President Donald Trump became one of the few incumbents in modern history to lose re-election, and he has nobody to blame but himself. It is true that the mainstream media never gave him the benefit of the doubt and always gave Joe Biden a pass; but Trump really should have won this.
He had a record to run on, as there were many good things in the Trump presidency: Taxes were cut, overregulated businesses were unshackled, historic unemployment rates were reached, great judges and justices were appointed, ISIS was defeated, troops brought home, and historic Middle East peace deals reached.
As a candidate, President Trump had some of the most enthusiastic and loyal supporters in American political history. He had the war chest to deliver the right message and make his case for a win. With only a few anomalies, he had a united party behind him ready to charge into battle.
But the president was his own worst enemy. Had he not continually bashed the late Senator John McCain, his razor thin loss in Arizona would have easily been a win in his favor.
Had he shown more empathy for families suffering from COVID-19 and taken the virus more seriously in his public behavior he would have kept enough suburban women on board to flip other states.
And had he not been an obnoxious bully in the first debate and stuck to solid policy disagreements (like Vice President Pence did, or even like Trump did in the second debate), he would have not lost as many of those crucial early mail-in ballots.
Yes, Donald Trump is moving out of the White House in January, and it is his own fault that he is. This was his to win, but with a parade of unforced errors he sowed his own defeat. The anti-Trump sentiment he stirred up ended up even hurting candidates down ballot, from Senator Cory Gardner in Colorado to several fine Republican legislators here in Utah.
As conservatives, we can only take solace that America is still at its core a right of center nation. Gratefully, Joe Biden is president, not Bernie Sanders. Republicans picked up House seats and will hopefully maintain control of the Senate. Without a Big Blue Blank Check, we will keep 50 stars on the flag, nine justices on the court, and the craziest ideas of the Squad from becoming law. President Biden will have to work with a divided Congress to help America move gingerly forward, not lurch to the left.
Donald Trump is a larger than life figure with some impressive charisma and political Teflon. His strengths could have driven him easily to a triumphant second term. Playing up his better instincts he could have been a powerful force for conservatism in America for the next four years.
Yet, Bad Trump increasingly took center stage in 2020 while Good Trump receded further away. Only he can take credit for blowing it in the end. In 2020, the president was not a closer; in fact, he choked; and this month he was fired.
Rep. Mike Winder (R-WVC) was a 2020 Republican National Delegate and 2016 Republican Alternate Delegate.