Every few days lately, yet another media pundit or Twitter pundit sounds the alarm about how Donald Trump is going to run for President in 2024, and how he’s going to be the presumptive nominee or presumptive favorite. But is there really any basis for declaring this? Here are the facts:
Donald Trump is in such badly declining cognitive and physical shape, his handlers very rarely even let him appear in public these days – because when they occasionally do let him out, everyone sees how far gone he is. He’s obviously not anywhere close to being up for doing an actual 2024 campaign. So unless his cognitive and physical health improve greatly over the next year or two, he can’t run.
In addition, New York has begun handing down criminal indictments in a case that will rather obviously culminate in the indictment of Donald Trump himself. Trump is likely to be arrested by the end of 2021, likely to be on criminal trial before the end of 2022, and likely to be in prison by 2023. Is he really going to run for President from a prison cell?
Of course Trump could end up announcing a supposed 2024 campaign in 2021, as an excuse to fundraise for it and stick the money in his pocket. But that is not the same thing as actually running for President, and such a campaign wouldn’t still exist by 2024.
So the bottom line is that while Donald Trump surely would like to run again in 2024, his own handlers think he’s already too far gone for that, and prosecutors are likely to lock him up by then anyway. Is it possible he’ll run? Yes. Is it likely? Not really.
But in such case, why are so many anti-Trump pundits making a point of announcing that they’re certain Donald Trump will run in 2024? For one thing, they’re probably counting on Trump launching a phony 2024 campaign in 2021, so they can then claim they were correct. When that phony “campaign” falls apart long before 2024, they won’t take any heat for it.
But it’s not just that. Look at what happens each time such a proclamation is made. When pundits predict Trump will run in 2024, they’re rewarded for it. It scares the crap out of everyone, so it means free attention, free likes and retweets, free page views, and free cable news bookings for those pundits. They also get lauded for “telling people what they don’t want to hear,” as if that were a yardstick for truth in and of itself.
In contrast, when pundits predict that Trump will not be a part of the 2024 election, they receive no reward for it. Their articles and tweets don’t go viral (just as this article won’t). They don’t get a lot of likes or retweets for it. No one will put them on television to say it, because “Trump is out of gas” is boring and therefore bad for ratings. If anything, explaining why Trump is unlikely to run in 2024 will merely get you rapped on the knuckles by those who think you’re not being “vigilant” enough.
So of course most pundits end up deciding to predict that Trump will run in 2024. The career reward they get for making that prediction is like free candy. You can’t even necessarily blame them. They can’t resist the reward they get for “sounding the alarm.”
Only you can change this. The next time a pundit makes some doomsday prediction that appears to be long on alarmism and short on facts or evidence or logic, perhaps try not rewarding them with your eyeballs and praise. Maybe they’ll stop pushing doomsday hysteria accordingly.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report