Trump win in New Hampshire signals more danger to the nation
Donald Trump delivered attacks and conspiracy theories when talking about Nikki Haley at his victory speech last night. Behind him are Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott, two of his vanquished opponents who endorsed him now that they are out of the race. Trump had them debase themselves before the crowd last night as he had them "kiss the ring" of the master of the Republican Party. | Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Donald Trump, indicted for 91 crimes and found guilty of sexual assault, won New Hampshire’s primary on Tuesday, becoming, almost certainly, the Republican nominee for president who will challenge President Biden this year.

His victory increases his determination to impose an autocratic and fascistic order in America and simultaneously get himself off the hook for having to face justice for his many crimes. Already major circles in the corporate world who would prefer an alternative to Trump are beginning to say we should not worry too much because we survived Trump the first time and will survive him again.

What they are ignoring is that careful planning is underway, and has been for many months, to install an entire pro-fascist infrastructure should he win the election. The types of people in top spots in Washington who helped save the Republic last time Trump was in the White House will not be around this time.

These facts were not discussed in the media’s coverage of the primary election yesterday. They pretended that it was all just a normal election without any of the possible disastrous results of a Trump election which would enable irreparable damage to the country.

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley finished second, 11 points behind Trump, despite having invested literally all her campaign money to win the state. She had the support of people and corporate interests in the old Bush and neo-con wings of the GOP who secretly hoped that they could, with her candidacy, dislodge Trump from his position as the undisputed leader of their party. It’s too late for that. It is those neo-cons and others behind Haley who have spent many decades laying the groundwork for the eventual arrival of a Donald Trump on the political scene. They laid that groundwork with their own racist and imperialist politics.

Haley was the last major Trump opponent after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ended his presidential bid over the weekend, allowing her to campaign as the sole alternative to Trump.

Haley’s efforts at that appear to have been too little, too late. During the campaign, she had always avoided direct criticism of Trump and at one point raised her hand when the candidates were asked if they would back Trump if he won the GOP nomination.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said Haley was “as bad as Trump,” pointing out that she has said she would support an abortion ban, for example,  if Congress passed one.

The Biden-Harris campaign said last night that, after the New Hampshire results, Trump will end up as the GOP nominee and, as far as they were concerned, it’s now Biden vs. Trump. Republicans are silent, so far, on what they would do if Trump is convicted of crimes before the time of their nominating convention. Would they run him for office anyway or would they scramble to find a new candidate?

Haley has kowtowed to racist elements in the GOP base by suppressing the multi-national background in her own family and declaring, during her campaign, that “America is not a racist country.” In her speech last night she said that she was running for president to prevent Vice President Kamala Harris from becoming president. In her obviously racist remarks, she said, “Elect Joe Biden and you’ll get Kamala Harris.”

Trump, last night, bragged about being the first Republican presidential candidate to win open races in Iowa and New Hampshire since both states began leading the election calendar in 1976, a striking sign of how right wingers in the GOP have made him their nominee for the third consecutive time.

Problems for Trump

There were many developments in the New Hampshire primary, however, that actually look problematic for the criminal ex-president’s November election chances.

Some 41 percent of the GOP primary voters yesterday said they will not back him in November if he is convicted of any of the crimes for which he has been charged.

Trump is, for all practical purposes, a “quasi-incumbent” as Barack Obama’s former campaign manager, David Plouffe described him, “so he can take no satisfaction that he was unable to get more than 50 percent of the vote even among Republican primary voters in New Hampshire.” The implications of that in November have to be worrisome for Trump.

Exit polls showed that 66 percent of the New Hampshire voters in the primary oppose restrictions on abortion and more than 40 percent of them support a path to citizenship, not deportation, for undocumented immigrants. Some 65 percent of them said they are not part of “the party of MAGA.” And Haley won the support of the vast majority of “independents,” a group Trump must win to his camp if he is to win the election in November but was unable to win yesterday.

President Biden won on the Democratic side with a write-in campaign where he got two-thirds of the vote. That was a good sign for the president who did not campaign in New Hampshire, although there were no delegates involved in that race. The Democratic Party moved its first primary election from New Hampshire to South Carolina, a month from now.

Also, a problem for Trump is that half of GOP primary voters said they are very or somewhat concerned that Trump is too extreme to win the general election, according to exit polls. Only about one-third said the same about Haley.

Still, Haley’s path to becoming the GOP standard-bearer is narrowing quickly. She won’t compete in a contest that awards delegates until South Carolina’s Feb. 24 primary, bypassing the Feb. 8 Nevada caucuses that are widely seen as favoring Trump.

As South Carolina’s former governor, Haley is hoping a strong showing there could propel her into the March 5 Super Tuesday contests. But in a red state where Trump is popular, those goals may be impossible to achieve and a home-state defeat could prove politically devastating.

Remarkable is the extent to which the media avoided publicizing the real news last night – the news that despite his 91 criminal indictments, Trump’s victory in New Hampshire and earlier win in Iowa are resulting, for the first time in history, in the nomination by a major political party of a criminal fascist for the presidency.

Sought to pay off porn star

He sought to pay off a porn star to win an election, stored classified stolen documents in a toilet in Mar-a-Lago and incited an insurrection before he left office. All of that was not mentioned in coverage on most of the cable networks last night.

Trump spewed his usual hate, vitriol, misogyny, and conspiracy theories during his decidedly ungracious victory speech last night and he had Republican Sen. Tim Scott, South Carolina’s African-American senator debase himself before the entire nation. “You must really hate Haley,” Trump said to Scott, “since you opposed her even though she appointed you.”

“It’s not that I hate her but that I love you so much,” Scott said to Trump.

Beyond the political problems connected with the criminal cases, Trump faces a timing challenge in balancing trials and campaigning. He has frequently appeared voluntarily at a New York courtroom where a jury is considering whether he should pay additional damages to a columnist who last year won a $5 million jury award against Trump for sex abuse and defamation. He has turned these appearances into campaign events, holding televised news conferences that give him an opportunity to spread his right-wing garbage, misogyny, and racism to a large audience.

He also lies to his voters that the prosecutions he faces are really an attack by the government on them, the voters, and that he is a stand-in for them, fighting for their rights.

There is no evidence, of course, that these arguments appeal to anyone outside the extreme right-wing base of the Republican Party.

Biden, however, is not free of his own challenges. Dissent is growing within the Democratic Party over Biden’s alliance with Israel in its war against the people of Gaza, putting the president’s standing at risk in swing states like Michigan. A rally he held in northern Virginia on Tuesday to promote abortion rights — an issue his party sees as critical to success in November — was disrupted repeatedly by protests over U.S. military support for Israel. One person shouted, “shame on you!”

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John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward and a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee. In the 1970s and '80s, he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.