Rule Five Most Important Election Friday

Is the 2024 election the most important one in our history?

Well, maybe recent history.  There certainly have been important elections in the past, and some of those really only became apparent in hindsight.  Just off the top of my head, I can think of two Presidential elections that, had they gone the other way, would have led the nation down a distinctly different path, those being the elections of 1860 and 1864.

But, yeah, 2024 is going to be an interesting one.  In The Claremont Review of Books, scribe Jeffrey H. Anderson has some thoughts on the matter that I found interesting.

So far, this has been the “briar patch” election. Democrats, desperate to run against Donald Trump because he’s the one candidate they think Joe Biden can beat, have cheered on Democratic prosecutors who have issued myriad indictments against the former president. They are effectively saying, “Please, Republicans, whatever you do, please don’t nominate Donald Trump!” Republican voters, angered by these politically motivated indictments, are responding, “We’ll show you, Democrats. We’ll nominate Donald Trump!”

Disclaimer: I can find someone’s remarks interesting without necessarily agreeing with them.  I’m not convinced, at this early stage of the game (and I remind you all, not one primary vote has yet been cast) that Donald Trump is the sure loser the Left makes him out to be, especially after some recently-released swing state polls. And Mr. Anderson throws in a cautionary note on that score as well:

The result, however, might not work out as well for the Democrats as Br’er Rabbit’s trickery did against Br’er Fox. Biden is such a weak candidate—with a vice president who’s even weaker—that Trump just might win. Then again, maybe the Democrats are secretly fine with that result, too. Rather than giving voters four more years to sour on Biden as he moves into his mid-80s, they might figure that a Trump win would bring them a more satisfying victory in the long run—four more years to stoke and cultivate the faculty-lounge Left, while still remaining confident that independents’ inevitable backlash against Trump would yield a big Democratic victory in 2028.

Remember what I said only moments ago?  About not one primary vote having yet been cast?  It’s not impossible that the whole applecart may yet be upset, and that upset might just begin on November 30th.

On November 30, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and California Governor Gavin Newsom are scheduled to compete in a nationally televised, 90-minute, one-on-one Fox News debate moderated by Sean Hannity. This debate—between the governors of two of the nation’s three largest states, one a presidential candidate, the other supposedly not—is itself a sign of the campaign’s peculiarity. The very fact that it is slated to occur represents a serious anomaly. Yet it has the potential to alter the race. Featuring two men in their prime (DeSantis is 45, Newsom 56), the showdown will contrast DeSantis’s pro-Main Street, “we’re open for business” governance in the Sunshine State with Newsom’s fondness for authoritarian lockdowns and mandates in the Golden State. If either (or both) of their performances generates a great deal of buzz—a sense of “I wish these two guys (or one of them) would be on the ballot in November”—then it could help reshuffle the race on the Republican side or, on the Democratic side, focus the pressure on Biden to exit the stage.

There will be a sharp contrast here, not only between Republican DeSantis, who oversees one of the brightest economies in the nation and Gavin Newsom, who ruined San Francisco before going on to ruin California; no, the real contrast will be between these two younger men vs. a befuddled, confused, dementia-addled octogenarian President and a former President who, while still active and pretty sharp, is nevertheless in his late seventies.

That’s a pretty interesting contrast, and the news and punditry cycles in the days following that debate should be interesting.

And, of course, we can add President Trump’s legal problems into the mix.  The Constitution lays out the qualifications for President, and there’s nothing in there about legal charges pending or convicted; he could, arguably, be elected while sitting in a jail cell, then pardon himself after his inauguration, although the Supreme Court may have to rule on that last part; there is sure as hell no precedent.

Mr. Anderson concludes:

So, if this presidential campaign hasn’t been interesting enough for you thus far, stay tuned—a lot of twists and turns could well be ahead. While this race may prove to be dismaying for the republic, the last thing it should be is boring.

That much is certain.