When my friends talk about politics they compare it to military combat, boxing bouts and even wrestling matches. I think politics is a little bit like all of them, but to me politics is often like the sequel to a famous old movie or a classic Broadway show.
When you run for re-election, you try to remake the movie or show, you stick to the script, and hope that the voters like the new version, as much as the old one.
Back in 2016, Donald Trump, after many successful years as a reality host, decided to bring his act to the national stage. His “your fired” persona made many people think that it was time to bring in this new guy to clean up the swamp and show the politicians how a successful businessman can run a country.
Millions of voters were itching for a candidate who would tell it like it is and who promised not to be politically correct. You know the rest of the story. By a margin of 47,000 votes, the showman became the commander-in-chief.
On the night of the election, no one was more surprised about winning than candidate Trump. All of his insiders knew he didn’t expect to win and that his candidacy was just a great way to sell condos and fill up hotel rooms. His trip down the escalator was meant to be a massive con job and a way to improve the brand. But as fate would have it, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as president on January 20, 2017.
The first couple of years of the Trump tenure made many of his supporters happy. He took on China and threatened our European allies forcing them to pay more money into NATO. He moved the U.S. Embassy into Jerusalem, which pleased many Jewish voters, along with the evangelicals. He nominated ultra-conservative lawyers for hundreds of federal judgeships.
He was enabled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell, who cared more about court-packing than passing laws that help people.
He made his big contributors happy by watering down hundreds of federal regulations dealing with clean water, clean air and consumer protection. He filled up his administration with former lobbyists who did on the inside what they had been trying unsuccessfully to accomplish for years from the outside. At the same time, using the powers of president, Trump made sure that government functions would be held at Trump properties so his family business organization could get in on the action.
But a look back at his almost four years shows a president who encourages racist groups with hate speech and fires generals and respected corporate executives replacing them with political hacks.
To make matters worse, he blames everyone but himself for his failure to develop a federal response to a disease that has killed over 200,000 Americans. His daily tweets have thrilled his followers but has exhausted the voters who want a president who just lives in the White House and acts like a leader.
When I refer to people being exhausted, I am not referring to just Democrats. There is no doubt, that the Trump loyalists will stick with him even if he takes them off a cliff, but there is a growing number of Republican and independent voters, who have tired of the president’s daily antics and are ready to usher him off the stage.
My recent survey of a handful of respected lifetime Republicans, while not scientific, indicates that many of them have lost their love for this one-time reality show host and would like to take back their party, even if it means putting a Democrat in the White House. The Donald Trump they embraced in 2016 no longer resembles the current version of Donald Trump.
How this sequel to the first Trump movie will play out on November 3 is anybody’s guess. Some voters may be happy with the second version of the Trump show, but maybe a majority of voters will ask for the curtain to come down and the words, “The End” will appear.
It’s only a few short days before America starts counting the ballots and then we will know whether our country was willing to buy a ticket to the 2020 sequel to the 2016 Trump show.