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As the results of the 2022 mid-term elections recede in the rearview mirror and the political classes turn their attention to the 2024 Presidential elections, President Trump promises to again dominate the conversations.
Much of the current chatter amongst Republican and conservative voices is whether someone other than President Trump should be the GOP nominee in 2024. A thorough review of the 2024 GOP nomination process should leave no doubt that President Trump is the clear and obvious choice to return competent governance to the Executive Branch in Washington. In addition, a Trump victory will place the country on a path to defeat the left for a decade or more.
Like many GOP primary voters during the 2016 GOP nomination process, I took some time to come around to Donald Trump’s candidacy. I did appreciate very much Trump’s calling out Senator McCain and others on foreign wars, unchecked immigration, and China policy amongst others. However, I was concerned about his commitment to supporting pro-life policies (rarely have I ever been more wrong), the 2nd amendment, and general tenements of Reagan conservatism. But I was pleased to vote for him as a Louisiana voter and prayed for the best.
After Trump’s shocking victory in 2016, I had a number of friends who were part of the official transition and was invited to be part of process in Washington, DC. Although I had served as a legislative aide to several Members of the US House in the 1990s and lobbied for much of the 2000s, I was unprepared for the all out assault on Trump from what we now acknowledge as the “Deep State.” My wife and I were verbally assaulted at the inaugural in ways I had never previously experienced. And when I agreed to join the Administration, the constant protesting and unprecedented obstruction, particularly by Senate Democrats, was palpable and alarming to this longtime observer.
There was a key moment in the Spring of 2017 when I went from being a supporter of the President to a stalwart Trump loyalist. The President’s Twitter account is legendary and for good reason. When he put out a series of tweets accusing President Obama of engaging federal law enforcement to illegally spy on the campaign, I was astonished. Further, Trump’s accusations of Obama spying on the Transition would effectively destroy the transfer of power, and even had allies in senior positions of the Executive Branch working to evoke the 25th Amendment to remove a duly elected President from office. In the moment, I could not believe any of this was possible. It seemed preposterous; it seemed treasonous; it seemed like actions which seriously had and would harm the separation of powers of the American Constitutional Republic.
As weeks turned to months and everything the President Trump said about illegal spying on the campaign was true, as was destroying the traditional transition of power by President Obama, I came to the conclusion that never again would I discount anything the President Trump said or tweeted. This does not mean I accept everything on face value, but never again would I automatically discount anything he ever said again.
During the four years of working for the President in Washington, I had a front row seat to unprecedented destruction of democratic norms by the political class of Washington, which is overwhelmingly Democrat. I saw Trump stand up and take venomous attacks day after day. I saw many Congressional Republicans, most especially then Speaker Ryan, bail on the President, block key issues like building the wall, cave to the deep state on the absurd Russia conspiracy, and then walk away from their voters in the 2018 midterm elections.
On issue after issue, Trump stood up for regular working Americans and had significant policy accomplishments in his first term. As promised, Trump tore up the NAFTA trade agreement and put USMCA in its place, a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada that treats America’s workers and producers more fairly. Trump stood up to China and brought them to their knees with a robust systems of tariffs. These revenues were directed to farm interests to maintain incomes to win the trade war. He transformed the immigration debate to enforcement first, taking on drug cartels and human traffickers that Obama and W Bush Administrations let run wild. He transformed veterans medical care, and expanded experimental health care options for suffering Americans. The Trump Administration implemented the most consequential regulatory roll-back of the unaccountable administrative rule-making process since the Great Society. He shifted the conversation about labor and employment away from all college prep and towards multiple pathways to success with apprenticeships and other skilled training options.
I could go on regarding tax policy, the judicial appointments, and no new foreign wars. Going into 2020, income for earners in the lower four quintiles was rising faster than the top quintile. Income and employment gains for African Americans, for Hispanics, and for women were all at record levels from 2017 going into 2020. I was proud to be part of an Administration that was focused on placing the interests of Americans first. In the face of unprecedented hatred and “resistance” from the Deep State in Washington and acquiescence of many Congressional and DC Republicans, President Trump was poised for a smashing re-election in November 2020.
We all know the story of 2020. Covid (likely created illegally in a laboratory in Wuhan, China with US taxpayer funds from the NIH and Fauci), George Floyd-inspired riots, mail-in ballots, alteration of state election statutes in swing states, death threats to state legislatures wanting to delay certification and then – January 6, 2021. I will leave it to the GOP House in 2023 to have a genuine investigation of January 6th, but suffice it to say that without the exploitation by the deep state of the global pandemic emanating from Wuhan, China, President Trump would have been sworn in for a second consecutive term on January 20, 2021.
That the Biden Administration is a disaster is obvious, but the disappointing results for the GOP in the recent midterm elections are not so clear. Some voices suggest the Democrat clear fundraising edge is the main reason, others say manipulation of mail-in ballots and ballot harvesting in certain states is the primary cause. Others point to subpar GOP candidates in key races, or GOP Senate Leader McConnell’s funding decisions in Alaska, New Hampshire, Arizona, et al. But the loudest media, Never Trump and GOP establishment voices suggest if not for President Trump’s hosting of political events and eye towards running in 2024, the GOP would have won convincingly. Many of these same voices which say Trump cannot win in 2024 said with the certainty that he could not win in 2016. These pundits also said there was not nearly enough Democrat cheating in the 2020 election to impact the outcomes in key states of WI, MI, PA, GA, AZ, and NV. Those voices were wrong then and I believe they are wrong now.
I have been humbled too many times when it comes to political prognosticating to say with certitude that Trump will win the 2024 general election, I also reject those who are absolutely convinced he cannot win either. What can be said is that many of the states that were razor close in 2020, many with extremely dubious and questionable practices, will likely remain closely contested in 2024. To suggest a state Biden “won” by 0.3% in 2020 cannot be won by Trump in 2024 strikes me as without merit almost two years out. In recent weeks media polling has shown a trend to Trump pulling ahead of Biden nationwide.
We do not know all the variables between now and November 2024. What we do know is that the Democrats’ response since the 2016 Presidential election has been focused on expanding mail in balloting (often times with the judiciary ruling against the literal state statutes on signature verification, address matching, etc), even allowing for ballots to arrive days after election day (not counting traditional military and overseas ballots) and notorious ballot harvesting. The Democrat Party and legacy media have decided after 2016 we will no longer count 99% of the ballots on election night. This ended in 2016. No effort will be made to persuade swing voters on the merits of Biden Administration energy policies, or eliminating the southern border and unlimited illegal immigration, or mutilating children’s genitalia without parental notification, amongst others. The days of campaigns to persuade voters are over for the foreseeable future.
Understandably, there are voices within Republican and conservative circles which support Governor DeSantis of Florida instead of President Trump. This is a very tempting proposition. The GOP can replace Trump as nominee with a young, wildly successful governor of a huge state! He is similar to Trump but more likeable! Yes, this is the silver bullet!
I support Governor DeSantis and the job he is doing in Florida. He may make a fine President in 2028. However, he knows Trump is the reason he was catapulted from a somewhat unknown member of the US House and underdog in the 2018 GOP Florida Gubernatorial primary to narrow victor in 2018. He understands that it is virtually impossible to make an enemy of President Trump and have a future in the GOP for some years to come. And did I mention he is not yet 45 years old. This son of Trump has a high likelihood of being president, but not in 2024.
Additionally, should DeSantis decide to run and defeat Trump in the primaries, does anyone really think the Democrats and the deep state will treat the him differently than Trump? Does anyone think the Democrats will not run a third-party candidate to siphon off votes from the GOP in key states, and create election day chaos similar to Maricopa County, Arizona shut downs on election day in heavy GOP voting areas? The left will keep manipulating election processes until the country as a whole votes like California. Simply having a candidate who is “not Trump” is naive.
Notwithstanding the disintegration of electoral process, conservative voters and Republicans who care about defeating the left should support Trump. The reason I first gravitated towards him in 2016 was that he said he would show show the DC GOP how to win. I was sick of the Bushes, the McCains, the Romneys, and the Ryans who were not willing to fight and win elections. One thing Trump (or I ) did not count on was so many members of the GOP political class resenting his victory in 2016 and preferring Democrats winning over Trump being victorious in 2020. That is lamentable. I firmly believe that if the 2020 election were free, fair and transparent, Trump would have stood aside in 2024. 2020 will stand alongside 1876 and 1960 as tainted elections.
A GOP united around America First policies can defeat the Democrats in 2024 with Trump as the nominee. He has earned my loyalty and trust because he governed so effectively as President. Winning in 2024 followed by four years of strong, effective governance to roll back the deep state is the central issue of the next election. If anyone is equipped to take on this extraordinary task, it is President Trump. He is uniquely qualified to take on this herculean job to lay ground work which will defeat the left for a decade or more and revive the American experiment for another generation.