Donald J. Trump. I really didn’t want to write this op-ed. The end result is always the same. Zero minds are changed, the usual battles and name-calling commence in the comments section, and the song remains the same. That said, I decided to write it anyway, for a singular reason: the 2024 presidential election.
Before we begin, and I am probably wasting my time typing this, jumping on the bandwagon and ridiculing the following three individuals, as if to justify sophomoric name-calling, only serves to make my point.
The 2024 election will be the (next) “most important presidential election of our lifetime,” and it is my fervent hope — and should be the hope of all constitutional conservatives — that the Republican Party does not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, wasting a perfect gift on a silver platter: the disastrously failed presidency of Joe Biden and four years of radical leftism in Congress, courtesy of the Democrat Party.
The subject at issue is Trump — the potential fly in the 2024 ointment.
The former president, who has referred to himself at various times as a “very stable genius,” a guy with a “very, very, big brain,” and a “very smart man” who “has good words,” simply cannot handle even the slightest of critiques — including constructive criticism or anything with which he disagrees.
For argument’s sake, let’s accept that. Donald Trump just can’t handle criticism. Fine. But what a growing number of Republicans refuse to accept is how Trump responds to criticism — including constructive criticism, or anything with which he disagrees — and simply will not let go of the past.
Where most “very stable geniuses” with “very, very, big brains” (William F. Buckley, Thomas Sowell, and Walter E. Williams come to mind) might respond to criticism or disagreement with measured intelligence and factual rebuttal, Trump cannot help reducing himself to sophomoric name-calling. As noted by Just the News on Sunday, three cases in point follow.
One of Trump’s recent targets, as reported by Just the News, was Rich Lowry, former editor-in-chief of National Review, who recently wrote an op-ed for Politico urging the Justice Department not to indict Trump on January 6 related charges — particularly based on Nancy Pelosi’s illegitimate show “trial.” Lowry correctly argued that the January 6 committee is attempting to pressure the Justice Department.
This is a woefully misbegotten idea on every level, and if pursued, will represent a catastrophic misstep by Trump’s enemies — comparable to taking the country down the rabbit hole of the Russia collusion investigation for years.
In the communications battle over January 6 and the 2020 election, Trump has been steadily losing ground. [That is correct.] But an indictment would allow him to shift from obsessing over an imagined injustice against him in the past to combating an arguably real injustice against him in the present.
“If you believe that an indictment of the most likely candidate to run against Joe Biden in 2024 by the president’s own Justice Department would be considered anything but a politicized travesty by about half of the country,” Lowry wrote, “you haven’t been paying attention.” That is also correct.
Trump’s response? We’ve seen it before. It’s always the same. Not a rebuttal; an ad hominem attack.
As transcribed by JTN, the former president dismissed Lowry as nothing more than having “destroyed the once wonderful and influential National Review, the pride and joy of the legendary William F. Buckley.” Last time I checked, National Review was alive and well, with respected columnists like Victor Davis Hanson, Andrew McCarthy, and others.
Trump also went after Peggy Noonan, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, with whom multiple conservative political pundits, including this one, have taken issue on the issues.
Trump took a different tack, calling Noonan a “weak and frail RINO,” with “RINO,” in TrumpSpeak, meaning any Republican — conservatives included — who disagrees with him on anything, or with whom he disagrees.
I listen to all of these foolish (stupid!) people, often living in a bygone era, like the weak and frail RINO, Peggy Noonan, who did much less for Ronald Reagan than she claims, and who actually said bad things about him and his ability to speak.
Next up, Trump justifiably went after George Will, a former conservative who has gone completely off the deep end in recent years. But again, while I’d happily debate Will on anything but the Chicago Cubs — for whom Will and I share a great affinity — Trump instead takes the zero-substance low road, saying the Washington Post columnist’s “mind is decaying with hatred and envy before our very eyes.”
I’ll say it again. 2024 needs to be about the issues. Not about name-calling, ad hominem attacks, and relitigating 2020. Donald Trump, simply, is incapable of doing any of that. Of “RINOs” — his definition — he wrote on Truth Social:
Where do these people come from? They have no idea what the MAGA movement is, and even less of an understanding of America First, which is necessary, and even vital, to save our Country.
People like these are nasty, jealous, not smart, and of no use to the potential greatness of our Country. They talk, they criticize, and they complain, but they don’t have the ability or talent to get anything done.
They are shortsighted ‘losers,’ and will never understand what it takes to Make America Great Again!
Maybe “they” don’t understand what it takes to make America great again, but here’s something we all should understand: If MAGA is to return, the Republican Party must put itself in the best possible position to take the White House from Biden and the Democrats.
The Bottom Line:
The 2024 presidential election is going to make 2016 and 2020 (sans the aftermath) look like child’s play.
From the Southern border to the future balance of the Supreme Court, to the abuse of America’s children by public schools more interested in “drag queen story hour” and “gender self-identification” than quality education, and more, regaining Republican control of the White House could not be more critical.
In my not-so-humble opinion, while Donald Trump delivered on nearly every issue for which I voted for him — twice — including delivering Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and finally making the overturn of Roe a reality, I do not believe Trump is the guy to make it happen. He lacks intellectual discipline and he can’t get out of his own way.
Sophomoric name-calling and ad hominem attacks, relitigating 2020 for the rest of eternity, and other accumulated baggage, all must give way to a nominee who will focus on the future. That is the way to Make America Great Again.
Simply put, Donald Trump is his own worst enemy.