But What If Trump Wins?

At the New York Times, Carlos Lozada takes a provocative position by arguing that a Biden-Trump rematch may not be the election anyone wants, but it’s the election American needs.

Yes, both men are unpopular, remarkably so. Only a third of Americans view President Biden favorably, and two-thirds of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters want to nominate someone else for the presidency (no one in particular, just someone else, please). Trump is the overwhelming favorite to become the Republican nominee for the third consecutive time, but his overall approval rating is lower than Biden’s. And while 60 percent of voters don’t want to put Trump back in the White House, 65 percent don’t want to hand Biden a second term, either. The one thing on which Americans seem to agree is that we find a Biden-Trump 2024 rematch entirely disagreeable.

Hardly a ringing endorsement for a rematch, but this is the “don’t want” side of the ledger. What about the “need” side?

But it also may signal an underlying reluctance to acknowledge the meaning of their standoff and the inescapability of our decision. A contest between Biden and Trump would compel Americans to either reaffirm or discard basic democratic and governing principles. More so than any other pairing, Biden versus Trump forces us to decide, or at least to clarify, who we think we are and what we strive to be.

Lozada goes on to describe Trump’s plan to “reimagine” America as a petty dictatorship. To be fair, it’s not as if Trump has hidden his plans or tried to smooth them over by claiming some benefit to anyone but Trump.

Trump is running as an overtly authoritarian candidate — the illusion of pivots, of adults in the room, of a man molded by the office, is long gone. He is dismissive of the law, except when he can harness it for his benefit; of open expression, except when it fawns all over him; and of free elections, except when they produce victories he likes. He has called for the “termination” of the Constitution based on his persistent claims of 2020 electoral fraud, and according to The Washington Post, in a new term he would use the Justice Department as an instrument of vengeance against political opponents. We know who Trump is and what he offers.

On the Biden side, Lozada neglects to recognize his middling capitulation to progressive fantasies and massive spending to transfer money from Americans who neither adopt personal pronouns nor make land acknowledgements before digging ditches, trying to survive, if not get ahead, to achieve equity, whatever that means.

Biden’s case to the electorate — for 2020, 2022 and 2024 — has been premised on the preservation of American democratic traditions. In the video announcing his 2020 campaign, he asserted that “our very democracy” was at stake in the race against Trump. In a speech two months before the midterm vote last year, he asserted that Trump and his allies “represent an extremism that threatens the very foundation of our Republic.” And the video kicking off his 2024 re-election bid featured multiple scenes of the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. “The question we are facing,” Biden said, “is whether in the years ahead we have more freedom or less freedom.” That is our choice in 2024.

So on the right, we have Trump promising to undermine democracy and constrain freedom, while on the left, we have Biden promising greater democracy and freedom as long as it’s the democracy and freedom that meets progressive approval. Is this really what we need?

But what if, given these choices, a full and fair election is held and, as it turns out, Trump wins. Maybe it’s just the electoral college, which is the way our system works gripes notwithstanding, or maybe he gets the popular vote as well. What then?

The most serious argument pitched by the Democrats is that they are the party of democracy and the Republicans, more specifically Trump and his MAGA Republicans, are the party of authoritarianism. Assuming that’s true, then what’s the party of Democracy to do should democracy prevail, except that the authoritarian is elected? Will they accept the loss, even though Trump was too puny a person to admit he got beaten and chose instead to push an absurd lie to pretend he wasn’t a disgraced loser? If the Dems are, indeed, the party of democracy, then they must accept the outcome of a fair election, even if it’s not the outcome they want.

Hard as it may be to imagine, it seems quite possible that we will elect a old, vugler, narcissistic, lying ignoramus over an even older man with a vice president nobody wants in the oval who spends promiscuously in massive bills, the contents of which nobody actually knows, with an inclination to pacify the far left by throwing money and law behind racist identity policies under the guise of equity.

And if this wasn’t the case before, it’s certainly the case now that the radical left wing of the Democrats are calling Biden “Genocide Joe” and demanding that he forsake Israel to support terrorism, rape, kidnap and murder, so long as it putatively serves the “oppressed.” It’s not that the woke will vote for Trump, but it’s that they are increasingly less likely to vote Biden or to work for his re-election.

Along with losing black and Hispanic voters, who don’t want some purple-haired kid demanding they put an X at the end of their identity, Biden’s got issues. On the other hand, Biden wins overwhelmingly on the issue of abortion, possibly the best thing Republicans could ever do to help the Democrats’ cause and motivate people to turn out to vote against the GOP.

The problem with being the party of democracy is that democracy has a tendency to bite society in the butt.

Oddly, even as the electorate seems to want little to do with either of these two candidates — let alone with both at the same time — Biden and Trump seem to need each other.

Yet, if these are the only choices presented to the American people, a choice will necessarily be made. The passionate voices for democracy may yet prevail, but that could very well mean that the candidate Trump, despised though he may be, wins fair and square. Will they still be as passionate for democracy then, or will they stare in the mirror and see Trump’s face staring back at them?

32 thoughts on “But What If Trump Wins?

  1. Hal

    It seems that Joe Mancin is considering a run for the presidency. I’m not sure how this will impact a Trump vs. Biden race, but it pretty much renders Cornell West’s candidacy irrelevant.

  2. Ray

    If Trump wins, the Republic will survive, but buckle up. It will be four more years of turmoil . But I’m an optimisti it won’t be a contest between Biden and Trump
    The Democrats will dump Biden in the spring, and the Republicans will do the same in the summer. Biden’s presidency is too damaged by incompetence and venality. He will announce he will not be running for health reasons by Aprill. Trumps venality and narcissism will force Republicans to dump him, too. Look for an interesting convention fight.

  3. LY

    Funny thing about about that word democracy. The Democrat party always seem to define it as them winning 100% and getting everything they want. Any time they loose a debate or don’t get the result they want on a bill, either for or against, or in a court ruling it’s the destruction of democracy.

    Somehow I don’t think that word means what they think it means.

    1. phv3773

      It is just barely possible that a few Dems, just a few, take Trump seriously when he promises to put political opponents in jail for no particular reason, and 99% of Republicans seem OK with that.

  4. Hunting Guy

    Doesn’t matter who wins, there will be two groups in the streets. One will be dancing and celebrating and one will be weeping, wailing and gnashing their teeth.

    1. Hal

      Weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth we’ll survive. My fear is rioting, looting, widespread arson and other violence.

      I’m not a fan of Rachel Maddow, but her recent observation (paraphrasing) that Il Douche’s behavior last week in that NYC courtroom was intended to disparage/ discredit/ delegitimize the legal proceedings seems spot on. W/ so many people believing that the 2020 election was stolen, if he’s successful in convincing people that this next election is fraudulent, our democracy is in peril.

      Factor in AI generated deep fake videos, whether by foreign entities or unscrupulous domestic actors, and it’s hard to be at all optimistic about what the future holds.

  5. B. McLeod

    Lost by most of the analysts is that Trump’s program would again be impaired by the entrenched bureaucracies some have termed the “deep state,” and by the courts. As he demonstrated in his first term, he is most likely to achieve four more years of gridlock, no matter what he overtly advocates. Biden, by contrast, is backed by the bureaucracies, and uses them to advance his pen-and-phone programs to enforce conformity of words and thoughts to party ideals. He appoints select nominees from his various support groups to their own fiefdoms so they can promulgate regulations. Though Democrats may argue their flavor of totalitarianism is more benign than Trump’s, they have the far greater likelihood of actually achieving and perpetuating their totalitarian vision. Accordingly, as between the two, Trump still presents a lesser threat of long term damage to civil liberties and fundamental freedoms.

      1. Hunting Guy

        DOJ won’t, it’s too deep state right now.

        The military? Toss up. Lots of Trump supporters but lots of progressives have made the top ranks. To hit Lt. Col and above you have to be a political animal.

  6. Elpey P.

    This guy was on a tight deadline and just reposted something from 3 and 7 years ago, didn’t he. This is the moment when we hear the clock radio start playing Sonny and Cher again and we realize how screwed we are.

  7. MJS

    Suspect this is a hullabaloo. One, if not both, probably won’t be on the ballot. If they both are, the issue – concept – could be abortion vs education. If Trump is smart – yeah that’s unlikely, it’s probably abortion vs The Lost Cause. The GOP might win parental control of education vs abortion rights. It will lose The Lost Cause vs abortion rights. Probably that simple.

    1. LY

      Honestly, I think that if either is not on the ballot the other is certain to lose. It’s only a toss-up if the face each other. The first party that actually realizes this and manages to get a different candidate, pretty much any candidate with a couple of exceptions, is pretty much certain to win.

        1. SHG Post author

          LV never gets the point of a post, but he knows it and he’s not a lawyer. He does, however, make spectacular barbecue pastrami.

          1. LY

            Actually getting ready to put a couple into brine in the next few weeks. ‘Long about January or so I expect to have some coming out of the smoker.

        2. LY

          Actually, I am. I place somewhere on the Asperger’s scale. Not enough to be completely nonfunctional but to a degree that social cues and interaction along with other non-verbal interactions are a struggle for me.

          Now, don’t you feel like an ass?

          1. Ray

            No. No, I don’t. I made a similar obersation to yours earlier and was asked if I was neurodivergent. maybe I am.
            On an aside, i would like to know where to get this pastrami. I will be in NYC tomorrow.

  8. F.Lee Billy

    How can a loser win? It’s an oxymoron., and tRump is the moron. He’s running again–when he should be on the golf course, of course-for the sole purpose of shoving political debate voodoo down our throats,… for the second, or third time.
    Remember Bush #41’s famous Freudian slip, “voodoo economics”? History has now shown us “trickle-down economics ” was indeed voodoo economics.!

    Bush was right, RayGun was an idiot. But he did manage to tear down Gorby’s wall. Who is going to tear down tRump’s ill-conceived wall? Apparently not Bye Bye Biden?!?

  9. Michael McNutt

    Looking at the odds that two men their ages one or the other (or both) could drop dead at any moment from heart attack due to stress alone. Fingers crossed.

  10. David Meyer-Lindenberg

    The Dems’ failure to repudiate Stacey Abrams, one of their most prominent election deniers, is troubling. My guess is that Biden would concede in the event of a Trump win, but progressives (whether Squad types or VP Harris) are going to have a serious base-pleasing incentive to deny and fight.

  11. james

    If it is close by vote count, the loosing side will claim fraud.

    The old standard is appeal to the courts on any close results all the way until the votes are certified. Then graciously accept the results with a wink to ones supporters. (ref Nixon v Kennedy 1960 or Bush v Kerry 2004). Trump never stopped claiming 2020 was fraudulent. Based on Clinton statements in a Sept 2019 WaPo article and a 2024 Newsweek article, the same can be said for Clinton and the 2016 election.

  12. MJ

    An additional thought: there is no way election “fraud” can make a difference sufficient to overcome a several thousand vote deficit. People don’t realize the safeguards in place and the the number of people who watch the election procedures and results (and their varied political affiliations) involved in the process. There is fraud in all human endeavors, elections are surprisingly free of fraud for a system that involves millions of participants. But cognitive dissonance suggests that no matter who “wins” the other side will claim irregularities because they cannot accept that others disagree with them or that they might be wrong.


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