Donald Trump should be preparing to pack his bags at the White House.
It’s hard to imagine a worse scenario for any incumbent President trying to secure re-election than his terrible handling of a global pandemic resulting in America suffering the world’s worst coronavirus death toll and the US economy crashing to its worst levels since the Great Depression with 40 million job losses.
Trump made things even worse when the country was engulfed by the worst race riots for 50 years and he shamefully fuelled the fires with his shockingly tone-deaf and incendiary response to the country’s rage at George Floyd’s murder at the knee of a racist cop.
Any one of those things would normally signal ballot box slaughter in election year.
Yet somehow, unbelievably, Trump’s opponents are once again doing everything in their power to wrestle another defeat from the jaws of seemingly inevitable victory.
President Donald Trump is pictured above before departing on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House today
Astatue of Christopher Columbus in Richmond, Virginia is seen on the ground after it was pulled down by protesters on June 9, following the death of George Floyd
If you were scripting an escape route for Trump it would involve liberal protesters tearing down statues of America’s greatest icons, liberal leaders allowing virtual anarchy on the streets to go unpunished, and a dramatic intensifying of the absurdly self-defeating culture war nonsense that makes many Americans fear the very soul of their nation is being dismantled.
From a position of unprecedented weakness, Trump is now fighting back with his clunky but undeniably effective triple whammy ‘America first’ fist of patriotism, toughness and common sense.
Or rather, he’s being hauled off the ropes by his opponents losing their minds.
This insanity has reached its peak over the past few days as protesters set about destroying monuments to some of America’s most beloved historical figures.
In Portland, Oregon, they draped an American flag around a 100-year-old statue of the first president, George Washington, set it on fire, pulled the statue down and then urinated on it.
They said they did it because Washington owned slaves.
That’s true, he did.
But he was also one of the Founding Fathers who established the United States of America with a determination to eradicate slavery, which then happened.
People take turns stomping the Christopher Columbus statue after it was toppled in front of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul
Minnesota State Troopers surrounded the statue of Christopher Columbus after it was toppled in front of the Minnesota State Capitol
In San Francisco, protesters vandalized a statue of another former president Ulysses E. Grant, the man who led the Union Army in defeating the Confederates in the Civil War.
Again, they argued he was a slave owner.
And again, that’s true.
But Grant was gifted one slave, despised the whole concept of having one, and let him free within a year. He then wiped out the Ku Klux Klan by pushing legislation through Congress to prosecute them. And he appointed African-Americans to prominent government roles.
In another part of the same Golden Gate Park, hundreds more protesters tore down statues of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the lyrics to ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’, because he too owned slaves.
This, again, is true. But he also represented a young Black man suing Georgetown College for his freedom in the 1830s.
And he wrote America’s National Anthem!
In Philadelphia, the statue of abolitionist Matthias Baldwin was attacked and sprayed with words like ‘colonizer’ and ‘murderer’.
Yet Baldwin was a very outspoken critic of slavery, fought for African-Americans to have the right to vote and founded a school in the city for black children.
The craziness has got so demented that author and activist Shaun King has even called for statues of Jesus Christ to be removed. ‘I think the statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down,’ he tweeted. ‘They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been.’
All of this, set against the backdrop of widespread looting and rioting during otherwise predominantly peaceful George Floyd protests, will have the opposite effect to the one the protesters claim to want.
It won’t persuade people to join their movement, it will turn them against it.
That’s not to say all their arguments are wrong.
I have no problem with statues of Confederacy leaders being removed.
As Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen wrote yesterday: ‘The Confederacy’s vice president, Alexander Stephens, said in his “cornerstone speech”, the Confederacy rested on “the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition.” Monuments to this revolting sentiment have no place in a United States that is dedicated to the opposite principle — that all men are created equal.’
I think most Americans would support that.
But to destroy monuments to great Presidents, as with the defacing of Sir Winston Churchill’s statue in London recently, actively alienates people from supporting the Black Lives Matter cause. So, it will hinder, not help the battle for racial equality and justice.
As does the failure to enforce the law.
In New York, people have been illegally letting off fireworks through the night in record numbers.
It’s also being seen as some kind of protest.
But against what? And to whose benefit?
Fireworks have been plaguing residents in cities around the county. In NYC people have been told to call 311 instead of 911
All it’s doing is annoying most people in New York who just want a good night’s sleep.
Yet authorities are refusing to confront the firework miscreants because they don’t want to create more riots.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told residents not to call 911 to report the fireworks because some view them as a form of nonviolent protest. Instead, he urged concerned neighbors to ‘go talk to young people or the people on your block who are using fireworks’ and warn them of the potential risks.
This is ridiculous and fuels the ‘one rule for them, one for the rest of us’ mindset of law-abiding Americans, something that Trump can and will exploit.
The way for Democrats to win in November is simple: keep reminding the American people how badly Trump’s handled the pandemic, how horrifically the economy has tanked, and how atrociously he responded to George Floyd’s murder.
It’s not difficult to paint a pretty accurate picture of a president who completely lost control of his country during its darkest hour, through his ineptitude, complacency, narcissism and chronic lack of empathy.
But nobody’s talking about any of that right now.
Instead, the news agenda is dominated by images of statues of beloved American icons being destroyed, and by lawless rioting and looting in cities all over the country.
During his controversial speech at his poorly attended comeback rally in Tulsa, Trump said: ‘The choice in 2020 is very simple. Do you want to bow before the left-wing mob or do you want to stand up tall and proud as Americans?’
Whatever you think of Trump, this is a very simple and powerful campaign message.
It doesn’t help Democrats that their nominee Joe Biden has been restricted to his home for much of the last few months due to his age and vulnerability to coronavirus.
As Trump taunted: ‘Biden remains silent in his basement in the face of this brutal assault on our nation and the values of our nation. Joe Biden has surrendered to his party and to the left-wing mob.’
It’s obvious how Trump will fight this election.
He knows that if the debate over the next four months centers around his abject failures with the pandemic and the collapsing economy, then he may get crushed on November 3 – especially if by then, there’s a second wave of the virus, and the economy hasn’t shot back up in the V-shaped rebound he keeps promising.
But if he can make the debate about toppled statues, liberals encouraging lawlessness, and annoying fireworks, then he’s got a very good chance of being re-elected.
In the run-up to the 2016 Election, I regularly warned liberals that their strategy to beat Trump, based around constant self-righteous and often rankly hypocritical rage, wouldn’t work.
They ignored me, carried on screaming, and lost.
My message to liberals today remains the same: stop shrieking, stop statue toppling, stop virtue-signalling, stop pandering to ridiculous political correctness, and provide America with a vision for the future that resonates better than Trump’s increasingly dystopian ideal.
It shouldn’t be difficult to do this given the state of the country.
But all I’m seeing is liberals committing political suicide.
As Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s former short-lived communications chief who’s now become his biggest critic, told me on Good Morning Britain today: ‘If they continue to tear down statues in the United States and continue to riot, that will play into the president’s hands. As he searches for a campaign narrative right now, that narrative will be that people are trying to take away your cultural heritage. And he’ll pit people against each other in a big culture war.’
Yes, he will.
And it might work.
Wake up liberals, before it’s too late.