It didn’t have to be this way. It is easy to look through a glass darkly in July of 2018 and say that the only way Trump can win is to double down on a base turnout model—but that’s mostly based all the crazy baggage that has accrued in the last 18 months. Instead, imagine a world where Donald Trump decided to be everyone’s president.
Even if you assume that he had to campaign as a madman to win the GOP nomination and get elected, what if he had (a) started with infrastructure instead of a travel ban, (b) not fired James Comey, and (c) logged off of Twitter?
In a parallel universe, President Trump doesn’t just win the 2020 election (as Bret Stephens imagines), he does it in style—painting the map red—and coasting to an easy re-election on the strength of a revitalized economy.