Unhinged Progressives Are a Gift to Trump

In 1931, the slogan of the German Communist Party became: ‘After Hitler, our turn.’ This kind of wishful thinking is making a comeback in contemporary America. Prominent Democrats and the ‘progressive’ apparat of the Biden administration see the nomination of Donald Trump – their version of Hitler – as the best way to mobilise their shaky coalition and to keep hold of power.

Biden’s supporters believe Trump is so odious that the American people will accept anyone – even someone as obviously mediocre as Joe Biden – to keep him out of power. This worked back in 2020, when Trump’s bungling of Covid-19, his chaotic management style and his consistently vile – though clearly not fascist – persona allowed Biden to gain the White House.

This assumption also proved correct in the 2022 Midterms. Democrats bankrolled numerous unelectable Trumpistas in congressional and state races, a cynical gambit they are repeating again this year. This helped them dodge a potential wipeout at the polls. The seemingly inevitable nomination of Trump by the Republicans looks perfectly suited to a repeat performance in the 2024 presidential election.

Yet as the German Communists learned in 1933, sometimes getting what you want does not always work out so well. Biden might be heralded as the second coming of FDR in the mainstream press, but most Americans have clearly had enough of him. A recent poll puts him at a dismal 37 per cent. As things stand, he is now slated to lose to Trump, particularly in key swing states. Some surveys suggest Trump is even gaining among independents and is pulling some suburban professionals back into his camp. As former presidential candidate Andrew Yang puts it, Biden’s shaky performance could be about to deliver ‘Trump, the sequel’.

So why is Biden so unpopular? This is partly down to inflation – undoubtedly made worse by Biden’s economic agenda. But it is also due to his pandering to the so-called progressives on just about everything – from the border and climate change to LGBT issues. According to longtime Democratic analyst Ruy Teixeira, Biden seems incapable of shifting to where the voters are. For Democratic senator Joe Manchin, much of the problem stems from the fact that the president has surrounded himself with ‘far, far-left liberals’.

More important still, even as the prospect of another Trump presidency alarms many Americans, they also look aghast at the realities of Biden’s America. They have come to associate his presidency with collapsing cities, homeless encampments, largely stagnant incomes and lawlessness at the southern border. As many as 65 per cent of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Read the rest of this piece at Spiked.

Joel Kotkin is the author of The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class. He is the Roger Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and Executive Director for Urban Reform Institute. Learn more at joelkotkin.com and follow him on Twitter @joelkotkin.

Homepage photo: Gage Skidmore/The Star News Network, via Flickr under CC 2.0 License.