Trump Returns, Too Weak Not to Run Again


When politicians run for office, they usually seem happy about it. Or she anyway to attempt to give the impression of eagerness to meet the challenges ahead. But when Donald Trump announced Tuesday night that he was running for president for the third time in three consecutive election cycles, he seemed utterly disgusted.

Trump — who dragged his party to midterm losses in 2018, lost the White House in 2020 to the oldest man ever to hold the job, incited an insurgent mob to attack the US Capitol, was impeached twice, and contributed to yet another GOP campaign flop on the medium term last week – grinned and grinned by his announcement. He read prepared remarks slowly and monotonously, wandering off to riff on whatever non-sequitur came to mind. Perhaps Trump was dejected because he read the appalling press coverage leading up to his announcement and could see the faces in the crowd that were nowhere near the gathering of the GOP elite he led at previous rallies. The biggest bold names seen in the crowd were a con artist’s line of deplorables and has-beens: Roger Stone, Madison Cawthorn, Mike Lindell, and Dick Morris.

Bored, people tried to leave before Trump had even finished speaking. Others simply turned their backs on him and talked about his comments. Keep in mind that these attendees were ostensibly among his most devoted and connected aides and supporters.

If Trump were president today and the national media were still trying to suck him in, after this speech they would probably praise him for taking on a “new tone.” But just as it wasn’t true then, it isn’t true now. People are just less afraid to talk about Trump’s obvious flaws, either because they are less afraid of him politically, or because they are rightly afraid of his politics, or both.

Anyway, the figure who appeared on stage at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday night was the temporary teleprompter Trump who resorts to soft, low notes when he tries to be nice. For example, instead of going on about how the 2020 election was supposedly stolen from him, Trump talked about the need for paper ballots and counting all votes on Election Day. It was a flashback to the post-Access to Hollywood version of Trump cornered and required to prove to his benefactors that he would not embarrass them again. And so he ended up making this hasty announcement that no one, not even his closest advisers, really wanted.

Another sign that his team isn’t entirely thrilled about the idea?

Trump’s announcement was exactly what it looked like: a desperate, low-energy effort to face the GOP’s primary challengers in 2024; fending off possible ongoing investigations into his Jan. 6 seizure of classified documents and efforts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results; and consolidate his hesitant support. He is too weak not to flee; his dwindling political assets are still worth too much to give up.

If Trump understands anything, it’s how to bully the GOP into falling behind him. He did it after Charlottesville, Helsinki, Impeachment 1.0 and Impeachment 2.0. He’s been here before; making bold, inadvisable, destabilizing moves in the midst of personal turmoil is part of his standard operating procedure.

By announcing his candidacy so early, Trump is once again challenging Republicans to oppose him. Whether anyone chooses to participate is the question. St. Ron DeSantis seems to think he can stay out of the ring, “watch Trump knock himself out,” and somehow miraculously be anointed the Republican nominee. Wishful thinking. Because as weak as Trump may be right now, he certainly isn’t turning himself off.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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