Ego, thy name is Trump. In a move sure to shock no one, The Donald tossed his MAGA cap in the ring for 2024. And the loonies are already salivating at the prospect of their messiah winning the Presidency again. For the, according to them, third time. Of course they fail to see the irony…if Trump ‘won’ in 2020, he would be ineligible to run in 2024. By running, he is admitting he lost to Biden.
Let that sink in.
Trump supporters have maintained that Biden stole the election, and that The Donald won. What do you want to bet they won’t even so much as think that their repeated statements must be reversed. They are a cult, in every way that matters.
And that is why the Republican Party needs to refuse to support Trump in any fashion. He has had four election cycles to show any actual leadership, and has failed at three of them. Despite the manner in which he won in 2016 – and that against the only candidate he could have beaten – he failed to uplift down-ballot candidates in 2018, lost to Biden of all people in 2020, and his chosen candidates tanked in 2022. Three strikes, Trump, you’re out.
The problem is that so many on the right have become Trump cultists. And they are loud, all too often ignorant, and easily mocked, dismissed, and used to actually harm conservative candidates. Make no mistake, I understand supporting him in 2016. I know why, and it’s not really an issue. Admittedly, it does require forgetting that Trump was a lifelong New York Democrat, and pretending that he had any idea what the majority of us deal with. Of course he didn’t. But he said the right things to make those of us who are mocked regularly by the left feel seen. And so, we get President Donald.
I get that. What I cannot possibly fathom is the jump from liking the man politically to believing he was sent by God to save America. That…that just does not compute in the least. And yet, his strongest supporters went there. And remain there despite it making no sense. They still, I think, feel that he is one of them, when that couldn’t be much further from the truth.
So, in order to save the party, and salvage any hope of conservatism continuing in the American political space, Trump needs to go. I don’t care how – defeat in the primaries (preferably crushing defeats), medical incapacitation of some form, whatever. And the Republicans need to find someone to attract voters without Trump baggage. It isn’t easy, and the fact is that Trump will be a factor regardless of his performance. What is needed is someone strong enough to stand against him, stand for politically conservative values, reject the devil’s bargain that is the religious right, and be able to keep their mouth shut. Yeah, it’s a tall order. I have to believe that there is at least one candidate who can fit that bill.
Not DeSantis. He was just reelected to the Governorship of Florida and needs to honor that commitment. Tulsi Gabbard would be interesting…but comes with baggage…like having run as a Democrat in 2020. As ever, Condi Rice would be everyone’s choice if she had any interest at all. Crenshaw in Texas would have been decent, but he has problems appealing broadly enough. Almost every past candidate is a bad choice for one reason or another – including losing to Trump in 2016.
This leaves the party in a bad spot. All the ‘big names’ are at best problematic, and the biggest name is the biggest problem. I don’t have an answer here, I merely hope that someone does, and that we can enter the 2024 race without Trump ruining it.