The Return of the King. The Return of the Jedi. MacArthur steps foot on Philippine soil, fulfilling a promise to return. Nixon’s stunning return in 1968. Grover Cleveland’s return to the White House in 1892. As a storyteller myself, I understand the appeal of Trump 2024. Return stories often sell. It does not mean that Trump 2024 is a good idea. That one won’t.
This statement come as a shock to longtime readers. I supported Donald Trump from the beginning. I met him at Trump Tower. I even wrote a book about his campaign six months before he was elected President! So why would I not want him to run again in 2024?
The short answer is that history has a mind of its own. That Donald Trump was the right man for 2016 does not mean he is the right man for 2024. In fact, the mistakes he made during his time in office, many of which were catastrophic, mean that he is the wrong man. Donald Trump, recall, elevated Anthony Fauci, and is a key reason why we’re in this biomedical tyranny. That’s the biggest reason why, but I’ve gone at length about that already.
I’ll now tell you all the other reasons why Trump 2024 is a bad idea.
1. There’s Someone Better
No, the Republican Party shouldn’t pretend Donald Trump never happened and revert back to its Reagan cosplaying days, which persisted long after the costume went out of fashion. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to. A new crop of younger, nationalist conservative leaders is rising in the party. Ron DeSantis is the most prominent of them.
To put it simply, Ron DeSantis performed with flying colors during the defining event of the century. He turned Florida into a bastion of freedom that stood as a bright torch amidst a worldwide storm of Chinese-inspired biomedical tyranny. He also refused to permit anarchy in his state’s cities during the 2020 BLM riots.
Furthermore, DeSantis is no milquetoast, Bush league Republican. He has obviously thought deeply bout America’s fundamental issues. Here’s a tantalizing two minutes from October. Listen to the whole thing.
NEW: At a $400-$1000/plate gala for the Claremont Institute on Saturday, Ron DeSantis channeled Donald Trump as he railed against the "ruling class" failures of the Republican establishment pic.twitter.com/QfgatqtF4Q
— Lauren Windsor (@lawindsor) October 25, 2021
When he’s delivering more formal addresses like this one (which often come behind closed doors), he shows that he understands the Long Humiliation and understands it on a far deeper level than Trump did in 2016. Trump’s was an instinctive understanding. DeSantis understands it through both study and experience. He has fought against it at every turn, essentially becoming America’s shadow president this year.
It would be one thing if a Trump 2024 campaign was meant to prevent the Republican Party from returning to its former greed and weakness, which contributed so much to the Long Humiliation, but that is not the case. Donald Trump failed to end the humiliation when he was President. It is even worse now – by far – than when he took office. So why should he get another chance, even if you think his heart is in the right place?
The historical quest before the Republican Party now is to end the humiliation and position America to stop Xi Jinping’s ambitions for a Chinese-dominated world order. Ron DeSantis has shown the potential to do so. By running again and preventing DeSantis’ rise, Donald Trump would be putting himself first and not America first.
2. He is Too Old
Donald Trump would be 78 years old in 2024, the same age the dementia patient in the White House was in 2020.
Over the past year, I think we’ve seen why the American people generally agreed that gerontocracy was a bad idea before the Boomers came to power.
Yes, Donald Trump is much nimbler than the dementia patient (also known as the mummy) is, but three years is a long time. Declines happen quickly and mental capacities will always dull at that age in some form or fashion.
Point being, I think the party that runs someone who isn’t a demented 80-year-old man has the best chance of winning in 2024.
Picture a 40-year-younger DeSantis on the debate stage against the mummy in the White House. You’ll get the picture.
3. His USP no Longer Exists
Glenn Youngkin outperformed Donald Trump not only with upper middle class suburban voters, but Hispanics and white working class voters in rural areas. This performance cast serious doubt on the one supposed benefit that a Trump 2024 run would have – the idea that no one juices up working class and rural turnout like the former president. Aside from his being different from the old GOP establishment, this was his unique selling proposition.
A unique selling proposition is that one thing that makes you or your business stand out among all other competitors. It is a defining statement that should want to make people choose you and only you. For years, Donald Trump’s was that he would destroy the establishment (“the swamp”) and bring out big working class and rural turnout to ensure victory.
But Trump can hardly be said to have destroyed the establishment when he hired it and elevated people like Anthony Fauci. And now we see that other candidates are doing better than him in the very areas he was supposedly uniquely strong in. Recall also that Donald Trump underperformed his 2016 margin in places like the Florida Panhandle and western Pennsylvania, and couldn’t get it done in the northwest Georgia rurals in the January 5th runoffs.
Point being: the turn of working class white people and now Latinos to the Republican Party is a national trend. Donald Trump might have accelerated it, but it shows no sign of stopping now that he’s gone. There is very little evidence that he’s needed in 2024 to continue and improve on these trends.
This brings up the next reason why he shouldn’t be the nominee.
4. He is too Polarizing
Youngkin’s improvement with the working class, Latinos, and in rural areas came with another significant upside – he was far less toxic in suburban and purple areas. He obviously didn’t do splendidly in Northern Virginia, but he did better enough to make the path to victory possible. Meanwhile, he flipped more competitive suburbs, with less social capital, like Virginia Beach.
He did exactly what a Republican needs to do to win in this age.
The cat is out of the bag and even the Empire of Lies hasn’t been able to contain it – this mummy presidency is a total failure. The bubble popped just when and as I said it would in May. The multi-racial working/middle class coalition is forming in response, right before our eyes.
However, just because Americans hate the mummy cosplaying as their president, does not mean they want Donald Trump to come back.
His return would only polarize the electorate again, and give the Democrats and corporate media (I repeat myself) a second wind. Instead of being forced to run on their abject failures, everything would become about Orange Man and his personality again. We saw what happened in Virginia and New Jersey, blue states, when Democrats/corporate media don’t have that option. We saw what happened in Georgia, a purple but still red-leaning state, when they do.
The old adage by now is that he wouldn’t need to do much better – only accrue ~40,000 more votes in Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin. Maybe, but with such a polarized electorate in spite of the mummy’s failures, as it surely will be in a Trump 2024 scenario, that is not guaranteed. Indeed, the only unique selling proposition he has is that he juices up Democratic turnout like no one else can.
And why would we want such a narrow path, when a much broader one is in reach?
In 2024, we should want to run the candidate that can win by the most crushing margin possible. From the improvements which Republicans can make in rurals and suburbs, to attracting parents livid over school closures and covid theater (which will reverberate for years to come), the coalition is clearly there for the taking. The Republican Party is so close to the biggest realignment since Clinton built the blue wall in 1992. It will all be for naught if Donald Trump runs again, as everyone will simply retreat back to their trenches.
We shouldn’t want a close, polarized election. We should want a massive, realigning landslide that delivers the White House and sweeping majorities in Congress. We should want the kind of landslide that keeps Democrats out of power for a generation. For their outrageous conduct over the last decade, they deserve nothing less. It is possible. The stars are aligning. Donald Trump cannot deliver this, though, because he is too polarizing.
So let’s run Ron DeSantis in 2024, who is tough, but far smarter, and far less polarizing, no matter how much the media tries to make him that way.
5. There Would be no Progress
Suppose that things are bad enough in 2024 to barely deliver a Donald Trump victory. What then? He would be close to 80 and only have four years, not the opportunity for eight. He would give the Democrats who are now hemorrhaging support (because they are crazy, and can no longer hide it behind an orange mask) a second lease on life. Republicans would more than likely be beaten in the 2026 midterm election. Democrats would also be far likelier to make a comeback in 2028 with somebody who is younger and far worse than the mummy.
What would happen in the years between 2024 and 2028? He would simply hire all the wrong people again. He would empower the corporate media again with his incessant need for attention and to defend his ego. The economy would probably be better, but it would be the same four years of recrimination, and it would not end the Long Humiliation. A second Donald Trump presidency would not deliver the wins necessary to do so.
His defenders try to argue that he has somehow learned from his mistakes, but do his endorsements and the people he’s surrounded himself with post-presidency demonstrate that? Most of them don’t.
There is a reason why winners look to the future, while whiners live in the past. We can’t allow a Donald Trump nostalgia cult to take hold in the way the Ronald Reagan nostalgia cult did. The stakes are simply too high now.
6. He is Out of Touch
This might be the biggest reason why a 2024 run is a horrible idea. In 2016, he was insightful, funny, and said actually interesting things, when everyone else was using the boring cliches. Fast forward. Can you name one actually interesting thing he has said or done since covid hit? Contrast with some other figures in the party.
There’s Ron DeSantis of course, but we’ve seen Christopher Rufo’s reporting on Critical Race Theory make that a mainstream controversy. It contributed in no small part to Glenn Youngkin’s win in Virginia. Glenn Youngkin’s campaign also focused heavily on improving the quality of life for working people. His was not the standard “tax cuts” campaign. He instead talked about ending taxes that made everyday life more expensive.
Elsewhere, Marco Rubio has learned from his 2016 loss and become a leading voice in industrial policy and on China. Tom Cotton has done the same and has emerged as the Senate’s leading immigration hawk with his RAISE Act, the bill Donald Trump decided to spend no political capital on. Josh Hawley has also emerged as the leading antitrust figure in the Senate. Donald Trump’s most noteworthy comment on the issue was a complaint that Mark Zuckerberg treated him poorly after flattering him. Even Mitt Romney has been more interesting lately, with his family benefit plan.
As these figures have done what they’ve done this year, the former president has spent his 2021 in bitterness over the last election and putting out bizarre press releases, such as one indirectly telling Republican voters to stay home, and then one trying to claim credit for Youngkin’s win. And then there was this.
Being stubborn can be a good attribute if used appropriately. But here it would be a lot better if Trump just admitted that he made a mistake instead of humanizing Fauci. pic.twitter.com/RexVsrxlGL
— Hans Mahncke (@HansMahncke) October 25, 2021
Throughout 2021, Donald Trump has acted like a fading star desperate for relevance. He hasn’t actually said anything interesting in a long time. At best, he’s incorporated what other people have already done. It’s a far cry from his 2016 version. The charisma has faded.
It isn’t difficult to project what a 2024 campaign would be. It would mostly be about revenge and settling personal scores. It would not be an America first campaign. Occasionally, he might do something that others have already done, but it will be an imitation at best.
Why would we want that kind of campaign? Unlike his 2016 campaign, that is not a persuasive message.
He is the one that is now out of touch. Despite what you’ll see on Twitter, people don’t care about the 2020 election. They want to know what Republicans are doing to get the country back to normal and stop this radical, incompetent regime. Donald Trump has not answered those questions in 2021.
There are no upsides to a 2024 return. There are many downsides. Donald Trump had the opportunity to play shadow president, but he failed to do so because of his obsessive quest for personal revenge and his undisciplined style. Ron DeSantis has since filled that vacuum.
Because he's incapable of thinking strategically. Everything is about immediate ego gratification.
It worked in 2016 and up until covid, but when fortune turned, this character flaw proved fatal. It's why Cicero said that virtue alone can ultimately keep us happy and secure.
— J.M. Carpenter (@Duke_Libertas) November 13, 2021
Ron DeSantis understands the historical task before him (and us). He understands what animated the Trump 2016 campaign and the need to end the Long Humiliation. He is just 30 years younger, much more disciplined, and much more articulate. He lacks Donald Trump’s charisma, true, but Trump’s charisma is not a general kind, but a very polarizing variety that only a minority enjoy. You might not like that, but you need to come to terms with it.
A supposed lack of charisma, if it means you make less enemies, is not necessarily a bad thing. And going up against the mummy President or the badly-programmed gynoid Vice President, Ron DeSantis might as well be Theodore Roosevelt. One can say the same for other promising candidates.
The end of history has long been a delusion. History did not stop in 1980, 1989, or 2016. Events have their own momentum. I will always be grateful for Trump’s destruction of the old Republican Party, but he completed that task. The larger historical task of ending the Long Humiliation has proved beyond him. He is not the right man for this particular act on history’s stage. I have showed why in this article.
His was a transitional act. If he helps and supports the successful conclusion of that transition, to a leader that can actually finish the task of reaching the promised land, that will be a historical legacy that will secure his name. If not, he will be seen as an emblem of the selfish, failed Boomer generation of leadership that caused the Long Humiliation in the first place.
Again, character is destiny. For more on that, read Lives of the Luminaries.