Home News Donald Trump Announces He’s Running for President in 2024

Donald Trump Announces He’s Running for President in 2024

by Atlanta Business Journal

At an event this evening at Mar-a-Lago, Donald J. Trump declared his candidacy for president of the United States in 2024. You may remember that he previously held the office of president between 2017 and January 2021. From the moment he announced his first run in 2015, Trump went about turning the Republican Party toward a kind of aesthetic populism: open nativism and hatred of those outside the volk, combined with tax cuts for rich people and corporations. The economy had finally made a full recovery from the Great Recession by the time he entered the White House, however, and strong wage gains for lower earners amid a booming stock market might have seen him re-elected, had he not thoroughly botched the 2020 pandemic response. Oh, and he also engaged in nakedly authoritarian behavior, running roughshod over the other branches of government. While president, he accepted payments through his companies from foreign actors and corporate interests with business before his Executive branch. He also regularly behaved like an insane person.

It all ought to fade into the background, though, next to his attempt to throw out the votes of millions of American citizens in order to get himself installed in the presidency for another term. Before the present campaign ramps up and the mainstream press starts to pretend that he has a plan to fix inflation, it ought to be stated for the record that he should have been barred from ever holding office again after the national disgrace of January 6. Congress could have accomplished this through impeachment, but Senate Republicans let him off. Trump has demonstrated himself to be an unacceptable candidate for any office of public trust in this country. If he would send his street goons to attack the seat of the national legislature to stay in power, what wouldn’t he do to keep it if he gets hold of it again? What will he do now that he has a feel for the levers of power and will fully embrace his own bedrock principle that all that matters in his lieutenants is loyalty? When the political media inevitably starts covering him like just another candidate, like some guy with a plan to cut taxes and regulations, it should be called out continually as a farce and a betrayal.

Now Trump has returned with considerable haste, as he faces the prospect of indictment in two federal investigations, as well as state inquiries in New York and Georgia. The last case is incredibly clear-cut: In a recorded call, Trump hinted to Georgia’s secretary of state that he could face jail time if he did not “find” the exact number of votes Trump needed to overturn Biden’s win there. (He tried to force state officials to stuff the ballot box for him! He’s on tape! There’s a recording you can listen to!) He may regard getting back into the presidency as his best defense against all this legal peril, and may think that declaring his run this early will be useful to his parallel propaganda campaign to paint the investigations as politically motivated. Your mileage may vary on how much the Trump campaign coordinated with the effort, but a Putin appendage just declared, loud and proud, that the Russians meddled in 2016 and will continue to do so whenever they like. Just another thing you can’t take the big guy’s word on. Fresh off his blundering sabotage of Republicans’ midterm efforts, the guy who won’t go away is back again.

The landscape is remarkably different from 2016, and not just in the ways Trump purposefully re-made it. Back then, he was engaged in a huge number of shady ventures that he basically could have gotten away with in perpetuity had he not run for office. Now, his eponymous Foundation and University have been shuttered due to extremely above-board business practices and it’s his Organization’s turn in the barrel. Back then, no one—least of all the media—understood the appeal of his vicious shamelessness and what it would do to the garden-variety Republicans caged on stage with him. Now, he’s likely to be joined there by some rotating cast of Mini-me’s, repellently ambitious new acts with spins on the original play. The most prominent is Gov. Ronald DeSantis of Florida, though that matchup would provide a gruesomely fascinating investigation of how much of Trump’s appeal is rooted in his undeniable ability as a TV showman. Could Trump’s sternest test come from someone who emerges, as he did, fully formed from the television? DeSantis doesn’t have that same reality magic, but maybe people really do want someone who calls themselves a “fighter anointed by God.”

Trump has held a similar distinction in the Evangelical community for years, with pastors engaging in ritualized prayer “for” him in the Oval Office and elsewhere. No one has ever been able to identify which of Jesus Christ’s principles Trump embodies, but no matter. No one really cares, it seems, not about his almost militant heathenism and not about his effort to stay in power in contravention of the expressed will of the American people. He will compete for the nomination. The questions are around whether his old magic is still there, if he spends too much of his time venting his personal grievances rather than those of the flock, and whether people really want to live through another half-decade dominated by a personified black hole of attention and noise, someone dedicated to making every second of every day about himself.

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