Dear Commons Community,
Matthew Continetti, editor in chief of The Washington Free Beacon, has an op-ed in today’s New York Times warning Democrats not to be complacent as they organize for the 2020 presidential election and not to get excited about recent polls showing most Democratic candidates ahead of Trump. He also directs attention to a global anti-elite movement that improves Trump’s chance of victory. Here is an excerpt:
“Political professionals are so focused on the micro-details of the 2020 elections that they miss the macro trends favoring President Trump as he kicks off his re-election campaign in Florida. They are looking at national and state polls when our “America First” president ought to be viewed in a global context.
The lobbyists, consultants and pundits inside the Beltway are obsessed with recent data that show Mr. Trump losing to several Democratic challengers. But surveys taken more than a year before Election Day are meaningless. More important, Mr. Trump benefits from incumbency and continued economic recovery, and he’s riding a wave of national populism that has yet to crest.
Only two of the nine presidents up for re-election since World War II have lost. In the past century the public has booted a party from the White House after a single term just once. And Jimmy Carter’s presidency was plagued by foreign policy setbacks and stagflation. Neither condition pertains today.
The United States is not engaged in a major war. And the economic recovery that began in mid-2009 has continued under Mr. Trump, with unemployment at half-century lows. Manufacturing employment has increased. Economic growth approached 3 percent last year. The Dow Jones industrial average has increased by about a third since Inauguration Day 2017.
Circumstances might change, of course. The flare-up with Iran and mixed signals from the bond market remind us that our political future isn’t a straight-line projection of the present. But Mr. Trump is wary of foreign entanglements, and a slowdown is not the same as a recession. Sustained peace and prosperity improve Mr. Trump’s chances of a second term.
So does the continuing revolt against global elites. One of the many oddities of this presidency is that a uniquely American figure such as Mr. Trump is part of a worldwide phenomenon. But there really can be no doubt that Mr. Trump was among the first heralds of an anti-elitist turn that has disrupted politics from London to Melbourne. The issues animating this upheaval have not disappeared. Nor is Mr. Trump likely to.”
Chris Matthews may similar comments on his MSNBC evening program last night. Sound advice!