QED

A Bit More ‘Divisiveness’ If You Please

I wonder how many supposedly conservative or right-wing commentators really understand what’s been going on in the US.  Even after four years! At the time of writing it looks as though Biden will snatch, possibly steal, the Presidency. I have no doubt that fraud and cheating took place. As a general rule, we already know that political machines cheat and lie. We already know the Democrats have done this countless times during the past five years. Why would we think that party apparatchiks in swing states would suddenly recoil at the thought of doing something — anything! — underhand?

To say this, of course, marks you as a conspiracy theorist in the eyes of some, so, in order to defuse that criticism, some commentators take the line that ‘yes, probably some cheating went on but not on the scale to affect the overall outcome’.  Well, if the perpetrators didn’t think they could affect the outcome, why would they bother?  It would only take a few thousand votes in one swing state to turn the election.  Do we think that is beyond the people who gave us the Russiagate hoax? That said, I doubt that the courts will overturn a Biden victory.  So where to from here?

The suggestion from most commentators is that Trump should graciously concede, giving ‘loser’s consent’ to an administration fronted by a senile, arguably corrupt, time-server on the basis that this will heal divisions within the country.  Those people clearly do not get the Trump phenomenon.  They acknowledge– some of them, anyway — Trump’s impressive list of achievements but wonder why he can’t be more collegial, more empathetic, more  ‘presidential’. Perhaps they are thinking of former Republican leaders who were attacked, ridiculed, maligned and misrepresented without uttering a peep of protest. George W. Bush springs immediately to mind.

Trump’s style is exactly the reason why he is the man for the job.  He has rejected the business as usual, ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ clubby deal-makers of Washington – The Swamp, as he terms it. The problem for conservatives is that the deals they negotiate, the compromises they reach, always favour the other side and the inexorable drift to the Left. If I read him correctly, Trump is not by nature a win-win type of deal-maker. Any deal he does must make him, and by extension his base, better off.  That is why he has been so aggressive towards China.  And in foreign affairs, this characteristic is unlikely to engender too much hostility within the US.  Admittedly, it’s a different story domestically, and it was inevitable that he was going to seriously alienate the establishment.  But this push-back is well overdue in every Western democracy, not least in Australia.  To doctor a infamous Paul Keating quote, Trump is the disruptor we had to have.

Trump may concede graciously when he has exhausted his legal options but he should not do so before then.

Trump is routinely described as divisive by commentators such as The Australian’s Paul Kelly.  And yet, here is the columnist yesterday opining that

If Biden wins, his mission will confront two daunting opponents: resentful Trump legions who won’t accept the result and progressive Democrats demanding implementation of their divisive agenda, sure to ruin any healing process.

So here we have cognitive dissonance writ large.  According to Kelly, it is Democrats that espouse the divisive agenda – no argument from me there. But Trump legions that won’t accept the result?   That sounds very like projection to me.   It’s the Democrats who have form on not accepting results. During the election campaign, Trump rallies and demonstrations were characterised by their good humour and behaviour.  And, given the “shy Trump voter” syndrome, why would we expect any more than a few peaceful demonstrations in the immediate aftermath of the election.  Does Kelly really think Trump supporters are gong to turn into rampaging mobs or that, absent Trump, the Republican Party won’t meekly slip back into their traditional role of Beltway patsies, conceding more and more ground to the Left in order to ‘unite’ America?

Which brings me to the way ahead.   It would have been nice if Trump could have a second term (he may well still do so; in this election and this year, of all years, anything is possible) but the more important issue is the protection of his legacy.  Joe Hockey and others have suggested he will run again in 2024.  Trump is probably up for it but it’s still a big ask for a man in his mid-seventies.  An alternative strategy, would be for Mike Pence to immediately declare his candidacy for 2024.  He would, after all, be defending a legacy that is partly his own.  Trump could underwrite him.  Unarguably, Pence would be seen as a traditionally more acceptable president.  Trump might consider that protecting his legacy via a surrogate outweighs the glory of another four years in the White House.

The question: is Pence up for it and up to it?  Right now, I can’t think of any other potential candidate with the will and backbone to take up the task.

18 comments
  • MichaelinBrisbane

    Peter,
    Your thoughts on Ivanka for 2024?

  • Peter OBrien

    And today, following Trump’s measured press conference (which apparently many networks cut off in mid stream) we have this banner headline from CNN:
    WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE, TRUMP SAYS HE IS BEING CHEATED
    Talk about fake news. Trump’s conference was a litany of specific examples of chicanery. Some or all of them may or may not turn out to be genuine but in the context of a press conference what further evidence do they think Trump could have offered – sworn statements from all witnesses.

  • Peter Smith

    Glad you weighed in Peter. I have been too depressed to think clearly. However, it is clear from improbable turnouts in Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, etc that lots of votes are made up. We know that the Dems have cheated. That is no problem for the Left; they have no principles. At question, if Trump fails to sqeak home, for which there is still a chance, is whether the Supreme Court (SC) will be able to weigh in on the clear breaches of state laws that have occurred – in denying entry to counting places of Republican observers. I don’t know enough about US law to know or what options are available if the SC is able to weigh in.

  • Doubting Thomas

    The Australian and several of its senior commentators have hit rock bottom during these past few months. Paul Kelly, Troy Bramston and Peter van Onselen have been competing with each other for the most patently ridiculous commentary which, for me at least, ha destroyed any credibility they might once have had. Kelly has always been a committed leftist pretending to be an objective commentator but even so his commentary on the American political situation has been surprisingly obtuse. The latter pair are still just wet behind the ears political naifs, so they can safely be ignored until they grow up.

    It’s time to cancel my subscription to the Australian.

  • Peter OBrien

    Michael, hadn’t considered Ivanka. I don’t have thoughts on this but isn’t she a bit on the woke side?

  • Peter OBrien

    Relevance Deprivation Syndrome is driving Albanese to desperate lengths. I heard on ABC radio that he is urging Morrison to call up his mate Donald and advise him that Australian voters expect him to honour the democratic process! The same news bulletin stated that Trump had made ‘baseless’ claims about cheating. does anyone at their ABC understand the difference between reporting and editorialising, I wonder?

  • IainC

    All the divisiveness, hatred and violence “fomented and propagated by the right” will mysteriously subside* as soon as the left get exactly what they want.
    *Or, as did the Boojums, “softly and suddenly vanish away.”

  • deric davidson

    Biden was trailing Trump by significant margins in key battleground states. Suddenly late at night the Biden vote surges in a major way (by the thousands) and not a single vote for Trump is counted. Biden closes the gap almost instantly and in fact takes the lead. That situation in itself should raise red flags. And that’s not the only reason to suspect foul play at work.
    If the boot was on the other foot the Dems would be screaming blue murder and BLM and Antifa (the Democrat militia) would be burning cars and shops and looting every business in sight. The Dems and the useful idiots in the Australian media who suck up to them are a disgraceful bunch of hypocrites. But they have no moral conscience and are doing whatever it takes (as is the case for 4 years) to get rid of Trump by hook or by crook and reinstate the their habitat “The Swamp”.
    This is close and Trump has every right to use the courts where there is such clear evidence of crooked voting practices. The Dems would – the hypocrites. They’d be screaming Russia, Russia, Russia!!

  • DougD

    Nikki Haley in 2024?

  • Paul

    Nikki Haley … lot of conservatives don’t rate her as conservative.
    Mike Pence …. so polite, like GW.
    Surely Ted Cruz has learnt something from Trump. He looks like a fighter.

  • Tony Thomas

    ABCTV 7pm news last night was full of lines like Trump claiming “without evidence”. Perhaps it would be correct, albeit biased, for them to say “without producing evidence” as obviously Trump’s people can’t go to court alleging fraud without evidence of some kind. This “without evidence” is a new phenomenon in supposedly “straight” reporting where the reporter injects his subjective opinion. It took hold in much reporting of Trump. I hadn’t seen it previously. I bet it has NEVER popped up in reporting on Biden. So what, for a reporter, would constitute “evidence”? Any “evidence” whatsoever could be challenged by the other side as flawed or worthless. Only when a court has given its verdict, is the status of various “evidences” clarified. I think I’ll iView last night’s news and then put in a complaint to ABC. It will be rejected but on what grounds? That’s the interesting part.

  • Tony Thomas

    Incidentally, it IS worth putting in complaints to the ABC. My tally is about 20% accepted, including some major items. The ABC takes pride in its low number of accepted complaints and corrections (see annual reports), to back up its “trusted broadcaster” meme. Fact is, ABC and all media constantly make errors (to err is human) but virtually all go unchallenged. For example, I complained the other week that ABCTV 7pm had put Woodside share price at $35.00 or similar. Correct is ca $17. They will have to correct that. Strangely I’ve had no reply on it yet. Often ABC political reporting from US just repeats US media reports which are wrong. A complaint forces the ABC to factcheck those reports, which should not have been trusted in the first place.

  • Peter OBrien

    Here is a comment I posted under today’s editorial in The Australian. I don’t expect it to pass moderation:

    “Assuming there is hard evidence to back them, the allegations need to be investigated fully and adjudicated by the courts if necessary.” (This quote was cut from the editorial) Well said. Too many news organizations (including your own) have reported that Trump has made ‘baseless’ or ‘unsubstantiated’ claims. That it not reporting – it is editorializing. You might like to make the difference clear to your own sub-editors.

  • Tony Tea

    Is Ivanka eligible?

  • DG

    With Trump we saw the Republicans demonstrating a party deathwish, the left doing its usual Alinsky moves of playing the man not the ball, a president keeping his promises and playing a direct attack game on the political apparatchiks and media who thought they were safe.
    Well done Mr Trump for showing up the political establishment for the bunch of corrupt, arrogant time-servers they are dominate by and demonstrating that a politician with nerve and who stays the course gets things done.

  • pgang

    Thoroughly enjoying Trump’s dogged persistence in the face of the media onslaught. This election is far from over. At this stage we still have no better idea of the victor than we did last Monday. But if Trump’s challenges to what was clearly a flawed process prove successful, what will be the establishment’s reaction?

  • Peter OBrien

    Even if it’s true that Trump’s court actions will not overturn enough votes to win him the Presidency, surely it’s worth the effort. Should he just shrug his shoulders and say “that’s OK, nothing to see here – let’s all move on in the interests of unity”?

  • pgang

    I’ve just looked at The Australian for the very last time. What a disgrace it’s become.

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