Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Succisa Virescit

When Cut Down,
Grow Back Stronger

Democrats in Washington are riding high after winning the White House, keeping a very slim margin in Congress and having the tie-breaking vote in the Senate, courtesy of Vice-President Kamala Harris. 

President Joe Biden is furiously signing executive order after executive order like a king of days long ago. 

He didn’t win any “mandate” per se; 30 million people voted for Joe Biden because they hated Donald Trump’s personality and his tweets even though they liked and benefitted from most of his policies. 

As liberal Democrats over-reach and conduct a second impeachment “trial” in the Senate against President Trump, they risk giving strength to the former president and his core supporters, not taking it away from them. 

On March 20, 2006, the Duke men’s lacrosse team was suspended after false rape allegations were filed against three team members. They adopted the slogan “Succisa Virescit” and printed it on their t-shirts for the next season. 

Translated it means, “When Cut Down, Grow Back Stronger”. 

In 2007, under new head coach John Danowski, Duke went to the national championship game and embarked on a decade-plus period of success even Coach K has to admire. 

They were indeed cut down but came back much stronger. 

With every insult, legal challenge and impeachment, this time in absentia, liberal Democrats and #NeverTrumpers are only challenging Trump to “grow back stronger” and run again for the White House in 2024. 

Donald Trump is not a Republican and never has been. That is one reason why old-line Republicans couldn’t stand him; they didn’t understand the difference. He is a bonafide populist in the grand tradition of cantankerous “Old Hickory” himself, President Andrew Jackson, who dominated American electoral politics for almost two decades around his two terms in office from 1829-1837. 

If Trump looks to history, he may decide the easiest course back to the White House would be to run as a third-party candidate. No nasty and expensive Republican primaries to fund or endure. Save all that money for the general election and get organized in targeted states following the same game plan Democrats used to win in 2020. 

It is true no third-party candidate has ever won before. However, Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton won in multi-candidate races with far below 50% of the popular vote — Lincoln won a four-way race with 39.8% of the vote and Clinton won a three-way contest in 1992 with 42% of the vote, defeating President George H.W. Bush 41 and Ross Perot. 

Grover Cleveland is the only president to have lost re-election (1888) and then come back to win a second term in the White House (1892). It is not “impossible.” 

Former President Teddy Roosevelt tried to come back from retirement to win a third term in 1912 as the Bull Moose candidate but all he did was split the Republican vote with then-President Taft to hand the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson. 

President Trump could split the Republican vote in 2024 and guarantee a win for the presumptive nominee, Vice-President Kamala Harris, if Biden serves only one term. But Trump could win 40-42% of the popular vote nationwide and sweep the electoral college if he wins every red state by a plurality, not a majority, plus a few other states where he got very close to 50% of the vote, such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. 

In a 3-way or even 4-way race, Trump has a chance to win very blue states such as California (54 electoral votes in 2024) and New York (28) with only 36-38% of the vote as he did in November. If Trump wins both, he could win 314 electoral votes in 2024 just by holding onto the red states he won in 2020. 

The last major third-party effort was by Ross Perot who captured almost 20% of the vote in 1992. They tend to happen every 20-30 years or so. America is due for another one soon. 

Donald Trump is still by far and away the most talked about politician in America. If his detractors really want to be rid of him, they should ignore him and let him remain in exile in Florida. 

Otherwise, he may return only stronger when 2024 comes around.

(first published in North State Journal 2/3/21)

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