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April 6, 2023

Another NYC Hijacking: The 2024 Election

Thanks, Alvin Bragg, but we’d prefer to pick our own presidential candidate.

What our nation needs desperately in 2024 — after four years of Donald Trump’s drama and then Joe Biden’s reckless lurch to the left — is a fair, hard-fought election between candidates who offer clear conservative vs. progressive views of how best to address the critical issues facing our nation.

In other words, we need a presidential election consistent with the fundamental principles of our democratic republic. And wouldn’t it be nice if each party put its best foot forward, selecting and promoting its best ideas and its best candidate, rather than meddle in the other side’s business?

To the detriment of the entire country, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg just turned that ideal on its ear. His unprecedented indictment of Donald Trump, former U.S. president and current presidential candidate, is the stuff of banana republics, purely political and wholly corrosive. And it has the immediate effect of throwing the GOP presidential nomination process into turmoil.

Forget the notion that the indictment was a legal imperative because “no one is above the law.” Nonsense. For all the talk of imperiled democracy and high treason, Trump is being prosecuted for the crime of “record keeping violations” (actually just one, repeated 34 times) — which somehow victimized voters who were hoodwinked by misleading account ledger headings. Chilling, eh? Maybe when we’ve got that scourge under control, we’ll take on rapes and murders…

Despite the Democrats’ oft-declared intent to protect the American public from the evil Mr. Trump, their actual motive is surely quite different. Their indictment of Trump has pumped new life into his flagging reelection campaign, putting Trump back in the driver’s seat for 2024 and reopening the divisions within a Republican Party that had seemed ready to move beyond him.

This is precisely as intended. Democrats up to and including President Biden freely acknowledge that their preferred 2024 GOP opponent is Trump — and how better to take him on than with a fractured GOP support base and as much negative baggage as possible?

Trump, of course, is loving every minute of it, back on center stage, soaking up media attention and campaign contributions. He’s the political Rocky Balboa, bloody but unbowed, wading back into the swamp and this time promising total victory. It’s the role he was born for.

But with all lights on Trump, the rest of the GOP field — the candidates who should be carefully considered for the nation’s leadership — are in the shadows. Why should a Democrat Manhattan DA have such outsized influence on Republicans’ presidential choices?

It’s not the first time. Democrats are well-versed in backroom election interference. In the 2022 primary season, they stacked the deck by pumping big money into the coffers of demonstrably weak GOP contenders, thus creating a more beatable GOP slate. That underhanded tactic worked — and it left a bad taste.

What now? By far the best possible outcome for the GOP — and for the nation — is for the Bragg/Democrat gambit to fail spectacularly. That’s wishful thinking, but it’s possible. Americans have an inherent sense of fairness, and they may hold Democrats to account for their flagrant attempt to sabotage the next presidential election.

I’ve argued for months that Trump should not — and would not — be the GOP nominee. Like many, I respect Trump’s first-term achievements and I was infuriated by the Democrats’ orchestrated resistance (Russia collusion and other). I admire Trump’s resilience and fire but was appalled by his post-election behavior. But like him or not, Trump is back, and he’s got a clear track to the nomination, just as Dems wanted.

The GOP is now condemned to fight through a bruising, raucous primary season. They must conduct that primary openly and fairly, and GOP voters must be willing to respect the results regardless of personal favorites. The jackpot question is what happens if Trump loses? Will he respect that result? That is as unpredictable as Trump’s behavior in any circumstance — but if he has even a shred of concern about the future of our nation or for his own legacy, he will.

Regardless of who is the Republican candidate, GOP voters simply must not allow an artificially induced party split to cede the race to those who created that split. At election time — just as in 2016 (and even if that requires holding one’s nose, as some of us did that year) — each must vote for the candidate who can win and who will best meet our nation’s needs.

We’ll find out in 2024 whether Bragg and his handlers pulled off their political sabotage, or if they miscalculated horribly and inspired a new coalition of conservative support. Niccolo Machiavelli must be enjoying the show.

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