On Wednesday evening, seven people who will not be nominated as Republican Party candidates will collect to discuss what they plan to do if they become president, which they won’t do. As soon as former President Donald Trump announced his re-candidacy and decided to skip these debates, he turned them into a meaningless sideshow — fodder for newscasts and columnists who will have little to no impact on the 2024 election.
The mood in the GOP debates so far is like a company making a big public production out of conducting a nationwide search for a key leadership position, even though everyone knows full well that there is an inside candidate who will get the job, if he’s not dead The body turns up in the trunk of her car. A lot of people waste time and energy applying for the job, a lot of fuel is burned flying them back and forth to interviews, and what was destined to happen actually ends up happening.
Trump card currently sports a lead of 41.2 points Five thirty eight Republican primary poll average, a number that has only increased since the former president opened a gigantic lead this spring over his main rival for the nomination, hapless Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. No losing president or former major party candidate has ever seriously attempted to seek his or her party’s nomination again during the mandatory primary era that began in 1972, and so we are unprecedented for both what Trump is attempting and for unfortunate task His rivals have taken it over. But early results suggest that one-term ex-presidents — figures once relegated to a pit of shame and informally banished from party power — will be a tough target.
This is especially true because Trump is the inside candidate, the man his millions of enthusiastic, deranged supporters believe he is de facto The incumbent, who was robbed of his presidency by lying big-city Democrats, doesn’t actually participate in these debates. During the first debate in August, former Fox News propagandist Tucker Carlson aired a bizarre, pre-recorded debate interview with Trump where they discussed what Really happened to Jeffrey Epstein, among other burning issues.
This time there will be 45 in Detroit advertise striking auto workers, which one might consider unpleasant since Trump said recently that “auto workers are being sold down the river by their leadership” and appointed three Lochner-era enthusiasts to the Supreme Court, which has further gutted what was left of labor rights in America. But to believe that anything Trump says or does matters to the people who revere him is silly — he could personally beat a striking worker to death on a picket line, and three hours later Fox News would be talking about it , how he dealt a blow to the globalist elites.
But the Republican National Committee has decided that the show must go on, with or without the overwhelming front-runner. To what end? None, as all rival Republican candidates were under intense pressure Signing a promise to support the eventual nominee, even if the likely nominee will be Trump, who has signed no such pledge and has as much loyalty to the party as to some fat spoon handing him a punch card to score free burgers. Last month they fretted over what should be the extremely straightforward question of Trump and his role in the post-2020 effort to dismantle American electoral democracy because they are all, with the exception of former New Jersey native Chris Christie, trying to do so at the same time are running for the nomination against Trump and also retain their ability to serve as his lapdog in some capacity after the 2024 restoration.
This could all make for some interesting psychological drama, but it’s no reason for anyone who isn’t a columnist or has literally something else on their dance card to tune in and watch. Why should we care what North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has to say about anything? What are the consequences of Tim Scott’s improvised thoughts on combating inflation? Why should voters waste two hours of their lives listening to a bunch of future hangers-on yapping at each other while the elephant in the room stomps on them?
The party’s voters have almost made up their minds and cannot be reached. You’ve clicked the Do Not Disturb button and are letting Democracy’s frantic calls go straight to voicemail. Requests from Never Trumpers are flagged as spam risks. These voters have seen everything Trump has done and they want it again, please.
The rest of the field should probably just pick up what dignity they have left and move on with their lives. The fact that they refuse to do this and instead plan to appear on national television tonight and act as if one of them has a chance of becoming the Republican nominee is no reason for you to indulge their fantasies.
David Faris is an associate professor of political science at Roosevelt University and author of It’s Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics. His writings have appeared in The week, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Washington Monthly and more. You can find him on Twitter @davidmfaris.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.