by Conrad Black
The Nov. 8 midterm elections were a watershed in modern American history. The implications of choosing a president whom the public strongly disapproves of and is generally a failure, over a controversial but undoubtedly capable and successful ex-president, are very serious.
That the Democrats and their lock-step allies in the national media succeeded in putting across the colossal smear that former President Donald Trump is a supporter of violence and a threat to the constitutional system could be interpreted as a long step toward the national suicide that Abraham Lincoln foresaw is the only way in which the American project could perish.
Former CIA Director John Brennan called Trump a traitor; former National Intelligence Director James Clapper declared as a matter of settled fact that Trump was a Russian intelligence asset. The corruption of the FBI and the intelligence agencies in the dissemination of the infamous Steele dossier funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign as authentic intelligence revealing Trump as completely unsuited to public office and the profound dishonesty of former FBI Director James Comey in white-washing Clinton’s alleged destruction of subpoenaed evidence and his recourse to surveillance granted in response to false affidavits while attempting to destroy the Trump presidency have escaped legal retribution by the somnambulant Durham investigation, and there will be no retribution for any of it.
Yet, Trump is the tainted protagonist. The Russian collusion hoax was the most monstrous defamation ever inflicted on a U.S. president. The spurious impeachment of him, for an innocuous telephone call to the president of Ukraine about the commercial activities of the Biden family in his country—now notorious but probably a matter of political suppression of the normal working of American justice—was in the same category of misuse of the political system for the lowest and most destructive partisan ends.
It’s obvious that the potentially millions of harvested ballots that couldn’t be verified in the 2020 presidential election could easily have provided the 50,000 vote switchover needed in Pennsylvania and two other states to flip that election to Trump in the Electoral College. The dishonesty of the universal media stone wall that 2020 was a pristine presidential election is compounded by the judiciary’s abdication of its coequal role in government and reassertion of its refusal to consider overturning the apparent presidential election result.
Democratic strategists deserve a near-perfect score for tactical judgment: They rounded up a big majority among young voters by hammering the abortion issue, emphasizing the reduction in marijuana penalties, and championing student loan forgiveness. This and the malicious and unctuous pressing of the safety of democracy as a euphemism for the defamatory nonsense that Trump was a menace to the Constitution turned the minds of an adequate number of voters to produce a dangerously perverse result. They have pretty well given up the former slanders that Trump is a racist, homophobe, and misogynist.
Tabulating all of the votes cast for all offices contested last week, the Republicans outpolled the Democrats all over. The Democrats only took what they needed. Politics is a notoriously unjust occupation; Trump is objectively perhaps among the 10 most successful holders of that office. But he did great harm to himself by his lack of public relations judgment, and this fact in the hands of the political and social media monopoly of his enemies working with the strategists and saboteurs in the Democratic leadership have unfortunately won the match.
But even the voters who rendered such an ambiguous result on Nov. 8 have betrayed a concern that the incompetence of the Biden administration, with the duplicity of the Democratic congressional leaders, can’t go on indefinitely. But they’ve demonstrated that Trump isn’t the man to stop them and to tear the government apart and repopulate it with people with clean hands.
There’s still an important place for Trump to complete the task that he commenced of transporting the Republican Party from the country clubs to the championship of the disadvantaged and working and middle class of America, and to cleaning out the bipartisan infestation of placemen and decayed servitors of the federal political and administrative state. But the former president is far from blameless in his own misfortunes. He warned of the dangers of ballot harvesting in 2020 but was completely inadequate in taking preventive measures or even following up efficiently to challenge the vulnerable points. Instead, we had the well-intended but completely ineffectual efforts of Rudolph Giuliani and Sidney Powell. In order to make his case plausibly, he absolutely had to avoid precisely the sort of outrage that occurred on Jan. 6, 2021. But the fact that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser paid no attention to Trump’s warnings that matters could get out of hand and his offer of 20,000 National Guardsmen indicates the Democrats’ role was a good deal less innocent than they pretend.
But Trump knew what desperate and sleazy people he was dealing with, and he doesn’t have a credible excuse for being so reckless. This condemned him to having to continue to emphasize the 2020 election irregularities in order to justify his calling forth such a huge and discontented crowd at the Washington Elipse on Jan. 6, 2021. Of course, he no more sought an insurrection than Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) did.
The only way to complete Trump’s work and root out and politically exterminate those who have corrupted the intelligence and justice arms of the federal government and have dragooned the contemptible but still insidiously influential national political media in full metal jacket Trump-hate, is for Trump to identify and support the successor whom he favors as Republican presidential candidate.
He shouldn’t go back to his 2016 playbook and insult all the other prominent Republicans. He has exchanged enough fire with his Republican enemies, contemptible though many of them are, and did well to win the first round and come so close in the second. The third round last week was an acute disappointment, and the Republican Party doesn’t need, and the American public doesn’t wish for, an internecine war on the scale that would rage if Trump sought another presidential nomination. But another candidate plausibly pledged to the enactment of the Trump program and supported by Trump but not stigmatized by him, could lead the desperately needed national political purgation.
For the first time in its history, with this administration, the public policy of the United States is now heavily influenced by a chronically woke, largely America-hating rag-tag of subversives, charlatans, and maladjusted zealots who believe that America is a guilty country that needs to be substantially deconstructed and morally humiliated. The three-quarters of Americans who correctly consider that America is now on the wrong track can’t be sold Trump again, but they would support a Trump-endorsed candidate advocating the Trump program. That’s now the best that can be done.
And it must be done if America is to avoid a further steep decline to Richard Nixon’s “pitiful helpless giant,” and then to Lincoln’s fear of national suicide. The debacle last week and the general response to it unfortunately justify such forebodings.
First published in the Epoch Times.