After breaking his month of silence, President Trump was asked on a Newsmax phone interview whether he will run again in 2024. His message was classic Trump. “I won’t say yet, bet we have tremendous support.”
It’s clear that there will be no formal announcement in the foreseeable future. Yet many polls suggest that Trump’s approval among Republicans remains high. In fact, post impeachment, Trump’s approval just keeps climbing among conservatives.
It’s clear that if he decides to run again in 2024, the chances of him being the Republican choice is high. If he does run and the party refuses to endorse his candidacy, many of his supporters will stay home and the party will be divided in ways that could impact turnout. Conservative Senate and House candidates could lose critical votes as well.
His decision may be years away, but there is no question that he will be called to play a critical role. Will he run to be president again or will he choose to be a kingmaker—nurturing a candidate and a platform that can leave a far more lasting legacy? President Trump can help launch a powerful candidate who would likely win in 2024 and 2028. Such a candidate could reverse many of the liberal excesses already evident in the Biden reign.
Let’s be honest. President Donald Trump accomplished things that most Republicans only campaigned on. He delivered on his promises. But sustaining such a force for change exacts a cost on the person and the family that must bear the brunt of attacks that come. President Trump used Twitter to sell his vision, attack his enemies, and support his herd of supporters. There is no question that his return to the campaign front would bring out the knives and venom once again. Does he want to do that again? There may be a way for him to have an even greater impact.
He has a candidate in his own backyard who is already showing signs of his willingness to run and priorities that Trump would easily support. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis doesn’t have the Twitter trail that turns off some voters. But he is clearly a no-nonsense truth-teller who can take the heat and give it right back to the leftist extremists who make many traditional Republicans cower.
DeSantis has provided a model of effective governance. He resisted a state lockdown fostering a quick economic recovery for Florida in spite of the pandemic. He initiated a vaccine plan that focused on getting the vaccines to the people most vulnerable—senior citizens. He initiated a laissez-faire approach that let businesses and jobs flourish. His response was right out of the Trump playbook. His executive track record at the state level has shown that he is ready to take the helm in Washington.
With the extremes already evident from the Biden presidency, America will be ready for a change back to sanity and the America they love. It is one thing for Biden to make promises from the basement, but when you actually have to make decisions as a president, your choices have consequences to real voters. Whether the loss of jobs from the Keystone Pipeline or the open border policies that turn 20 million illegal immigrants into potential citizens and invite millions more to keep coming to take American jobs, Biden’s excesses are making a lot of voters furious.
President Trump should keep the option of running open so that Democrats will keep attacking him in ways that keep his supporters madder than a nest of angry hornets. Whether or not all in the party like it, Trump is the leader of the party. For now, he should focus on two priorities: First, create a new Contract with America and, second, work to support the Republican candidates who will support it. The goal is clear—take back the House and the Senate at the midterm election with candidates who support him and his priorities.
No matter what Never-Trumpers say, his supporters believe there was fraud and that the wrong candidate won. That anger is going to translate into motivated voters. Trump can create rallies all around the country to support candidates that will further his political priorities, and they will win.
If he chooses to run, he will be poised to win. But I ask him to reconsider. Being a kingmaker may be more important to the future of America. The right candidate will come in without his toxic baggage. He has more of a chance of uniting the party to fight all the left stands for. A victorious Republican candidate would be positioned to serve not for four years, but for eight.
President Trump, what you stand for is more important than you. Consider proving that by staying open to doing what is best for America in the mid-terms and in the 2024 election. Thank you for all you have done, and all you will do to keep making America GREAT!
Terry Paulson is PhD psychologist, author, and professional speaker on Earned Optimism, Making Change Work, Claiming Your American Dream, and Becoming a Conservative Values Voter. Contact him to speak before your group at firstname.lastname@example.org.