Jim Crawford: The GOP goes with Trump

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 18, 2024

This week, the Republican Party awarded enough primary votes for Donald Trump to become the presumptive nominee for president. It will be his third run for the office, after winning in 2016 and losing to Joe Biden in 2020.

Trump has secured his support throughout the Republican Party.

From controlling the Republican National Committee to securing candidates who pledge their fealty to Mr. Trump, to the absolute dominance of Trump with elected Republicans, Trump has captured the party, without question.

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What could possibly go wrong?

One thing that could go wrong is that Trump has made no effort to attract new voters to his campaign, even suggesting that any Republican who financially supported his primary opponent would be outlawed by the MAGA wing of the party.

While his MAGA base is loyal beyond question, it is simply not a large enough number of voters to win the 2024 election.

Yet, the campaign continues to alienate women voters with Trump’s prideful claim that he alone ended Roe.

Another thing that could go very wrong for the Trump campaign is the judgment of the public over his convictions and pending litigation.

Already, Trump has been found guilty in a civil sexual harassment case and a New York case for falsifying financial records in his business dealings. This, after being found guilty of defrauding students in the now-defunct Trump University and after being barred from holding any responsibility in a charitable organization after defrauding the Trump Charitable Foundation. His CFO has served prison time and is currently negotiating a perjury plea bargain for related crimes.

Additionally, Trump faces an upcoming trial this month for a charge of misuse of his campaign funds in 2016 to conceal sexual relations with a former porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, has already been found guilty of similar charges and served prison time.

The pending charges are even more serious in nature, including Trump’s leadership role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, the charges related to the withholding of top secret government documents and lying to the FBI in the documents case.

More known to the public is the Georgia case, where Trump asked the Georgia Secretary of State, after three vote recounts, to “find” 11,780 voters to reverse the Biden win in Georgia.

What else could go wrong?

The Trump campaign could be financially constrained by the heavy burden of paying Trump’s legal expenses throughout 2024 and beyond.

Presidential campaigns are expensive, and Trump has already drained massive contributions from his supporters. Further, valuable campaign time will be consumed in courtrooms throughout the campaign.

Another concern for the campaign is the issue of Trump’s coherence, or lack of coherence, in his stump speeches. Where in 2016 he was the New Guy with never before sharp rhetoric, today he is the repeater of false and expanded claims, self-demeaning personal attacks and a wandering, sometimes listless delivery.

On the issues, Trump cannot run on the Biden economy with unemployment under 4 percent, GDP growth higher than any Trump year in office, and the stock market soaring.

Consequently, Trump is attempting to run on the chaos at the southern border. It is, or at least was, his one strong issue against the Biden administration. However, the facts negate the Trump argument. During Trump’s time in office, undocumented Immigrant crossings rose above any year of the Obama administration, including 2019 with a 41 percent increase in “got aways.”

Trump will be the Republican nominee, but if he fails, how many “Trump likes me” candidates will fall along the way? How long will it take the Republican Party to recover from Donald Trump?

Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.