What Donald Trump Could Do to Win Even More Support in 2024

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

It’s an understatement to say that Donald Trump has been a polarizing political figure — and I’m talking about among conservatives and Republicans. Back in 2016, he gave many conservatives some pause on whether to support him. I know because I was one of them.

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I don’t think I lost friends permanently over Trump in 2016, but I did have people tell me I needed to get off my “high horse” because I wouldn’t blindly support him. When he won the election, I was happy to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m glad he proved me wrong, and I was more than happy to vote for him in 2020 considering both his accomplishments in office and who he was running against.

But since the 2020 election and especially since he announced his 2024 run, Trump’s behavior has put plenty of conservatives in the same boat they were in the first time around. Many conservatives and Republicans — and there are differences — wonder if it’s time to move on from Trump. After all, we have some compelling candidates for next year: Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy, and hopefully Ron DeSantis. (And don’t forget Asa Hutchinson — just kidding!)

If Trump is going to serve a second term, he’s going to need all the support he can get. While we know he won’t capture the Never-Trump crowd, there are plenty of skeptical and hesitant potential supporters out there. I have a couple of ideas about how he can bring those crucial 2024 voters around to his side.

For starters, Trump needs to leave the past in the past and focus on the future. The 2020 election is over, and no matter how unfair anybody thinks it may have been, there’s nothing we can do about it short of inventing a time machine and messing with the space-time continuum. So it’s time to drop the complaining about unfair treatment and rehashing what’s past.

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Instead, Trump needs to concentrate on what he’s going to do to undo the damage that the Biden administration has inflicted on this nation. The border, the economy, energy independence, and the scourge of transgenderism are just a few of the domestic issues on the table, and our foreign policy needs an overhaul. It’s time to replace fixating on the past with focusing on the future.

Another thing Trump should do is stop attacking his fellow conservatives, even those who are his competitors (or potential combatants) for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. As National Review‘s Dan McLaughlin reminds us, “Politics is a team sport,” and Trump needs to be a better team player. We have a common enemy in Joe Biden and the Democrats, so Trump needs to save his vitriol for them.

Instead, we get Trump going after conservatives who don’t follow him in lockstep. In my home state of Georgia, we witnessed this firsthand when Trump went after the Peach State’s solidly conservative and increasingly popular governor Brian Kemp for not falling in line with the “stolen 2020 election” narrative. Trump wasted $3 million primarying former senator David Perdue against Kemp with disastrous results, and all but one of Trump’s handpicked candidates lost either in the primary or the general election. (The one candidate who won, Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, didn’t face an incumbent Republican in the primary.) Now Trump is targeting DeSantis because he perceives the Florida governor as his biggest GOP competitor.

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Trump needs to drop his strange obsession with attacking his conservative rivals from the left. It reminds me of the concerns that many of us had ahead of 2016 about whether he was going to govern as a conservative. He has been going after DeSantis — and even Kemp — from the left on topics like abortion and COVID-19 policy. How going left to highlight what Trump finds wrong with other Republicans is supposed to convince conservatives to give him another chance is beyond me.

We may well be headed for Trump inevitability in 2024, and it’s easy to see why so many people believe he deserves a shot at a second term. He could rally reluctant conservative supporters to his side if he would fix these things and run like the president he turned out to be instead of the candidate he’s been lately.

And it would be a bonus if somebody would get him to stop making that weird fist…

Donald Trump
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

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