Donald Trump says he plans to run for president in 2024, but by then he and his brand of politics will be as relevant as the Ford Edsel.
Four years is a long time and a lot will change by the next election. President Joe Biden is seeing to that.
Since taking office last month, Biden has revoked dozens of Trump executive orders and issued dozens more of his own. Trump’s legacy will be all but erased by the end of 2021.
Biden has issued nearly three dozen executive orders and memorandums on a wide range of issues, from LGBTQ rights to climate change and immigration. By 2024, those policies will be ingrained.
The nation will be well on its way to a future based on renewable energy. Trump’s unabashed promotion of oil and coal interests will seem archaic by comparison.
In many ways the ’59 Edsel is an apt analogy for Trump’s obsolescence.
The car was hailed as the automobile of the future when it was introduced in 1957. But it turned out to be a classic case of the wrong car for the wrong market at the wrong time.
The Edsel was predicated on expected demand for a medium-size car that was sporty but largely appealed to middle-age drivers. The market was going in the opposite direction–toward compact cars.
Trump’s politics are a throwback to an earlier era more akin to the 1950s, or even the 1930s. It appeals to older, non-college educated white Americans, at a time when the nation is headed in the opposite direction.
The country is growing increasingly diverse, and a younger generation, the millennials, are coming into their own. It’s larger than the baby-boom generation, better educated and more liberal.
If only 18- to 40-year-olds had voted in the 2016 election, Trump would have lost Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, according to a CNN voter analysis.
Voters in four of those states, Georgia, Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania, denied Trump a second term. Florida, North Carolina and Ohio aren’t far behind and could swing blue by 2024.
Congress is on the verge of enacting legislation that will overturn most Republican efforts at the state level to suppress minority voters in federal elections, guaranteeing maximum participation in the 2024 election.
Project ahead four years, and what will America look like?
As consumer preferences evolve, electric cars will grow in number in step with improvements in battery technology and declining cost.
The sale of battery electric and plug-in hybrids tipped over the two-million-vehicle mark for the first time in 2019, according to a study by Deloitte.
The market is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 40.7 percent from 2020 to 2027, according to another research study.
That will decrease the nation’s reliance on carbon-based fuels and internal-combustion cars, leading to improvements in air quality.
The Biden administration’s environmental efforts will add to those gains. The president has committed the government to follow science and tackle climate change. He showed his resolve by canceling the Keystone XL pipeline.
Millennials won’t stand for a roll back of air and water standards like those Trump initiated during his first term.
By 2024, the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, will have been the law of the land for a decade and a half.
With improvements just enacted by the Biden administration, it will be a well engrained part of the social safety net by 2024, on par with Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.
Trump’s vow to repeal it and come up with “something better” (he failed to do so in four years) will go over like a lead balloon.
Thanks to the Biden administration’s rapid deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, the pandemic will be a bad nightmare by 2024, but not Trump’s mismanagement and cover up early on that contributed to thousands of deaths.
Who can trust Trump to competently handle such a crisis in the future?
Beyond the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief measure, the administration has committed to a permanent, professional, sufficiently resourced public health and first responder system “to ensure greater sustained preparedness for future pandemics.”
Because of Trump’s incitement of an insurrection on Jan. 6, his extremist, white supremacist base has been exposed for what it is–a threat to American democracy.
By 2024, likely hundreds of his followers will have been prosecuted for the Capitol insurrection. Extremist groups like QAnon, the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys will be contained.
Police reforms will hopefully end, or at least curtail, systemic racism that has led to the needless deaths of African-Americans, and sensible gun control will finally be enacted.
LGBQ rights will be firmly established in society and the military by 2024.
The plight of older urban areas and attendant poverty– will be seen for what it is–an economic problem.
The Biden administration offers the best chance to reinvent cities through a massive infrastructure program that will create jobs and restore the nation’s roads, bridges, railways and other public works.
Trump’s solution was to declare certain cities “anarchist” and cut federal funding. He failed in four years to come up with an infrastructure plan.
The COVID-19 relief measure will provide a launch pad to restart the economy. Most middle and lower income households will get $1,400 stimulus checks, and families will get financial help for their children.
For the first time in four decades, the government will no longer support supply-side trickle down economics. Biden is strengthening unions and pushing for a $15 minimum wage.
“It’s easy to see the potential for the economy to burst out of the starting gate like an Olympic sprinter,” writes economist Paul Krugman in The New York Times.
“A rapid start to the post-pandemic economy could create a virtuous cycle in which consumers spend; companies hire and invest to fulfill that demand; and workers wind up having more money in their pockets to consume even more,” he writes.
Despite his claims to the contrary, Trump largely inherited the economic recovery that began under the Obama administration.
He layered on a $1.4 trillion (over 10 years) tax cut as stimulus, but it mostly benefited the rich and corporations, which bought back stock instead of investing in the economy. As a result, Trump’s promised growth rates failed to materialize.
More importantly, supply side economics has been thoroughly discredited, even though Republicans from Trump to Mitt Romney still cling to it. Democrats seem clearly focused on the problem–lack of demand.
Other factors also point to a strong economic recovery. The pandemic has cause a build up in consumer savings, representing pent up demand. Once the economy opens fully, that money will be spent.
C.E.O. confidence is at a 17-year high, and near-record stock market valuations suggest cheap capital that could fuel a boom in innovation, investment and hiring.
By the time 2024 rolls around, the economy should be strong, negating any claims by Trump that only he can save the economy and the stock market.
Trump’s relevance as a candidate will also be undercut by the 10,000 lies and misrepresentations he made while in office. Voters have seen through most of them.
That leaves Trump, who will be 79 by 2024, with only his “America First” race baiting to fall back on, and that will seem like dusty history.
Even discounting the myriad legal problems he faces, Trump chances of being a viable candidate, or even a candidate at all, are non-existent.
Fox News and right wing media won’t be much help. It’s become a caricature of itself in the wake of Trump’s loss, its political impact greatly diminished.
Tucker Carlson looks buffoonish with his ridiculous screeds about Dr. Seuss . Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham are floundering trying to make issues out of Biden sentience or the July 4th holiday.
They are chipping around the edges, but they have no substance to fall back on to challenge Biden’s agenda.
The GOP is bereft of policies to lure millennial voters and as long as it clings to Trump, it will seem as archaic as the Ford Edsel.