“In the end, it’s a business.”
It’s something sports fans hear whenever a longtime franchise player -- or even a legend of the game like Tom Brady -- is let go by the team that’s become synonymous with his name. If it could be said that the animal kingdom is the perfect embodiment of a “survival of the fittest” mentality, then the sports world is humanity’s greatest illustration of the concept. Whereas you won’t see lions taking down a wounded Wildebeest at the front offices of Professional Team X, you might very well witness a recognizable face packing up his locker, mumbling a few goodbyes to the local media and walking away from the building for a final time.
Many a conservative is experiencing a similar phenomenon these days as liberty-lovers and establishment antagonists ponder what to do with the rapidly (okay, it’s still a couple years away) approaching decision on whether to bring former president Donald J. Trump back for another “season”. Thankfully there are no salary cap considerations in this ultra-political calculation, but the thought of losing another election is one that’s keeping people up at night.
Now is not the time nor place to relitigate 2020 and the fact that many (most?) conservatives continue to believe that foul play yanked the presidency out from under Trump like a rug off a filthy hardwood floor; but research and investigations will reveal the answer. For now, senile Joe Biden and gal pal sidekick Kamala Harris are running the show. And there’s not much we can do about it.
Politics observers are quick to label each succeeding presidential election as the “most important of our lifetimes”, but the 2024 version is shaping up to make it so. We knew it was going to be bad if faltering Joe prevailed last year, but did we truly realize how awful a Biden administration would turn out to be?
Some foolishly optimistic folks assumed that true to form, Biden would renounce much of his campaign platform once he became the semi-legitimate squatter at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. After all, Joe’s made a career out of making promises he never kept and his fondness for plagiarizing the thoughts of others is the stuff of folk tales.
But lo and behold, ol’ senile Joe has been as horrible as he insisted he would be last year. So many of the Trump administration’s accomplishments have been wholesale reversed by the Democrat, including the relatively non-controversial ones (immigration enforcement, Keystone pipeline). Biden isn’t interested in good and restrained governance as much as he’s determined to settle scores, please his rabid liberal base and lay out an FDR-like big government legacy.
It's led conservatives to reassess their future a bit, including whether we would want another risky Trump go-round. In a piece titled, “Republicans Are Questioning Whether They Want Trump Again”, inimitable bomb-thrower Kurt Schlichter wrote at Townhall:
“There are other concerns. Did Trump learn his lessons about personnel? That was always his weak point, and the way he was impressed by medal-bedecked generals who inevitably screwed him over led to the woke joke that is today’s Pentagon. Will he get indicted by some Democrat and let the media to make that the story rather than the hellscape into which America is descending under this *dministration? Will he be able to use social media again (though, frankly, by banning him and letting him recede from the public eye temporarily, the tech fascists might have inadvertently done him a favor).
“And, at 78, will he be too old? After our current Crusty-in-Chief, do we need another boomer president? …
“We still adore the President, and we are grateful. If he’s the nominee, then all but the Jeb! types in the GOP will be all-in. But what’s clear is that the idea that 2024 is a gimme for him is wrong. It’s nothing personal, just business – and Trump may well understand that. The nomination is not his for the taking; if he wants it, he’ll have to earn it all over again. And we all know how betting against Donald Trump goes.”
Yes, we do know how betting against Trump goes. And yes, kind of like with the aging star athlete being given his walking papers, it isn’t personal with Trump. It’s just business. As president, Trump wowed and impressed us on so many fronts, most especially with his eagerness to punch back at the “villains” on the other team, all -- or most -- of whom richly deserved the beating.
But Schlichter is correct; we must be wary that Trump 2.0 won’t morph back into the version that created the conditions for his own electoral demise in the first place. Who could fault the man for defending himself and his family to the nth degree, but he never listened to the multitude of voices, including my own at times, to dial it back or at least keep in mind that voters were hearing every word and watching every action.
The Trump “show” earned terrific ratings from the faithful, but beyond the hardcore fan base was a demographic that couldn’t stand him and were so eager to cancel the production that they settled for a broken-down hair sniffin’, nude swimmin’, shoulders massagin’, personal space invadin’, sexual assault denyin’, prodigal son defendin’, non-stop race baitin’ and campaign speech stealin’ schlep like Joe Biden. Toss in the clown-faced cackling substance-free Kamala Harris and you’ve got a serious case of hold-your-nose tightly syndrome.
Winning isn’t everything, but in 2024, it’s the only thing. A Trump redux might come out like everyone dreams and he’ll take the oath of office again in January, 2025, presumably with the Clintons and Obamas and Bushes and Bidens and the rest of establishment Washington looking on with gritted teeth as the ultimate outsider delivers another scathing rebuke of everything “woke” and cowardly about the ruling class.
It would take hours to cover it all. But Trump would have another four years to get it done. From the outset he’d be busy unraveling the noxious hairball of problems vomited up by the Obama administration part deux. It’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
Schlichter didn’t just make the case for giving Trump a long hard second look; he presented a solid alternative in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The California-based writer conducted an informal poll on his Twitter account and the Floridian ended up edging out Trump among Kurt’s most dedicated fans. The vote was close, but DeSantis prevailed, which basically means over half of the most enthusiastic conservatives in the land are heavily leaning in the “not again” direction.
Donald Trump’s legacy is already cemented with Americans who appreciated his relentless drive to Make America Great Again. To his loyal adherents, Trump performed the role of figurehead president to absolute perfection. His acceptance speech (almost) a year ago at the Trump-orchestrated Republican convention was pure satisfaction to those who were fed up with COVID restrictions and yearned for their constitution-guaranteed freedoms.
But DeSantis might be the one Trump-like politician who can bring the Trump coalition together and add the small percentage of persuadable people who were put-off by the brash New Yorker’s reflexive nasty side. According to Schlichter, DeSantis doesn’t overly engage on social media, which will almost certainly work to his benefit, culling the controversial hub-bub and putting in its place solid policy accomplishments like those he’s rolling out in Florida like auto workers on Henry Ford’s old assembly line.
Here’s thinking DeSantis would also excel in providing the personnel he would need to run his administration and fight back against the Deep State, an area where Trump was decidedly lacking in his earliest days. Many a conservative leader has lectured, “Personnel is policy” and Trump erred in many notable ways by either placing disloyal establishmentarians too close to power, or elevating untested lightweights like Rex Tillerson who later betrayed him.
The national government’s entire house needs to be scrubbed, sterilized and disinfected, starting with the federal law enforcement agencies and justice department. A cursory once-over won’t do it. Has Trump learned? Should he be given the opportunity to demonstrate it?
All of America owes a debt of gratitude to Donald Trump for administering the type of medicine that the country’s diseased government desperately needed. But we simply can’t afford to lose the 2024 election. Trump’s approval ratings could rise ahead of his decision on whether or not to run. If not, maybe it’s time to consider an alternative. After all, it’s just business, right?
2024 GOP field
Trump approval rating
Trump administration personnel