For whatever it’s worth: I told you all along that it wouldn’t matter when or if Donald Trump announced a 2024 run and that he would end up being irrelevant either way. And here we are, laughing at this idiot on his way down. Everyone knows he’s only doing this because he’s about to be indicted by the DOJ. And because he waited until after the midterms, everyone knows he wouldn’t be viable in 2024 even if this were a real campaign.
I point this out not so I can toot my own horn, or say “I told you so.” Rather, it’s important that people like Trump do not have a magic wand. They cannot just pull off whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want. They certainly want us to perceive them that way, so we’ll just give up and cower to them. And they’re really hoping we’ll go on and on about how powerfully evil they are, because that’s what really helps them sell the notion that they’re invincible.
If you spent the past two years laughing in Donald Trump’s face and pointing out that he was never going to be remotely viable for 2024, then congratulations, you helped take him down. If you spent the past two years insisting that Trump was somehow more dangerous than ever, then you were unwittingly helping him that entire time, by propping him up as he was sinking. If you were guilty of the latter, then this is the perfect opportunity for you to reevaluate your entire approach to all of this, so you don’t unwittingly end up helping the other side next time around.
A guy named Don Moynihan tweeted this last night: “Worth noting that it was losing, rather than authoritarianism, that made right-wing elites turn on Trump.” Well, yeah. Duh. Right wingers have only ever cared about power and ambition, and have never cared about morality or democracy. They only care about getting ahead, and their hapless right wing supporters only care about keeping intact the illusion that they can also get ahead by supporting right wing leaders. It’s always been that way, and unless something fundamentally changes about human nature, it always will be that way.
The only way to shatter any of it is to portray these right wing leaders as weak. It’s the only way to turn their allies and supporters against them. It’s why, ever since Trump first took office nearly six years ago, I’ve consistently urged all of you to portray Trump as a joke, a punchline, a loser, a weakling. It was the only thing that was ever going to get the middle to grow tired of him, and to break his base’s spirit.
Donald Trump’s humiliating failure in the 2022 midterm elections was, politically speaking, the end of him. It helped cement the image of him I’ve been urging all of you to promote from the very start: he’s a loser. Of course he’s now announcing a pretend 2024 candidacy ahead of his indictment. It’s all he has left to try. But wow does he ever look like a weak joke now – and looking weak was always what was going to finish him off.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report