Donald Trump is the most dynamic politician of my lifetime. A man who can command an audience and galvanize people, Trump is beset by his own iniquities. Trump has always been a lightning rod, whether it be in the freewheeling Manhattan real estate market, the entertainment industry, or politics. What made Donald Trump appealing—his brashness—is what made him many enemies, too. In many cases, though, they were the right enemies. The corrupt bureaucrats, the charlatans who feed at the trough in Washington, D.C., these were Trump’s foes.
Trump won in 2016 because the American people were looking for a true outsider. While he did not win the popular vote that year, Trump managed to rejigger the electoral college just enough to give him the edge his unorthodox campaign needed to defeat the greatest swamp creature of them all: Hillary Clinton. Even though Trump was highly controversial and unconventional, people tolerated him. The economy did well under his presidency. Trump avoided embroiling the United States in any new wars. He also took on cultural causes that many Americans supported.
Character is Destiny for Donald Trump
At the same time, though, Trump’s character flaws were always undercutting his presidency.
What should have been a truly post-partisan presidency became the epicenter of the most brutal partisan rancor in decades. It wasn’t all Trump’s fault. The Democrats went into his presidency on a war footing. Still, Donald Trump didn’t help his cause at all by waging war on everyone around him (and doing it in public). By Trump’s last year in office, as the COVID-19 pandemic from Wuhan, China, was taking over, Trump’s negatives outstripped his positives in the eyes of many voters, and the forty-fifth president was denied reelection.
As a result of the failed reelection bid, the Republican Party got sucked into a terrible riot on January 6, where it is alleged that a group of Trump diehards broke into the Capitol building to disrupt the certification process of the 2020 Presidential Election. Most Americans—even many Republican voters—believed that the January 6 riot was awful for the United States. What’s more, many polls conducted since that day of infamy have indicated that overwhelming numbers of Americans believe Trump is liable on some level for what happened that day.
Still, Donald Trump smartly avoided wading too heavily into the January 6 imbroglio. For two years, despite initially telling the January 6 rioters the day of the riot that “We love you” as they were rampaging through the halls of my former workplace, Trump said little about January 6. This was smart as there was no way for him to come out looking good. And since he had always planned on running for the presidency in 2024, avoiding the image of being associated with a moment that most people already believed he was responsible for, it made sense for him to avoid the subject entirely.
Trump Can’t Help Himself
Yet, Trump’s own character weaknesses can’t help but to consume him.
The former president had gained a massive boost in the polls in the wake of the absurd attempt by the Manhattan district attorney to indict him for supposed hush money payments to the pornographic film star, Stormy Daniels. Before news of the potential indictment broke (which Trump leaked himself), Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, a possible challenger to Trump for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, was surging in the polls.
After the indictment news broke, Trump skyrocketed to the top of the polls for the Republican Primary again. Even some fence-sitting voters began to look at Trump sympathetically. After all, he was clearly being targeted by the Left. The Democrats going into 2024 want to kneecap the former president, as he poses a real threat to them (as does DeSantis, whom they also wish to destroy before they must face him).
Trump kept punching Governor DeSantis in the press. This was viewed as unnecessary by many (myself included). Although, in the context of campaigning for the presidency, it can be understood as part of the cost of doing business. Former President Trump was again riding high. He sojourned to Waco, Tex., as part of his campaign where he held a rally. It was packed. Some of the pictures made it look like the halcyon days of 2016 all over again.
Trump Links Himself to the 1/6 Riot—And Waco
Even as he was riding high, though, Trump couldn’t help himself. In tragic fashion, Trump’s personality weaknesses got the better of him. In the same town where the horrific Waco attack occurred in 1993, Trump played a tribute to the January 6 rioters still being held without proper access to due process. It was strange. Trump’s behavior reflected the typical self-destructive style that came to define (and destroy) his presidency.
In one fell swoop, Trump reminded most voters why they didn’t reelect him three years ago. To compound matters, Trump not only reopened the old wounds of the January 6 riots at his rally, but he breathed new life into the Democrats’ obscene “insurrection” narrative about Trump and the January 6 riots by putting on such a display in Waco, the place of the last armed uprising in the United States.
One can anticipate another endless, breathless round of the Rachel Maddow’s of the mainstream media excoriating Trump and accusing he and his followers of being fanatics intent on destroying the country—only Trump is now giving these critics actual ammunition with which to use against him.
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Trump should have been able to coast to reelection, either in 2020 or in 2024. Instead, he cannot get out of his own way. With Trump, it’s one-step-forward-one-step-back. For most voters outside of his “MAGA” base, they’re ready to move on. If Trump loses in 2024, it will be because he brought himself down with such thoughtless antics.
Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who serves as a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive.com. Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.
March 29, 2023 at 8:31 am
Sorry TRUMP is the best he shows how an economy can be lead how a tarde war can be lead . he put chinese on its knees he put turkey on its kneew . he obliged nato memebers to get high their contribution he put mexican on their knees . now thoese countries TRUMP beat are geting up with mr biden and provoke USA. YOU SHOULD HELP TRUMP TO RETURN TO REBUILD THE COUNTRY
March 29, 2023 at 9:20 am
Trump is like one of those old (O-L-D) vinyl LP phonograph records that once used to be a proud personal possession for home music lovers.
But technology has since moved on and so does time and people’s personal tastes.
Trump is yesterday’s news and he needs to recede from the scene. Totally laughable and downright silly if a nation has to be led by old really old men.
March 29, 2023 at 10:43 am
More than his own worst enemy, Trump is an enemy of the American people, as are the entire cast of characters from the MAGA wing of the Wingnut party including his heir apparent Ron DeSanctimonius.
March 29, 2023 at 10:48 am
It’s going to be a three ring circus… wait, it already is one.
The politics of Trump… from the beginning was an exercise in Hard Ball politics the likes of which I’ve never seen before.
On both sides, more rhetorically from Trump… Trump really makes peoples’ heads explode… opponents exercised the Russian Collusion Hoax… going for the political throat… and more…
My concern: the political knives are out all around.
It’s hard to have a give-n-take next door neighbor conversation over the fence.
Frankly, some of the shortest conversations are the most convincing… because a common experience connects the participants.
We are losing that… people talk past each other.
Trump is both a symptom and an instigator.
(It’s easy to get caught up in the moment… seemingly too easy.)
Soured politics is like the reasons for a bad marriage (most of the time)… it takes two to tango.
Men & women of Good Will from both sides of the political divide… need to try and talk to each other… not past each other.
Easy to say, hard to do…
(Part of this dynamic is that both sides think it’s a matter of turning out their base, not persuading open-minded, uncommitted voters… the shrill tub-thumping, red meat… gets your base out… but is it persuasive… not so much.)
As they say in show business… the bright lights & fanfare is just beginning… “What a Show we got for you ladies & gentlemen tonight… strap in, we’re just beginning.”
March 29, 2023 at 11:08 am
I voted for him 1st time.
I think hes gone crazy.
Man he doesnt get along with anyone.
Generals, heros, presidents, all idiots?
A crazy man thinks every one else is crazy.
Putins always right…look where he’s taking Russia.
Biden has beat Russia supporting Ukraine and dancing russias nuclear threat.
I vote for old guy biden
Eric R Anderson
March 29, 2023 at 3:39 pm
Yes, his own worst enemy. No doubt. I think he was overwhelmed while president and the stress and fatigue got to him. He became more erratic and more crabby. Less funny.
Of course no US president in history had the entire apparatus of government and the media arrayed against him 24/7 for nearly a decade (before, during and after his presidency).
His stellar accomplishment is the degree to which he forced many of the top-level deep state swamp dwellers to come out of hiding and identify themselves.
It was akin to the US going to Iraq and becoming a target for all the Islamic jihadists. Trump became the target for all the deep state swamp dwellers turning them into jihadists of a different order. The religious order of the bureaucratic state.
March 29, 2023 at 4:24 pm
All of us are our worst enemy.
Want to know what’s worse than Trump? The political landscape without him. Establishment politics and the puppet theater that ensures and has ensued for decades. The polite quiet agreement both parties have with one another to not talk about certain topics and only focus on party line hot button items. Then once the election is over go back to unaccountable federal spending and the kleptocracy.
I’ll take Trump over THAT and over all of you any day.
March 29, 2023 at 7:54 pm
Brandon is also a self-loathing drunk.
March 29, 2023 at 11:18 pm
Trump is leading all gop contenders in the polls. The thing is our governments interests are opposed to the American people. Deficit spendings that results in skyrocketing inflation. Outsourcing the source of our wealth to the lowest bidder. Spending $1 trillion a year on endless wars and imperialism that only benefits the elite.
America is done. Not even Trump can save us at this point.
March 30, 2023 at 1:54 am
Waco was the “last armed uprising”? And January 6 was an “armed uprising” too, was it?
That’s the first time I’ve heard anyone make such a connection.
Ridiculous article by a swamp-dweller.
March 30, 2023 at 10:54 am
Like him or not Trump has become the champion of “We the People”. Building a truly American political movement (MAGA) to Make America Great Again. Who would object to making our country great again, or keeping it that way as it should be? Cultural Marxists and nihilists come to mind.
Hours after being sworn into Congress, Michigan’s 13th district house representative Rashida Tlaib grabbed headlines when she told the audience at a progressive event, “We’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherfucker” in reference to then President Trump.
People, Elect that “motherfucker” again!
March 30, 2023 at 11:12 am
This is based on an assumption that Trump was a good President save for his personal failings. That’s nonsense. His entire Presidency was about the personal. He came into office with wind in his sails. He didn’t improve anything. For the folks who would support Hitler for making the trains run on time, Trump didn’t make the country better. He made it worse. He took the brakes off the trains. He took the regulations off the banks. He divided us more. He built up the power and influence of our foreign adversaries. What we are seeing now is a direct result of his failings. BTW I notice no mention of COVID in your piece. Why?
March 30, 2023 at 2:53 pm
Is this entire rag just a rwnj brochure? I thought it was just another fake magazine facet of the MSN click-bait network. But anyone who states, a priori, that the top criminal in the US over the last decade was ‘targeted’, so lacks a grasp on anything resembling reality that it utterly discredits anything he might spew. Dark Brandon rules, you losers. Physically, intellectually and morally superior to orange mussolini by orders of magnitude. In an emergency, like drinking water or walking down a ramp, or saying one true thing, who would ya go with?
March 30, 2023 at 7:18 pm
There was the first indictment. Also likely the weakest one. Not sure he will be found guilty on it or not. But already a jury found there was enough proof of a crime for it to be tried in court. Personally, I do believe he is guilty. Just not sure yet that the crime is that serious. Yes, it is the covering that the real crime lies, but still… it’s more like stupidly is the crime, and if that were the case, well, A lot of Americans would be very guilty.
I’m waiting for the one to come out of Georgia. That will be the real nail in his coffin. That is the place where Trump breaking laws could have really caused the US and all Americans a lot of problems. I’ve been saying it for years way back since he and his crazy followers called for Clinton to go to jail. I knew it then that he would see the inside of a cell before she would.
Now his crazy supporters are 100# sure to say that this will get him re-elected. But it won’t. Sure it will get his supporters worked up and to the polls, but it will also get his haters there too. And while it may get Republicans to rally around the flag, it will turn off the independents. But don’t worry Trumpies, I know you won’t listen to reason. You will still believe you are right just as you have for the last 8 years.