2024: President Trump vs the System

by Newt Gingrich

Our current method of analyzing presidential politics is profoundly wrong.

We focus far too much on personalities – and not nearly enough on the environment in which the personalities operate.

Specifically, focusing on President Donald Trump versus President Joe Biden completely misses the underlying dynamic of the enormous cultural-political civil war in which the campaigns are being waged. The conflict is being fought with ballots instead of bullets and in political rather than military environments – but it is still a kind of war.

The greatest danger for Republican strategists is misunderstanding the nature of the political battlefield on which they find themselves.

If the race were simply man-to-man between Presidents Trump and Biden, I have no doubt Trump would win – and likely decisively.

But this is not simply a contest between two candidates. This is a contest between two historic movements with remarkably different bases of support and internal dynamics and structures.

The left seems to get this instinctively.

Republican strategists must understand they are now confronting the full weight of the system that has governed America since 1932. I refer to the system rather than the establishment because the system is far broader and more powerful than the establishment. The system includes the bureaucracy, the media, academia, activists, wealthy donors, and the Washington establishment. In totality the system is formidable.

Most Americans live outside of this system. But the system controls what Vladimir Lenin called the commanding heights.

Measuring Biden’s campaign resources against Trump’s campaign resources greatly understates the power of the left – and the potential for Biden to be propped up by forces that desperately need to retain control of government for financial and ideological interests.

For the last 92 years, the system has grown bigger, more dependent on government, and more explicitly organized around the fight for control of the culture and politics. The combined financial and ideological interests have turned the teachers’ unions into a $5 billion a year political machine. The interwoven pattern of ideological commitment to using government to impose change on Americans has led to the law breaking, corrupt system that now dominates.

At America’s New Majority Project, we found that 84 percent of Americans believe parents have the right to know what is happening to their children in school. However, the teachers’ unions are deeply committed to the transgender movement – and deeply opposed to parental rights. This may be the clearest example of the leftwing elite and its system using government to impose values rejected by the American people.

The electric car strategy is another example of the system using government to impose a future Americans explicitly reject. Consumers have left thousands of electric cars on the dealership lots. The president of Hertz has been replaced for gambling on electric vehicles that customers don’t want to rent. Nevertheless, the system relentlessly moves forward to impose its will on Americans who thought they were free.

President Trump is a mortal threat that would disrupt the nine-decade-long march to big government, big unions, big universities, and big media reshaping America against the will of the people. From their combined perspective he must be stopped. If stopping Trump requires the most extraordinary manipulation of the legal system and the replacement of the rule of law by the rule of power, then that is a price the system is willing to pay.

So, the multiple attempts to bankrupt and jail President Trump through the legal system are the natural efforts of a broad coalition to use the tools at its disposal to destroy a dangerous opponent. New York and Atlanta Democrats can spontaneously try to cripple or destroy President Trump without needing to coordinate with the Biden White House (although they have). The attorney attacking Trump through the federal system has a history of violating the rules to try to destroy a Republican governor (for which he was unanimously rebuked by the U.S. Supreme Court). The radical judge in DC does not need any directions from the White House to know her job is to destroy Trump.

Similarly, the propaganda media of the system know their job is to undermine and defame Trump while propping up Biden and hiding his weaknesses. Since that is the natural behavior of the propaganda media, it doesn’t require planning. It simply happens.

There is an interesting parallel between President Trump and President Grover Cleveland, who is the only president to lose after one term and come back to win four years later. President Cleveland was a reform mayor of Buffalo, who made his reputation taking on the corruption of the New York City Democratic machine in Tammany Hall. His stand against the graft and theft led his supporters to say, “they love him most of all for the enemies he has made.”

Trump has a similar effect. The more openly corrupt and dishonest the system is in attacking him, the more his supporters rally to him. From their standpoint, any weakness President Trump may have is more than offset by the corruption, dishonesty, and just plain weirdness of his opponents.

President Biden on his own would probably be easy to beat. President Biden with the support of the entire system will be challenging. It has scale, position in the commanding heights of communications and government, and vicious fear of another Trump presidency.

However, the system’s effort to use lawfare to destroy Trump probably polarized his base and guaranteed his nomination. The system’s failures on the economy, illegal migration, crime, and foreign policy have alienated many independent voters and sensible Democrats. And it’s attempts to impose weird values and policies on Americans who oppose them have made a Biden victory much more difficult.

In the end, the system’s efforts may boomerang and actually strengthen the appeal of President Trump.

For more commentary from Newt Gingrich, visit Gingrich360.com. Also, subscribe to the Newt’s World podcast.

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