Trump Running as Independent in 2024?
As it is becoming increasingly clear that President Trump is unlikely to win the Republican nomination for President, there ae reports that he is exploring the possibility of running as an independent. That is not likely to get him elected – far from it. He would likely come in a distant third regardless of who the Republican or Democrat standard bearers might be.
There is only one reason for such a venture. Trump would want to punish the political party that denied him the nomination. He would rather see Democrats retain the White House – with all their left-wing policies that he claimed to oppose.
It would be institutionally what he often does on a personal level – turn on allies and supporters who do not yield to his latest demand.
It would be proof that Democrats were correct when they claimed that Trump has no foundational political principles. He would have no fealty to the political party that enabled him to be President of the United States.
Like a political chameleon, Trump took on the mantel of a conservative to blend in with the environment that accommodated his ambition to be President. Fortunately, he did a lot of good things while serving as a conservative Republican – despite the abjectly negative picture painted by Democrats and their media mouthpieces.
Conservatives can commend Trump for the appointments to the Supreme Court – and the lower federal courts. Despite his bellicose rhetoric, he strengthened NATO by getting other member nations to meet their financial obligations. He (Jared Kushner) negotiated the unprecedented Abraham Accords. He got North Korea to stop missile testing and return the remains of American MIAs. He cut a lot of bureaucratic red tape and launched one of the strongest economies in decades. He was building the wall and reducing illegal border crossing. His policies brought economic benefits to America’s inner cities not seen since World War II.
Apart from Trump’s policy of achievements, however, the Republican brand has suffered because of his pugnacious personality. He failed to win a majority of Republican voters in the 2016 GOP primaries. He failed to win the popular vote in 2016 – a year that should have been a Republican tsunami. He lost the House by a wide margin in 2018. He lost the Senate in 2020. And he tamped down the red wave that was heading into the 2020 election. No matter what you think of the 2020 presidential election, Trump is not sitting in the White House today.
Trump’s legacy – his reputation as a conservative President – would be instantly trashed by an independent bid that was openly and blatantly designed to defeat the Republican candidate. If that candidate were to be Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Trump’s toxic tendency for rabid retribution would be even that much more obvious.
Trump could have endured the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” had he not contributed to his own toxicity – and his own declining popularity.
Running as an independent would be his final political act of political masochism. Unfortunately, he would have the potential of destroying the Republican chances of winning the White House. I say “the potential” because I think there is a good chance that running as an independent would not work. The Republican candidate could still win. Votes he would take away from the Republican candidate for President may be offset by independents and even Democrats who would vote Republican to punish and repudiate Trump.
There is another thing that could prevent Trump from winning – or even becoming – an independent candidate. It cannot be done alone. Even an independent candidate needs money … lots of (seasoned) staff … and thousands of campaign workers across the country to get on the ballot. He may have the money, but even that is questionable – and would Trump want to expend such a huge some of his own money on such a losing venture? He is not known for his generosity in that regard – and he will need most of that money to defend himself in all those court cases.
Trump’s only sensible course of action is to set aside his presidential ambitions, deal with his court cases and attempt to refocus public attention on the positive portions of his legacy.
So, there ‘tis.