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Toxic Trump Must Leave the Stage

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar

 "I don't believe in living in the past. Living in the past is for cowards. If you live in the past, you die in the past." -- Football legend Mike Ditka

"The future is now." - Football legend George Allen


Former president Donald Trump appears ready and eager to announce another run for president. Perhaps it should be on the grievance or revenge ticket. If he does announce on Tuesday, as reported, he may for the second time skew the Georgia Senate runoff race, allowing incumbent Raphael Warnock to win re-election. That will make no difference now since Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto narrowly won re-election over Adam Laxalt in Nevada, guaranteeing a Democrat Senate majority.

Following last Tuesday's elections in which Trump-backed candidates lost, Trump began denouncing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for no reason, other than to try to weaken the governor should he decide to run for president. Trump claimed he has "dirt" on DeSantis. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Trump has enough dirt on himself to play the character "pigpen" in the Peanuts comic strip. To his supporters it doesn't matter. Speak no evil when it comes to Trump, their false political savior.

Trump then dumped on Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, saying his name "Young-kin" "sounds Chinese," and claimed credit for Youngkin's victory.

What is wrong with a man who demeans others to elevate himself?  His picture should be next to the dictionary definition of narcissist: "an extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance."


People are aware that Trump has broken several of the Ten Commandments, including the one against bearing false witness, but by dumping on DeSantis while he was busy trying to help people in the path of another hurricane/tropical storm, he again broke Ronald Reagan's "11th Commandment": "Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican." Reagan was a consummate optimist. Trump behaves like a petulant child whose toys have been taken away from him for bad behavior.

When The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal - two conservative publications - run editorials and op-ed columns calling on Trump to step aside and allow a new generation of Republicans to occupy the stage, the handwriting is on the wall. They are not alone among conservatives.

Some on the right claim that because these publications are owned by Rupert Murdoch and because Murdoch supposedly dislikes Trump they can't be trusted. I know some of the people who write for these publications and seriously doubt they would stain their journalistic credentials by writing what management dictates. I worked for Murdoch's Fox News Channel for 19 years and was never told by anyone what to say or not say on the programs on which I appeared and hosted. This is an easy excuse for Trump supporters to avoid reality.


If Trump couldn't win in 2020 and if his acerbic personality helped Democrats win both houses of Congress then and kept Republicans from scoring overwhelming victories in last week's election, what makes anyone think he can do better in 2024?

My advice to DeSantis: Stay focused on Florida. Continue your successes as governor that resulted in a nearly 20-point victory over your opponent. Ignore Trump's cynical and caustic jabs. You have time on your side. With Trump still facing legal problems and with such a poor performance of his endorsed candidates in the latest election, Trump's appeal to the past will increasingly be a drag on his prospects for another term as president. The same advice for Youngkin. The old saying "never get in a spitting contest with a skunk" applies.

Living in the past is for losers and Trump is the greatest loser.


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