The U.S. president can rely on his determined base, a clear message and vulnerable opponents.
Now he has abruptly catapulted himself and his enthused fans back to 2016. Donald Trump’s campaign launch in Florida was just a new edition of the tried and true message: I am the only one who can make America great again, and the fact that I am not yet quite done with my project is because of those damn elites in Washington who are against me—and against you, good Americans.
One could, at this point, list all the mistakes that Trump made in his first years, but the liberal media in the U.S. as well as Europe are already constantly doing that. Trump’s core voters do not care; the Russia affair is just as distant from their lives as the war in Syria or North Korea’s bombs. For all that, the president gives them a clear, black-and-white message that portrays them as heroes and fighters for the U.S. That is enough. What really affects them is the enormous economic boom that the U.S. has experienced. It has brought new jobs and higher salaries—successes for which Trump can take credit, whether or not he is actually responsible for them.
On top of that, his endless wall project and continuous stream of rabble-rousing against immigrants speak to the principal fear of his voters. Trump has the Republican Party decisively united behind him like no other Republican president since Ronald Reagan, just because it has no alternative to his populist course.
The Democrats’ greatest hope is currently ex-Vice President Joe Biden. But Trump can denounce him as an old representative of the hated elite, just as he did with Hillary Clinton four years ago.