Donald Trump will lose the election. Come November 3rd, Joe Biden will be the president-elect. And Donald Trump will lose the election because of his worst enemy: Donald Trump.
Donald Trump is not the type of person to carefully plan anything. Trump uses his instinct. And his entire life proved to him that it worked. Whether you like him or not, you cannot deny the many buildings with his name in gold letters above the front door. Through many deals and many decisions – some good, some bad – Trump accumulated lots of wealth (and yes, debt too), and became a worldwide celebrity. But celebrity was not enough, he wanted more. So it became natural that using his fierce instinct, Trump, who has an exacerbated sense of pride and self-esteem, went for the most prestigious position in the entire world: President of the United States.
Using the tactics from reality TV, Trump went big. He basically vociferated his way through the Republican primary by repeating endlessly his very simple and equally powerful message. He would build a wall and Mexico would pay for it. He would implement tariffs against China. His message was that the politicians were so dumb that they bankrupted the country, which is difficult to deny when looking at the national debt clock.
Trump made a show out of the primary and made every other candidate a pale and boring figure. All the Republican major politicians became instant has-beens. No one really liked them before, now voters finally had a strong voice to cheer for. Every Republican debate was a grandiose show worth bringing popcorns. I know, I watched them all.
A SURPRISE WIN
Against all odds and all polls, Trump won the election. Yes, Russia helped as well as the fact that many just did not like Hillary Clinton, who did not even campaign in some key states. She voted for the Iraq war, she was in politics for decades, she was the pure product of the establishment. She did not excite the base one bit. Meanwhile, Trump went at it fully, going back and forth in states until the very last minute. And against all predictions, he won.
THE STOCK MARKET
Many feared a Trump administration. And of course, it had its fair share of scandals, erratic decisions and yes, too many tweets. But the stock market kept booming and the unemployment numbers kept going down, following a trend that started with the end of the 2008 Great Recession. When the economy goes, everything goes.
AN OLD OPPONENT
Meanwhile, the Democratic primary started and Joe Biden became the nominee. Many Democrats were scared. How would Biden even remotely stand in front of Trump on a debate stage? The odds were not in favor of Biden and many signs were showing for a re-election of Trump... until the source of Trump’s demise would come from… China. That same country he kept referring to during his own campaign.
SOMETHING IN CHINA
On December 31st, 2019, Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China, reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province. A virus named COVID-19 had suddenly appeared in China and while many were sounding the alarm in Europe, Trump was downplaying the crisis, saying the virus might disappear with the heat of spring. But soon after, reality could no longer be avoided, and Trump decided to shut down the country, instantly stopping the stock market rise as well as, more importantly, skyrocketing the unemployment rate to unprecedented territory.
But while he had failed to manage the beginning of the crisis well, he then organized through Vice President Mike Pence a task force, making Dr. Fauci the very first worldwide medical celebrity. Daily briefings would soon make the cover page and Trump would regularly appear and be the Commander in Chief. He would be often charming with the task force, showing a side that many loved about him.
A GHOST CANDIDATE
Meanwhile, on the other side, Joe Biden had disappeared. Sure, he was still making efforts to be present, but his voice became entirely silenced in the noise of the pandemic. He appeared old and out of touch, some even asking him upfront about his mental fitness. Had he continued on this path, Trump could have had a chance to use the Commander in Chief card, probably the most effective tool in a President’s toolbox to use in an election year.
In 2004, George W. Bush was not loved, but he was the Commander in Chief in a post-9/11 world. Even more so for Trump, no one can argue that it's not his fault that the virus appeared. With any measures, many Americans would have suffered tragedy, but the crisis had and still has to be managed.
But instead of that, Trump went off track and, destroyed his entire legacy as well as his chances of being re-elected, when he decided he had enough of the journalists interrogating him on a daily basis, enough with the masks, enough with COVID, enough with everything. He lost his temper when all he had to do was to let the task force do its work and appear in some briefings. That would have taken him one hour each day. Show he was leading. Letting the experts do their job. Asking the population to wear masks. Leading by example and showing he was the Commander in Chief.
A NOMINATION CAMPAIGN
Instead, he chose to deny science and to rage. The hell with masks. The hell with everything. Trump then made a drastic mistake by choosing, proactively or not, to campaign exactly like he did in the Republican primary, by insulting his way to the Presidency, as Jeb Bush told him at the time. But there was a big difference. He was now the President of the free world. He was no longer having to make fun at the hands of Marco Rubio or the low energy from Jeb Bush. People were dying and he chose to say that the virus was no longer a threat. And in October, when the COVID cases surged, he ended up contracting the virus and became totally unmanageable. Suddenly, wearing a mask was a sign of weakness. Let’s let the old and fragile people die. Everyone saying otherwise is fake news.
The debates were the same. He screamed. Trump became unhinged. And this is a clear beginner’s mistake. Because you do the primary on the left or right side, and then you go to the center for the general election. Trump made a right-wing republican primary campaign instead of a sitting presidential campaign, asking for a second term.
What is ironic is that he could have easily won, or at least have a real shot at being re-elected. But COVID cost him his second term. And he can blame anyone he wants, at the end of the day, Trump’s worst enemy was Donald Trump.