Despite their protests to the contrary, Democrats seem determined to keep Donald Trump at the center of the nation’s political stage. From the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago to Joe Biden’s recent speech at Independence Hall excoriating Trump’s followers, if the current administration wanted to ensure Trump is the 2024 Republican nominee, this seems like a good way to do it. As fractured and radical as the Democrats are, they require something or someone else to run against.
The raid and speech intensified Republican interest in the midterm elections, but also make things harder for those Republicans wanting to move beyond Trump in 2024. The raid was a bad day for Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Larry Hogan, and others with similar ambitions. One anti-Clinton voter said, “God must have a sense of humor. He is going to make me vote for Donald Trump again.” Democrats, on the other hand, may consider the Philadelphia speech a master stroke for 2024, as they truly believe Trump is the weakest possible Republican candidate and hope to make him unbeatable within his own party.
Trump evokes visceral reactions in both Democrats and Republicans. The GOP will be tempted to make the November election about Trump, and not about Biden, Democrats, or change. For many Republicans, the raid legitimized Trump’s charge that victory was stolen from him in 2020. Democrats cannot help attacking Trump out of pure hatred and fear. His existence and successes exposed their electoral vulnerability, and must be negated for that reason.