Welcome to the 2024 GOP Presidential Primary battle; prepare your popcorn, as this primary will be like watching the political version of the Hunger Games. I am not exaggerating; it will be brutal.
With the official entry of Ron Desantis into the Presidential hunt, it is now a two-man race between Ron Desantis and Donald Trump. Everyone else in the race is now officially an ‘also-ran.’ Sure, they can still compete for the coveted VP slot, but remaining in the Presidential hunt is futile.
Recently, I wrote a column where I made the case that it’s for Trump to pass on the MAGA Torch. I was also crystal clear that I will GLADLY support Trump if he’s the nominee. Moreover, I have not made a final decision yet.
Sadly, not everyone is so pragmatic, and the Kool-aid is flowing through a firehose. The loudest supporters act like their candidate walks on water while they ignore that both men have flaws and both can be with risky choices. But, of course, primaries are for sorting all of that out. Right?
It’s only been a few days since Desantis announced, and the ‘hyperbolic ‘Spin Machines’ are in overdrive for both camps. The rhetoric is oozing with righteous indignation, hyperbole, and double standards.
Unfortunately for Ron Desantis, his official announcement on Twitter was met with technical issues, giving the perception of a rocky start. Trump’s support base immediately pounced on the perceived snafu and began the narrative of ‘incompetence’ against Desantis.
Not to rain on the Trump fan parade, but context is essential. Supporters are so desperate to derail Trump’s only real threat that they quickly grasp at any tiny straw they can find. The Twitter glitch is nothing more than a childish talking point with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Desantis.
Let’s talk about that inconsequential Twitter glitch for a moment. It’s NOT a negative at all, much to Trump’s chagrin. The Desantis announcement was so popular that the sheer volume of people tuning in literally crashed the Twitter servers. Plus, no presidential candidate has ever tried this new, out-of-the-box way of announcing.
Do Trump supporters really want to call attention to that? Be careful what you wish for.
This is nothing new, however; the ‘die-hard’ Trump supporters are always quick to go after anyone who opposes him; if you do not support Trump, you are not a patriot. They run around acting like Trump’s Presidency was ‘flawless’ and ‘how dare anyone else primary him,’ because he’s ‘entitled’ to the job. Sound familiar? We recently saw this entitlement mentality in the Wisconsin Governor and Supreme Court races.
Yes, Donald was a great President and accomplished some amazing things while only really having two years of a full term. His SUCCESSFUL administration gave us a roaring economy, Conservative SCOTUS appointees, and hundreds of Federal Judicial appointees. We also got significant tax reforms, getting our NATO allies to pay their share, the USMCA trade agreement, and the Abraham Accords, to name a few.
That said, we cannot take the good while ignoring the bad. Trump was often his worst enemy, said and Tweeted some foolish things, and failed on several fronts. Tony Faucci or ballooning deficits, anyone? Moreover, we cannot ignore that Trump has completely changed his rhetoric from ‘Make America Great Again’ to ‘Make Trump Great Again.’
It is all about 2020, with very little on what he plans to do next term. Most of his blind supporters seem to be ignoring this fact. At this point, NOTHING WILL CHANGE THE OUTCOME OF 2020, and in most cases, we aren’t in power to make the necessary changes anyway. Like it or not, 2024 matters; 2020 does not. THIS is the hand that we have been dealt; get over it.
Unfortunately, this does not stop his supporters from grasping at every straw to derail Ron Desantis. Some are saying he’s really a Democrat in sheep’s clothing. Huh? They have not been paying attention to Florida under his leadership; his Conservative creds are SOLID.
The hyperbolic rhetoric does not stop there; a rumor that Ron Desantis cheated on his wife has emerged over the past few days. So what? Even if he did, it’s not like Trump is the Pillar of a pure Marriage, and rightfully so; we were willing to look beyond Trump’s transgressions and voted for him in 2016 and 2020. Why? BECAUSE NONE OF IT MATTERS! For either candidate.
But wait, you didn’t think this was just about Trump supporters, did you?
In reality, not only are Trump supporters acting like they are still in high school, we are seeing Desantis sycophants drinking their own flavor of Kool-Aid.
They chastise Trump supporters for their unwavering ‘cultish’ support of their candidate. Desantis supporters quickly take issue with Trump supporters acting like Trump can do no wrong. Well, remember what they say about glass houses? Desantis supporters are just as guilty of this cultish behavior toward their candidate.
Desantis supporters are incessantly bloviating about how ‘perfect’ of a governor he is and will be the ‘perfect’ President. They are running around basically saying that if you do not support Desantis, you are not an ‘acceptable’ Republican. How dare Trump run when he’s already lost before.’
We have even seen the re-emergence of the ‘Liberals want Trump because he’s easy to beat’ rhetoric. WRONG! Remember 2016? That was the same ‘logic’ the never-Trumpers used. How did that work out for them? As for 2020, look at everything they had to do to ‘beat’ Trump; change laws, change voting methods, etc.
Of course, some people have grown battle-weary of the Democrat obsession to get Donald Trump and are naive enough to think it will stop with Desantis. Are you kidding? It will be just as bad or worse. Desantis embodies MAGA and has implemented much of it in Florida. The Left hates him, and if they manage to take Trump down, he’s next.
Conveniently, most Desantis supporters ignore this reality simply because Desantis is either ‘perfect’ or is seen as the Pied Piper who will ‘deliver the Republicans from Trump.’ Yes, Desantis has also emerged as the favorite of the ‘never-Trump wing of the party. While a candidate cannot control who supports him, this certainly will be something Desantis will have to overcome if he’s to be successful.
Now to rain on the Desantis parade a bit more. Let’s address the ‘conservative perfection’ rhetoric a bit. Desantis is the Governor in a state where Republicans control EVERYTHING. As I said before, context matters. Yes, he has an excellent track record, but even Jeb Bush would have done this well while having complete control. We really have no idea how he will lead with a much more divided Federal government. Also, we have a lot we do not know about him yet. I’m hopeful, and time will tell.
History shows us that we must be careful with what we wish for. We have seen this before; a ‘perfect’ candidate emerges, only to become mediocre. Remember George W. Bush? He was a solid Governor in Texas, only to flop as President. Yes, we all hope Desantis proves he will be another governor who emerges as a great President, like Ronald Reagan, did, but that’s not guaranteed.
Hopefully, Desantis can be MAGA Reagan, or Donald Trump can deliver MAGA Chapter 2, but the process set up by our founders needs to play out. Both men have every right to run, and it’s ok to have a spirited primary season.
Desantis supporters are not being realistic by thinking they can hit Trump with hyperbolic rhetoric and not expect him to respond. Seriously, they actually expect him to sit and take it, and if he responds, he’s acting like a ‘spoiled child.’ Why is Trump the only one held to that higher standard? This apparent double standard is so hypocritical.
The same goes for Trump supporters hitting Desantis with their hyperbole. Desantis can and should respond as well. That said, Desantis needs to temper his response with common sense. Ask any 2016 candidate who tried to take Trump on his playground. To his credit, Desantis so far has played it brilliantly.
Politics can be a battle; it’s not a game for the faint of heart. Nevertheless, hard-fought primaries do let us see what candidates are made of. Trump has a significant advantage here because he has already withstood relentless attacks since coming down that escalator in 2015. He fights back and usually wins.
So far, Desantis has proven he can take it as well, so his supporters need to stop whining about Trump’s namecalling and how extraordinary or unprecedented it is. We all lived through the 2016 primary battle. THIS IS NOTHING NEW; this is Trump being Trump. Remember, Ron Desantis is choosing to run, so he must weather the storm to beat the surging Donald Trump. Will he continue to fight on, or will he buckle to the continuous pressure that awaits him? This will be tested, and rightfully so.
Both men have appeal because they have rolled up their sleeves and gotten in the mud with the Left, and both will certainly get muddy from the right as well. We shouldn’t be looking for a ‘nice guy’ for President because nothing these men throw at each other will compare to what the Democrats have in store for the eventual nominee.
In the end, names will be called, feelings will be hurt, and one man will lose; what matters most is sucking it up and supporting the winner against an increasingly extremist Democrat Party. NOTHING JUSTIFIES ENABLING THE OTHER SIDE TO WIN. NOTHING.
If we do not unite, WE WILL LOSE!
There’s nothing wrong with hotly contested primaries; some years are worse than others. Anyone who complains about them, simply does not understand good old-fashioned American political history.
Face it, 2024 will not be the first epic political battle and will not be the last. As long as the party leadership does not interfere, the nominee should be who most primary voters want. Remember that Reagan vs. Bush in 1980 was a hard-fought primary, but in the end, Republicans unified and won.
Perhaps we will end up with a ‘unity’ ticket of Trump/Desantis? It would be interesting if it’s even possible, but we shall see. Until then, let’s have the primary battle, but let’s not lose sight that while we are busy fighting each other, the Democrats are busy uniting and ballot-harvesting us out of existence. Let that sink in for a moment.
Let the best candidate win, and may the odds ever be in your favor.