Write this down on your calendar: Donald Trump did NOT fly to Mar-A-Lago this past weekend. Instead, he ventured to Pennsylvania to hold a campaign rally for his 2020 re-election campaign. One year into his presidency, and Trump is already actively campaigning for another term.
Most presidents begin behind-the-scenes campaigning early, but I cannot recall one who has done so so openly...ever. Granted, Trump is hardly one to take on a traditional role in anything. He has yet to do anything that resembles the traditional role of the American president.
Campaign rallies stroke his ego in a way that regular political conversation, legislative success or foreign policy cannot. Trump clearly draws renewed energy from these large gatherings of Trumpites who absorb every single word he has to say without question. His prepared remarks likely did not cover a fraction of what he spouted during the nearly two hour campaign rally. Trump is notorious for going "off script" and he did not disappoint at this rally either.
I tried to watch it on television. I really did. Honestly, I have tried to give this president the benefit of doubt, but I see him as so completely unfit for office that it is difficult to do. He goes against everything I have ever believed in and he has destroyed the republican party that I worked for my entire life.
I did read the coverage of the rally from the major news sources, and I suffered through some YouTube videos too. He is just a pain to watch. I really cannot understand how his supporters have become so incredibly sold out to his bullshit. It's like watching a modern day tyrant in the making.
He released a regular tirade of insults against political opponents, relived the 2016 election victory once again, insulted Hillary Clinton (again), and spewed facts so convoluted and exaggerated that I was impressed he could do so with a straight face. Trump claimed the overwhelming support of women voters (really?), Latino voters (you're kidding, right?) and double digit support from black voters (laughable!) His supporters ate it up.
I am not going to re-litigate the 2016 election: Donald Trump won the election according the laws of all 50 states and the US Constitution. He is the President of the United States. That distinction, however, does not give him the right to be loose with the facts in order to make a point. He does not have the right to outright lie to the American people, including his own supporters. It is inherently dangerous for a commander-in-chief to spout unsubstantiated facts when he could easily become confused at a time when coherent policy must be approved.
Trump relishes the ceremonial side of the presidency. What chief executive has time in his busy schedule to fly to a campaign rally and talk for nearly two hours? Are there not more pressing matters that demand his time—especially given a North Korean summit meeting scheduled within the next six weeks? Two days later he welcomed the World Series champions to the White House. More ceremony. He loves to sign executive orders surrounded by various supporters. More ceremony. And, what is with the fixation of running against Oprah Winfrey in the next election?
I was certainly no fan of his predecessor, but compared to the current occupant, Barack Obama was a stellar chief executive—and that's saying something. Obama was very political, like most presidents, but at least his facts were rooted in some form of truth. Trump's so known as the chief liar that even when he speaks the truth, it is hard to believe him. He definitely keeps people like me busy researching.
So, post-Pennsylvania rally we now know the 2020 campaign slogan. I would not be surprised to hear that the hats are already available — made in China no doubt. With little more than a quarter of his first term passed — and a third of that while in residence at Mar-a-Lago or another family—branded property — Trump wants the American people to get ready to re-elect him based on his achievements. He better sit back and see reality for a moment.
A blue wave is coming in November. The House of Representatives is sure to fall to the democrats, putting Nancy Pelosi back in the speaker's chair. subpoena power will be unleashed on every Trump activity and an impeachment committee is sure to be convened. It would not surprise at all for the committee to actually impeach this president, forcing a drawn out Senate trial. He will surely have a primary fight for the nomination — the first time a sitting president will have to endure a significant challenge since Gerald Ford in 1976. And, all those predictions do not even figure in a Robert Mueller indictment of the president. Re-election should be the least of Trump's concern at the moment.
Trump in 2020? I don't think so.