Former President Donald Trump has hinted that he’d be willing to abandon the Republican Party and run as a third-party candidate in the 2024 race.
Were he to do that, of course, the GOP ticket would be split, meaning certain doom for Republicans of all stripes and thus victory for Democrats.
Trump offered the hint nevertheless through a Truth Social post in which he linked to an article at American Greatness called “The Coming Split.”
In the piece, the author Dan Gelernter warns that America is heading for a repeat of 1912 when the Republican Party establishment coalesced around William Howard Taft instead of the person the people wanted, Teddy Roosevelt. As a result of the split ticket, Democrat nominee Woodrow Wilson wound up winning.
“[W]e’re heading for a 1912-repeat, in which the Republican Party ignores its own voters. The Republican machine has no intention of letting us choose Trump again: He is not a uniparty team player. They’d rather lose an election to the Democrats, their brothers in crime, than win with Trump,” Gelernter writes.
“That leads us to the inevitable question: What should we do when a majority of Republicans want Trump, but the Republican Party says we can’t have him? Do we knuckle under and vote for Ron DeSantis because he would be vastly better than any Democrat?” he continues.
According to Gelernter, the answer is a resounding “no.”
Keep in mind that recent polls have shown that a majority of Republican voters now prefer Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to Trump:
But as a staunch Trump supporter, Gelernter is confident that a vote for DeSantis would just be another vote for the “uni-party.”
“Here’s the thing: It is precisely the expedient view of ‘well, this person isn’t my first choice, but he’s the best available option who can win’ which has allowed the uniparty to take over and ruin the country. We’re letting the Republicans get away with offering us a false dichotomy: A fake non-choice among candidates who are pre-selected for us. The Democrats did this themselves in 2016 when they stole the primary from Bernie Sanders,” he writes.
“You could go even further and say that the two-party system, in addition to preserving systemic stability, has prevented us from having any real say in our own government, except to the smallest extent. The Republicans and Democrats appear like the guard rails on either side of the road they’ve decided we should all be traveling on,” he adds.
Continuing his op-ed, Gelernter then indicates that — much like Trump — he doesn’t believe the polls show DeSantis ahead.
“The RNC can pretend Trump isn’t loved by the base anymore, that he doesn’t have packed rallies everywhere he goes. But I’m not buying it: Talk to Republican voters anywhere outside the Beltway, and it is obvious that he is admired and even loved by those who consider themselves ‘ordinary’ Americans,” he writes.
And that’s because, Gelernter continues, “Trump’s presidency was much more ‘American’ than it was ‘Republican.’”
“That’s why it was such a success and why so many of us loved it. Now, if the Republican Party thinks it’s not big enough for Trump, it’s not going to be big enough for me either,” he explains.
He concludes his op-ed by admitting that Trump would probably lose as a third-party candidate but stating that he’d still prefer him to the establishment’s pick.
“Do I think Trump can win as a third-party candidate? No. Would I vote for him as a third-party candidate? Yes. Because I’m not interested in propping up this corrupt gravy-train any longer. Mitch McConnell says that ‘providing assistance for Ukrainians to defeat the Russians is the number one priority for the United States right now, according to most Republicans.’ Most Republicans where? Inside his bank account?” he writes.
“There are not enough unprintable words in the dictionary to say everything that statements like McConnell’s conjure up in my mind. But here are a few he might understand: ‘I’m fed up. And I’m out,’” he concludes.
Do most GOP voters feel similarly? It depends on who you ask.