America Needs Donald Trump — But Not Like This

Donald Trump has decided to get started on his 2024 campaign early.  He's trying to position himself for the Republican primary by clearing the field.  He's attacking his fellow Republicans — including the current superstars.

His excuse for the attacks is ingratitude.  He's unhappy with anyone who hasn't shown sufficient gratitude for his help — which just happens to be anybody who might challenge him for the Republican nomination.

Before the midterm election, he started attacking Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) — the man who turned a swing state into a solidly red state.  He called him Governor DeSanctimonious and accused him of being ungrateful for the help he had provided his campaign in 2018.

After the midterms, Trump broadened his field of fire to include Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-Va.) — the man who turned a blue state into a swing state.  Again, the attack was for insufficient fealty to The Donald.  Trump says Youngkin won only because he called on the forces of MAGA to support him during his campaign in 2021.

But here's the thing.  We are a free country, governed by free men — at least for a few more years.  MAGA-supporters are not Trump's employees, to be ordered to support anyone.  MAGA-supporters voted for DeSantis and Youngkin because doing so advanced their cause's objectives.

Trump may have given the movement a name, but the movement to return America to its former greatness does not belong to him.  The movement selected him to run the enterprise — for a few years.  Trump works for MAGA, not vice versa.  Trump is merely the CEO, answerable to the shareholders — the voters.

As the movement's current CEO, Trump will have that job so long as he's the best man to promote its interests.  But Trump needs to ask himself — is undermining the movement's star performers promoting the interests of the movement?

Let's say I apply for a job at a country club owned by some guy named Donald.  He gives me a job to help out around the golf course and tells me to go gas up all of the tractors.  No sooner do I finish the job than the head greenskeeper climbs up on one of the tractors to mow the fairways.  And the jerk doesn't even bother to thank me!

Being upwardly ambitious, I

  • Let the air out of the tractor's tires while the greenskeeper is on a break
  • Hunt down the club owner
  • Let the owner know I sabotaged the tractor because the other jerk was ungrateful
  • And suggest that the owner give me the greenskeeper's job

How do you suppose that conversation will go?  Will I get a promotion for pointing out the character flaws of my fellow employees?  Or will I find myself on the unemployment line before lunch for undermining golf course operations?

That is precisely what Donald Trump is doing.  He is asking us for a job, while openly undermining others who are already doing a superb job for us.  He is putting his personal wishes above the needs of the movement — not a winning argument during a job interview.

I understand that there is going to be a robust, aggressive, and healthy competition for the 2024 Republican nomination.  But Trump needs to rethink his strategy to win that competition.  If he thinks his leadership of the movement will be extended because he managed to undermine the movement's stars, he has no grasp of teamwork nor patriotism.  The quarterback is only sack practice for the other team without his teammates.

There is an ingrate in this scenario, but it's not DeSantis nor Youngkin.  Conservatives backed George W. Bush throughout his presidency.  We defended him against the vicious attacks of the left, the MSM, and the Democrats.  He repaid us by declining to defend us, siding with establishment politicians (of both parties), and attacking our new standard-bearer — Donald J. Trump.  He betrayed the movement that had remained loyal to him.

Now we have a new generation of conservatives.  They are showing America that conservatism is a path to liberty, prosperity, and happiness.  They are advancing the interests of MAGA.  After we spent six years defending Trump from all manner of vile attack, he is repaying us by attacking those who are currently advancing our interests.  How is that any less of a betrayal than what Bush did?

DeSantis and Youngkin don't owe Trump anything.  They owe their voters everything — and they're repaying it with their performance.  Trump also owes his supporters gratitude.  He did some great things while in office.  But undermining those who are advancing our cause falls considerably short of showing any gratitude.

I've often compared President Donald Trump to General George Patton.  Like Trump, Patton was a flawed man who frequently achieved greatness under the most difficult circumstances.  He was a fighter — just like Trump.

But occasionally, his flaws were his undoing.  On one such occasion in Sicily, Patton struck one of his soldiers, accusing him of being a coward.  The incident cost Patton his command.  He spent months in command purgatory — rather like what Trump has been experiencing since 2020 (though he was undone by mean tweets rather than a slap).

George Patton didn't spend his exile screaming about the ungratefulness of everyone around him.  He apologized to those he had offended, showed deference to his leadership, humbled himself, and waited for an opportunity for redemption.  He swallowed his pride and did what he had to do to serve his country.

Is Trump capable of humbling himself before those he has offended, as George Patton did?  Let me ask that another way.  Does Donald Trump love the country enough to put his personal feelings aside and do what is necessary to advance the American exceptionalism agenda?  We'll find out the answer to that question in the coming months.  The answer will determine if Donald Trump is worthy of another term as the leader of the movement that has stood by him.

I sincerely hope that Donald Trump shows the character, humility, and gratitude that General George Patton did.  There is a lot of fighting ahead of us to make America great again.  We'll be better off if Trump is in that fight — but only if he can learn to distinguish between opponents and allies.  We need him on our side, fighting the opposition.  We do not need him on his own side, attacking in all directions.

John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho.  He has written for American Thinker,American Free News Network, and The Blue State Conservative.  His work has been featured on The Dan Bongino Show, World View Weekend Broadcast with Brannon House, and Steel on Steel with John Loeffler.  He can be followed on Facebook or reached at

Image: Ninian Reid via Flickr, CC BY 2.0 (cropped).

If you experience technical problems, please write to