The unsatisfactory performance of the candidates endorsed by Donald Trump in the November midterm elections has sparked a debate within the Republican Party that contains elements of confession, self-criticism, and a strong sense of concern for the future of their party.
Thus, the impression created is that of ‘turning the page’ in the history of the party…that the beginning of the end of Trump’s reign as the party’s standard bearer has arrived.
The examples are many. I will cite just two that lead to that conclusion:
The Wall Street Journal, the flagship newspaper of conservatives in America, the flagship newspaper of Rupert Murdoch’s interests, also wrote the following in an editorial the day before Donald Trump announced his candidacy, once again, for the presidency:
“Mr. Trump’s advisers urged him to hold off at least until the Dec. 6 Senate runoff in Georgia. But Mr. Trump is announcing now, long before he needs to, for two reasons. The first is to try to clear the Republican field of potential competitors, especially Govs. Ron DeSantis and Glenn Youngkin, who have shown they can win in competitive states. Mr. Trump also wants to get ahead of a possible Justice Department indictment”
The Journal’s editorial added:
“These columns believe in democracy, which means trusting the decisions of voters. Even when they make mistakes, our constitutional system allows for checks and corrections. We warned about Mr. Trump’s character in 2016, but once he was elected we covered him like any other President. We owed that to readers, and he had many policy successes: taxes and deregulation, energy security, judges, the Abraham Accords, correcting illusions about Iran, among others.”
And also, after citing his achievements, it was noted that: “his character flaws – narcissism, lack of self-control, abusive treatment of advisers, his puerile vendettas – interfered with that success.”
In the same newspaper, in Peggy Noonan’s widely read column, she quotes these points made by Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey:
“This is a baseball country…“It’s always three strikes and you’re out.” Mr. Trump struck out in 2018, 2020 and 2022. He never came close to a plurality of the popular vote. When Mr. Christie ended his tenure as chairman of the RGA, in 2014, there were 31 Republican governors. Next year there will be 26. The reason, he said, is that Mr. Trump weighs the party down and picks candidates based not on issues or electability but personal loyalty. It is an electoral narcissism that is killing the party.”
So, what was missing from the majority of politicians in the Republican party and the media until now was bravery, courage, boldness. It was not a lack of knowledge. Nor was it the crises we were going through. It was the fear of the anger of the people who supported Trump and the impact that would have on their careers and businesses.
But now they are rushing to position themselves to reap the rewards of the post-Trump era by relying on the weak memory that people usually have.
As the ancient Greeks said: Ο σώζων εαυτόν σωθήτω – every man for himself.