root of so much political lying. It is a form of theft. (In Biden’s case, it has overtones of the pathological.) It indicates an, at best, casual attitude about the intellectual property of others. It is stealing other people’s work, shoplifting from their brain. While plagiarism could be construed as a form of flattery, it is actually an ultimate indication of disrespect, even contempt. Writers who have been plagiarized can justifiably feel they have been raped.

“If I—and many others—know this about Joe Biden, you can bet that the Chinese do too. If you think this is the man you want negotiating with Xi Jinping, well, respectfully and obviously, we differ.”

Simon’s right (as usual). There’s a lot yet to come out about ‘ol back slappin’, hair sniffin’, pearly white tooth grinnin’, child repellin’, nude swimmin’ and common citizen cussin’ Grampa Joe, not the least of which is his propensity to borrow other peoples’ words and thoughts without proper attribution.

In his piece, Simon made it clear China steals lots of intellectual property. It’s common knowledge and the problem’s been going on for years. With China’s reckoning over the coronavirus due in the near future, America needs Trump to prosecute our case. Biden in his stead would be a disaster.

The coronavirus panic has forced America into uncharted waters and no one can say for sure where we’re headed. One thing for certain is the crisis will end and people will go on with their lives, perhaps with a new perspective. This year’s election is a long way away, with lots still to talk and argue about.

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