As the GOP heads into 2024 and it increasingly looks like Establishment GOP candidates of the Mike Pence or Mike Pompeo mold will try to challenge him in the primary, or DeSantis will challenge him from a MAGA-like position and claim he’s “Trumpism without Trump”, the question of what former President Trump will do if he doesn’t win the nomination remains.
On one hand, he could back down graciously and do his best to support whoever the GOP candidate is. But, on the other hand, that doesn’t really sound like Trump. Like any good bull in a china shop, it seems much more likely that he’d start to break things.
And such is what Trump himself suggested he would do in a Truth Social post, simply posting the link to an American Greatness article titled “The Coming Split: What should we do when a majority of Republicans want Trump, but the Republican Party says we can’t have him?“. In the December 27th article, the author, Dan Gelernter, said:
Last week I wrote about Teddy Roosevelt and Donald Trump. My comparison wasn’t between the two men as presidents—though they had some similar personality traits—but between how the two men were treated by the Republican Party. The Republican Party of 1912 decided it would be better off renominating William Howard Taft, even though its voters would have preferred another Roosevelt term. The resulting split ushered in Woodrow Wilson and the first academic globalists, whose bright ideas laid the groundwork for a second world war on the eve of the conclusion of the first.
Continuing, Gelernter went on to suggest that Trump should exercise the Bull Moose option if the Establishment attempts to keep him out, saying:
But, despite the obvious differences, we’re heading for a 1912-repeat, in which the Republican Party ignores its own voters. The Republican machine has no intention of letting us choose Trump again: He is not a uniparty team player. They’d rather lose an election to the Democrats, their brothers in crime, than win with Trump.
That leads us to the inevitable question: What should we do when a majority of Republicans want Trump, but the Republican Party says we can’t have him? Do we knuckle under and vote for Ron DeSantis because he would be vastly better than any Democrat?
I say no, we don’t knuckle under. And I like DeSantis. I’d vote for him after Trump’s second term. But not before.
Here’s the thing: It is precisely the expedient view of “well, this person isn’t my first choice, but he’s the best available option who can win” which has allowed the uniparty to take over and ruin the country. We’re letting the Republicans get away with offering us a false dichotomy: A fake non-choice among candidates who are pre-selected for us. The Democrats did this themselves in 2016 when they stole the primary from Bernie Sanders.
You could go even further and say that the two-party system, in addition to preserving systemic stability, has prevented us from having any real say in our own government, except to the smallest extent. The Republicans and Democrats appear like the guard rails on either side of the road they’ve decided we should all be traveling on.
Trump simply posted the link to the article with no commentary, but Trump isn’t a particularly subtle person so the message seems easy to understand: Trump’s willing to go full “Bull Moose” Teddy Roosevelt and split the Republican Party if the elites try to keep him out of the White House.
Hopefully, it won’t come to that. And Trump does remain in the lead with GOP voters, even if that lead is starting to slip, particularly in the wake of the Trump NFT embarrassment. But, if it does, it seems Trump is ready to teach the Establishment a serious lesson in populist power, and that might end up being his greatest accomplishment of all.
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