Politics & Media
Feb 15, 2024, 06:28AM

Trump’s Achilles Heel? It’s Not Age or Senility

Only Trump, and his “crazy” MAGA movement, with the help of millions of other voters who’ll overlook his off-script blunders, can stop Biden.

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“It’s a shame that the best America can do is two old men, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, vying in the race for the presidency.” This rhetorical stratagem began to be disseminated around the time that it became clear to any fair-minded person that Joe Biden’s cognitive decline was impossible to ignore, and was jeopardizing his ability to carry out the responsibilities of the office. Democrat spin-meisters, faced with a candidate who obviously can’t think straight, needed to create the impression that Trump—simply due to his age—was similarly compromised.

The problem with this strategy is that it’s false. Trump’s mental acuity is fine. It isn’t age or senility that has the potential to derail the former president’s bid for a return to the White House.

In an excellent recent Talking Points Memo, Bill O’Reilly highlighted Trump’s real campaign-mode Achilles Heel: his off-the-cuff, inferential misfires. The most recent Exhibit A is Trump’s “What happened to her husband?” gaffe about Nikki Haley’s husband, Maj. Michael Haley, who’s on active duty in Africa with the South Carolina Army National Guard. Haley’s about to get trounced by Trump in her home state of South Carolina, making the attack on her family wholly unnecessary.

Though Trump didn’t know Maj. Haley was a servicemember and currently deployed, this is the kind of inadvertently mean-spirted mistake that keeps supporters up nights worrying that their candidate will rub just enough people the wrong way to lose the election. (As a Trump supporter, I think he should apologize to the Haleys, but won’t hold my breath.)

The Left has looked for any shred of evidence that Trump is afflicted with the forgetfulness and disorientation that often comes with advanced age. Any slip of the tongue or misremembrance on Trump’s part is heralded as comparable to Biden’s onset mental enfeeblement. But Trump doesn’t break a sweat doing interviews, and shows a capacity for humor and reflection even as he’s inundated with powerful forces working against him. He may ramble at his rallies, but always returns to his sturdy overarching message, America First. Imagine a Trump/Biden debate. You can’t because it would be impossible to hold one.

Spurious sidebars to the Biden-Trump cognitive parity narrative have developed. Never-Trump Republicans in ignominious places like the Lincoln Project countered with: “Trump may not be suffering from dementia, but he is insane.” And yet a survey of the catastrophic failures of the Biden administration are the definition of insanity. A border invasion, a national urban crime wave, and the surrender of Bagram and billions in military hardware to the Taliban are but a few examples. New York schoolchildren are thrown out of their schools in favor of housing for illegal aliens. Most alarming for parents and grandparents is the plausible potential for expanding war between Russia and Ukraine, where tens of thousands have died since Biden’s military industrial complex came to power. Similarly, in the festering kill-zone that’s the Middle East, Biden administration vacillation does more to propagate tensions than ease them.

During Trump’s alleged “crazy” term in office, the border was all but secure, the U.S. economy was booming, energy production was surging, and our foreign adversaries were held in check by Trump’s peace through strength diplomacy. Our foreign NATO “friends” were advised to pay up for their own protection, and they did. China paid too, for the trade imbalance they’d laughed off for decades. Did Mexico pay for the border wall? Effectively, Trump reminds us, they did, with a negotiated deployment of troops that curtailed illegal immigration more effectively than any wall.

After last week, hardly anyone believes Joe Biden is mentally capable of doing the job of president. Forget Election Day in November; he can’t do the job now.  But there’s an apparatus for which Biden is the hollow figurehead. They can do the job, and are desperate to stop Trump and hurry the nation along the path of irrevocable transformation.

Only Trump, and his “crazy” MAGA movement, with the help of millions of other voters who’ll overlook his off-script blunders, can stop them.


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