Donald Trump I should run, while Donald Trump II might be stopped
A less pleasant wonder of modernity is the way in which the media and political classes can erase from the minds of the public a real person’s genuine qualities and accomplishments and, instead, substitute a purely fictional character, compounded of endless fake narratives. It’s this artificial creation that may stand between Trump and another run at the White House.
Since the midterm, there has been a never-ending series of articles about whether Donald Trump should or should not run for president. Some argue that his time is past, that they are appreciative of what he was able to do, but now is some sort of damaged goods that will sabotage Republicans winning back The White House. Others are equally adamant that only Donald Trump can lead us out of this wilderness because only he has the experience, energy, and enthusiasm to win again.
We are arguing among ourselves before the midterm elections are even final. I have no idea which side is correct. Neither can see the future and the arguments are usually from very personal positions that may not hold true through a very difficult season of campaigning. Almost everyone will say that we need someone willing to battle like Donald Trump in 2024, but maybe just not him.
However, before these discussions matter for anything, there is a different challenge that can only be won by Donald Trump. Can the old Donald Trump beat a new Donald Trump his opponents created?
There are now two Donald Trumps: the successful businessman who had three great years as president before Covid and a newly created caricature that contains some elements of the old combined with new material that does not really exist. It is some version of this new Donald Trump that most people insist should not run.
It has taken his opponents over seven years to create this fake, although they clearly thought it would happen sooner. Rush used to truly say that they could not destroy Trump because they did not create him. So they created a new Donald Trump and have slowly substituted that person in place of the real Donald Trump in the voters’ minds. They are now successfully destroying the new Donald Trump they created.
This new creation incorporates Charlottesville, Russian collusion, Ukraine impeachment, grabbing private parts, injecting bleach, promoting dangerous drugs, and election denying. It is the mean-tweeting insurrectionist that steals classified government documents.
This fake Donald Trump has become the real one in the minds of many, including people who once supported him. For those who live on the coasts or watch traditional media, the new Donald Trump may be the only Donald Trump anyone sees. Without two years of his having lost bully pulpits from which to counteract the deception (the White House and, arguably, Twitter), the fix is in. They steal elections, and now they have stolen the real Donald Trump and successfully replaced him with someone else they created. The real Donald Trump is still there, but the glass through which the public sees him has been horribly distorted.
If he is to run again, his first job will be to uncreate this deception, a task he must complete before the primaries begin. Anything that looks like the old DJT will be suppressed, and anything even marginally like the new one they created will be amplified.
It is a huge job. It is not just the media that have created this fake Donald Trump. They had help from our own government, the “six ways from Sunday” folks, and the Republican party. It was a creation by committee. This large working group has been quite relentless in its new creation.
The challenge is more difficult because the fake Donald Trump resides primarily in the mainstream news and in social media. The original Donald Trump exists mostly among his friends in the conservative media, at any MAGA rally, and in the hearts and minds of his true supporters. There are not just two versions of Donald Trump. The two versions exist in mostly different spaces and only occasionally bump into each other.
The old Donald Trump is banned from the space where his replacement resides. It makes sense that he may be out of sorts and frustrated lately. He is battling a fake version of himself that he cannot face. I think he knows that he must beat this new guy before he can take on other challengers.
Conservatives who want Donald Trump want the first version, only with the wisdom gained since 2020. The people that say he should not run are warning against some variation of the second version.
The question is not whether Donald Trump should run. The question is whether he can beat the new Donald Trump. Maybe he can. It is not political as much as it is a branding question. This is not a trademark issue that can be taken to court. It is a marketing and public relations nightmare. Of course, if anyone can fix this, it is Donald Trump, but it may be that even he cannot work this miracle. This steal may persist long enough to change another election.
It is a shame we cannot have a primary-like process before the real primary in which the old Donald Trump can publically defeat the new one for all to see.