Predicting President Donald J. Trump’s (R-Florida) behavior is difficult. Trump is an erratic man who often makes impulsive and irrational decisions.
Thus, you must view any prediction about Trump’s behavior after his electoral defeat with skepticism. However, the Donald is signaling his next move. Based on those signals my prediction is:
- Trump will concede defeat at some point, probably in an elaborate rally.
- Trump will use the concession speech to launch his 2024 presidential campaign.
- I predict there will be a Trump 2024 banner behind the President at the concession speech.
- I suspect the Donald is waiting for the banner and the Trump 2024 website to be ready before he concedes.
Are You Ready for Trump 2024?
To explain, Trump wants to use all the attention concession will generate as free publicity for his 2024 presidential campaign launch. Trump is a master marketer who never passes up free publicity.
Moreover, I think a Trump 2024 online store will go live during or just after the concession speech. The Trump 2024 Store will sell a wide variety of Trump 2024 and Make America Great Again (MAGA) merchandise. One advantage that Trump has is he can reuse the Make America Great Again slogan in 2024.
A dreadful probability is that the president will stand in front of a sign advertising the Trump 2024 Online Store during the concession speech.
Trump 2024 is coming
Trump is discussing a 2024 run with advisors and political strategists, Axios claims. Furthermore, other Republican presidential aspirants and their advisors think Trump 2024 is probable.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) paperwork reveals Trump is forming a new political action committee (PAC) he calls “Save America.” The organization’s other name is the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, the FEC filing shows.* I think Save America is the Trump 2024 campaign.
Save America will be a leadership PAC which can receive donations of up to $5,000 from an unlimited number of people, Axios claims. Thus, Trump is adopting U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) fundraising strategy of raising funds from enormous numbers of small voters.
How Trump Plans to Campaign in 2024
Trump is using Sanders’ strategy because it can raise enormous amounts of money. Open Secrets claims Bernie raised $211.13 million for his failed 2020 presidential bid. I suspect Trump thinks Save America can use Sanders’ methods to collect over $1 billion in donations.
Notably, Save America can give money to other candidates. Thus, Trump could accumulate enormous amounts of cash to buy other Republicans’ support with.
In addition, Save America could buy media support by buying ad time on TV channels and digital advertising. Ex-President Trump could tell CNBC, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and others “put me on and Save America will buy tens of millions of dollars’ worth of advertising.”
Moreover, Ex-President Trump will be free to appear on any talk show with falling ratings. I think all it will take is one week of bad ratings to make Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper, 60 Minutes producers, and Tucker Carlson call Trump and beg for an appearance.
Hence, Trump will be all over television and the news for the next four years.
Are you ready for Trump TV?
Trump could augment that media time with a podcast and his own show. I suspect Trump’s agent is already talking to Spotify (SPOT) about a podcast. I think Trump could be the biggest name in Podcasting after Joe Rogan.
Beyond podcasting there could be a Trump show on CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, or CNN or a Trump Channel on your dial. In addition, Trump could return to NBC or the Peacock streaming service for a new Apprentice or Celebrity Apprentice.
Remember, the same company the Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) owns CNBC, MSNBC, Peacock and NBC. Comcast and its competitors are desperate for new programming because of coronavirus.
Coronavirus halted production on dozens of major films and television shows, NME reports. Many networks and streaming services have nothing original to show.
Trump could provide hundreds of hours of original programming with a built-in audience fast at a cheap price. Additionally, Save America could pay all the production costs, meaning Trump could offer free programming to the networks.
In other worlds, Donald J. Trump (R-Florida) is a television executive’s dream. To explain, Trump could offer hundreds of hours of low-cost programming with a guaranteed audience.
I predict Trump will be all over TV and the digital universe after he leaves office. The Donald could become the biggest star in the universe because of coronavirus.
Why they will Launch Trump 2024
I think the president will launch Trump 2024 for several reasons. First, the Donald loves campaigning.
The president hates governing, but he loves the campaign trail and the surrounding energy. I think Trump wants to campaign partially to forget all the problems of the White House.
Second, Trump will need to keep his followers’ attention, and deter them from stupid actions the media will blame the Donald for. In particular, the media could blame Trump for violence – such as a shooting at a vote counting center. One way to distract and entertain those fans is to launch Trump 2024.
Third, Trump needs to preserve his place in the Grand Old Party (GOP) and head off challenges from other Republicans. A great way to preserve the Donald’s influence over the GOP is to launch a reelection campaign.
To explain, Republicans will have to make a choice to support Trump. Republicans who want the Donald’s help in 2022 will need to get on the Trump 2024 bandwagon.
At the least, Trump will know who his in-party enemies are. Ideally, they could use Trump 2024 to build an enormous political coalition.
Will Trump Destroy the Republican Party?
The nightmare for Republicans will be Trump splitting the party and making Republicans unelectable in many areas. This could occur if loyalty to Trump becomes the criteria for being a good Republican.
The Democrats faced such a nightmare at the turn of the 20th Century when loyalty to a charismatic presidential candidate became the focus of their party. The candidate was culture warrior William Jennings Bryan (D-Nebraska).
Bryan was so popular nobody could deny him the Democratic nomination. However, Bryan was unelectable in general elections. In fact, Bryan lost three presidential elections; 1896, 1900, and 1908.
Bryan had a personality cult among a large coalition of rural-working-class whites, as Trump does. Similarly to Trump, Bryan was the self-appointed champion of the average person, America, Jacksonian populism, old-time religion, white supremacy, and traditional values. Bryan spent his time warring with politicians, Big Business, and intellectuals.
The catastrophic loss in 1908 convinced Bryan to drop out of presidential politics. Notably, the 1912 Democratic presidential nominee; the secular intellectual Woodrow Wilson (D-New Jersey), won an easy victory.
Instead, Bryan became a full-time culture warrior for the rest of his life. Although, Bryan took time out to serve as one of America’s worst U.S. Secretaries of State.
By 1925, Bryan had become a grim joke who could only attract attention with publicity stunts such as the Scopes Monkey Trial. Bryan’s major accomplishments were to lose the culture war, sabotage the progressive movement, and discredit traditional American values.
I wonder if history will have a similar opinion of Bryan’s 21st century heir, Donald J. Trump. Bryan made Democrats unelectable in the early 20th Century. Trump could do the same in the 21st Century.
The Republican Party is already unelectable in large swaths of the United States. Trump could make Republicans unelectable in more places, and doom the party to irrelevance.
Can Trump Win in 2024?
History shows a Trump 2024 campaign will be difficult. In the US presidency’s 231-year-history, only one president won a second term after losing a reelection bid.
That president was Grover Cleveland (D-New York). Cleveland won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College in his 1888 reelection bid. Cleveland came back to defeat President Benjamin Harrison (R-Indiana) by a narrow margin in 1892.
No other defeated president won his party’s presidential nomination. However, three former presidents made third-party runs after leaving the White House. They were Martin Van Buren (D-New York), Millard Fillmore (W-New York) and Theodore Roosevelt (R-New York).
Can a Defeated President Win?
In 1848, Van Buren; who was angry at losing the 1844 Democratic nomination, ran for president on the insurgent Free Soil ticket. Van Buren came in third, but he took enough votes from Democrat Lewis Cass (Michigan) to put Zachary Taylor (W-Louisiana) in the White House.
In 1856, Fillmore; angry at not receiving the presidential nomination of the new Republican Party, ran on the xenophobic American Party, or Know Nothing ticket. Like Van Buren in 1848, Fillmore came in third but could have taken enough votes from John C. Fremont (R-California) to put James Buchanan (D-Pennsylvania) in the White House.
In 1912, the Republican Party establishment cheated former President Theodore Roosevelt (R-New York) out of the presidential nomination with a backroom deal. In retaliation, Teddy ran for President on the Progressive; or Bull Moose, ticket and beat GOP nominee President William Howard Taft (R-Ohio). Consequently, Governor Woodrow Wilson (D-New Jersey) won the presidential election.
All Van Buren, Fillmore, and Roosevelt did with their post-White House presidential runs, was to wreak havoc and harm their own parties. Tellingly, both Van Buren and Fillmore faded into obscurity after their third-party failures.
However, Theodore Roosevelt returned to the Republican fold and faithfully campaigned for arch-rival Charles Evans Hughes (R-New York) in the 1916 presidential contest. At the time of his death in 1919, many pundits viewed Teddy as the favorite for the 1920 Republican presidential nomination. Notably, Republican Warren G. Harding (R-Ohio) won the 1920 presidential race in a landslide.
Trump could win in 2024
Thus, Trump is pursuing something that will be difficult. However, it will no more difficult than winning a presidential election against a popular opponent, which the Donald did in 2016.
Trump is still popular. YouGov estimates 46% to 47% of Americans approved of the president in an 8 to 10 November 2020 poll. Moreover, 71.962 million Americans voted for Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Thus, Trump received 47.5% of the popular vote. However, Trump was losing the Electoral College by a margin of 290 to 217 on 11 November 2020.
I think Trump is in a powerful position for 2024 under present circumstances. Unfortunately for Trump, everything could change between now and 2024.
For instance, America could enjoy three years of a great economy under President Joe Biden (D-Delaware). Note: I think a good U.S. economy is improbable soon because of Coronavirus and technological unemployment.
Conversely, America could suffer three to four years of a terrible economy under President Joe Biden (D-Delaware). Personally, I think three years of a poor economy is more probable than recovery. A terrible economy could make Republicans more electable if Biden pursues the brain-dead neoliberal policies President Barack Obama (D-Illinois) adopted after the crisis of 2008.
Additionally, another popular Republican; perhaps US Senator Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) could arise and steal Trump’s thunder. Finally, Trump; age 74, could die or suffer health problems that prevent him from running again. Since the arrogant Trump has anointed no successor that could create chaos in the GOP.
There is one certainty, however. Donald J. Trump Sr. will remain a powerful force in American politics for the foreseeable future. I think history will disappoint All of us who want Trump to go away.