With polls showing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gaining on former President Donald Trump in the preferences of Republican voters in New Hampshire, there has been speculation that the GOP might be able to successfully move on from the twice-impeached former president in 2024.
However, Politico columnist Jeff Greenfield argues that the GOP will face certain doom if it makes anyone besides Trump its nominee, for the sole reason that he will do everything in his power to sabotage a nominee that isn't him.
"Trump who is denied the nomination — which, by his account, must have been the product of horrible, disgusting cheating the likes of which nobody has ever seen — is a Trump with the inclination and the resources to run an independent campaign for president," he writes. "And he’ll have enough true believers to doom whoever the GOP nominee is."
Greenfield then makes a connection between Trump and the Southern Democrats during the Civil War era whom President Abraham Lincoln once accused of wanting to "rule or ruin."
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"For Trump, 'rule or ruin' may sound less like a critique than a campaign pledge," he concludes. "And the same Republican Party that has been content to dismiss the mountain of evidence about his character and fitness for office may find itself in two years facing the very credible threat of blackmail. In enjoying the political benefits of Trump’s appeal, they have sowed the wind. In two years, they may reap the whirlwind."
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