Imagine the world we would be living in today if Donald Trump had decided not to run for president in 2024, and instead opted to be the kingmaker.
Imagine if he had thrown his support to fellow Floridian Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Imagine the panic that would be running through the Democratic Party right now at the prospect of rapidly-declining, stumbling, mumbling Joe Biden running against an energetic, effective advocate of most of the Trump agenda, a Navy veteran who served two tours overseas as a lawyer for the SEALS, and who won his last election as governor of Florida by a million and a half votes.
Imagine how that scenario - compared to what we see today in voters dreading a Biden-Trump replay – would be embraced by those who yearn, as JFK said, for the presidency to be handed over to “a new generation.”
Imagine how that scenario would be embraced by independents, who could see how DeSantis and his administration handled two deadly hurricanes in Florida, and got rave reviews from all but the most dedicated liberals in the media.
Imagine the enthusiasm we would be seeing at a young candidate who has embraced most of what we liked about Trump, without the baggage of a narcissist former president who can't resist wading into every fight out there, and who says things even his most battle-weary supporters wish he hadn't. DeSantis could be the new guy who picks his fights more carefully and gets things done.
DeSantis could be attracting the attention of those soccer moms out in suburbia, for his record of fending off this madness of schools that won't inform parents if their child wants to change genders, libraries that want to make “Gender Queer” available to kids too young to know or care about sex, and a Disney behemoth so woke it doesn't welcome “boys and girls” anymore and is sanitizing the Seven Dwarfs.
I'm sure the liberal media would be working overtime to destroy DeSantis if all this had happened, and we'd be hearing how he isn't warm and inviting, not a guy we'd like to have a beer with. They'd be destroying DeSantis, because the mainstream media is a remarkably effective arm of the Democratic Party come election time. (Remember how they turned on John McCain, and he went from beloved “straight talker” to the guy who couldn't remember how many houses he had?)
It could even be, if Trump had decided not to run, that he wouldn't be facing 91 felony counts in four jurisdictions. Maybe the liberal prosecutors would have been satisfied with, say, a dozen charges, still making the point that voters should never support a Deep State threat like him again. And Trump would have the time to fight the specious charges against him. (Why, he might even have had the time to be Speaker of the House.)
Of course, none of this really happened. And the egotistical (but oddly still lovable) Trump could never selflessly decide to support someone else for president. It's not in his makeup. That's just not Donald Trump.
I will vote for Trump if, as the polls consistently indicate, he is the Republican nominee. I will vote for him for many reasons, but mainly for this reason:
We cannot allow the people – many deeply embedded in the bureaucracy, like ticks – who did everything they could to subvert the will of the voters, to win this fight. They went to ridiculous lengths, back-stabbing at every opportunity, ginning up a ridiculous charge of Russian collusion, putting forth two failed impeachments, and now 91 felony charges and the possibility of 700 years in prison, to destroy the man they so loathe.
We can survive a bad president – Biden proves that every day. But I'm not sure we can long survive a self-serving bureaucracy (and a news media) that fought the will of the voters with every fiber of their existence, as we've seen in the last seven years.
So, while I'd prefer to be voting for DeSantis, I'll have no problem voting for Trump if he's the nominee.
Trump says they aren't just coming after him, but us as well.
We simply can't let the haters win.
Dave Simpson can be reached at: DaveSimpson145@Hotmail.com