Handicapping the 2024 (!) Presidential Election

December 15, 2019 Updated: January 7, 2020
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Commentary

2024? What? Don’t we have the 2020 presidential election to deal with first? Has the fat lady already sung?

Leaving aside the decidedly un-PC character of that hoary tradition (are we “fat-shaming” the electorate now?), yes, maybe she has.

What with the booming economy with lowest-ever unemployment, the utter failure of the Mueller Russia investigation (with severe punishments for the investigators themselves possibly ahead), the embarrassing, ludicrously partisan impeachment, and now, the near-total destruction of the British Labour Party (and consequently the globalist left) by Boris Johnson and the Tory Party, it certainly looks good for President Donald Trump in 2020.

And this isn’t even counting what may be the president’s most consequential contribution—the appointment of some 174 federal judges—or Trump’s extraordinarily well-organized, high-tech 2020 campaign under the management of Brad Parscale and Jared Kushner that even the devoutly liberal Axios couldn’t help but admire.

So, on to 2024.

Even though he won’t be running, the specter of Trump will loom heavily over this election as well. He has changed everything, at least for the short run. Overly traditional candidates will seem boring, especially to the omnipresent mainstream media who may have hated Trump (hate him right now) but live off his drama like parasitic barnacles on a whale.

The electorate, too, has been conditioned for something exciting. Some will say they will yearn for the bland after years of this nonstop Trump drama, but I think not. In our competitive, techno-driven world, the bland fades quickly away, deserving or not. In 2024, a dull candidate won’t get much attention on your iPhone 15 SuperProMaxPlus with nine drone-attached cameras.

On the Republican side, that’s bad news for Mike Pence. Whatever the pluses and minuses, iPhone or otherwise, of the vice-president, he remains and always has been a traditional pol with a so-so charisma factor.

Searching for someone original who still carries on the Trump tradition, I believe there’s a strong chance the Republicans will nominate a woman. For those still laboring under the misconception that conservatives are misogynistic, I would remind them the most consequential British PM since Churchill was a Tory woman whose name rhymes with “match her.” It wouldn’t even be that surprising at this point if the first U.S. female president were a Republican.

The former South Carolina governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has clearly been angling for this honor for some time. She certainly has presidential-level foreign policy creds and solid name recognition this early in the game, but Haley has been on-and-off the Trump Train the past few years. Recently, however, she’s been all aboard, for obvious reasons.

Still, she doesn’t have the field to herself. Sneaking up the side is the new U.S. senator from Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn. The personable Blackburn has been appearing on cable quite a bit lately and is a solid Trumpista. More importantly, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, she has taken a special interest in negotiating privacy and data agreements with the tech giants—Facebook, Google, and so on—that are certain to keep her in the public eye for the next few years.

Another Republican junior senator to be watched is Missouri’s Josh Hawley who, ironically, has also taken the lead in dealing with the tech giants, something that affects every American, indeed every human.

And speaking of Judiciary, it should be obvious that its chairman, Lindsey Graham, has had, for years, his eye on the big prize. But as most of us know, Lindsey has had an on-again-off-again relationship with the Republican rank-and-file. The next few years will determine whether he can stick on the on-side enough to make an impact.

Other possibilities are old reliable Ted Cruz of Texas and South Carolina’s Tim Scott, but let’s switch over to the Democrats for fun.

Of the present candidate crop, only South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg seems to have staying power for 2024. He has a modicum of charisma and an ability to handle himself under fire that is better than the others. Sanders, Biden, and Warren will be too old, if they aren’t already. Booker, Harris (now departed), Klobuchar, and others, have been polling mostly in the low-single digits, hardly inspiring for yet another campaign.

But the Dems’ real problem is they have become two parties: One is a center-left party resembling, at least vaguely, the one many of us grew up with, while the other is a hard left party with the basic ethos of campus social justice warriors. The situation is untenable. In a parliamentary system, they would have split from each other long ago. In our system, the SJWs, who aren’t in the slightest interested in compromise, have the old center-left party by the short hairs.

How this will resolve before 2024 is anybody’s guess. If they swing left, they will be an extreme minority party in our culture. If they swing to the center, the left will have a fit, act out, and destroy the party’s reputation.

This leaves us with a final question. Will the two-party system still be with us in a functional way for 2024?

Historically speaking anyway, it was good while it lasted.

Senior political analyst Roger L. Simon’s well-reviewed new book “The GOAT” is available on Amazon in Kindle, paperback, hardback, and now, audio formats.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.