Will President Donald Trump Win Or Lose Re-election?

Donald Trump

By Ronald L. Trowbridge

Ronald L. TrowbridgeAppointed by President Ronald Reagan, Ronald L. Trowbridge was director of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the United States Information Agency, directing the Fulbright Program. His position required U. S. Senate confirmation. Later he became chief of staff for U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, publishing a book on the Chief Justice. He holds a Ph. D. in English from the University of Michigan, where he taught for several years. He became a tenured full professor at Eastern Michigan University and later a Vice President and editor of Imprimis for 14 years at Hillsdale College. He was editor of the Michigan Academician, the journal of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters. He founded the Maine Heritage Policy Center, which among other pursuits focused on higher education. From 2006-12, he was an adjunct professor of English at Lone Star College. From May 2013 to December 2018, he served on the Board of Trustees at the Lone Star College System. He is presently Senior Research Scholar at the Nexus Research and Policy Center. He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society. He has published in the past six years some 75 articles.

It will be a horserace, and no one now knows the certainty of the outcome

I suspect that many Italians, if not most, don’t care all that much if Trump wins or loses re-election. But his outcome does have two major effects on Italy: one, economic marketplace connections; two, military defense relations. We live in a global world where seemingly disparate countries are connected in strong ways.

I base the uncertainty on the outcome of the election on six dimensions.

Dimension 1: immigration

Democrats clearly seem to be implying: “Let all illegal immigrants into the U.S. Then give them free health care, including the 11 million illegal immigrants presently in the country.” Costs to taxpayers would be beyond staggering. Trump, as we all know, opposes such actions. We can assume public support and rejection on both sides of the issue. The unknown question is: by what percentage? No one can divine that answer.

Dimension 2: Trump’s supporters

Hillary Clinton found out the hard way that it was political suicide to attack Trump’s supporters by calling them “deplorables.” Such an insult mobilized a reactionary backlash in spades. Yet we hear all the time wearers of a Trump red MAGA hat being chastised for simply wearing the hat.  The attack here is against voters themselves — never a wise idea.

Caitlin Flanagan made this same point in the May 2017 issue of ‘The Atlantic’, a left-leaning cerebral magazine. She knew better; her title said it all: ‘How Late-night Comedy Alienated Conservatives, Made Liberals Smug, and Fueled the Rise of Trump’.

Dimension 3: silent majority

I live now in Oakland, California, which is consumed by liberalism. But I lived for decades in the Midwest and know that such one-sided consumption does not triumph there.

Today, the print media, TV news reporters, universities. public educators, Hollywood, the music and entertainment industries — all lean left. It’s a free country and private enterprises can lean anyway they wish. But the voting public doesn’t have to agree with them — and can react against their politics.

Dimension 4: Trump’s character

There may not be a single person in the United States, including Republicans, who is not in some degree critical of Trump’s character. As one writer put it, “Trump is crazy, but his opponents are crazier.”

We can draw up a long list of negative adjectives about him, but we recall that the hubris he exercises now was exercised when he ran initially and successfully in 2016. His self love now was displayed endlessly during that campaign — maybe even more so then than now.

Dimension 5: the economy

The national economy is in terrific shape and the stock market out the ceiling. Employment of minorities and women is higher than it has ever been. But some forecasters are predicting a possible recession at the end of this year or beginning of next year, relatively close to the election on November 3rd.

Politics cannot make the world perfect — better, yes, but not perfect. That’s why the framers of the Constitution wrote that that document was working toward “a more perfect union,” but not a perfect one. It can still be made better, that’s for sure.

Dimension 6: polling numbers

At present President Trump polls favorably at some 48 percent. That would suggest he can’t win in 2020. But polls judge only one moment in time and are premature. Some Democratic candidates might presently rank higher, but once the final Democratic candidate is selected and that campaign with Trump begins, public scrutiny of that single candidate will begin in concentrated force. That’s when poll numbers could begin to rise — or fall.

The Democratic candidate will have to explain to the public his or her position on subsidies to all illegal immigrants in and coming to the country, including free health care for all 11 million illegal immigrants now in the country. That candidate will also have to explain in detail his or her position on Medicare for All, and his or her position on the elimination of private health insurance for some 180 million Americans. He or she might also have to explain the Green New Deal.

I am fully aware that a very long paper could be written critical of President Trump’s policies, but we are now getting in the media day in and day out a reciting of those criticisms.

I really do not know if Trump will win, but he could.

I see now in Italy that a candidate is running who somewhat reminds me from my distant location of Donald Trump: Matteo Salvini. I know nothing about him, but what I read suggests political similarities with Donald Trump.  If Trump can win, can he?

Do you have questions for Mr. Trowbridge? Send us an email at editorial@italicsmag.com

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