Again Trump

With no more rivals in his party, “The Donald” is now moving toward the November White House challenge. Before him is Joe Biden, the president whose popularity is waning. And the country that seems to have archived the trauma of the attack on the Capitol and the responsibilities Trump had at the time

All that was missing was quantification, a measure of Donald Trump’s superiority in the Republican side. And the result of March 5 Super Tuesday’s election made that clear. Predictable and sensational at the same time. Confirmation that the panorama of the Grand Old Party has changed in the eight years since the 2016 primaries. Then the tycoon, derided by the establishment, shot a dozen “classic” candidates one by one, including another standard-bearer of the Bush dynasty. His subsequent victory over Hillary Clinton, candidate of a democratic party that believed itself to be omnipotent, caused the greatest electoral shock of the postwar period.

Four years later, as he contested Biden’s victory and stood at least in line with the rioters who attacked the Capitol, the last shred of institutional trust in an unpredictable and grumpy president seemed to have been severed. But America has changed since then. Disunited internally, lacking a common compass in principles and values, fearing a gradual loss of global hegemony, united only by a belief in its own “exceptionalism,” it finds itself around Trump today to the same extent as it did in 2016.

The powerlessness of old prominent figures in the Republican Party who have disappeared from the scene contrasts with the arrogance of the Democratic Party. Incapable of presenting an alternative candidate to an outgoing president, Joe Biden, not only derided by his opponents but at this point disliked by the majority of voters, including Democrats. The polls are merciless to the occupant of the White House who would like to demonstrate good economic performance but stumbles, and not just metaphorically, at every public appearance. A Democrat-friendly newspaper like the New York Times reports that 10 percent of those who voted for Biden in 2020 will now support Trump and that virtually no one is willing to switch from Republicans to Democrats.

The war in Gaza is weighing like a boulder on the credibility of a president who, in the name of the principles and values of a protective West against the ‘evil’ people of the world, has tried to embody yet another version of a virtuous Uncle Sam. A rhetoric that is taking less and less root in an ever-widening area of the world and is finding disillusionment in the democratic electorate itself. Sending to the Middle East as a negotiator secretary of State Blinken, for twenty years assistant of Biden who proclaimed himself a ‘Zionist’, does not facilitate the resolution of the conflict or even the
hostage negotiations. At the time of Reagan and Bush senior, when dealing with Hezbollah – which had seized dozens of hostages in Lebanon – Washington did not hesitate to turn to ‘third’, European figures, who had succeeded in this endeavor. Today, the “narrow field,” in which the Democratic leadership operates, cannot delegate anything for fear of appearing uninfluential. That being said, the result is exactly that, uninfluential.

What Trump will do once back in the White House is hard to predict. The “Abraham Accords” he initiated will have to deal with the revival of the Palestinian issue, which had been deadlocked since before October 7. Or course, something suitable to defuse this conflict has been suggested by Robert F. Kennedy Jr, an independent candidate whose program envisions America that extinguishes conflicts everywhere. “Firefighter-firefighter” as opposed to the “arsonist-firefighter” dynamic that dominated the end of the Cold War. RFK Jr. would like to run in the Democratic Party primary, his base party, the party of his uncle John and father Robert. But Biden wouldn’t let him participate. Again, with the potential boomerang effect. Today, polls show RFK Jr. gaining about 15 to 20 percent of the vote. Not quite enough to become president, but significant enough for Biden to lose.

Senior correspondant

Alessandro Cassieri