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Trump’s Re-Election Strategy Is Fundamentally Flawed

Zoraiz Zafar

Posted on June 29, 2020 07:10

6 users

Comparing between the political environments of 2016 and 2020 explains how Trump is stuck four years in the past.

On June 16, 2015, an eccentric billionaire and television personality descended from the Trump Tower and launched a run at the White House. Initially discarded as an attention seeker, Donald Trump romped his way to the Republican nomination and then, in the upset of a lifetime, defeated an establishment-friendly lifetime politician in the general election.

Although it came as a shock, the Trump victory in 2016 was anything but that. With the economy trudging along, terrorist groups such as ISIS running amok and a migrant crisis at the southern border, a significant proportion of the electorate began to loathe the status quo. Trump's uniquely charismatic speeches and lack of affiliation with Washington resonated with conservatives who had been forced to suppress their resentment for decades. This boost in enthusiasm on the right catapulted Trump to the White House, despite the numerical advantage his opponents appeared to have.

Now, with four months left until he is up for re-election, the President has once again turned to the theatrics that got him here. As thousands battle for their lives and millions for their livelihoods, Trump is busy chastising the free media for pointing out his faulty performance as Commander-in-Chief. He also continues to beat the nationalist rhetoric, this time directing his cannons towards China.

So, despite resembling his 2016 platform, why is his re-election strategy bound to fail? Because the America of 2020 is different than the America of 2016.

Four years ago, people wanted change and an outsider seemed best positioned to bring it. Now, in a time of crisis, leadership is the need of the hour. People want Trump to give empathetic national addresses rather than belligerent press conferences. People want Trump to address the raging health and economic crises rather than go to war with Twitter. People want Trump to be the President of the United States rather than the leader of a political party. The politics of hate, anger and division will not work as long as a leadership vacuum persists. As Mark Cuban put it so eloquently, Trump is running a campaign rather than the country. 

Owing to the hyper-partisan political environment, Trump's defeat in November is by no means a foregone conclusion. He possesses a loyal and energetic base and his apparent opponent, Joe Biden, is not the most appealing option for disenchanted voters. But the more Trump continues his 2016 rhetoric, the more water his political ship takes on. With multiple thunderous storms enclosing, things are looking grim for Captain Trump.

Zoraiz Zafar

Posted on June 29, 2020 07:10

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