We’re not talking about Never Trumpers here, or even necessarily the RINOS. We’re not talking about Senator Mitt Romney, who first asked favors of the former president then publicly turned against him, and who never really took a liking to the New York finance and entertainment mogul. We’re certainly not talking about that contemptible bunch over at the Lincoln Project.
We’re probably not talking about Mitch McConnell, who went along to get along with President Trump, earning the bestowal of a plum assignment for his wife, but who always seemed to be riding an inevitable grassroots wave that he would abandon like a cracked surfboard once the wave crashed and rolled onto the beach in a tumultuous froth.
Check that metaphor: McConnell wasn’t surfing. He was in a GOP yacht offshore, watching the show from a safe distance. And he never really boarded the USS Trump. Going along to get along is the natural inclination of Mitch McConnell, as it is the wont of Republican establishmentarianism. Winning is sometimes — but only as a chance electoral gift — part of its stratagem of governance.
Donald Trump’s wave — in this example, his quest for a second term — didn’t crash in the conventional sense of spent power and denouement. It was circumvented by any means necessary. It isn’t easy, but with the proper amounts of deviousness, media complicity, and lever control, you can staunch a political tsunami.
Too soon to be discussing Trump and 2024? Unless you want another column about how bad things are under Biden — columns which write themselves — no; it’s fair game for discussion.
We’re talking here and now about Republican political animals, influencers, and decision makers who earnestly came over to the Trump side, at whatever point in the process, and who now believe it is time for him to move on.
One identifiable characteristic of the No More Trumper is that he or she either initially or eventually came to wholeheartedly support pretty much everything the Trump Administration fought for and stood for. He or she talked the talk and walked the walk, and now seems to be cautiously suggesting that, when it comes to The Donald as president, enough is enough.
The ripples of this analysis are just surfacing. Those who seek to suggest such a blasphemy against Trump Nation have to be careful in a party that still overwhelmingly supports Mr. Trump. They need to exercise caution positing that a different candidate, Gov. Ron DeSantis for example, might be a better bet to unseat Joe Biden (assuming Biden survives his term and runs again). It takes a certain amount of chutzpah and/or a diplomatic touch to float the notion that a former president, who polling shows would defeat hands-down the current president, may not be the best 2024 candidate.
Under a scenario in which Biden does not run for a second term, right-wing pundits and politicos will be off the reservation when they wonder aloud if some other yet-to-be-identified candidate would be in a stronger position than Trump to defeat whatever possible post-Biden redistributionist the Democrats nominate. (The less said about VP Harris, the better, for all concerned, including Harris.)
In the current environment, just shy of a year out from the midterms, anyone proffering analysis on the right might be advised to take baby steps when inferring that it might be time for a new Republican face to emerge, a face that may not as yet have appeared on the horizon as having presidential potential.
This new candidate the No More Trumpers are hoping for will theoretically embody the best of Trump, but will blaze the campaign trail carrying the scepter of America First in a more traditionalist political style. He or she will have to be a fighter, which excludes all potentials from the GOP establishment, but he or she will fight the Marxist/Commie Left with more professional, moderated weaponry, unlike the thematic flamethrower Trump took to the nation’s capital.
Therein lies the crux of the No More Trumper argument: the trail has been blazed, the trajectory set, the preferences of the electorate identified. The way to win made clear. Now, let’s find somebody less incendiary to carry the standard.
Here’s a good list of possible candidates from Deseret News.
If pressed to predict a political prognosticator with the guts to come out as offering arguments in support of some candidate other than Trump in the next presidential cycle, I’m keeping an eye on new hire Rick Santorum over at Newsmax TV. I respect Senator Santorum; it’s just a hunch.
We may hear a lot from the No More Trumpers between now and election year 2024, especially after 2022 shakes out and provides hard data about the evolving political landscape. Or maybe we won’t. Trying to insert a more traditional, professional politician, however Trump-aligned he or she may be, into a role that President Donald Trump made forever his own, might be a fool’s errand.
As the great country star George Jones once sang, “There ain’t nothing better, once you’ve had the best.”