An alleged philanderer and tax cheat, former President Donald J. Trump, has announced his candidacy for President in 2024. He is the first candidate to do so. He had a smaller-than-usual crowd at his first rally, and his announcement generated an underwhelming show of enthusiasm from his fellow Republicans.
One other Republican has shown interest, Governor De Santis of Florida, or De Sanctimonious as Trump calls him. However, he has yet to generate tremendous excitement. Other Republicans' names have been bantered, but no one has started a draft so-and-so movement for other Republicans.
The reason for this is that they just can't quit Trump.
The former President won his election for two reasons. One is that many Americans, sadly and ridiculously, were not ready for a woman president. Some had Clinton fatigue, and she gave the opposition too many one-liners to use against her in misleading ads.
There are many dangers for Republicans to cozy up to Trump. For one, he is the first president to be indicted for a crime. Furthermore, Grand Juries are meeting to consider whether he committed any other crimes, and a Special Prosecutor is looking into many of his actions. And he may have yet to return all the secret documents he stole. He is also facing civil trials for a variety of accusations.
Trump has given the opposition a great deal of ammunition they did not have in 2020. In addition to the criminal investigations, Trump has been flirting with a radical right organization called QANON. The fanatical organization believes that John F. Kennedy Junior is not dead but hiding, and he will appear and become the next President. Some say he will rise from the dead.
Some say President John F Kennedy will rise and retake the presidency. Many went to Dallas to the site where he was assassinated to await his second coming. It didn't happen. They said they had the wrong date. You can't make this stuff up. Perhaps they will find solace in Trump.
What would they do if JFK rose from the dead? They are Trumplicans. Who would they support?
What do they see in Trump that they can't get from other right-wing Republican candidates? It certainly isn't his good looks. He is up there in age, has orange skin (fake tan), and dyed hair. It isn't great intelligence. He allegedly paid other students to write papers for him in college, and just listening to him tells us he isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.
It is not Trump per se that they go goo-goo over; it is the Right-Wing agenda he espouses. He may not even believe some of it, but he is an opportunist, and it works. Therein lies the real problem with Trump. It isn't him per se. It is that so many Americans have that much hatred of minorities, Jews, Muslims, and others that they follow a demagogue who feels the same way.
What has become of the land of equality? The Statue of Liberty beacons us to welcome the tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to be free. It does not say to welcome the white, the rich, and the bigots yearning to suppress.
Donald Trump did not start this. He is a follower, not a leader. He saw this rising ugly betrayal of our values in much of the public and took advantage of it for personal gain. His agenda was not to make America better; it was to make America whiter. Or, more honestly, to make Trump richer. So he and his family benefited financially from graft in the Trump administration.
Therefore, they can't quit Trump because he offers the illusion of greatness.