What the Next President Faces

What the Next President Faces By Patrick J. Buchanan via CNS News

Of the presidents in the modern era, many have been dealt a difficult hand by history, but perhaps none more so than Donald Trump.

In 1952, Harry Truman was in his third year of a stalemated war in Korea that was costing 200 American lives every week. He lost the New Hampshire primary to Sen. Estes Kefauver and decided to pack it in.

In 1968, Lyndon B. Johnson had also been challenged in New Hampshire, by Sen. Eugene McCarthy. And, he, too, had on his hands a seemingly endless Asian war if he was not prepared to escalate militarily and add hundreds of thousands more troops to the 500,000 already in Vietnam.

Like Truman before him, LBJ stood down.

In 1980, Jimmy Carter also had a challenge from within his party — Edward Kennedy. And for the entire last year of his presidency, 52 U.S. hostages were held in Teheran while Carter presided over an economy where the interest rates had hit 21% and inflation 13%.

Trump had no primary challenger. He had not taken us into any new wars. And he had begun 2020 with the U.S. economy firing on all cylinders. But it all crashed in March and April in the worst pandemic in a century, which destroyed his economy and has since consumed a quarter of a million American lives.

October of Trump’s reelection year saw a new wave of COVID-19 infections and the bottom fall out of the stock market.

Given the cards he has been dealt in 2020, and the hatred of the media he daily confronts, it is astonishing that Trump retains his energy and enthusiasm for the battle. Most presidents would have long ago been broken.

Thus it is that, four days before the election, Trump is decidedly the underdog. With the popular vote surely lost, Trump has to sweep almost all the battleground states — Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — while holding onto all the states he won in 2016. A tall order.

Should Joe Biden win, he would be, on Jan. 20, 2021, the oldest and most visibly enfeebled leader to win the presidency in the history of the republic, with the possible exception of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1945.

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