Will We Ever Learn

“Do not speak to fools, For they will scorn your prudent words”

                ~Pro. 23:9

“The LORD is righteous, yet I rebelled against his command.

Listen, all you peoples; look upon my suffering.

My young men and young women have gone into exile.

I called to my allies but they betrayed me.

My priests and my elders perished in the city

While they searched for food to keep themselves alive.”

                ~Lamentations 1:18-19

As I write this, I know that it will be met with hatred and open hostility. As before, this will not come from the left (although I know that some on the left will hate this as well) but from the Right that I will catch the stones and arrows.

People that I otherwise would stand alongside and defend, those that I would fight side by side with on the right. There will be a faction of Conservative Republicans who have joined President Trump’s cult of personality and will despise anyone who dares criticize him or question his ability to be elected in 2024.

I wish to point out that President Trump has done some amazing things for this country. That he has done so despite the left doing their level best to derail his presidency. It’s unfortunate that he had 2020 taken from him. The good he achieved in the face of determined opposition from both sides had a positive impact on the nation. We had the lowest unemployment rate among all demographics in recorded history. His tax cuts helped many working-class families, mine included, by giving us more of our money and reducing our tax burdens. Under his leadership, we had energy independence and the lowest energy prices in a decade. During his presidency, he finished our involvement in Iraq, and he committed to ending our involvement in Afghanistan, laying the foundation for a peaceful withdrawal…a withdrawal that Biden deliberately sabotaged.

Under President Trump, our enemies did not challenge us. In fact, they sought to normalize relationships with the United States. President Trump worked to get us out of the Paris Accord, the Iran Nuclear deal and kept Russia at bay. He negotiated with China and N. Korea, and we held a position of power for the first time since Bush and possibly since Reagan.

While I was reluctant in my support of President Trump in 2016, my support for President Trump in 2020 was both enthusiastic and whole-hearted.

Having said that, I do not believe that President Trump should run for 2024. I believe that his own words and actions after 2020 have irrevocably and irreparably damaged his brand.

Because of his bombastic pronouncements, his constant harping on the 2020 election and his mean-spirited and provably false attacks on former allies; he has pushed out a key demographic away from him.

Independents (non-affiliated voters included), Moderate republicans and disgruntled democrats who voted for him in 2016 and 2020 have fled from him over the last 2 years. While part of this is due to the incessant and scurrilous attacks on him from the left, the false scandals, and the Russia Collusion hoax; much of it has to do with his own words and actions.

2022 should have been a Red Tsunami. Unfortunately, President Trump couldn’t get out of his own way. Most of the candidates that he endorsed lost their bid for office.

Candidates he endorsed tended to focus their campaigns on the 2020 election and nebulous accusations of voter fraud. These did not resonate well with the voters. Those who won tended to focus on things such as parental rights, Education, protecting children from the LGBTQ+ agenda, Critical Race Theory and other current issues that matter to parents today. These issues resonated more with the voters than voter integrity and the 2020 election did.

Their focus on these issues reminded me of a line from the movie ‘The Rock’ starring Sean Connery (God rest his soul) and Nicolas Cage.

In that scene, Nick Cage tells Sean Connery, “I’ll do my best”. Sean then turns to him and says, “Your best? Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and f*** the prom queen…”

The Campaign message could thus be “2020? Losers whine about 2020. Winners look to the future and get elected!”

Add to this the climate of the present campaign. As I write this, the news media is abuzz with rumors that tomorrow, Ron DeSantis will announce his candidacy on twitter in an interview with Elon Musk. I have heard (almost daily) that Ron DeSantis is going to announce his candidacy ‘next week’. Each time, the date comes and goes, and the talking heads are all, “Oh, we meant next week.’ I’ve been hearing ‘Next week’ for the last 12 weeks and counting.

Since President Trump announced that he was running, 5 other candidates have announced. Vivek Ramaswamy, Nicki Hailey, Larry Elder, Tim Scott and Asa Hutchinson. President Trump, however, as well as his supporters, have heaped all their attacks and scorn on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The attacks have been making claims that are spurious, provably false, and frankly, childish. President Trump released his ‘platform’ the other day. These goals are all part of the policy set in Florida by Governor DeSantis. That won’t matter to President Trump, though. He will put this forth as if he came up with it all by his lonesome and accuse Ron DeSantis of being a copycat.

The frightening part is, that President Trump’s base will believe it and swallow it, hook, line and sinker.

I watch as President Trump is using the exact same playbook now that he used in 2016. There isn’t even a hint of updating it. He will focus all his energy into destroying Ron DeSantis and harping on 2020 rather than focus on actual issues that matter to us, the voters.

These are not winning strategies. President Trump and his supporters claim to be secure that he is absolutely going to win 2024. That he will win the primary and the general election. However, his focus on DeSantis reveals a real fear that DeSantis can unseat him in his bid for the Republican nomination in 2024.

While supporters of Nicki Hailey, Vivek Ramaswamy, Larry Elder, Tim Scott and Asa Hutchinson are likely to support whoever wins the nomination for the GOP, President Trump’s supporters would rather see America burn than vote for anyone who isn’t President Trump.

I will vote for whomever the GOP nominates, and that includes President Trump. I am committed to that. But if we nominate President Trump, I do not believe we will retake the Whitehouse. I believe that the best thing President Trump could do for the GOP and for the country is to withdraw and back another strong candidate.

At the same time, I am willing to admit that I may be wrong, and President Trump could beat President Biden, but I think, at this time, that may be a bridge too far.