Conrad Black: Why Donald Trump will win big in 2020

Beneath the façade of Norman Rockwell and Walt Disney and most of Hollywood’s production before it was taken over by the limousine left, the United States is a jungle, and that is its strength and its weakness. It assures an immensely competitive Darwinian society in constant fermentation with high levels of achievement in practically every field, but it also causes inordinately large numbers of people to be ground to powder.

The land of opportunity is the place where anyone can accomplish almost anything, but there is a threadbare safety net and more than 30 million people live in poverty. It has six to 12 times as many incarcerated people as other large, prosperous democracies, including Canada. And like all jungles, it is run, even if from a little behind the scenes, by the human equivalent of 30-foot constricting snakes and 700-pound cats.

Trump’s offence, and his strength, is that he doesn’t make much effort to disguise the fact that he is a fierce, tough and often ruthless alumnus of the very tough schools of American capitalism, entertainment and politics.

Successful American presidents are never Mr. Nice Guy, though it’s a bonus when, like Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, they act the part. This Ukraine nonsense is a fraudulent desperation shot by the Democrats and will blow up in their faces. Donald Trump is probably the most successful and powerful person in the world and he will steamroller this rag-tag of kooks and retreads desultorily arrayed against him.

The U.S. system periodically crushes one of its parties like a waffle. FDR in 1936, Lyndon Johnson in 1964, Richard Nixon in 1972, Ronald Reagan in 1984, all won by over 20 points. The Globe and Mail can dream on like Johnny Cash’s Teenage Queen, but Trump will gain a victory on that scale next year, and like the presidents just mentioned, he will have earned it. Those who resurrect the fortunes of great nations are not groomed and sent out by casting studios, or subject to confirmation by foreign newspapers.