by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Donald Trump won the Iowa caucus. There seems little chance that Trump will stall out going forward, which means that he is almost certain to win the Republican nomination, which means that the already small chance of Joe Biden voluntarily stepping aside will disappear, which means that we are going to get another Biden vs. Trump election. How, some observers have asked, could we possibly be destined to have yet another presidential contest that a supermajority of voters so obviously wishes to avoid? Well, this is how: Ignoring all the warning signs, the parties have arranged a repeat. The rest of us will have to live with it.
The less attractive the candidates are revealed to be, the more hysterical the entreaties on their behalf seem to grow. Already, I see an enormous amount of cajoling and haranguing. Biden’s fans insist that voters are obliged to cast a ballot for their man, lest American democracy perish. Trump’s fans insist that we have a “binary” choice between their hero and American decline. By November, these refrains will hit fever pitch. We will be told to unite, to coalesce, and to submit; to get on the train, to join the team, to enroll in the program. “Do it, do it, do it!” is set to be the official slogan of 2024.
But I won’t. I won’t “do it.” And nor, I suspect, will a lot of other people. Businesses that offer terrible products deserve to go out of business. Parties that offer terrible candidates deserve to lose. The Republicans know what the country thinks of Donald Trump. They know who Donald Trump is. And yet, inexplicably, they are in the process of choosing him nevertheless. They, like the Democrats, must face the consequences of that choice.
I get the sense that both parties think that the public is bluffing. I don’t think it is.