This was written at 4 a.m. EST on Nov. 4. The president appears almost certain to emerge with the majority of electoral votes; he has substantial leads compared to the number of votes outstanding, in Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Alaska, and the single district in Maine; Nevada is uncertain, but he is the favorite in all of the other states just mentioned.
His statement in the White House a few minutes ago effectively accusing his enemies of causing a delay of vote-counting in all of the states enumerated, with fraudulent intent, is an example of the Trumpian practice, in Irish football terms, of “getting his retaliation in first.” But it is also probably a fair summary of what is being attempted in some cases.
It is technically possible but unlikely that his present margins in all of these states are surmountable without a greater tampering with the genuine vote than is likely to be possible given the degree of aggressive legal vigilance over the process that the president has already announced.
President Donald Trump’s enemies in the media, who effectively conducted the Democratic campaign for the languid and inarticulate Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, are already deafening in their allegations that Trump has been monstrously ungracious in imputing to his enemies a desire to steal the election, and in asserting that he will not allow it to happen.
It is ungracious and it may have been tactically unwise to be quite so forceful and explicit. But after the vicious and almost seamless assault that the national political media have made upon him, it’s not especially blameworthy.
Never in American history have the political media been so one-sided, so contemptuous of what was long the professional hallmark of good journalism—the separation of reporting from comment—and so strident and uniform in their hostility to one candidate as in this election, and throughout the past four years.
As it is likely to take at least a few days to determine the apparent victor in each of these states, and further litigation is certainly threatened, a snapshot of the current state of affairs still reveals a mighty achievement in Trump’s battle for reelection.
He had a won election following the collapse of the fatuous impeachment controversy in March, largely on the basis of a full-employment, low-tax, low-inflation economy. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was instantly exploited by his opponents as requiring a profound and lengthy shutdown of the economy. The Democrats piled onto the bandwagon of the more vocal scientists and preemptively accused the president of being “anti-science,” and he obligingly presided over a substantial economic shutdown while promising it would be brief and that economic recovery would be quick.
This is effectively what happened, but public relations errors by the president enabled his media and official enemies to create and sustain the fiction that he had mismanaged the public health crisis. In fact, he inherited a public health emergency response in shambles from the Obama administration, with an antiquated testing process and completely inadequate supplies of almost everything that was necessary. In a few weeks of executive concentration, he had remedied these problems and America has led the world in testing, production of ventilators and other equipment, and has advanced the normal time required for development of a vaccine by over a year.
Lumbered with the health crisis and unemployment that jumped to around 20 percent before its sharp reduction was forcefully induced, Trump had to endure the illness himself, fight it off briskly, and conduct the most strenuous personal campaign in American presidential history to claw himself out of a deficit in the polls that his enemies jubilantly celebrated.
He faced a near-unanimity of media hostility and a campaign of willfully dismissive polling evidently designed to create a semblance of unstoppable momentum behind the fragile Democratic candidate.
Thus his entire first term was consumed in a falsely confected and protracted investigation of his collusion with the Russian government in the 2016 election, a total falsehood for which there was no evidence whatever; followed by a ludicrous impeachment charge for actions which there was no evidence that he took, and which in any case were neither illegal nor impeachable.
He had only the briefest respite before the pandemic descended and he was systematically pilloried as a scientific know-nothing and a cold-hearted accomplice in the death of 230,000 Americans.
False and extraordinarily malicious allegations of the media cascaded down on him, including Bob Woodward’s inevitable charge that he had lied to the public about the coronavirus and the astonishing invention by the editor of The Atlantic of the false allegation by unidentified people that he had referred to American war dead as “suckers” and “losers.”
As part of the relentless campaign of the Democratic media, almost 95 percent of the national political media, to complete the destruction of the president and undo what was represented as the freakish and dishonestly obtained election victory of 2016, unrigorous and grossly partisan polls steadily proclaimed right up to the day of the election fantastic arithmetical fictions indicating Trump’s imminent dismissal by the voters.
Apart from Trafalgar, and in several key states, Susquehanna, every polling organization predicted the president’s defeat. All Americans, as well as foreign observers, are familiar with the president’s incandescent and sometimes churlish manner.
After fiascos of excessive belligerence in the first presidential debate, the president stormed out of his brief convalescence from the coronavirus, and, despite being sandbagged by polls and represented as trailing his opponent by 8 to 14 points, he became the world champion of refusal to be intimidated by the coronavirus, while protecting the approximately 1 percent of the population that is mortally threatened by it. In the teeth of extreme media obstruction and misrepresentation, he recreated his persona as a public health champion, as well as popular capitalist and traditional patriot.
Assuming he bulls his way through to reelection, the Trump-hating media of America will have to take on board the fact that their mighty four-year smear campaign has failed. Trump appears to be only the 15th person to win two consecutive contested presidential elections, and he has done so against a wall of adversity composed of almost the entire habitual political class.
He has had the most successful first term of any president except Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Nixon. His style is often garish and annoying, but his vehemence, cunning, and determination have already written for him a unique and indelible page in American history. He will almost certainly serve a second term; has surely emptied the bag of tricks of his innumerable enemies, and may yet enjoy the honeymoon that his enemies withheld from four years ago. No one can say that he won’t have earned it.
Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world. He’s the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, and, most recently, “Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other,” which is about to be republished in updated form.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.