Mike Hosking: Trump's MAGA Party plans will come to nothing

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 26 Jan 2021, 6:00PM
Donald Trump. (Photo / AP)
Donald Trump. (Photo / AP)

Mike Hosking: Trump's MAGA Party plans will come to nothing

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 26 Jan 2021, 6:00PM

You got to give him marks for pace and progress. He only left Washington last Thursday and by Monday we got the first signs of Donald Trump’s next move: the MAGA Party.

It’s just a hint at the moment, a taster, a little something to run up the flag poll to see how it flies

He has form on this of course. He dabbled with the idea of a presidential run for decades: each four years you’d hear the name, the whisper, the possibility, it always came to nothing of course until 2016.

And it’s that very scenario that will give hope to supporters. What he did in 2015 when he announced was little short of remarkable; forget how it ended, how it started is the real story.

A crowded field of well-established and in a number of cases well experienced operators, any one of them would have made a viable candidate for their party.

But he had spotted what most missed. A large swathe of America was fed up with Washington. Trump rode that all the way to victory.

That’s the story that will be told if the MAGA Party is launched.

But, as they will find out, it ain't as easy as that.

There is a good reason you only, with a very rare exception, ever see two people contest the presidential race. And that’s because third players can’t win - and Trump will be no exception.

Yes, Trump won, but he won on the back of the Republican Party.

Yes, Trump got 74 million votes but most of those were Republican votes - he personally will have got only a fraction of that.

The concept of Making America Great Again isn’t unique to Trump, and Trump isn’t all that removed on most messaging from the Republican Party.

So what he’d be looking to achieve under the Electoral College system is to go into each state, and decimate the Republican vote to such an extent that it simply doesn’t split the vote between him and his former party and allow the Democrats an easy victory.

Which is why it won’t work. American voters aren’t about independents.

You can see the lesson in this country. Once we dropped First Past the Post, we got more parties more choice more opportunity.

But look what’s happened: 20 years in the vast majority of us vote exactly the way we always have. Labour or National, Republican or Democrat.

Parties are built on beliefs and ideals. Trump is built on Trump, and people don’t vote for personality cults.

He worked that out in ’16, that’s why he became a Republican.

So not only won't he win, my guess is once he’s crunched the numbers and got over himself, he won’t even run.