The Right Resistance: No Dream or Miracle necessary for DeSantis to challenge Trump in 2024
To this day, the movie “Miracle” remains one of my favorite films, because it beautifully demonstrates the all-encompassing power of belief.
The 2004 production, starring Kurt Russell as legendary 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team coach Herb Brooks, dramatically depicts the challenge a group of 26 amateur players (eventually narrowed to 20 for the actual competition) endured on their journey to earning a very, very improbable gold medal at the Lake Placid (New York) Olympic Games. Those who recall those couple weeks in February also remember the feeling of unreserved euphoria, patriotism, pride and happiness when announcer Al Michaels uttered his spontaneous “Do you believe in miracles? YES!” call as the final buzzer sounded and the college boys stunningly vanquished the Soviet evil empire’s Red Army hockey squad.
The victory appeared to be a real miracle until you realize how the young men had been meticulously pushed and honed by Brooks to not only trust in their own individual and collective abilities, but also authentically believed that they could compete with – and even win against – a team of much more seasoned professionals who hadn’t lost a game in something like four years.
Any parent with kids in athletics has no doubt shouted “Again! Again! Again!” a time or two in trying to get their youngins’ to perform to their fullest.
Russell’s character concluded the story with this observation: “As Americans and the world watched, a group of remarkable young men gave the nation what it needed most, for one night, not just a chance to dream, but a chance, once again… to believe.” I would highly recommend clicking on the above YouTube link for a refresher on what the snippet in time meant to all of us. Well done. I tell my kids, yes, America really did feel like this theatrical depiction back then, once upon a time.
These days, instead, we have absurd clownish Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Ilhan Omar pretending to get arrested at a pro-abortion protest in front of the Supreme Court. Anyone who needs a prime example of how far we’ve fallen as a national culture, watch the two phony leftist agitators being led away with hands behind their backs as though they were handcuffed. Disgusting.
At any rate, there’s no underestimating the power of belief. If you are good, and prepared and “in shape” – and you believe – you can do almost anything. The same could be said for those contemplating doing what might seem unthinkable at the current time – taking on Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination for president, and then beating him.
In a piece titled, “Sure, Ron DeSantis could beat Donald Trump in 2024”, Michael Barone wrote at The Washington Examiner:
“From these numbers, I find it easy to conclude that Ron DeSantis could be a serious competitor for the 2024 Republican nomination. That’s not because Trump has been disqualified by the Jan. 6 hearings. They may have cost him a few general election points, but not as many as he has cost himself.
“His continued fixation on relitigating the 2020 election leaves him vulnerable to a DeSantis brimming with critiques of the present and programs for the future. DeSantis, as Dexter Filkins’s perhaps unwillingly positive portrait in the New Yorker indicates, is smart, hard-working, disciplined, and eager to win fights, citing chapter and verse, over hostile media.
“He could have an additional advantage. Current polling discourages any other candidate, even former Vice President Mike Pence, from entering the race. In 2016, Trump benefited from split opposition and from a no-hope but persistent John Kasich who siphoned off anti-Trump votes. Can Ron DeSantis win a one-on-one race against Donald Trump? Current polling tells me the answer is, sure he could.”
Yes indeed. Barone cites several polls supporting the notion that DeSantis, as of now, appears to be either gaining ground on Trump – or even slightly ahead in a few instances. The are also an equal sampling of surveys depicting Trump’s lead as way beyond the margin of error. In other words, the matter is still up in the air and the public wavers back and forth based on the news of the day – or whatever they’re sensing at any particular time.
Adding to the suspense, there was a Politico article last week arguing that the farce January 6 Committee is beginning to erode Trump’s base of support. To make a long story short, the left-leaning publication suggested that the accumulated effect of non-stop “revelations” about the former president is causing a measurable percentage of Republican voters to tire of the drama surrounding him. “The fatigue is evident in public polling and in focus groups that suggest growing Republican openness to an alternative presidential nominee in 2024,” it said.
This is entirely plausible; I’d even make the case that it’s likely that Trump is losing a few of the wavering fence-sitters who tolerated the bombastic outsider’s uneven personality and disapproved of his Tweets but nonetheless voted for him again in 2020 because of his policy successes – and also because he was competing against the ethically and veracity compromised person of senile Joe Biden.
To most of us, the choice was simple: Either take the famous egocentric guy who, like Herb Brooks in Miracle, pushed – and pushed hard – for Americans to believe in their own greatness again, or take a chance on the obviously false and failing idiot who’d never had a real job in his entire life. I selected the former alternative, and it wasn’t close.
The greater question of whether the stupid January 6 Committee is hurting Trump now is most likely answered in the affirmative. Let’s face it, too many American attitudes are swayed by the controversy of the moment on the evening news, and these easily distracted folks lose sight of the big picture when their former political hero is portrayed as a ketchup bottle tossing jackass who can’t control his temper.
But here’s also thinking such a temporary impression won’t last. It can’t last. Think back to the last seven years (the time after Trump entered politics) and how many tidbits of information, be it blatantly false sensationalist lies (most of them) or testimonials containing a smidgen of truth, were sold as the “silver bullet” that would bring down the Trump 800-lb gorilla? Too many to count, actually.
The hype from the January 6 Committee’s parade of witnesses will assuredly be gone by voting time and no one will be talking about the scandalous eye-openers when the real fall campaign hits high ebb in late October. Americans have unbelievably short retention spans for news, particularly when the “damage” is being shoved in their faces by biased shills in the Democrat party.
Talk about being sick of someone. Does anyone want to see Adam Schiff on TV ever again?
At the same time, there is some believability to the notion that Republicans are fatiguing of Trump. But the weariness isn’t from the January 6 tribunal and Liz Cheney’s persistent insistence that the president caused the hubbub on that fateful day. No, the problem is Trump may have peaked too early. Like a fine wine that can only remain in the bottle so long before beginning its steady, inevitable decline, the excitement surrounding a Trump candidacy 2.0 (or is it 3.0?) is having difficulty sustaining itself.
Trump has done an admirable job of keeping his name in the news and remaining relevant by conducting periodic presidential-campaign-style rallies and working hard to endorse candidates in most of the Republican primary races that matter, but there’s only so much life left in any politician’s universe. Not even Trump has a cat’s nine lives. The Donald may possess boundless energy and is defying Father Time with his looks and smarts, but there’s no way folks will ever forget that Trump will be the same age senile Joe Biden is now if he wins the presidency again.
That fact, and not the Nancy Pelosi concocted January 6 travesty, is causing people to believe Trump is beatable.
If Ron DeSantis continues polling well in the next half a year or so, then everyone who’s the slightest bit open to a Trump alternative will believe that it’s possible to choose someone else. It will be well beyond the dream stage, and the feeling will spread like weeds in an untended garden.
At the same time, it would be politically suicidal to ever count Donald Trump out of anything. He will still command the media’s attention no matter who is challenging him. I like Ron DeSantis a lot but I wouldn’t claim that the Floridian is as media savvy as the 45th president is. It’s really up to Trump as to how the 2024 campaign will be waged.
Barone is correct, a continually strong DeSantis poll showing could very well discourage other potential GOP competitors from competing with the top two. If it boils down to Trump and DeSantis, smart money would be on the latter politician. Similar to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in 2016, in troubled times a (literal) fresh face looks awful enticing.
As I’ve said before, it would only take a DeSantis win in New Hampshire to completely change the dynamic of the Republican contest. Early surveys suggest it could happen. Then people will believe Gov. Ron is viable, and it would be very hard for Trump to remain the leader.
True belief is a strange concept. Many people profess to believe in something, but their hearts tell them something different. Politics is all about momentum and enthusiasm up until actual votes are tallied. Will Donald Trump have enough Americans believing he can do it again? Time will tell.
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2024 presidential election