Though still undeclared, former President Donald Trump used his latest rally to shape a potential 2024 platform with sharp attacks on Joe Biden’s border policies, congressional Democrats’ socialist spending plans and Republican weakness on the debt ceiling.
In vintage campaign form, Trump electrified a capacity crowd at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Saturday night, putting on display his continued high popularity in America’s first voting state while imploring Republicans to do more to fight the Biden-Democrat agenda.
“We must declare with one united voice that we cannot allow America to ever become a socialist country,” he said in urging defeat of $4.5 trillion in spending plans pending in Congress.
Former President Teddy Roosevelt felt “strong as a bull moose” after losing the Republican presidential nomination in 1912. Now, thanks to President Donald Trump’s legacy, that “bull moose” energy is on the winning side of the GOP’s 2022 primary season.
There are many labels for the movement I describe as “Bull Moose” populism. It’s mainly known as America First, National Conservatism, National Populism, the “New” Right, or Trumpism. Whatever its name, the candidates who can articulate the vision best will see the most passionate grassroots support in 2022 and beyond.
To that end, the “Bull Moose” moniker is useful, because it harkens back over a century to a time when, in certain ways, American politics was just objectively better. There was fortitude and will, even forcefulness, that commanded respect. President Trump embodied that approach not unlike our 26th president, the Rough Rider himself, and so it should come as no surprise that their visions are so alike.
When the inevitable assessments of President Biden’s first 100 days in office begin to appear, his precipitous actions pursuant to illegal immigration at the southern border will be judged by most honest observers to have been his worst blunder. That is certainly the perspective of the majority of Americans, according to three recent public opinion surveys. An NPR/Marist poll, for example, found that 53 percent of respondents disapproved of Biden’s handling of immigration. An ABC News/Ipsos poll found that 57 percent were dissatisfied with his management of the situation, particularly as it affects unaccompanied minors. An AP/NORC poll found that 56 percent were unhappy with Biden’s performance on immigration.