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Opinion

From Don to Consigliere: Trump is teasing a 2024 run, but he should advise rather than lead as his brand won’t win the day again

Donald Trump appears to be mulling a second run at the White House and the political world is biting its nails to see what he does. But I don’t believe he should run again, instead he should advise the next GOP generation.

The former president has been teasing for some time now that he’s going to run again in 2024. His base is obviously excited by the possibility, and he’s been saying he thinks people will “be very, very happy” when he makes a “certain announcement.” Though I have no doubt that some people will be thrilled by the prospect of the Don running again, I don’t think he should. I think that Donald Trump’s methods have become outdated, and a new approach is needed if Republicans want to secure the White House again.

One thing I should mention before I elaborate is that I quite liked Donald Trump as president. From a pure policy perspective, I thought he did quite well when it came to economics and immigration. His judicial picks are likely to have an effect on American legislation and its constitutionality for decades to come. Not to mention that his term in office awakened many other Republicans to exactly how anti-American the culture has started to become. With those and several other successes, I believe he was incredibly effective and will be remembered fondly by Republicans in the future. 

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However, I don’t really feel he’s the man to take the White House from the Democrats in four years’ time. I would rather see him in a consigliere role in the party, as opposed to the Don (a Tom Hagen to another’s Vito Corleone, if you will). I’m of the opinion that the approach Trump took while in power has played itself out. The focus now needs to be on building bridges to the areas that Trump won in 2016 but lost in 2020 and, as we saw in the last election, Trump is not the man to do that. 

The states Trump won in 2016 but lost in 2020 were mostly blue-collar states, which the right-wing policy of low taxation would benefit the most. Not to mention, Trump’s positive outlook on oil and the automotive industry would massively help states like Michigan and Pennsylvania. However, something kept Trump from being able to keep these states, unlike Ronald Reagan in the ‘80s. I believe that was ultimately down to how Trump presents himself.

Donald Trump as a candidate could best have his strategy summed up as “own the libs.” He is a big fan of making leftists look inept, but does that really win over voters? We see right-wing personalities such as Ben Shapiro or Steven Crowder do quite well with their own media popularity adopting this strategy, but I don’t think it wins elections. Time is showing more and more that the 2016 election was more of a reflection of how much everyone hated Hillary Clinton than how much they liked Donald Trump. The same strategy was never going to work twice, although one can’t rule out the Democrats somehow picking someone as repellent as Hillary again. I think the approach needs to be one of building bridges. Specifically building bridges to minority groups and the states that Trump did manage to flip in 2016 but didn’t hang on to.  

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Republicans these days present themselves as the working man’s party, and I don’t think Trump is the structural engineer the party needs to erect the bridges needed to get those states on board. But it must be stressed that whichever Republican does end up running for president would benefit greatly from his endorsement and support. In essence, it’s very unlikely that someone will be popular enough with Republicans without the blessing of Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean that he should be the frontrunner. Republicans need a man who can win over the people in the middle, and I think Donald Trump’s time to try and do that has long since passed. 

With all that being said, even if he does run again, he’d have a better shot than Jeb Bush. 

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