Since then I have studied American history and politics at the University of New York Glasgow In the late 1960s I became very interested in current US affairs.
I was a White House Correspondent, a Wall Street Correspondent, lived there off and on, visited it regularly for nearly 50 years, wrote and broadcast about it, and interviewed various Presidents including Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. I am writing these words from my apartment in New York.
So if I say I can’t remember a time when republican and democrats were in worse shape, I know what I’m talking about. The situation is so dire that America could be on the brink of a political crisis – perhaps even a constitutional crisis – of historic proportions.
And it’s all largely thanks to one man: donald trump.
This week he gave the clearest indication yet that he intends to run for the US presidency in 2024. He told New York magazine that he’s already made his decision — he just has to decide whether to officially announce it before or after the midterm congressional elections (for the House and Senate) in early November.
The situation is so dire that America could be on the brink of a political crisis – perhaps even a constitutional crisis – of historic proportions. And it’s all thanks in large part to one man: Donald Trump
As far as I can remember, no presidential hopeful has announced their candidacy before halftime. But I suspect Trump will. Publicity is as vital to Trump’s survival as oxygen is to the rest of us.
He hates the way other politicians — including several Republican hopefuls for their party’s presidential nomination, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — are dominating the headlines these days.
If he announces renewed presidential ambitions in September or October, he will once again be the center of attention in the November vote, and all eyes will be on who he supports – and who he doesn’t. That’s where he always wants to be and that’s where he’s happiest.
The fact that he’s currently facing 10 different investigations by federal, state and local agencies, some of which are criminal, certainly played no role in his decision — except that a renewed presidency would provide some immunity from most of them .
Whatever his reasons, it’s not good news for Republicans.
Trump hangs over the party like a poisonous cloud that cannot spread. The Trump cult still dominates the Republican base so strongly that from today’s perspective he is the clear favorite for the Republican nomination. In doing so, he is preventing Republicans from moving beyond the tumultuous, toxic Trump years and charting a new center-right agenda for the 2020s and beyond.
This wouldn’t matter so much if the Democrats who hold the White House, House and Senate knew what they were doing. But they don’t. In many ways, they’re in even worse shape than Republicans.
Nearly eight in 10 Americans believe their country is moving in the wrong direction under Biden, and just 26 percent of Democratic voters want him to run again. More than 90 percent of Democrats under 30 want a new candidate in 2024
They will lose the House of Representatives in November, likely the Senate as well, and no leading Democrat wants President Joe Biden to run again, save for Biden himself.
Consider the current state of the President. As inflation climbs over 9 percent — the highest rate in 40 years — Biden’s job approval ratings fall to 33 percent in the latest New York Times poll, the lowest in modern presidential history.
Nearly eight in 10 Americans believe their country is moving in the wrong direction under Biden, and just 26 percent of Democratic voters want him to run again. More than 90 percent of Democrats under 30 want a new candidate in 2024.
Age is regularly cited as a reason why he should not make a second White House bid. At 79, he is already two years older than Reagan when he ended his two-year presidency.
Should he win a second term, he would end up being 86 years old. Leading Democrats say it’s just too old for the toughest job in the world.
Republicans have been dabbling at Biden’s age and declining ability for ages. But now even America’s mostly Democrat-leaning media – previously lapdogs with laptops when it comes to the Biden presidency – are making it an issue. Including the powerful New York Times.
The White House correspondent recently revealed that if Biden “shuffles” instead of walking off the stage, he’s afraid he’ll trip over a TV cable. They “hold their breath” to see if he can make it to the end of a speech “without slipping.”
He can appear “temporarily confused,” can’t even remember important names, and “loses the train of thought.”
Democrats running for election in November are already distancing themselves from the president.
When Biden recently traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, to promote his economic recovery plan, Ohio’s Democratic nominees for the Senate and governorship thought it wise not to be seen at his side. They had “planning conflicts”. Of course they did.
If – or when – Biden loses Congress in November, his agenda will be in tatters and he will be a lame president.
Every leading Democrat I’ve spoken to agrees that Biden shouldn’t run again. Not that there’s a consensus on who should run.
Plan A was that it would be Vice President Kamala Harris. But she’s as big a slip-up machine as the President, and even less popular. She was effectively discarded as Biden’s anointed successor. And there is no plan B.
If Biden decides to run again, he will be challenged in the Democratic primary, just as Edward Kennedy did to Carter in 1980. It is by no means certain that Biden would prevail.
When he leaves the field, a plethora of Democrat hopefuls will throw their hats in the ring, most of whom are even less impressive than the Tory Party’s current squad of hopefuls. Who knows who would emerge victorious?
So the Democrats are clearly vulnerable to a Republican attack. Not just in November, but in 2024. The Trump cultists think Republicans with their man at the head of the ticket would be a shoo-up. Wise party leaders are not so sure.
After all, it was Trump’s obsession with the “stolen” 2020 election that cost Republicans two seats in the Georgia Senate in January 2021 — and handed the upper house to Democrats.
Trump’s support for the November election has already resulted in more extreme or outlandish Republican candidates in Arizona, Pennsylvania and North Carolina who will have more trouble winning than more mainstream Republicans who have drawn Trump’s wrath.
And the same poll that showed Biden’s ratings slipping still had Trump beating him by 44 percent to 41 percent in a rematch in 2024. In other words, the most unpopular president in recent memory is still beating Trump.
Trump would campaign backward in 2024 and seek justification for his stolen campaign claims. That would scare off the moderate and independent voters that Republicans need to retake the White House — and those voters are up for grabs.
Two-thirds of independents now reject Biden. But they’re unlikely to vote for a candidate who yells about how he was betrayed in 2020, which no one outside of the Trump cult believes.
No matter who wins in 2024, the danger is much greater: whoever loses will not accept the result. After all, Trump set the precedent.
This time, imagine Trump winning, but just barely. The left mimicking Trump would claim the election was stolen.
Learning from the chaotic amateur riot attempt by Trump hardliners on January 6, 2021, when they stormed Capitol Hill in scenes that dishonored American democracy, they would be capable of a much more professional and far-reaching campaign of civil unrest and violence.
In recent years, they’ve almost brought anarchy to city centers like Seattle and Portland.
Or imagine Trump losing again in a tight race. He and his supporters would see this as positive evidence that there is a “deep state” conspiracy to deny him the White House not once, but twice.
And this time, his supporters would be more organized if they use violence to disrupt the democratic process.
Either outcome would spell a crisis for America. Democracy requires two things: a winner; and so that the loser recognizes the winner. Trump undermined that premise by refusing to admit defeat in 2020.
It is his most toxic legacy to the American corporate body. The extremes of left and right have learned the lessons. The threat of division and violence is greater than since the American Civil War in the 1860s, and is eroding the foundations of US democracy.
Biden is clearly not the man to lead America through this potential crisis. We don’t know who it is yet. So we are entering dangerous new territory – not only for America, but also for its allies.
Churchill once said America could always be counted on to do the right thing – they just took their time.
As crime and prices soar, living standards suffer (even baby food is in short supply), city centers are scarred by drugs, streetwalkers and lawlessness, and political divisions deepen and acrimonious, time is not on America’s side.