Trump has done it again! The next 24 hours epitomise America's 45th President, says Ben Monro-Davies

Ben Monro-Davies
Ben Monro-Davies
Ben Monro-Davies

By Ben Monro-Davies

Published: 23/08/2023

- 17:21

The former US President isn't even at tonight's Republican debate and he's already stealing the show

The next 24 hours encapsulates everything norm-defying about Donald Trump.

Tonight the first republican TV debate between the contenders for the nomination takes place in Milwaukee. They’re part of the established ritual to decide who has a tilt at the White House on behalf of the GOP. Except tonight – indeed in all the debates from now on one candidate will be absent.

And that absentee will be the red-hot favourite: Donald Trump.

He says there is no need for him to participate as he’s going to win – and everyone knows everything you need to know about him. It’s hard to argue with either point given the polls – other than it’s another example of tradition being eviscerated.

But it doesn’t stop there. Donald Trump won’t be on the golf course over the next 48 hours or so. Instead he has an appointment which he revealed on social media.

“Can you believe it? I’ll be going to Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday to be ARRESTED,” he said.

He’ll surrender to authorities to face charges in the case accusing him of illegally scheming to overturn his 2020 election loss.

And he does have media appointments. Instead of the debate, Trump will appear in a pre-recorded interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson on social media.

So in 24 hours Donald Trump will shun the mainstream media and his fellow Republican candidates. Appear on social media with a friendly interviewer. And be arrested – again.

As to the debate and the debates in future, they are now about the right to challenge Trump. That in turn is likely to focus fire on the candidate coming currently coming second – Ron DeSantis.

The Florida Governor was seen as a real contender after he won a landslide victory last year in elections which generally swung Democrat. He offers Trump without the noise – he’s anti-immigrant, anti-woke but with no risk of ending up in jail.

But that lack of noise appears to be the problem. He’s boring. The man once hailed by the New York Post as Ron DeFuture is floundering, sacking campaign staff and drowned out by a rival whose legal woes have simply boosted his popularity.

Trump appears to have DeSantis beat. So maybe another candidate can come through in the debate – such as the billionaire Vivek Ramaswamy. It will also be interesting to hear how the candidates – including former Vice-President Mike Pence, deal with Trump’s ever growing legal charge sheet.

But the polls suggest we are set for a re-run of the last election in November next year. Biden will be 81. Trump 77. Whatever you think of US politics, it’s not ageist. The current President’s growing frailty may hinder him against a more vibrant if not much younger opponent.

But the US economy appears to be reviving. And by November next year Trump in theory could be behind bars. As the cliché goes, only in America.

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