Is Donald Trump coachable?

I voted enthusiastically for Trump in 2016.  I voted for him in 2020 with a bit less enthusiasm.  At the just-concluded CPAC convention, Trump emerged as the favorite of conservatives, garnering 59% of the straw poll, while DeSantis finished a distant second, earning 28%.  Twenty twenty-four is still a long way away, but the question on many conservative minds is who will be our best candidate in the next presidential election.

Conservatives are not the only ones fretting about 2024.  Democrats who impeached Trump twice want to disqualify Trump as an "insurgent" using the 14th Amendment.  Pelosi's January 6 Committee undoubtedly is hoping to forcefully make that case before the 2022 elections later this year.  Nothing would make Nancy happier than to use her gavel as speaker of the House and drive the 14th Amendment stake into Trump's political heart.

I want to be more enthusiastic than I am about Trump.  This reminds me of a similar dilemma I have with the birds in Baltimore.  I support the Baltimore Orioles, but I do not believe they can win with their current ownership.  Baltimore has the most beautiful ballpark in professional baseball, but it has never hosted a World Series, and I don't think it ever will unless the ownership changes.  I also support the Baltimore Ravens, but I do not believe that our coach and our quarterback can get us to a Super Bowl.  I fear that both have their best days in the rearview mirror.  I am more optimistic about Trump's prospects, but to linger with the sports theme, I still wonder if Donald is coachable.

Image: Donald Trump (edited) by Gage Skidmore.  CC BY-SA 2.0.

During his first term, Trump took many actions that deserve praise.  He did not completely stop the flow of illegal aliens into America, but he did restrict it.  He made America energy independent and an exporter of energy.  He put three conservative judges on the Supreme Court.  He did all these things and more while facing four years of unrelenting attacks from the Democrats, the media, and "NeverTrumps."

He also made mistakes in his first term.  He should have fired all the holdovers from the Obama administration whom he inherited.  Trump exasperated many of the people he hired, and many wrote and still write unflattering books about their experiences in his administration.  His impulses to leave no criticism unanswered made him look petty and unpresidential at times.  While those impulses may serve the inhabitants of Queens, they do not serve the leader of the free world.

Trump's strongest defenders told us during his first term, "Let Trump be Trump!"  Against our better judgment, many of us held our tongues when we wanted him to stop "TWITTERING" and engaging in other arrogant off-putting behaviors.  His praise of dictator Putin, for example, earned him no credit.

Trump can no longer claim to be a rookie politician.  He made mistakes during the four years of his first term.  Like all humans, he should learn from his mistakes.  Trump was a good president in his first term, but if he wants a chance to be a great president in his second term, he will need to humble himself and accept quality coaching.

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