Whatever You Do, Do Not Underestimate Him

Pretty much any other American politician would have abandoned ship in such a critical situation.

Not Donald Trump.

Regardless of his appearance in a Florida courtroom in connection with his unbelievable handling of a series of secret documents. Regardless of the 37 charges he faces this time. Regardless of allegations that he compromised his country’s national security. Trump is staying the course.

The fact is, Trump is barely weakened by this latest blunder. On Tuesday night, June 13, a few hours after pleading not guilty, he went on the counterattack in front of his supporters.

“When you’re allowed to arrest your leading political opponent, we no longer have a democracy,” Trump said, calling his indictment “the most evil and heinous abuse of power” in the history of the United States.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Trump is the personification of this adage.

It would be wrong to underestimate him. Trump remains a powerful and formidable politician. And he is well placed, despite everything, to win the race for the leadership of his party and face Joe Biden next year.

Trump even promised on Tuesday that he will win the presidential election and that “justice will be done.”

A good share of his party’s voters are still ready to put their trust in him. It is almost as though they are under the influence of a cult leader.

The polls confirm how substantial this support is.

One such poll conducted by CBS News/YouGov June 9-10 asked likely Republican voters what concerned them most about this affair.

The results showed that a large majority of them, 76%, were concerned that the indictment was “politically motivated.”

Only 12% of responders believed the priority was the “risk to national security” posed by the documents.

Last, 12% were concerned by both assertions.

In short, in the eyes of the great majority of Republicans, the former president is being persecuted.

This impression was cemented long ago.

And why would it change, since nearly every Republican politician has, for years, followed the same playbook every time Trump slips up. They defend him as though he were the innocent victim of a dark conspiracy.

Even Trump’s closest rival among the Republican White House hopefuls, Ron DeSantis, suggested that the former president is a victim.

After Trump’s indictment, the Florida governor promised that, if he becomes president, he would “bring accountability to politicized agencies like DOJ, FBI. We’re going to excise the political bias. And we are going to end the weaponization of the federal government.”

It’s hopeless.

There are, of course, some dissenting voices, but not yet enough to constitute a trend, let alone a shift.

Americans would be wrong to underestimate Trump’s resilience, but they are not alone in their need to be wary of his capacity to bounce back.

Other Western democracies, starting with Canada, must not make the mistake of thinking that Trump is finished.

Last April, the German magazine Der Spiegel revealed that, “Berlin is preparing for the possibility that Donald Trump could beat Joe Biden in the next election.”

Thus, German diplomats are attempting to establish contacts with allies of the former president to avoid being caught with their pants down like in 2016 when Trump beat Hillary Clinton.

The Canadian government is taking the same approach, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly.

When Canada had to fight to save the North American Free Trade Agreement, networks were created — or strengthened — with members of Trump’s inner circle, but also with Republican politicians in Washington.

Canada’s current ambassador in Washington, Kirsten Hillman, has, for her part, played an important role in renegotiating the agreement.

So, contacts do exist. It would be advantageous to continue to cultivate these and to create others, as Trump has probably not uttered his last word.

About this publication

About Reg Moss 120 Articles
Reg is a writer, teacher, and translator with an interest in social issues especially as pertains to education and matters of race, class, gender, immigration, etc.

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