By Carissa Rodriguez
From an outsider’s perspective, it looks like Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden will have an easy road towards the presidency. His opponent, the incumbent president of the United States, Donald Trump, seems to be doing all the work for him.
With an unsurprising lack of cohesive plan and direction in response to the global pandemic COVID-19 (he fired Rick Bright as the director of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority), the gassing of protesters near the White House, the chaos caused by the deployment of the national guards in various states as a response to the Black Lives Matter Protests, the incidents of looting, and now with the underwhelming turnout at his Oklahoma rally, Donald Trump is sinking his ship. His dejected and disheveled appearance while exiting Marine One after the rally appears to be the final nail in the coffin. Everything seems to be falling apart for him.
So, with that, it is obvious how the next election is going to turn out, right? Well, not quite.
The possibility of winning is low but it isn’t zero.
We can still remember how Trump shocked the world by gaining the majority of electorates to win the 2016 US general elections over popular vote victor Hillary Clinton. And this can still happen. Again.
We’re still months away from the November general elections, so there’s still a lot of time for President Trump’s campaign team to go back to their drawing board and find a new strategy. These strategies might not be foolproof but they can actually work considering the political climate and landscape in the United States, and even the rest of the world.
The first strategy, expose a controversy. All it takes is one very sensationalized public event to end Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s presidential dreams. This means they need to expose any grave misconduct like a corruption allegation, inappropriate sexual misconduct accusations, leaked private emails alleging to have contained state secrets, tax evasion cases, and claims of vote-buying to do this and let people have no choice but to re-elect Trump. However, those instances don’t always work and some former presidential candidates even won despite having controversies.
The next option would be asking for help from strong foreign allies. Maybe Trump can convince controversial Russia and their popular prime minister, Vladimir Putin? Although, it would be too obvious considering the reports of alleged intervention in the Trump campaign. Trump’s powerful allies like Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were both indicted and arrested. Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos both pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation. His former lawyer and “fixer“ Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, tax and bank fraud, and lying to the Senate committee about efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, Russia, has left his side. So basically, Russia’s help would be out of the running.
But what about Xi Jinping of China? He seems like the pretty probable candidate for the job. According to the former United States National Security Adviser John Bolton, he alleges in his new book that last year, during the G20 Summit in Osaka, Trump begged the Chinese president to buy increased amounts of soybeans and wheat to ensure the votes of the farmers. The only problem would be China’s current international image. China is currently in hot water with the international community regarding the coronavirus, Hong Kong democracy protests, territorial disputes with neighboring countries like Vietnam, The Philippines, Japan, and India.
Perhaps, Trump needs a new field to gather some help and look towards the Middle East to step in. After all, President Trump did call Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman his “friend” and publicly defended the country during the wake of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. His son in law Jared Kushner, who is also the President’s adviser on the Middle East, has been in contact with the Crown Prince since the early days of the Trump administration. They allegedly even call each other on a first-name basis and text each other regularly on Whatsapp. And according to US Senator Bob Menendez, who is also a member of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the Trump administration is renegotiating an arms deal with the Saudi government. That deal includes the sale of 60,000 precision-guided bombs that the Saudi government will use against Yemeni civilians, thus worsening the humanitarian disaster in the country.
Ultimately, the last strategy would be asking the help of an unconventional and unpopular ally. Donald Trump seriously needs new allies, powerful ones that could help him secure a second term but the world is in a devastating pandemic and every country is busy looking out for themselves. Maybe, just maybe, he and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un could finally work together?
After two and a half years of name-calling, The two met briefly at the 2018 US-North Korea-Singapore Summit for negotiations, more provoking statements by both leaders ensued afterward and more promises of swift military action were made, they met again in June of 2019 at the DMZ, a buffer zone between the North and South Korea. Pleasantries were exchanged and the two looked to be in great spirits; seemingly making their harsh exchanges in the past few years nonexistent. After the 2018 Summit in Singapore, the two countries complied with what was agreed upon. North Korea toned down their anti-American propaganda, searched for and returned the remains of American soldiers who were either prisoners of war (POW) or went missing in action during the Korean War. There were even reports that North Korea shut down an intercontinental ballistic missile assembly facility near Pyongyang and dismantled a rocket launching and testing site in Tonchang, as promised by Kim Jong Un to Donald Trump. The US-North Korean relations appear to be better than ever. Does that mean President Trump has found a powerful ally? North Korea is currently, still, in the middle of a tense situation with South Korea after the former blew up a liaison office after defectors flew anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the North. Both countries are preparing themselves for a military response.
In summary, Trump still has a lot of possible tactics to win re-election in November. Although the odds aren’t in his favor, his chances are not zero. He is known to be a strategist when it comes to these kinds of scenarios and right now, he is seen to be pulling all the cards out. His support maybe is declining but it is still strong. The opposition’s candidate also has his respective drawbacks which relatively levels the game. Also, we need to remember that Trump is still that businessman who won over the popular diplomat.
However, looking at his possible strategies, it looks like President Trump might have to win this election all on his own this time.