William Barr and Trump’s 2024 Conundrum

By Roger L. Simon
Roger L. Simon
Roger L. Simon
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His most recent books are “The GOAT” (fiction) and “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already” (nonfiction). He can be found on GETTR and TRUTH Social @rogerlsimon.
March 16, 2022Updated: March 17, 2022


In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper—authors will go anywhere to flog a book—William Barr said he would back a candidate other than Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination.

The former attorney general, whose new book is “One Damn Thing After Another,” explained: “Yes, I think the coming presidential election would be a good opportunity for the Republican Party. The progressive left is showing a sort of totalitarian temperament.

“I think the Republicans can win a decisive majority, but I don’t think we can do it with Trump. He’s just too divisive a candidate.”

I wanted to dispute Barr. Ever since he dismissed voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election less than a month after that election, I have lost respect for the man.

The Associated Press reported on Dec. 1, 2020:

“Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but ‘to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.’”

This was almost laughable not just because of the paltry few weeks of investigation undertaken, but because of the well-known anti-Trump bias shown by U.S. attorneys and FBI agents throughout the bogus Russia probe. Why did Barr trust them? Why would we trust them?

Now, a year and a half later, questions about possible electoral fraud in 2020 have multiplied in virtually every swing state, to such an extent that Barr is at risk of having his reputation destroyed by his very early conclusion, whatever success he has with his book.

Personally, I don’t know that the election was “stolen,” but I am open to the possibility. I certainly know, however, that “electoral integrity,” as it’s called, doesn’t exist in our country.

Nevertheless, something in The Hill’s coverage of the Tapper interview made me wonder if Barr indeed had a point, or part of one.

They linked to a new Wall Street Journal poll that showed Trump and Biden in a dead heat (45–45) in a hypothetical 2024 presidential election.

How could that be?

Biden was and is the least popular president in memory, acknowledged by many, if not most, for having wildly mishandled everything from the Afghanistan debacle to energy policy (we’re on Iranian oil now) to rampant inflation (shortages everywhere) to COVID to the stampede of illegals, drug dealers, and human traffickers across our southern border to the frightening, escalating crime in our streets (and that’s just getting started).

You would think such a man could be defeated by a corpse. Therefore, the lingering dislike, even disdain, for Trump—though I don’t share it in the slightest, think it’s more than slightly daft, and the result of mass formation psychosis instigated by the press—must be pretty substantial.

Yes, I know it was a poll… they’re skewed and so forth… but still… This shouldn’t have been close.

Trump probably would still defeat Biden, but, given the state of the world I don’t have to repeat, I hate the “probably.” Indeed, I am terrified by it.

And what if the Democrats don’t nominate the aged Biden, as looks to be a strong possibility? What if they nominate someone young and healthy, such as Gavin Newsom? The California governor may have plenty of “baggage” but it’s less known than the “baggage,” unfair though it is, ascribed to Trump.

This is truly dangerous, given that state of the world referred to above, especially since I do agree with Barr when he said “the progressive left has—is sort of showing a sort of a totalitarian temperament.”

In fact, I would call ”sort of” a rather diplomatic understatement. The entire Democratic Party should be renamed the Faucicrats, given that so many would unquestioningly support monthly booster shots until death augmented by perpetual lockdowns in the communist Chinese style, or the Great Resetters, bent on mass depopulation except for transgendered hockey players. (No mention of who would pay for their sainted union pensions with a diminishing population.)

The Democrats have gone so far off the spectrum they must not just be defeated, they must be vanquished so soundly that our two-party system is recognizable again.

So where does that leave us?

At this year’s CPAC, Topic A of private conversations, at least those to which I was privy, was who people support in 2024—Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis?

To a man or woman, both are acceptable, both liked. They are assumed to have similar views on almost all issues. The reason the question was asked or even discussed is an obvious one—who would be more likely to win?

That question isn’t easy to answer because affection for Trump is great—his speech at CPAC, as I wrote earlier, was terrific. And there is the fairness issue—how could you deny the nomination to someone from whom, many thought, the election had been stolen?

My guess is that the fairness issue will prevail. Trump is loved by the rank and file. I am far from the only one to predict he will be the overwhelming choice, for reasons both sentimental and real. He gets the job done.

But would he also prevail in the general? Will Republicans go down with the ship for love of Trump? A paragraph in The Hill’s coverage of the WSJ poll is worrisome:

“Almost 15 percent of voters have unfavorable views of both leaders. That group breaks for Biden by a 36 percent–24 percent margin. However, in a sign that difference is largely anti-Trump more than pro-Biden, those voters also say by a 42 percent–29 percent margin that they intend to vote for Republican congressional candidates later this year.”

Accurate or not, I hope Trump and his people are taking note and react accordingly. Biden’s success in the 2020 election, to the extent that it existed, was based almost entirely on enmity for Trump. Nobody was really pro-Biden (ergo, virtually no one attended his rallies).

Defeating Biden, therefore, is probably not hard. Defeating that enmity is another matter, especially since Trump is already on the correct side on virtually all the issues.

Some—we would call them nitwits, but it wouldn’t do us any good—oppose Trump on his “character,” even though he’s right on those issues and Biden has been driving America into the ground at a rate no one thought possible.

If, as predicted, the congressional elections in November are a disaster for Democrats, you can look for that party to start changing their tune, if disingenuously. They already have to some extent, Biden having sounded something like “Trump-lite” during his State of the Union address, though with none of Trump’s fire.

The challenge for Trump will be to show that he’s the true carrier of his own ideas, enough to convince at least some of the enmity crowd so deeply committed to despising his “character.”

It’s unlikely he will have any luck with William Barr, who long ago found Trump too “divisive.” But outside the Beltway, where The People live, he will have a much better chance.

I know “it’s a long way to Tipperary,” but I suspect Trump will succeed against any adversary—Biden, Newsom, or another.

Unfortunately, that’s assuming the greatest of all elephants in the room—or is it the continent: genuine electoral integrity in our country. Can we have it—or even something close—by 2024?

That one, more than anything, is up to We the People. It will be our toughest job.

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