The Democrat Plan to Pump and Dump Trump - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Democrat Plan to Pump and Dump Trump
Donald Trump at the CNN Town Hall last week. (WCVB Channel 5 Boston/YouTube)

It’s clear that the Democrats and their corporate media partners believe President Biden’s best chance of remaining in the White House after 2024 is to assure that his Republican opponent in the general election is former President Trump. To that end, they have launched the political equivalent of the old “pump and dump” investment scam in which fraudsters disseminate false information to artificially drive up the price of a stock and suddenly sell off their own shares when its “value” peaks.

The process of pumping up Trump’s stock began on March 30, when the news broke that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg had convinced a grand jury to indict him. The dubious legality of the indictment combined with breathless media coverage had the desired effect. The percentage of Republicans who favored Trump for the 2024 presidential nomination immediately shot from the low 40s to well over 50 while Trump’s lead over his closest competitor for the GOP nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, doubled.

When all the Sturm und Drang associated with the Bragg indictment began to fade from the news, the corporate media did its best to keep pumping up Trump’s stock. Countless news outlets reported the “surprising resilience” of Trump’s rebound in the polls. This wave of stories culminated in the recent Washington Post/ABC News survey ostensibly showing Trump leading Biden by 6 points in a hypothetical 2024 matchup. According to the write-up in the Post, the survey contained even more bad news for our aging Chief Executive:

Biden’s approval rating is underwater among a slew of groups that supported him by wide margins in 2020. He stands at 26 percent approval among Americans under age 30, 42 percent among non-White adults, 41 percent among urban residents and 46 percent of those with no religious affiliation. Among independents who voted for Biden in 2020, 57 percent approve while 30 percent disapprove. Among independents who voted for Trump, 96 percent disapprove.

If all of this seems too good to be true, it is. There are few things more worthless than a public opinion poll about a presidential election that will be held 18 months in the future. This is particularly true considering that the respondents were adults rather than likely voters. The editors of the Washington Post know perfectly well that many of these people don’t vote. As the Census Bureau reported in 2021, “The 2020 presidential election had the highest voter turnout of the 21st century, with 66.8% of citizens 18 years and older voting.”

The purpose of the Washington Post/ABC News poll was to artificially inflate Trump’s value as a candidate for the GOP nomination by purporting to show that Biden will be a very weak general election candidate in 2024. This is certainly true in terms of his fitness for the Presidency. But the Democrats and the corporate media are less worried about such issues than in winning, so they will continue pumping up Trump’s stock. CNN’s Harry Enten does his bit by reminding us of Trump’s historically large primary polling advantage:

There are very few candidates, from either party, in nonincumbent races who were near or north of 50% in the national primary polls this early on. That select few includes Republicans Bob Dole in 1996 and George W. Bush in 2000, and Democrats Al Gore in 2000 and Hillary Clinton in 2016. All of those candidates won their party’s nominations, and none of those races were particularly close.

Oddly, Enten neglects to mention that, although these candidates did win the nominations of their respective parties, just one made it to the White House and only managed to pull that off by winning Florida by a whopping 537 votes. Which brings us to Enten’s employer and the most transparent example of the pump and dump strategy we have seen thus far — CNN’s exclusive deal with Trump to host a live town hall in New Hampshire. While the rest of the GOP field looked on, Trump got more than an hour of precious prime-time exposure.

Inevitably, Trump was accused of committing all manner of crimes during the event, including brutalizing the moderator, but he knows there’s no such thing as bad publicity and that corporate media calumny endears him to his supporters. Indeed, he received two standing ovations from the attendees of the town hall. This should give the Democrats and the media pause concerning the wisdom of their strategy. Historian Niall Ferguson writes in the Spectator that they are forgetting the 2024 impact of an all but inevitable recession:

Joe Biden is in serious danger of following Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush into the bin marked ‘one-term presidents’. Why? For the simple reason that no president since Calvin Coolidge a century ago has secured re-election if a recession has occurred in the two years before the nation votes. It does not need to be as severe as the Great Depression that destroyed Herbert Hoover’s presidency. A plain vanilla recession will suffice.

Is a recession really in the cards? According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, “U.S. economic growth slipped in the first quarter in the midst of still-high inflation and rising interest rates, adding to worries about a possible recession later this year.” Gross Domestic Product grew at an anemic 1.1 percent, prompting portentous projections from most practitioners of the dismal science: “Many economists expect the economy to slow even more as the year progresses, predicting a recession in the second half of the year.”

If this affects the 2024 election as Ferguson suggests above, the result will be a repeat of 2016. The Democrats and the corporate media tried to pump and dump Trump during that election as well. They assured he would win the Republican nomination by gifting him billions of dollars in earned media coverage, blithely assuming that Hillary Clinton would easily defeat him in the general election. Now they’re repeating that error, assuming an impaired incumbent can defeat him in the midst of a recession. These people really are slow learners.

David Catron
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David Catron is a recovering health care consultant and frequent contributor to The American Spectator. You can follow him on Twitter at @Catronicus.
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