Most Republican voters, in poll after poll, are still very much supporters of former President Donald Trump and would love to see him run again in 2024 because they believe he can win again.
Full disclosure: I am one of those voters. But a piece I ran across earlier got me to thinking seriously and realistically for the first time since Trump was deposed — and that’s what I believe happened — about the former president and the next presidential election cycle.
Washington Times columnist Michael McKenna, president of MWR Strategies, a lobbying firm, who served as a deputy assistant to Trump as well as deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House, does not believe that the former president will become a future president, and for a number of pretty good reasons.
First of all, of course, is age: Trump will be 78 in 2024 and while he is not showing any signs of his age at the moment, and certainly nothing at all compared to Biden’s obvious geriatric demeanor, he may by then and most certainly could by the end of that second term.
For another, he believes that Trump’s influence has peaked and is now actually waning.
It turns out that it is difficult to run a political movement as a private citizen from Mar-a-Lago. For example, in the 6th Congressional District race in Texas, the president endorsed eventual front-runner Susan Wright very late — in part because there were numerous contenders in the Trump primary and he or his crew was afraid of picking the “wrong” candidate (i.e., one who wound up losing). The same mechanics were at play in the statewide Virginia Republican nomination process this month.
They will be in play in places as different as Ohio, where the race to replace Republican Sen. Rob Portman will no doubt include a handful of candidates close to the former president, and New York’s gubernatorial race. The New York race in particular is a good example of how political movements sometimes splinter as they grow. Lee Zeldin is without a doubt the best candidate the Republicans could put forward in the race for governor, but Team Trump has residual and irrational attachments to the Giuliani family, so they will probably dither about whom to support.
“In short, the world is moving along and politicians are doing what they do (stealing ideas that work), and Mr. Trump’s ability to clear a primary field — let alone anoint a general election winner — is compromised precisely because there are multiple candidates vying for his imprimatur,” McKenna notes further.
He goes on to point out, too, that Trump’s presence in our culture and consciousness has faded. He has no social media presence, he’s not a fixture on cable news anymore, and the daily political grind is uppermost in our minds.
But the news isn’t all bad. In fact, for long-term Republican survival, the news is actually quite good.
What Trump did in the four years (well, three, really, given that 2020 was a pandemic scratch save for his historic peace deals) he was in office was nothing short of spectacular. His economic, domestic, and foreign policies focusing on ‘America First’ were wildly popular as evidenced by the fact that his base stayed loyal to him and expanded into demographics who are not traditionally red voters.
As such, Trump has set the standard for current and future GOP candidates after proving to them conservative ideals and small “r” republicanism make America safer, stronger, and more prosperous. And the vast majority of Republican voters aren’t going to accept candidates who offer anything less.
Mr. Trump changed many things for Republicans. Most were for the good — clarity with respect to America first foreign and trade policies; a solid preference (at least rhetorically) for working people; an expansion of the sacred cows that could be critiqued and slaughtered; and an expansion of the party’s sense of the possible. He also, finally, mercifully, closed the book on the hagiography of President Reagan.
In many ways he midwifed a new Republican Party. The real challenge now is to figure out how to grow and build what he helped create through the next generation. The person who solves that will be the next Republican president.
ARTICLE SOURCE : TRENDINGPOLITICS.COM