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The Right Resistance: Trump the go-between of choice for today’s GOP intra-party battles

Donald Trump loves peace.

Anyone who’s paid attention to Donald J. Trump’s second career/retirement project recognizes that a big part of his appeal, to many conservatives and America-lovers, was his open opposition to the Bush Republican swamp establishment’s forever war advocacy and orientation. Trump, for example, was an early opponent of American intervention in the Iraq War two decades ago.


Trump’s willingness to speak out from his position as a major American business leader, tabloid celebrity and reality TV star earned him notoriety and a platform for his views back then. But it could also be said there were many, many celebrities – and even a few conservatives/Republicans who similarly voiced their displeasure with what they viewed as foolish American adventurism using the United States’ finest (in the armed forces) to carry on their utopian visions of a democracy-controlled planet earth.


Trump’s wasn’t classic isolationism, proponents of which oppose any kind of foreign aid expenditures – and certainly don’t approve of U.S. military intervention in offensive-type conflicts way outside the borders of this country. Some people are flat-out anti-war. Trump was not. He loves peace, primarily, at least in my opinion, because war is wasteful and expensive. And costly. Not the same thing.


So perhaps it’s not surprising that the former president, in his third go ‘round as Republican presidential nominee, has garnered yet another reputation, this time as a peacemaker for intra-party disputes, including several that have cropped up lately due to the GOP House majority’s inability (some say unwillingness) to push forward simple limited government concepts and to play by universally agreed upon rules for what Republicans hope to accomplish.


Who else is around to moderate the gripes? In an article titled “Trump auditions for unlikely role: GOP peacemaker”, W. James Antle III wrote at the Washington Examiner recently:


“Former President Donald Trump is set to receive the Republican nomination for the third time, but he may be assuming a new role he has never played before: peacekeeper in his own party…


“The former president has good reason to want to tamp down Republican infighting of the sort he has often encouraged during his tumultuous political career. It doesn’t help Trump get back in the White House. It was also clear that there was little appetite in either party for another prolonged speakership fight. It took weeks to elect Johnson after former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was removed. McCarthy needed 15 ballots to secure the gavel once the new Republican majority was seated at the beginning of last year...


“Often transactional, Trump has at least partially mended fences with intraparty rivals like Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who have both endorsed him. One big exception is former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who continues to rack up thousands of votes in Republican primaries after dropping out and just broke 20% of the vote against him in Indiana [two weeks ago]. ‘I’ve never seen the Republican Party so unified as it is right now,’ Trump said after beating Haley in her home state earlier this year. Perhaps he can use The Power of Positive Thinking to will it into being true.”


I’m not sure if positive thinking alone will get Trump what he’s asking for – unity – but, put it this way, he’s in a much, much better position with his own people than is the guy on the other side of the aisle – you know, the hair sniffin’, nude swimmin’, kid’s shoulders massagin’, Israel support denyin’, former senate staffer molestin’, prodigal son protectin’ current president, senile Joe Biden.


Senile Joe’s wedged himself between two highly competitive (Jews and Hamas protesters) and antagonistic segments of his Democrat base – and his tightrope act ain’t doing so well. Picture senile Joe in a pink tutu navigating a thin rope carrying a balance pole perched over a pond filled to the brim with hungry crocodiles and piranha. That’s about how he must feel these days.


As far as Trump is concerned, simply acting as “peacemaker” to different sides of the Republican party must feel like a piece of cake mission to him. It’s almost as though he’s got a cool, favorable wind at his back on a hot summer day. The implosion of the Democrats’ stupid lawfare attacks against him must be heartening, to say the least.


It certainly helps that the establishment looks as though they’re realizing their demoted rank in the new Trump-led Republican party these days. George W. Bush famously once said, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us”, and many, if not most, of the elites see challenging the party’s undisputed leader as tantamount to electoral banishment. Politicians eventually wise-up to the notion that they can’t win elections without voters – or money – and they’ll have neither if they decide to go all Liz Cheney on Trump and suddenly find themselves in the middle of a proverbial dark ocean with only a few candles and no oars and lots of miles to go before the shoreline beckons.


As Antle pointed out, Trump hasn’t succeeded in fully uniting the GOP as of yet, but the temporary pain of the party primaries – and Nikki Haley’s upstart challenge and lingering Never Trump support – has almost completely subsided. Voters continuing to give long-suspended Haley about a fifth of the votes are only doing so because they are either: One, Democrats who would rather register a protest against Trump in the other party’s primary than vote for broken-down Joe Biden.


Or two, mushy-Republican voters who still think they’re fulfilling their constitutional duty by going to vote – and not choosing Trump – but will come around for the November election; or three, they want to be able to tell all their liberal friends that they didn’t vote for Trump in the primaries and can therefore claim “undecided” status for the next six months.


Will the holdouts be determinative of the result in 2024? I highly doubt it.


There still are a handful of Never Trumpers who feel they can say bad stuff about Trump and not suffer in the popularity category. Senator Susan Collins clearly sees her viability to stay in office in wishy-washy Maine as dependent on her perpetuating the appearance of not liking the former president. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has the “machine” so fixed in the great northwest that she doesn’t fear anything. And the always reliable for a flip-flop Mitt Romney is on his way out in Utah, one way or another.


The balance of the establishmentarians, including Mitch McConnell, are either onboard the MAGA train or are smart enough to keep their mouths sealed.


Because they know Donald J. Trump’s mouth won’t remain closed. And his approval rating with the party base allows him to say pretty much whatever he chooses to, including on topics such as abortion or party unity. As previously alluded to, the Republican senate leader will be different next year (with or without a majority, though Mitch McConnell will still be in the upper chamber) and the House leader will almost surely be a Trump ally.


Politicians aren’t always the most principled lot, but the days of having ten or so (the number who voted to impeach Trump the second time) aggressively opposing the party’s figurehead appear to be over. Further, Trump’s daughter-in-law is co-chair of the Republican National Committee, so financial supplements to one’s campaign could depend on being a good party soldier in the grand scheme of things.


And it goes without saying that it will benefit Trump to act as a go-between to his party advocates. Marjorie Taylor Greene isn’t known as a party leader, but her willingness to go to the mat for the conservative cause and MAGA agenda commands respect. In addition, Greene has been a vocal Trump supporter from the beginning of her time in Congress, so the former president has merely been returning the favor recently.


In terms of Trump’s perceived “compromise” position between the differing abortion views in the Republican Party, the former president has devised a pragmatic position on the issue geared purely towards winning. What’s the old saying? If you lose, you get nothing.


It wouldn’t behoove even the most pro-life of candidates to refuse to at least listen to the concerns of the other side. If, as Antle suggested, that Trump has become a “peacemaker” on this potentially make-or-break matter – that’s a good thing.


For those who may object to Trump taking on this “peacemaker” role, if not the presidential nominee and former president, who would be more suitable for it?


Establishment media members and commentators would probably prefer Mitt Romney or Nikki Haley or someone more “moderate” to serve as the latest iteration of party peacemaker, but someone like Paul Ryan is back in Wisconsin and the Bush family has been discredited and shoved to the side. Recall how the GOP establishment hasn’t made a serious challenge for leadership supremacy for more than a decade now.


Trump is in charge; several conservatives are on the proverbial “bench” or waiting in the wings for the opportunity to be the next Republican presidential candidate. The 2024 nominee-to-be will select his running mate sometime soon – and that person will be someone who supports the MAGA agenda through and through.


“Peacemaking” is in the eye of the beholder. Trump may not be everyone’s idea of the preeminent Republican, but he’s the one who’s captured the imaginations of the party grassroots and he and his ideological ilk will be the ones to consult when there’s a dispute.


Put it this way – don’t go asking Mitch McConnell for what to do. There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s got his own way of bringing people together.


There’s little doubt that distinct factions still exist within the Republican Party, but all of them won’t get far unless they seek out Donald Trump’s okay and approval before they launch major disruptions. Trump has been a skilled negotiator throughout his life – political issues fall somewhere along the continuum of his knowledge.


Trump the peacemaker – it’s more than a myth.

  • Joe Biden economy

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  • Biden cognitive decline

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  • Nancy Pelosi

  • Biden senile

  • January 6 Committee

  • Liz Cheney

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  • Joe Manchin

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  • Marjorie Taylor Green

  • Kevin McCarthy

  • Mitch McConnell

  • 2022 elections

  • Donald Trump

  • 2024 presidential election

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