Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
The peace and prosperity of President Trump’s first term in office was his biggest reelection asset, but also the greatest roadblock to his agenda. A strong economy and a lack of major domestic threats lulled much of the country into a false sense of security. These golden years, in sharp contrast to the economic malaise and regular terror attacks of the Obama era, made it hard for many to feel a sense of urgency.
The border crisis was remote for most people. As were the continuing deaths in Afghanistan.
The media’s torrent of smears and hit jobs, the sabotage of the administration by the bureaucracy, and a Democrat House bent on impeachment, made D.C. politics into the single greatest national crisis.
And that was exactly how they wanted it.
The Democrats didn’t really think that they could impeach President Trump and the media didn’t seriously believe that its hit pieces would force him out of office, but they contrived to divert the attention of the White House from its agenda with its Weapons of Mass Distraction. And many conservatives likewise became so focused on these political stunts that they lost sight of the big picture.
We kept all our attention on the inside baseball of D.C. which was just what the Democrats wanted.
The coronavirus crisis breaks up the peace and prosperity of the first term. It makes the path to a second term more challenging. And it makes President Trump a wartime president, empowered by public fears to take all the actions that he needs to lead this country through the crisis and secure a second term.
The Democrats don’t allow a crisis to go to waste. That’s sleazy, crooked, and corrupt. It’s also politics.
Every time there’s a disease outbreak, House Democrats leverage it to secure funds for abortion. They did it during the Zika outbreak. Now they’re doing it again. Speaker Pelosi wants funding for the social welfare state and for the infrastructure of community organizers and lefty activists behind it.
And the Democrats will get their way unless Republicans take the initiative by setting an agenda.
The media falsely claims that President Trump was unprepared for the coronavirus crisis. The truth is that the problem was exactly what Make America Great Again warned about.
Globalism, our dependency on China, our economy’s interdependence with other countries around the world, the divergence of our supply chains, has the potential to bring us to the brink of disaster. Our failure to control our borders, not only with Mexico, but with the rest of the world, is a fatal weakness.
MAGA offered the solution to the coronavirus crisis before it even arrived on our shores.
America must reclaim its manufacturing sector, control its supply chains and its borders, and rebuild our economic relationships with other countries on more secure terms. Unrestricted migration, whether through open borders, birth tourism, visa overstays, family chain migration, and insourcing, must end.
President Trump, better than anyone, can take action and go MAGA on the coronavirus.
A state of emergency and public support for urgent action provide the sense of crisis that can allow a broader MAGA agenda to move forward, over the usual obstructionism of elected and appointed Democrats in the legislatures and judiciary, and by their non-profit activist and their media allies.
The wall was an abstraction to most people. Support for border security could be overridden with photos of crying children because most people don’t see open migration as a threat to them.
Now, if the case is made to them, they can and they will.
Using the military to actively secure the border, shutting down all travel to this country by foreigners, including immigrants and refugees, become much more viable policies in the coronavirus era. What was formerly an uphill battle becomes common sense and forces Democrats into the position of arguing that their ideology and political agendas are more important than the health and safety of Americans.
It couldn’t get any better than this.
President Trump had trouble advancing much of his agenda because the public lacked a sense of crisis. And so he lacked the support he needed to override judicial interference and political sabotage because most people didn’t see that there was a problem big enough to justify cutting through all the red tape.
All that has changed now.
Coronavirus is a vital moment for overcoming the inertia of D.C. politics, for shifting attention from the latest antics of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and politicians on both sides, from the latest revelations of House hearings and Senate investigations, to grappling with a nationwide agenda for big change.
If President Trump and MAGA conservatives can leave behind the Beltway, they can transform America.
The China trade, once a subject of bitter debate between those who benefit and those who lose, is now an undeniable threat. As the PRC threatens to impose export controls on medications, and, as we learn how long the coronavirus can endure on metal and plastic in a viable form, we have all the arguments we need for decoupling our economy from the Communist enemies who had devoured it whole.
Meanwhile, we can also take on political correctness. The Democrat insistence on condemning descriptions of coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus” as racist once again shows that they put their politics ahead of dealing with the threat. The more they’re triggered into spasms of political correctness, the more obvious it becomes that Joe Biden, who made a point of condemning politically incorrect references to the virus, would be hogtied by his party’s obsession with speech controls above all else.
The coronavirus crisis is perfect for dealing a fatal blow to globalism. Or the Trump administration.
One or the other will come out of this crisis on life support.
If the Democrats and the media continue to set the agenda, using the coronavirus panic to pass huge bills full of pork, while fake news stories accuse the White House of failing to act, it will be disastrous. But if President Trump takes the bull by the horns, the Left will suffer its greatest defeat in history.
The media’s apocalyptic crisis hype is always its greatest weakness. The media had mobilized support for impeaching President Trump among independents until the actual hearings aired and support collapsed.
Once independent voters saw that there was nothing to the actual proceedings, they turned their backs.
The media has convinced much of the nation that coronavirus is a pandemic that will kill millions. If the country emerges from social distancing and widespread distribution of test kits with a flattened curve, then President Trump can enter the summer as a wartime president who led the nation through a crisis.
And, in a judo flip, the media’s own apocalyptic crisis will become Trump’s best reelection argument. When the apocalypse fails to arrive, President Trump can claim credit for averting the disaster.
It is obviously vital to manage the economic impact of the crisis, which the White House has been doing. A poor economy will be a serious reelection obstacle. And the media is absolutely hoping that will be the case. But beyond the immediate issues of an economic stimulus, the coronavirus crisis must be reframed through the lens of a MAGA agenda. If the D.C. crowd continues to define the response to the crisis, then its agenda will define not only the next few weeks, but, quite likely, the next few years.
The coronavirus is a crisis of globalism. And yet the D.C. crowd insists that globalism is the answer.
President Trump can win big by making the case to the nation that the open borders and global government crowd has caused this disaster. The coronavirus is the perfect storm that their global lifestyles, crowded urban centers, international trade, and global bureaucracies have wrought.
Globalism is the disease. MAGA is the cure.