Columns

Does Trump Even Want to Win This Election?

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Legit Question, President Trump

Continuing my resident curmudgeon and election pessimist status here. While I firmly maintain that the election of Joe Biden will throw the United States into an existential crisis the likes of which it hasn’t seen since the Civil War, I also have the flexibility to criticize President Trump when I think something is amiss. At present, I’m not feeling it from Team Trump, and I wonder how much of that is coming from the president himself.

Let’s get something straight at the outset here: it is possible to be both skeptical of the polls to the point of being dismissive of them and worried about the election as a Trump voter. Whenever I write about my uneasiness about November people act as if the two are mutually exclusive.

It is also possible to like the candidate but not like the campaign staff. For the past month or so that’s what I thought I was feeling. The question posed in this headline didn’t start nagging me until the end of June.

Let’s Back It Up Here

This nagging feeling is actually rooted in something I thought a lot about in the early days of the Trump administration. I really thought he might have the intention of being a one-term, scorched earth kind of president simply because — unlike career politicians — he doesn’t need this crap. That notion faded from my head after a while but it’s probably the reason it recently resurfaced. None of my pro-Trump friends or colleagues are suggesting that he doesn’t want to win. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Still, I’ve been a political activist for over three decades and paid to write about politics for almost two decades, so these things don’t pop into my head just because I need something to say.

Trump
 (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

It’s not unrealistic to wonder if the president ever has days where he sits back and thinks, “Screw this. I’m still rich. I still have my own plane. It would be nice to not have to deal with pukes like Jim Acosta anymore.”

Trump the Patriot Wins

Please bear in mind that I’m not writing this because I necessarily agree with the question in the headline, but because I’m nervous about the election and have to look at everything. My conservative friends are all confident that he’ll win but I don’t like getting cocky.

One thing I never doubt is President Trump’s overwhelming patriotism. His love for this country and those who defend it are always plain to see. He is running against a man who, as my friend and colleague Stephen Green likes to say, “…is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Even if the president has lost most of his patience with the execrable mainstream media, I like to believe that his patriotism motivates him to stick around and spare the United States from a Biden-esque nightmare. We are all aware that he doesn’t like to lose and that’s probably motivation enough, but I think that the patriotism overrides everything.

Again, Trump isn’t a career politician with no private sector success like most of Washington’s political class. He doesn’t need this for validation. He just loves his country.

Trump
 (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
So…Back to the Campaign

The campaign does need some help, and a little shaking up has already occurred.

In my Friday Morning Briefing I decided to trigger people and suggested that the campaign bring back Steve Bannon. A little outlandish given the fact that he and Jared Kushner don’t like each other, but an idea that’s not entirely without merit. In fact, all of my conservative friends like it.

I realize that we have been dealing with extraordinary circumstances this election year, but that’s no excuse for the campaign to play wet rag the way it’s been. This is a perfect time for a retooling. It’s important for the people surrounding the president to not only constantly accentuate his many strengths, but to realize that they have the power of incumbency on their side. Neither has really been a strong suit of the key players up to this point.

Answering my own question — yes, I do think that President Trump wants to win this election.

I’m just not convinced that he’s surrounded with some of the best campaign people to do that right now.

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PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author ofDon’t Let the Hippies ShowerandStraight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.” His columns appear twice a week.