THE PIPELINE is dedicated to exposing the Environmentalist Movement's undermining of freedom and prosperity across the Anglosphere and beyond.
THE COLUMN: What If Trump Weren't on the Ballot?
Michael Walsh • 08 Jan, 2024 • 5 Min Read
Please God, no.
The upcoming 2024 presidential election is like watching the train wreck sequence from The Fugitive: you know it's coming, but no matter how many times you've seen it you can't take your eyes off it. That almost nothing good can emerge from the certain chaos that will attend the campaign all spring, summer and fall is a foregone conclusion, but there are so many variables at this moment that it's impossible to offer any remotely safe predictions. What if Biden doesn't run? What if he's unable to run? What if the Democrats pull a Torricelli Maneuver and swap him out at the last minute in the face of polls showing that Biden will definitely lose? Don't put it past them, because they've done it all, and worse, before.
That Biden has been a disaster for the country -- a virtual dictator, ruling by executive decree -- is clear to everyone. Conservatives hate it, the Left loves it, in part because in their estimation, dictatorships are the way countries should be run. They're not Marxists for nothing; this messy "democracy" stuff isn't at all for them unless it's their democracy we're talking about. With his pen and phone, Biden has blithely told the Supreme Court to kiss his ass over the issue of student loans, while at the same time giving the finger to Congress as well; he finally realized that the John Roberts Court has no divisions and the Congress has no balls and he's been in business ever since -- banning gas stoves here, mandating useless electric vehicles there. And don't even ask him where his Defense secretary is! Besides Father Time, who's going to stop him?
Let's arm wrestle, fats.
Meanwhile, a specter is haunting the GOP -- the specter of Donald J. Trump, the right man in 2016, the right man in 2020 against the bitter, lifelong hack that is Joseph Robinette, Jr. (another in the Democrats' long line of "Juniors," boys with chips on their shoulders and grudges against the world), but manifestly the wrong man for 2024, not that that matters to his remaining hordes of True Believers.
Voters who think that the disasters of the second half of Trump's term -- the inept personnel picks, the Covid lockdowns, the Summer of Floyd riots and, the cherry on top, his sore-loser exhortation to march on the Capitol after the election was lost -- won't somehow be resumed should he win another stint in the Oval Office. It's not the "mean Tweets" we should have been worried about, it was the Tweets complaining about how business is run in Washington without ever once reflecting that he, of all people, could actually have done something about it.
Yet Trump so far remains way ahead of his declared rivals in the polls. Ron DeSantis turned his campaign over to the women and children in his orbit and was transformed from a can-do guy with both a sterling resume and track record as governor of Florida into a little fella in lifts trying to project warm and fuzzy. Nikki Haley, a non-entity whose parents were both citizens of India at the time of her birth in South Carolina, is a woman. Vivek Ramaswamy talks an excellent game, but there's a whiff of the used-car salesman in his affable desperation to make the sale.
Trump, however, has so far refused to participate in any of the primary debates, preferring to project an aura of invincibility and inevitability in his stately march to re-nomination, no matter how many times he's indicted by the Biden regime. But if Trump is still thumping Biden as we approach November, you can bet the Democrats won't just sit idle: they've seen this movie, and they know how the train wreck ends.
Tanned, rested, and ready?
But what if for some reason Trump doesn't run? What if the GOP is forced by circumstances to replace him? Did Sam Bankman-Fried really offer him a $5 billion bribe not to run? Like Biden, he's old; like Biden he no longer speaks in coherent sentences when going off-script. Like Biden, he doesn't think very well on his feet anymore, preferring to slip back to shopworn rote phrases and slogans, like a washed-up comedian doing shtik for an aging audience. Granted, he's still younger and sharper than Biden, but that's not saying much. Does America really pine for a Geezer Grudge March?
So what if, against all odds, the Supreme Court upholds the Colorado challenge to his candidacy? What if, at least by implication, that the horribly misbegotten demonstrations of Jan. 6, 2021, were in fact an "insurrection" under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, the former president is in fact ineligible for federal office?
Section 3 Disqualification from Holding Office
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Standard Democrat/Lawyer Complex tactics, where the motto is always, "we could make the argument that..." and then of course they do, no matter how ridiculous the argument might be. But, hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained; all a reliance on lawyers takes is money and a lack of a shame gene, and the Left has both in nearly infinite supply. And the video evidence -- far from exculpatory -- can be viewed in ways favorable to both sides. It was certainly not the peaceable, guided-tour amble that some on the right have insisted it was, nor was it the violent Second American Revolution claimed by the Left. And, as far as the loaded word "insurrection" goes, let us not forget that liberals freely applied that word to the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992 -- and were proud of it.
So for the sake of argument, take Trump out of the equation. Then what? No matter what happens, this is the Last Hurrah for both Trump and Biden, and good riddance to them both; a healthy system of government should never devolve into a gerontocracy.
For one thing, the GOP would be forced to select a younger candidate, and one with a chance of eight-year administration; Trump would be a lame duck on Day One, and likely saddled with a transitional, unthreatening veep incapable of running on his or her own for an unassisted term -- just as Biden is now. For another, the current polls would automatically shift into something more reflective of the true state of the party, and the current battle for its soul. For a third, perhaps -- perhaps -- some of the poison now roiling the country at every level would dissipate: not so we could have a kumbaya moment (them days is gone) but so we can have a decisive ideological victory based on principles and not personalities. Otherwise this is what we face:
And we, like Harrison Ford, bound, chained, and shackled, will just be along for the ride. We're innocent, we'll shout to Lt. Gerard, to which he'll reply: "I don't care."
Michael Walsh is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. He was for 16 years the music critic and a foreign correspondent for Time Magazine. His works include the novels As Time Goes By, And All the Saints, and the bestselling “Devlin” series of NSA thrillers; as well as the nonfiction bestseller, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace and its sequel, The Fiery Angel. Last Stands, a study of military history from the Greeks to the present, was published by St. Martin's Press in December 2019. He is also the editor of Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, published on Oct. 18, 2022. Follow him on Twitter: @theAmanuensis