2024 Election, Columnists, Mike Rosen, National, Politics, Uncategorized

Rosen: Trump, GOP must build a winning coalition

Assuming he survives the storm of Democrat lawfare in the courts, Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee for president in November.  I’ve been asked if I’d vote for him.  Practically speaking, my presidential vote won’t matter in Colorado given its domination by Democrats and left-leaning independents in statewide elections.  Trump lost here in 2016 and 2020 and will almost certainly lose in 2024.

Nonetheless, I’ll vote for him again, if only symbolically, as I have in the past.  Minor party candidates and write-ins are irrelevant.  I certainly won’t vote for Biden or any Democrat  anywhere since I flatly oppose their party’s coalition and progressive political agenda.  When Trump announced his 2024 candidacy I didn’t believe he was electable which is why I preferred some other candidates for the GOP nomination.

Since then, his electoral prospects have greatly improved.  Biden’s utter failure as president and decline in mind and body have overshadowed Trump’s shortcomings for many voters.  On top of that, the Democrats’ anti-Trump lawfare strategy has backfired.  Its overkill triggered a major Trump comeback reinvigorating his core and adding to his support nationwide.   The failure of his economic policies, his illegal immigration crisis, feckless foreign policy, degradation of our military, out of control government spending, our spiraling national debt, and lawlessness and disorder across the nation are reflected in Biden’s plummeting poll numbers.  A mounting tide of Americans hold him and Democrats accountable.

The Biden campaign can’t run on his record and can only try to disguise it.  So, it’ll be anti-Trump on steroids.  They’ll harp on Jan 6 with hysterical claims of an “insurrection,” that had no intent or means to overthrow the government or ability to overturn the election.  They’ll scare monger the abortion issue. But Trump isn’t an anti-abortion extremist and ought to be able to take the reasonable middle-ground on this during the campaign.

Biden’s biggest advantage is the Democrat electoral coalition of labor unions, government workers, academics, most minorities, “marginalized” identity groups, liberal media, greenies, leftist activists, etc. which is more organized and united than Republicans.  To win, Trump must expand his appeal.  His Trumpist core alone is simply not large enough to elect him.  Their enthusiasm counts for only one vote apiece.

Trump’s sometime vicious and typically petty attacks on GOP rivals helped him win the nomination but haven’t paved the way to party unity.  He can’t win without that.  With the nomination in hand, he must change his strategy and tactics.  If he wants to win, it’s in his interest to do that — if he’s capable of it.  That means reaching out to moderate independents and making peace with the party’s mainstream.  Everyone who disagrees with you isn’t a RINO!  Drop that from your repertoire.  And don’t imagine that every audience you address is like the adoring crowds who turn out for your rallies.  You’ve already locked up the nomination.  Alter your tune and tone occasionally to broaden your appeal.  Your core will understand, they won’t desert you.

For its part, the Republican mainstream needs to make peace with Trump.  If either camp refuses to do that, Biden wins.  This can’t happen.  The stakes are too high.   It’s not unprecedented for political campaign rivals of the same party who’ve attacked each other to bury the hatchet, kiss and make up.  Principles are a good thing, but politics is about compromising when principles, policy and personalities conflict in order to empower your side to win an election and govern — which is the ultimate goal of politics.

If the U.S. and its World War II allies could join forces with Stalin and the Soviet Union to defeat a common enemy, right-wing, right-center, and centrist Republicans (there are no left-wingers) along with swing-voting independents can unite to elect Trump.  And, even better, elect enough Republicans to give the party a congressional majority so that we can break the gridlock and make substantial changes to reverse the Democrat-driven decline of the nation.  Maybe even Make America Great Again.

I’m not an impractical Never Trumper, but neither am I a Trump worshipper like his avid core for whom he can do no wrong.  It’s possible President Trump 2.0 can refine his style and improve his effectiveness but even if not, it’s absolutely certain that Biden or any Democrat president and the party’s agenda will push us further down the road to ruin.

All of this assumes Biden will be on the ballot in November, which based on his health and mental state is no certainty.  Many Democrat power brokers would like to replace him with a more electable nominee (certainly not Kamala).  That could change everything.

Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for CompleteColorado.com.


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