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Trump is in the rearview mirror

Trump is in the rearview mirror

In a recent posting on his personal online social media platform, President Trump claimed a victory in the Midterm Election.  Really?  That is akin to Confederate President Jefferson Davis claiming victory over General Sherman in Atlanta.   It is only part of Trump’s propensity to exaggerate and puff himself up.

In reality, Trump continues his long decline as a positive force in American politics – or in the Republican Party. His showpiece candidates across the country were overwhelmingly rejected. The closer they identified with Trump, the worse the election results.  There is not enough lipstick in the world to conceal that pig.

Some say it is time to put Trump in the rearview mirror.  The nation already has – including most Republicans.  Despite his one-election success, Trump has never had the support of a majority of American … never.  His one victory in 2016 was because of the technicality of the Electoral College.

I have often noted that elections are won or lost depending on what voters decided to decide upon.  We hear a lot about inflation, crime, and abortion. If you examine the results of the Midterm Election forensically, you might conclude that the voters decided to decide on Trump.  While he was not on the ballot, his political clones were.

I would argue that Trump was on the ballot in 2018, when the GOP lost the House.  He was actually on the ballot in 2020 when Republicans lost the presidency and the Senate.  And now in 2022, Trump’s brand and influence brought the GOP the worst off-year elections result in modern history – against an unpopular President and high inflation.  Because of Trump, it was no longer the economy, stupid.  It was Trump.  

By any measure, Trump is the biggest loser in the election.  Other than a Pied Piper for a very small and shrinking group of zealots, the man has no base.  I had estimated his hardcore base at not more than 15 percent of Republicans.  Since the Midterm Election, that has undoubtedly decreased.  

For a man who self-proclaims himself to be a winner, he has a rather poor record.  In addition to his own claim, critics often complain that Trump always gets away with things –is never held accountable.

Actually, his record as a winner is rebutted by a lot of facts.  He has had success at running a real estate empire.  But he had to close his Trump University and pay fines.  He had to close his foundation and pay fines.  He won the presidency in 2016 with less popular votes than Hillary Clinton – and since then … zip. 

And now he has supported a slate of Trump candidates that lost elections that should have been won by the GOP.  The recent Midterm Election was such a huge loss for Trump, that it is doubtful that he can play a leading role in Republican politics in the future.  If he were to mount a bid for a second term, I would comfortably predict another huge defeat.  Unfortunately, he would take down the GOP with him – as he has been doing since 2016.

To paraphrase the Marlon Brando line, “He could have been somebody.”  He could have been a VERY popular and successful President.  He could have led the Republican Party to great victories.  But his combative, egocentric, and pugnacious personality got in the way.

I have defended Trump from the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that bombarded him of irrationally hateful and vicious political enemies on the left – primarily the Democratic Party and a corrupt and biased news media.  But have never defended his personality.  Unfortunately, that personality has undermined and overshadowed his own accomplishments – and those of his Republican administration.

In judging Trump, it is like looking at a balance sheet – with assets on one side and liabilities on the other.  Yes, there are positive accomplishments on the one side – BUT too many liabilities on the other.  Trump’s political enterprise underwater.  And no one did more damage to Trump than he, himself.  As I have noted in past commentaries, he destroyed his own credibility.  The inflicted damage is not just on himself.  He has damaged the Republican Party and the conservative cause.  As the once supportive New York Post has correctly noted, Trump has become politically toxic.

Yes … he will retain a measure of power and has significant political money, but He can no longer rally enough of the American public to be the king-of-the-mountain.  In terms of elective office, he is politically dead on arrival.  It is time for new leadership – and they are already on the scene.  The era of Trump is over – even if he did not get the memo.

Trump’s recent attacks on election night’s biggest winner, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.  That is causing a lot of Trump supporters here in Florida to withdraw support.  And I am referring to totally Trump supporters – not folks like me who have and will vote against Trump in the GOP primaries.  I will have more to say about Trump’s attack on DeSantis in a future commentary. What we see in the results of the Midterm Election was not a red wave.  It was not even a red mirage.  It was the GOP elephant on the ground bleeding from wounds inflicted by Trump.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry HoristLarry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

28 Comments

  1. frank stetson

    You can not be rid of the problem until you cut the chain to this boat anchor.

    He will run. He will take donor dollars to support his opulent lifestyle. He has to, it’s his best source of revenue.

    He will make you lose.

    You can say it’s over, it’s in the rear view, but when he announces his candidacy, he will be top-dead-center on the distributor cap of the engine starter for the Republican party.

    I would love to say, ha ha ha, can’t wait to watch, but that did not turn out well for me in 2016 :>( I would rather you guys fix this and put him out of the picture altogether. Good luck.

    ps: I still say the term DeSantimonious was first heard here and now I can’t sleep at night :>) Has anyone heard it anywhere else besides here and now, with Trump? Please help me….. I need my rest :>)

    Reply
    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … I can see you emotionally and menta;;y discombobulate. I will make it very simple. I will state what I said frequently BEFORE the midterms. Trump cannot win the GOP nomination unless a dozen serious contenders enter. That is the only reason he won in 2016 — and he is less powerful today than then. Whether he runs or not is inconsequential. I know of no Trump-lover who will vote for him over DeSantis. — or any other potential challenger, including Pence. I hope that will give you some rest.

      Reply
      • frank stetson

        Not sure why what I said gets your knickers in a twist; your first sentence does not even make sense except that once again you are sort of a mean guy. Oh well.

        Trump may not win the GOP, never said he would, that’s your peccadillo. I said he will run, he needs the money. He may not get the nomination but he will run, he needs the money. He may not run as a Republican, but he will run, he needs the money.

        You say he’s in the rearview, he’s inconsequential, yet the man who didn’t run in the mid terms just made you lose. I think you need a rest, and then wake up and smell the coffee. He will run, he needs the money. He didn’t run and you still lost because of him. So, sit back, tell yourself he does not matter, click your heals three times and tell yourself he’s inconsequential, he can’t win. And see what happens. He will run, he needs YOUR money and it will hurt you more than I. Keep sitting back and tell yourself — but he can’t win. You are right. But he has proven that he can lose and by doing nothing, this boat anchor will take you down.

        Now he runs in Georgia with his hand-puppet Walker; let’s all sit back and see what happens. Will Walker be a politician and pivot from this ass, or will this concussed addled Trumplicandidate double down……

        Will Trumplicant McCarthy get the speakership, something worse, or something that puts Trump in the rearview? We’ll see, but my bet is they double-down on McCarthy or even more Trumpian.

        Time will tell whether he’s in the rearview or whether you just continue to look the other way and say it’s OK. DIdn’t work to well in the midterms, that mindset, now, did it?

        Reply
        • larry Horist

          Frank Stetson …. First of all, regarding your emotional state of mind, I was only referring to you own self-description. And It is not smally hypocrisy for you to call me mean, when you are the number one user of ad hominin attacks and insults when dealing with me personally — or at least the Larry Horist of you imagination. I have questioned in the past whether Trump would run again. I have yielded to that possibility more recently. My claim has been that he cannot win a general election.

          You suggestion that Trump will be meaningful seems to me to be more wishful thinking than serious objective analysis.

          Reply
          • frank stetson

            I just don’t know why you act so grouchy all the time. Not sure what “smally hypocrisy” means but it can’t be good and I am sorry that you feel constantly defensive. I really don’t call you that many names, I certainly can’t match your level of vitriolic discourse. At least I can take comfort that your snark extends to most others as well.

            “I have questioned in the past whether Trump would run again. I have yielded to that possibility more recently. My claim has been that he cannot win a general election.” Again, not sure what you are trying to say. “Questioning yet yielding” may be your epitaph. I think that’s how you summed your Trump Presidency feelings too :>)

            “You suggestion that Trump will be meaningful seems to me to be more wishful thinking than serious objective analysis.” Again, you are conflating what I said into something bigger. I said:

            – Trump will run again, he needs your money,
            – You will lose because Trump is there, he is the leader of your Party, and whether he runs or not, he will bring you down just like he just did as you put him in your rearview for the midterms.

            You seem hellbent to do the same thing expected a different outcome. For their to be change, you must change something. Just saying Trump is in the rearview will probably not represent a real change.

            FYI: I am not saying you’re better or worse for it, we have much work to do on our side of the aisle as well. And chances are we won’t do it either. Biden needs to anoint his successor and, instead, he may run (and lose). That’s our boat anchor. Grandpa Joe seems to love that power, wants another go. We need to make peace with the Progressives and we won’t. We need to tamp down BLM and antifa violence and we will just sit back and wait. Much work and little will be done.

    • Tom

      Frank, I heard the label “DeSanctimonious” first on a news clip where I think Trump was at an Arizona rally for Lake. I thought it was dumb, but that’s Trump. You have expressed the Independent/Unaffiliated fear very well. I can only suggest a Select Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) like Prozak to give you a little relief. The real issue is the nation has the Trump doodles, and I am not sure there is enough Imodium in the world to stop him from irritating the bowels of our great democracy! Only time will tell if we can recover and move into an era where the parties put the people before party and cooperate for the good of We The People!

      Reply
      • frank stetson

        Well, I and PBP, own it from almost a year ago. Remember, you heard it hear first. We’re famous!!!! I have some vomit in my mouth. wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

        I just love to consider that Trump maybe reads this shit. Oh no, there’s more vomit…..if this keeps up, maybe I need to start drinking again. Nah, that would make Joe right…..

        Reply
        • Tom

          Try some Pepto Bismal. 🙂

          Reply
        • Tom

          Frank, I do not know if he needs donor money or not because he claims to have a big war chest. Recently as of yesterday, Walker’s GA campaign found out only 10 cents on the dollar went to Walker’s campaign, the remainder went to Trump’s war chest. I have a feeling its less about money and more about trying to get back into the White House in order to achieve the legal protections that being POTUS affords. What is interesting is I read an article yesterday, 11/14 that stated the DOJ has plenty to indict Trump at least once, and most likely on multiple charges but that Biden does not want him indicted yet because Biden wants to smash him in the 2024 elections. Dems feel he is unelectable. While the Dems are most likely right, fact is, Biden should not be holding back the DOJ – as we Independents / unaffiliated voters view this as a form of manipulating the DOJ from seeking swift justice, and, in a way is sort of a scheme to rig the election by helping to keep justice away from Trump so that he can get the party nomination which will all but ensure a Dem victory – and this is not good, nor fair to the American people. What do you think?

          Reply
      • larry Horist

        Tom …. not only was it dumb, it pissed off a lot of the moderative Trump supporters. Just as his claim of a crooked election in Arizona this time is another groaner.

        Reply
        • frank stetson

          As time passes, it will be interesting to see where you all take The Big Lie.

          Reply
  2. Tom

    Trump’s personality is worse than described. He is a flaming narcissist – and they destroy everything around them. I wish I could believe he is in the rear view mirror but as an Independent/unaffiliated, I still cringe at the thought of him having even a smidgen of possibility to run again. My real fear is not just Trump, but also that Trump has replicated himself just like Covid-19 does once in the human body. And the GOP is essentially a human body. Ever read the book “The Destructive Manager”. This is Trump. It is not just Trump that has to go, I think McCarthy and a few others like Greene must go too. Kari Lake has also been infected. And many others have been infected. The news claims that out of 304 possible seats up for grabs, Trump backed candidates won 134 – this is still way to high an infection rate. The GOP desperately needs a Trump vaccine. Will DeSantis be the vaccine? I do not know, but it is worth a try. Heck, Santa Claus is worth a try at this point! The other issue is quality candidates that are not infected with the Trump virus. I will be shocked if Hershel Walker can beat Rev. Warnock. Walker’s best move would be to beg DeSantis to stump for him – but Desantis would be ill advised to stump for any Trump backed candidate because it could end up sliming DeSantis like on Ghost Busters. I am satisfied that the election results overall will hopefully put the brakes on the Democratic social agenda. Only time will tell where this country heads but one thing I know for sure; getting our soul back and being that shining beacon of democracy on a hill will not be an easy task.

    Reply
    • Eddie

      We’re not a democracy, we are a REPUBLIC. That’s why you don’t get it.

      Reply
      • Joe Gilbertson

        We are both a democracy and a republic – by Constitutional design

        Reply
        • Tom

          True. Thank you for explaining that to Eddie.

          Reply
      • larry Horist

        Eddie … we are a democratic republic based on a federated system. Each element is distinctive in the Founders’ design. WE often vote directly on referendum and initiatives (democracy) … elect folks to represent us (republic) … and maintain states rights over a limited federal government (federalism). Eddie, I suggest you not be too quick to say who does not get it.

        Reply
        • frank stetson

          What we are keeps getting longer and longer to describe :>)

          Reply
        • Tom

          Excellent explaination Larry. I like the simple way you broke it down into the elements of our federated system. Thank you!

          Reply
  3. Carolinadog

    If Trump goes, America goes. You cannot just reject the coup of 2020 and kiss and make up. This is the result of political parties, plain and simple. The left side of the Republican party wants to join hands with the democrats and jump off the cliff together. Crimes were committed and continue to be committed. America’s government is as corrupt as any third world country and the political parties have way too much power. They have taken the power of the legislature and turned it into their own little picnic. Media is corrupt, Tech is corrupt, and industrial America has been sold out. George Washington warned of the dangers of political parties and now we see the results of handing over that power. The government that was designed for a moral and religious people has destroyed both morality and religion. Everyone will follow the history of democracies past and once they have democratized our Republic past the current dictatorship, it will follow all the other democracies into that big old dustbin of destruction.

    Reply
    • Tom

      I think you way over value Trump. Your opening statement basically advocates that Trump is as big as America. As an independent/unaffiliated voter, I disagree. I will admit that for the GOP, Trump is a big pothole in their road to success. But the USA has survived much worse, and so it will survive Trump. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I expect we will come out of this a stronger country.

      Reply
  4. Darren

    The Democratic party and Republican party have always washed each others hands. For this reason nothing in the way of good has been forthcoming for the average citizen. We were allowed to work hard and survive as slaves, while holding a political office was the Golden Key to the city.

    When Trump campaigned, he said what every American or at least half of us felt, ( if I was in office I would do just that. ) This was the reason for his success and the PANIC by Both party’s. The Republican’s had to find a way to keep the back door deals in place, and the Democrats were not sure if the deals they made were going to be fulfilled.

    Carolinadog is correct.

    Reply
  5. Ac

    Larry, I hope your version is a script for how the next two year will play out. Trump lessening influence is healthy for the GOP and healing for the nation. If you are a lover of peace then a peacemaker you should, also, be. Peace between factions may find traction with Trump forced out of contention.
    The MAGA lot must drop the drama. Trump had no intention of making America more than it already is. He clouded the vision of millions in GOP with his alternative reality. He drove his believers to be road blocks and barriers to their thinking the country was no great. In so much as our proud nation had a third world like Marxist government.
    Trump pitched his brand’s philosophy and way to many otherwise intelligent Americans bought it.
    Politics and emotion are closely intertwined. Intelligence and emotion ate the reverse of each other. Politics justly employed requires unbiased intelligence lacking undo emotion. The ordinary American on the street questioned about politics usually shows a degree of emotion. Trump’s MAGA tribe is case in point. Politics and emotion exercised going on the defense for Trump.
    His departure from the ranks seeking office in itself would start the country in the proper direct headed for the road to peace. Encourage movement in that beginning and become a peace maker.
    In this article on Trump you are on the right track by painting a fairly accurate portrait of the man. Not a pretty picture as you had not a pretty subject. Several points in it reflect the same identical ones I wrote on at least one occasion in reply to a defense of yours of Trump. Good to see you’re coming around and see the importance that context brings. Trump’s entire context reveals why we have come to this place in public discourse. The old proverb tells it best, “No good water comes from a polluted well.” This truism I find applicable in processing theories using critical thinking for objective true facts brought to light.
    Someone, myself included, who believes they know the objective truth may not actually have it correct. Bias runs deep in us all. Truth in its full objective state is often to difficult for acceptance. Repeating it is revelatory for us who have erred.
    You admitted to making prognostications in error and I have conceded many a point made. You made no excuses in your admission. Only saying you’re human and your writing quantity has greater probability for errors. This all is reasonable in it context, yes.
    Your reader whose reply ran contrary to your thesis regarding Trump and why he is toxic for the GOP and that he should be withdrawn from future political office candidacy. It’s quite apparent that reader is not onboard your ship along with others sailing with you; former Trump advocates before last Tuesday’s story (Fox no longer friends) and more GOP friendly “talking heads”. How will you address the reader’s beliefs and unabated loyalty to Trump? I would think your approach, if any at all, can be framed with understanding and regard for another’s differing opinion on Trump. This person is one of the many sticking with the man, for now.
    Think about all who saw Trump through 2016 and 2020 unwavering in support with vote and voice. Where, not you one who “liked” Trump back then? What was it about Trump that you began thinking twice about and concluding a different opinion was warranted? So, some empathy may work. You understand the reader’s next few months will have tough moments wrestling with self doubt, possibly anger.
    We, all of us, will watch and see if those in office really are mature adults and are able to work productively together. My wish is for America’s leadership that they model greatness and doubters see it was always there.

    Reply
  6. Mike F

    Larry, Since you are saying that Trump is now in the rear-view mirror, perhaps it is time for you to do some soul-searching and try to understand why you and most of the rest of the Republican Party were taken in by a flim-flam artist? You say you defended Trump from most of the arrows that Democrats and the media hurled at him, however, it is time to recognize that most of those arrows were earned and rightly deserved. You also say that he had a successful real-estate business-not if you look at the facts. He received a boat-load of money from his father, and he also had numerous bankruptcies where the government essentially bailed him out of trouble. He of course says that is “smart dealing”, most would say it was inept. His personality and ego was rightly criticized before he even entered the WH-but you and others thought this was perfectly fine representative of the US on the world stage. In reality, most world leaders realized he was really stupid. And then there were the campaign promises he made-build a wall, was too ridiculous for Republicans to fund when they were in charge of congress, they only got behind it when Democrats took over the house. Beautiful health care? The only reason millions still have health care is due to the integrity of John McCain-there was nothing behind the repeal and replace other than bluster. Trump did have success in passing massive tax cuts-which caused the deficit to increase every year under his watch (what happened to that boast that the deficit would be zero in 2024?) and of course growth in the GDP due to those tax cuts was illusory as well (can we say non-existent?) He did have luck reforming the supreme court, which allowed for the overturn of Roe v Wade, which you of course thought was great and would not affect how people vote-that too turned out not to be the case as younger voters flocked to the polls to express their displeasure. I could go on, discussing disastrous foreign policy, etc., but you get the picture. You (and the rest of the Republicans) need to analyze how you were taken in by a stupid, narcissistic, adolescent and actually supported him to be President of the strongest country in the world. Quality matters….

    Reply
    • larry Horist

      Tom F …. I am thinking that you must be a relative new reader since you have totally mischaracterized my opinion of Trump. I have never been a Trump acolyte — and have frequently been critical of his personality and some of his policies. I never voted for him in a GOP primary. But two things can be true at the same time. Even in view of my low regard for Trump, I think the attack on him — and especially to use him to smear all Republican leaders and voters was way outside of bounds. I have criticized Trump’s obsession with the 2020 election. I have given my analysis of where Trump is likely to have legal — or even criminal — problems, and where he will not. No…I was never takin in by Trump. And such ad hominin accusations may make you feel good, but they simply are not true. Were you taken in by the Biden political bs?

      Reply
      • Mike F

        Larry, You may not have voted for Trump in the primaries, but you did vote for him in the general. You thought he was better than the alternative. He was not, he does not have the character or knowledge to be President. He failed at his job, did not deliver on his promises, and made the world worse by withdrawing from the Iran Agreement. You felt that a petty, arrogant, narcissistic individual was better than either Hillary or Biden? You castigated those honorable Republicans who had the guts to stand up to him, who realized that his actions were a threat to democracy and the nation in general because they “dared” to support Democrats over someone with an R next to their name who believed Trump was right. No, I am not a new reader, and firmly believe you need to do some soul-searching instead of blindly supporting anyone in the General who has an R next to their name….

        Reply
        • larry Horist

          Mike F … Much of what you say about Trump is true… but he still represent better conservative policies than the Democrats. I can only imagine what this country would be like if Hillary was heading up a left-wing Democrat administration for the past four years. Actually, I am seeing it being played out now. I do not support everyone with an R … but I do support conservative policies above all else. Trump represents a personality problem for the GOP. In my judgement, Democrats have a policies problem — and for me, policies trump personalities. Democrats represent what the Founders warned us against — and increasingly powerful and authoritarian central government run by a permanent class of elitist. It is a matter of governing from the bottom up or the top down. The Republican Party is more representative of conservative governance, but that does not mean there are not Republican leaders playing the establishment game.

          Reply
  7. JANE M WAGNER

    I have never heard such nasty things against a president who did some good in this world
    are you all crazy …or jealous he has all the money he ever needs and gave his pay back to the
    the government……i guess all the people at his rally’s really hated him according to you all…
    may God forgive you all…..

    Reply
    • larry Horist

      Jane W Wagner … thanks for the prayer,. But not liking Trump’s personality is not a sin. I have raised a lot of children — and I would be ashamed and embarrassed if any of them had Trump’s self-centered personality. And for the record … I never hated anyone. It is all about respect … not hate. I like a lot of things Trump did as President — and tried to do — but I do not respect his pugnacious and egocentric personality — not to mention his general veracity.

      Reply

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