I am a Republican, but I am aπn American first. I will vote for our country’s best candidate for President in the next election, regardless of party affiliation.
I was a staunch supporter of Donald Trump in 2020 and continued to be pleased with my decision through most of his presidency. His policies got the nation back on the right track for immigration, the economy, crime, how we were regarded globally, etc. However, his reactions to events and people, and his attitudes towards others, became first annoying and later upsetting. He became an image the country did not want or need and he was hardly presidential in his actions and statements. He became pugnacious, arrogant, and seemed to enjoy humiliating opponents, former appointees, and people formerly regarded as his friends. All his public appearances became more like political rallies than presidential statements. He ended up dividing his party and ultimately the nation. With that backstory, he could never win in 2024 because the media would continue to vilify him, rightly or otherwise, the GOP will fear that his wrath will bring other candidates for office down with him and, in the end, the nation of voters will not support him.
Then came his November 15 announcement of his intention to run again for the Oval Office in 2024. I was ready to bring out the “I told you so” flag and join those praying that the nation could now write him off for future elections. To my utter amazement, he turned the tables on me. He was calm, measured, presidential, set forth the condition of the country during his first term and where it is now, presented his agenda and vision for the future administration of the country, and withheld any harsh swipes at his past opponents and expected future challengers. Then he captured the hearts of the audience by stating that the upcoming “campaign will be for you.” Wow! He was inclusive and humble, and you could feel things coming together for his next race for the White House.
Now comes the real challenge. Can he permanently erase “The Donald” image and replace it with the one we witnessed November 15? I frankly don’t believe he can and, if that is the case, he will not get my vote. If he can, I’ll vote for him ‘till hell freezes over. He may be the only one who, if he changes his approach, can put this country back on the right track. Without him, we may be doomed to being a grandchild of China and Iran, with the remainder of the world laughing at our misery.
We can’t predict who the other GOP candidates might be, but Pompeo, Pence, DeSantis and Christie will certainly be in the discussion. DeSantis is a sound conservative but may not have adequate international experience for the highest office; Christie has a fair amount of baggage from his years as Governor of New Jersey; and Pence comes across as weak and unfit for higher office. That leaves Mike Pompeo, the former Secretary of State. He has a presidential demeanor, is smart, is experienced on the domestic and international fronts, and is a polished speaker. We don’t know his agenda yet, but he is worth listening to and being part of the 2024 selection process.
2024 seems a long way down the road, but the road has a way of disappearing faster than we anticipate. So, the time is now for getting involved, doing our research, and beginning to develop our choices. All this, in my mind, depends on Trump’s ability to maintain his cool and continue to preach the many successes of his former administration versus the disaster that has befallen our country since the 2020 election.