Part of our core mission? Exposing the Left's blatant hypocrisy. Help us continue the fight and support the 2021 Year-End Campaign now.

Cal Thomas / December 17, 2020

After Trump, What (and Who) for the GOP?

Republicans could do a lot worse than Mike Pence, but not much better.

At the 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) delivered a speech following his defeat by Jimmy Carter for the presidential nomination. The speech was boilerplate liberalism. Kennedy criticized Republicans and Ronald Reagan for their ideas, which he said were from the past (today, the past is looking a lot better than the immediate future under Joe Biden and the Democrats).

A part of his closing line would be good for today’s Republicans to consider following the abbreviated Trump era. Kennedy said, “…the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

Trump has contributed mightily to the GOP, giving the party a backbone it seemed to have misplaced following the Reagan years. He also has reminded people that conservative ideas work, including tax cuts, a reduction in regulations and constitutional judges. Add to these significant accomplishments his administration’s brokering of four peace deals in the Middle East no one thought possible, much less achievable, and the development of a vaccine various “experts” said was not possible by the end of the year.

As he leaves office, where will Republicans go in 2024? The president has hinted he may run again in four years. If he wins, he and his supporters could enjoy sweet revenge. But should he be a candidate? As much as he has done for the party and the country, should Republicans put all their faith and trust in him? A lot could depend on how President-elect Biden does in office. Biden almost certainly will not seek a second term when he is 82.

Last August, Trump was questioned at a White House press briefing about polls showing his popularity was declining. Asked to explain, he responded, “Nobody likes me. It can only be my personality. That’s all.” It was a rare moment of transparency for him.

There is still a remnant of old-fashioned values my grandparents’ generation embraced and tried to instill in their descendants. One was not to belittle, demean, talk down to, or call other people names. Trump has consistently ignored that advice. While a large number of Americans still support him and the number who voted for him far outpaced any other Republican presidential candidate, or incumbent president, it wasn’t enough.

The reason can only be his personality.

Most Americans expect a certain amount of dignity emanating from one who temporarily holds our highest office. Could Trump have achieved all he has without the name-calling? I think so. At a minimum he might have resurrected a quote from a man who knew plenty about enemies, all of them domestic.

I have referenced Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address before, but it is worth remembering, even memorizing. At the dawn of the Civil War, Lincoln said: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Could such an attitude have delivered a second term for President Trump? It might have swung enough votes to him from people who place a high value on deportment.

Republicans can continue to embrace Trump’s policies while getting behind someone without his baggage. Who might that be? My view of the perfect candidate is Vice President Mike Pence, who has been loyal to the president without the name-calling, while preserving his own personality, dignity, Christian faith and kindness.

Republicans could do a lot worse than Pence, but not much better.

©2020 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.