It would not be fair for me to say that these Republican primaries are a matter of life or death for the party and the country. It sure would help me scare voters into turning out on caucus or primary day, but it would be far from the truth. My position in this field has never been more apparent. With a twice (soon thrice) indicted former President running to reclaim the Oval Office for pure vanity, the stakes have never been higher. Yet, this contest is already over.
When a political party is loyal, as the GOP continues to be for Donald Trump, it is hard to see someone else clinching to the nomination. In the face of lack of character, loss of face, continued legal troubles, and electoral defeats, one should seriously debate the direction taken by the party. Yet none of this is happening. Exception made for a minority of not-so-vocal classic Republicans, the party's mainstream keeps siding with Donald Trump on every single issue. The party is not ready for someone different. This nomination is Donald Trump's as long as he wants it.
The lack of awareness within the party is not the only reason leading me to such a dire conclusion. There is no political opposition to the former President. Indeed, there are contenders in this primary (many of them) who would like to replace Trump, but are they different? The only one with a remote chance of defeating the former President is the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis. DeSantis has been, is, and will be no different from Donald Trump. Running for Governor, he enjoyed portraying himself as a small scale-Trump. In office, he adopted the same rhetoric and attitude as the former President. Running for the White House, nothing seems to have changed: this time, he wants to run as Trump-er than Trump himself. Other opponents are either irrelevant or like Trump.
When I claim that these primaries "are not a matter of life or death," I mean that they have been blown out of proportion on every level. We need to start thinking about 2028. Defeating Trump would be great, but that is not happening anytime soon. Even if he were, opponents like DeSantis are no different, and the MAGA movement is still strong. There is no use in defeating Trump if his rhetoric, ideas, and influence stay relevant within the party.
From an electoral standpoint, the only way the RNC will acknowledge how toxic Trump has been for the party is to lose again in 2024. Losing against an 81-year-old incumbent would be a humiliation like no other for both Trump and the GOP. Another defeat might discourage Trump from running and the Republicans from ever supporting him again. Someone like Biden, who ruled upon staggering inflation, a war, and a polarized country, should be highly vulnerable in November. Yet, with Trump, another defeat is assured. Cratering support among crucial demographics will alarm Republicans and lead them on a different path.
As I said before, my position in this field is clear. Trump does not deserve the nomination, nor do people who talk, work, or act like him. My endorsement goes out to Senator Tim Scott and Fmr. Governor and Ambassador Nikki Haley. As common sense conservatives, they would restore sanity within the GOP and heal the wounds of polarization. Widely approved while in office, both have significant experience and are qualified to sit in the Oval Office.
Unfortunately, both my eyes and theirs are already set on 2028. Both are well aware they cannot win in such an environment. They also know that Trump's nomination and defeat against Biden would represent an opportunity. "I told you so" would be the theme of the 2028 Republican primary. The 2024 primary was never competitive to begin with. Trump was going to win it, one way or the other.
In 2028, the party will decide, without Trump, whether to follow the former President's footsteps or return to its values and roots. This decision cannot be taken with someone who held the Oval Office for four years in the race. The real battle awaits the party, and everybody knows this. Glenn Youngkin, Brian Kemp, and Chris Sununu refused to throw their hats in the ring because they were unwilling to spend money and time in a primary that was essentially over. 2028 will be a choice between free market or government intervention, free trade or protectionism, American dominance or American retreat, optimism or pessimism, populism or conservatism, values or lack of character. I trust the voters will make the right choice then.