This is “the day after.”
We’ve all been speculating and predicting and wringing hands over what Trump was going to do for 2024. As a candidate for school board in a blue state, I was especially concerned that he might make that announcement the night before elections and drive even more Democrat voters to the polls. It seems like he’s been stringing us all along for months. Now, here we are.
Trump is running.
Let the kvetching begin! And oh boy, has it begun. The legacy media wasted no time in melting down (a welcome delight, actually). Even many conservative pundits are decrying the move. With DeSantis on the rise, a lot of people don’t want to see an impending showdown between two very effective political personalities. Many are afraid of it creating a rift in the party that can’t be repaired, and maybe even damaging down ballot races as a result. There are a lot of opinions flying around about it all today. So, here’s another one.
Trump has every right to run again. Love him or not, there’s no doubt he got a raw deal in 2020, on many levels. Yes, he made plenty of his own mistakes, but the fact remains that he was up against a machine that turned all its fire power on him. It’s amazing he was able to do as much as he did, really. We know his personality. He does not do well with losing, so he has something to prove. My preference would be that he prove that as a kingmaker, a party disruptor, or even a media giant. It was fun to watch the left lose their minds every time he took a sip of water, but the constant battles were also traumatizing for the party and the nation. I feel tired thinking about going through all that again. Still, he has the right.
That being said, don’t forget that Trump will have to go through the primary process just like everyone else. He’s not a lock. He’ll have to run the gauntlet to prove to the base voters that he is capable of winning again.
Back in 2016, I was quite disturbed by Trump’s swift and shocking rise. I didn’t think he was a conservative (and I still don’t), and I felt we had so many great conservatives in the race. His presence felt divisive (and, as we now know, it was) and unnecessary. I felt what was happening in the party was dangerous, and I didn’t see the things his supporters saw in him. It made me mad. I thought he was wasting our time.
Then a good friend of mine told me, “Kira, this is what the primary process is for. It’s not up to you to decide who is best to run for the office. It is up to everyone. And how everyone figures that out is through primaries. So relax and let him fight for it just like everyone else is doing.”
He was right. Once I accepted that this was the process and the people would decide, I found the whole thing a lot more enjoyable. Eventually, I came to enjoy Trump too, and I was glad he survived the primaries. Yes, it was a rough ride, and a lot of relationships changed over it. But he proved to the primary voters that he could win, and then he proved to America that he could win, so I’d say the process worked.
Let it work again.
I’m not as keen on Trump now as I was in 2020. That being said, I’m just one voter. I will cast that vote knowing full well that my ideas may not be shared by the majority of GOP voters. We won’t know until we all have our say, and I’m fine with that. I’m also fine with the outcome. If Trump is who Republican voters want, that’s who we’ll get, and we’ll deal with the next bridge when our electric cars finally get to it.
In the meantime, calm down. Take a breath. Let the process do its job. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but if you go in with the right attitude, it can at least be a little fun.