The Wisdom of Crowds

by G. Murphy Donovan (March 2024)

Doomsday Rhapsody, by William Gropper, 1973


By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes. —William Shakespeare


If you are cynical and look at the Donald J. Trump phenomenon, you could say to yourself, “Who cares? It doesn’t matter—even if he wins in 2024, he will be gone in four years.”

Yet, many folks are just not comfortable with conflict, civic or otherwise; especially the kind of angst that comes and goes, only to blister again like a civic boil. To be honest, when we are most comfortable, change gives us the willies.

The comfort game is a prayer for more of the same.

Politics reflect our affinity for the status quo. A Bush family vote was a comfort vote. Indeed, politics were the Bush family business. The Billary vote was  comfort garnished with complacency. If you liked Bill; why not Hillary? Alas, a smug American left tripped over its assumptions in 2016—then prudently kicked Bill’s wife to the curb. A Barack Hussein Obama vote provided the ultimate comfort, taking a knee with a political virtue signal. The Obama vote said America is not racist.

Good luck with that.

And today with the Biden family, we are witnessing the compound dividends of toxic tenure, “being there,” as they say, with a family of grifters. Indeed, being in the political swamp long enough for the patriarch to rot and float to the top—like a cadaver that has been in the water too long.

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. never held a real job outside of politics. Joe literally stayed on, inside the Beltway, long enough to get lucky in 2020; albeit, with a tail wind from a frantic, if not, hysterical establishment—and a Covid plague, politicized by a partisan media, Big Pharma, and physicians alike. (Tony Fauci, takes a bow here.)

In Donald J. Trump’s first act, Covid was a deus ex machina!

Somehow a political party, indeed a country, seems to get what it deserves. Albeit, “Wisdom of Crowds” theory suggests that, give a level playing field, eventually democratic common sense prevails.

If Trump had lost in 2016, it would not have hurt his brand. He would still be a celebrity, a player, and a successful business tycoon. But the Donald, being Trump, would not stay down for the count after a dicey loss in 2020. Guys like Trump do not go quietly into the night.

So in 2024, Trump is leading a crusade for “I told you so” —garnished with déjà vu and sugarplums of justice, if not revenge. Surely, DT doesn’t need a job, money, or another hobby … and his many partisan detractors have pretty much given him another full-time job now as a defendant.

In many ways, chaps like Donald Trump and Elon Musk are brothers by another mother, victims of their own success; some might say excess. Unlike oligarchs on the Davos left, Trump and Musk are unapologetic entrepreneurs, believing as they do, like JFK, that a rising economic tide floats all boats.

Unfortunately for social “democrats” and their dependent camp followers, success is a river that courts envy on both shores. As we now see in the Levant, the green-eyed monster is keen on anti-Semitism too. Envy is the vice that demonizes extraordinary success, be it national, like Israel, or personal, like Trump and Musk.

Alas, the vanquished heirs of Marxism, communism, and the Internationale have few arrows left in their quivers today except envy, hate, and bigotry.

The American presidential election of 2024 is sure to be, as they say in Ireland, a “shite” show. So win or lose, how are we to assess the Trump phenomena?

Trump is not a Republican or Democrat. He just wears a red hat and goes his own way.

We could give Trump credit for the Abraham Accords and for putting Iran in the dog house. Alas, Shia and Sunni terrorists saw team Biden as at first weak, and now they see him as a lame duck. Islamists have now helped the Democrat Party to unravel most of what Trump achieved. Indeed, America is now fighting two proxy wars, Ukraine and Gaza, with no ends in sight.

Still, there are some Trump bells that can not be unrung:

Donald J. Trump, in the first instance, made Hillary a historical footnote. Hillary’s exit was good for America and fortunate for the world.

The attempt by the D.C. establishment to undermine the Trump administration also exposed the ugly truth of Beltway partisan incest. Indeed, we now know, in some detail, just how biased and corrupt the Justice Department, the FBI, the Intelligence Community, and the Department of Defense have become. DEI, BLM, and gender-bender campaigns say all that needs to be said about the cultural and social dumpster fire inside the Beltway. We now see gender male benders prancing on the White House lawn.

Surely, Trump blowback also validated the “deep state” theory. Americans now know how they are ruled (and routinely abused) by smug, unelected, tenured, privileged apparatchiks, all masquerading as honest cops or civil “servants.” Federal service is “civil” to the extent that it serves partisan agendas. Over the years, D.C. has become, like most of urban America, a partisan political Democrat Party monoculture.

Trump could retake the White House, but the enfranchised American left would still rule at the agency level. Indeed, no surprise then to see CIA and press allies already rolling out yet another Russian bogey man, this time in outer space.

It worked in 2020, why not use Putin again 2024?

And of course, DJT was always correct about the border. Sadly, team Biden has pretty much unraveled the border controls that Trump was too slow to invest. With open borders, Democrats hope to recruit a permanent class of voting dependents on the dole.

The ongoing Trump drama also exposed the toxic threats to democracy posed by unofficial and largely partisan collusion between the feds and Silicon Valley to manage news, narratives, and elections. Indeed, before Trump, we never knew how many big sisters worked with Big Brother.

And speaking of sisters, add one last box to the Trump score sheet to check.

D.J. Trump may have created a sure lane for the next vice-president, or president, to be a conservative woman. Not because sex matters, but because there is such a plethora of worthy ladies-in-waiting on the common sense, conservative side of the American bench these days.

And finally in 2024, for voters, the “wisdom of crowds” will finally get a bona fide and much needed acid test. And here we give Joe Robinette the last word. Democracy is indeed “on the ballot” in 2024.

So good luck with that too.


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G. Murphy Donovan writes about the politics of Intelligence and national security.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast