By John O’Connell
Like most people, I don’t like Trump. I’ve despised him ever since – developer Donald demanded drastic concessions at my beloved Jones Beach State Park so he could build a catering hall in the main mall to make even more money. He revealed an unattractive, intolerable greed.
It was all about his deal, with a disregard for the welfare and welfare of generations of us lesser mortals. Worse, he wanted local residents and state officials to think he was doing us all a favor, but his mendacity was obvious. It took Superstorm Sandy to sweep away his greedy plan and oily conceit.
And yet I voted for him in 2016. His promises, the opportunity to attract original nominees for the Supreme Court, and his stated support for conservative causes matched my social, cultural, and political preferences. We Trump voters recognized that it takes an arrogant tyrant to force our way through the rock-solid bureaucracy that Washington has become. That would be him our Sort of like a bully.
And besides, as much as I found Trump’s personality intolerable, I had absolutely no doubts about how duplicitous and deceitful Hillary Clinton was. Trump was openly and shamelessly vain. Clinton was a sneaky, secretive, haughty, mendacious, characterless cipher. I could trust him to act for the good of my country as long as it served him. I could not trust her (and her evil cabal) with anything, least of all my country. And more importantly, I opposed every national policy she espoused.
Now he’s running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. I wish it wasn’t so. Trump is a smaller version of literature’s classic tragic figure: a man who, while accomplishing great things, destroys himself with his own hubris.
If Trump gets the GOP nomination (and I think that’s a big if), who the Democrats vote for will be crucial for the country. Obviously it shouldn’t be President Biden. If they elect a far-left version of Trump, someone like California Gov. Gavin Newsom or Biden’s useless Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, most voters fed up with failed Liberal Democrat leadership will choke violently and vote for Trump. (Even if he fails to win the popular vote again, he might prevail in the electoral college.) Can you imagine a Buttigieg-Ilhan Omar ticket vs. Trump-Kristi Noem or Trump-Nikki Haley or Trump-Joni Ernst or? Trump-winsome Earle Sears? Any of these GOP teams would destroy Buttigieg-Omar.
I mean, really look at how unattractive the Democratic presidential and vice presidential benches are: Kamala Harris, Adam Schiff, AOC, Stacey Abrams, John Fetterman, Cory Booker, Hillary, Rashida Tlaib, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand (New York’s invisible senator), Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bill de Blasio and others so light they defy gravity. Puhleeze! How about the quintessential Democratic bicostal, affirmative-equity pairing, Harris-Hochul?
Non-Radical Americans, which means almost all of us, want someone smart, articulate, tough, trying to keep us out of wars, reducing inflation, enforcing the law faithfully and fairly, defending the Constitution, supporting the police To keep taxes as low as possible, respect and nurture our veterans, spend wisely, regulate only when necessary, maintain strong national defenses, act well but with a keen eye on national security, contain the domestic abuse of the so-called secret services and put a hard stop on our dangerously wide-open southern border. Someone who appreciates the greatness of America. That definitely won’t be the Democrats’ platform in 2024. It will certainly be the GOP’s agenda, and Trump would sell it. He’s usually good at selling things (despite his Jones Beach fiasco). I mean, he sold the Abraham Accords, a peace treaty between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, for heaven’s sake.
We will vote again in 24 months (unless I missed something and early voting starts next week). In fact, the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary are in January 2024. No one knows what will happen in the world by then. Will Biden end his term? Will Kamala visit the Wizard of Oz and get what she needs? How devastating will Trump’s self-inflicted campaign pitfalls be? Will better, brighter lights shine in both parties?
It will be a fascinating and important two years for newsies like me. I hope that everyone, especially young people, will find serious, impartial journalism and read and think critically about all politics. We need to use these two years to brush up on our civics and see how America is supposed to work. Then learn how it really works and vote to try to make it better.
John O’Connell is the former Editor-in-Chief of the Herald Community Newspapers. Comments? [email protected]