Donald Trump has already announced his intent to run for re-election in 2020, which has mercifully killed off one of the most obnoxious conceits ever — the asinine spectacle of watching a first-term president pretend to play Hamlet over the decision of whether or not to run for re-election.
The “permanent campaign” is already a quarter-century old. Naturally, it was brought to life by the grasping Clintons. The whole idea of Americans being allowed to exhale in-between presidential elections was shattered forever the moment Bill Clinton took the oath in early 1993. Then, in 2000, after he was constitutionally blocked from running again, Hillary began her 16 year quest.
And so, along with vanquishing forever the hideous Clintons (unless you count Bankrupt Terry), Trump is being brazenly upfront about his desire to win a second term and his intent to mercilessly campaign for that goal starting right now. This announcement is not only refreshingly honest, it is strategically smart.
To begin with, Trump can start raising money immediately and openly, instead of through some dumb exploratory committee, and he will need it. Trump will not only be fighting feverish Democrats and their stable of plutocrat billionaires, but untold billions of corporate dollars spent to destroy him by a mainstream media still smarting over the humiliation of 2016, and eager for payback.
Moreover, by removing the conceit of not campaigning for president, Trump does not have to stand around and take it as his opponents come after him (not that he would, anyway). For example, there is no question that even after the Evan McMuffin debacle, the sell-out crybabies in the increasingly left-wing NeverTrump will attempt to run another spoiler. Trump now has free reign to suck up all that money and to define these pathetic chumps, to get in their head, before they even step in the batter’s box.
He will also have free reign to go after the growing pile of Democrats who will seek to unseat him. Whether it is McAuliffe, Kamala Harris, Pocahontas, or whomever, Trump can work his genius in locating and mercilessly poking at their weak spot, i.e., “Low Energy Jeb,” “Crooked Hillary,” “Little Marco.”
During the raucous 2016 election, while the super-geniuses in the media were laughing at Trump’s “childish” name calling, it was that alpha male name-calling (real Americans call it “ball breaking”) that was devastating his opponents, grinding them into betas– and in this era of TV, betas do not win presidential elections.
Of course, what will be happening behind the scenes is just as vital. Trump has already chosen tech-genius Brad Parscale to run his campaign. Parscale, along with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, were the two responsible for Trump’s brilliant online 2016 strategy, a stealth campaign that made Hillary’s digital effort’s (inherited from Obama) look like something out of the Flintstone’s.
While our clueless and lazy media were writing story after story, smugly snarking over Trump’s lack of a campaign infrastructure, Parscale and Kushner micro-targeted voters in ways previously thought impossible.
All of this, of course, adds up to Trump’s true sweet spot, his uncanny ability to psyche out his opponents, to unnerve them, to emasculate them, to make them look weak, to live under their skin. Knowing that Trump is already this far ahead of the 2020 game is intimidating enough. Knowing that whatever he is planning will be targeted against you is all part of the psy-ops strategy Trump has used for decades to stay on top.
Finally, there is Trump’s primary opposition — the corrupt mainstream media. Trump’s early announcement accomplishes one small thing and one Big Thing. The small thing is killing off all the fake news the media intended to publish (using phony sources) about Trump not running for re-election. This is an end-run around the media’s intent to make him look weak, indecisive, and beleaguered with lies.
The Big Thing is burning out the media. Trump’s seemingly inexhaustible energy and relish for a fight is one of his most potent political weapons. By announcing his intent to run for a second term, the media are automatically put on the defensive. But they are also facing three more years of lost weekends and holidays, bitter battles, and the endless fatigue and burn-out that comes with it.
When the media are tired, they become nasty and desperate, they reveal their biases and insufferable elitism, they flail with fake news. All of this serves to hasten a credibility death spiral that has already tanked the media’s approval ratings into the low twenties.
Trump’s smartest move in 2016 was to define his opponents in the media as the left-wing liars they truly are. By running his permanent 2020 campaign openly, he keeps them guessing, running, chasing, worrying, stressing — and he keeps his boot squarely on their squirming pencil necks.