The Donald needs to play the part
First, I must state that I am not, have never been, and will never be a NeverTrump. I voted for the man twice and will gladly do so again if he wins the nomination. I'd like to see him in the Oval Office again because I believe it to be important for the soul of our country.
We need to show the conspirators who attempted to destroy his presidency that we will not stand for a coup of a duly elected administration. The Democrats and the Deep State used a hoax and a sham investigation in an attempt to prevent Trump's election, and then take down his presidency after elected. Their attempt to interfere in the peaceful transfer of power — beginning in 2015 and continuing through 2020 — must be met with consequences. A re-election of Donald Trump would signal their failure and the commencement of consequences — as delivered by a president who will never run for election again.
Having said all of that, it's important to take a cold, hard look at why Trump lost in 2020, and why he'll probably lose in 2024 if he continues on his current path. There's plenty of time for a course correction. However, it does require a correction — a change.
I don't believe for a nanosecond that "Dementia" Joe actually got 81 million votes with a basement campaign. Unfortunately, the election was close enough to be stolen — and it probably was, with unconstitutional rules changes and questionable ballot-harvesting.
The election was close because people were tired of Trump's behavior. The electorate loved his policies, but they didn't like his childishness. The bragging, name-calling, and needless picking of fights became tiring.
Donald Trump is not in office now because he, and he alone, allowed the election to be close enough to be stolen. He didn't have the self-control necessary to run a disciplined campaign and win over large swaths of the electorate.
Recent events would indicate that he hasn't developed any additional self-control or tactical savvy in the last two years.
It started in typical Trump fashion with name-calling (e.g., Ron "DeSanctimonious"). Then he continued with a blame game. He is now claiming that the events of January 6 were Mike Pence's fault. Next, in an act of total political tone-deafness, Trump asserted that Charlie Crist (Republican turned independent turned Democrat) was as good at governing Florida as Ron DeSantis is. Trump apparently doesn't see that such a statement is insulting to Floridians who rejected Crist and elected DeSantis in a landslide. Does the Donald think he doesn't need Florida's 30 electoral votes in 2024? That's what he's acting like.
Trump needs to understand: we have always been attracted to him because he's a fighter. Conservatives have needed someone for decades who would fight for what we believe in. In 2016, he fit the ticket. But a fighter who can't tell a friend from a foe is not our defender — he's just a destroyer. Trump is becoming as destructive to us as he is to our opponents. We need better target discrimination.
There are two types of businessmen. There are the commanders, who move their company forward by giving orders — do as I say or you're fired. Then there are the leaders who move a company forward by inspiring their employees — I'll show you how we can accomplish something great together. Trump is a commander. But the American presidency needs a leader. Citizens are not employees. They can't be ordered and they can't be fired. They can only be inspired. Failure to understand that dynamic is more likely to get the commander fired — as it did Donald Trump.
Here's a fundamental truth about leadership: if nobody is following, you aren't leading. In 2020, less than 30 percent of America's 255 million voting-age adults were following Donald Trump. That's not unusual for modern-era politicians. But failing to inspire 70 percent of those eligible to vote is not a recipe for a historic presidency. It's also missing the opportunity to triple one's vote count. For someone who's supposed to be the world's greatest negotiator, that's a lot to leave on the table.
It doesn't have to be that way. The Donald has been a highly successful businessman and entertainer.
Here's my advice: read the audience, play the part, and make the sale. Give a few speeches without the bragging, temper tantrums, and insults. Play the part of the adult in the room rather than the unhinged bar fighter — even if it is only play-acting. Present himself as more concerned with our welfare than his own aggrandizement.
Do that, and The Donald could win 2024 in a landslide. He could be the next Ronald Reagan. But fail to inspire us, and he'll just be another obscure one-term president in the history books — along with Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Joe Biden.
John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He has written for American Thinker, and American Free News Network. He can be followed on Facebook or reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.