Conservative Washington Post columnist George Will is grateful that 2020 won’t be a repeat of 2016, but his most important observation is that Americans are desperately searching for someone that doesn’t humiliate them.
“An embarrassed nation aches for a president who is one thing: normal,” Will wrote in his Monday column.
He noted that typically elections change very little in the way America works. Government is slow and the bureaucracy Republicans complain about protects the country from radical swings from left to right. Will said that 2016 changed all of that.
“The 2016 election changed the nation’s too serene sense of itself as immune to the sort of grotesque electoral outcomes that other nations experience,” he wrote. “After Mueller’s report, the 2020 election will be about various normal issues — health care, the economy’s strength and the equity of its results, etc. — but above all it will be about this: Is the current tone of public life, which is set by the president, the best America can do?”
However, the needs of Americans would have already commanded that. Democrats in the 2018 midterm election focused on healthcare as their top issue, while the president railed against an imaginary invasion on the southern border. All of the 2020 Democratic candidates for president were dodging any questions about the special counsel’s investigation before the attorney general published his summary.
Much to Trump’s chagrin, Americans are concerned most about healthcare and the economy, despite two years of the president saying he’s responsible for the high markets and jobs reports. Economists are warning of a recession on the horizon, which could spell disaster for the embattled president.
To make matters worse, Trump has produced only one piece of meaningful legislation and it flopped with voters. The president even held both houses of Congress for the first two years Trump was in office, and they still couldn’t get results. The Republican tax bill not only failed to jolt the economy into a stronger position, it left Americans angry about lower returns in their taxes this year.
The president has about nine months to pass some kind of legislation before the country will be thrown fully into election season and he’ll be forced to deliver on his 2016 campaign promises.