The conservative National Review published a recent editorial that pleaded with GOP voters to nominate former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley or Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over former President Donald Trump to be the party’s presidential nominee.
It doesn’t have to be Trump
The National Review article contended that while Trump winning the nomination may feel “inevitable,” Republicans can change that. “They would be well advised to opt for one of the alternatives who are far and away better on the merits, more likely to win in November, and, if elected, more likely to deliver — free from the wild drama of a second Trump term — conservative results.”
It’s more than his online outbursts
The crux of the article criticizes the widespread admission among supporters of the former president that his wrongdoings consist of writing “mean tweets.” The editors argue that his actions surrounding the January 6 attack are the more significant problem.
Trump lost fair and square
“Because he couldn’t bear to admit that he’d lost to Joe Biden in 2020 (after trailing him in every national poll), Trump insisted he’d won and did everything he could to overturn the result, including trying to bully his vice president into violating his oath and preventing and delaying the counting of the electoral vote. When a mob, fervently believing Trump’s lies, fought its way into the U.S. Capitol to try to end the count, Trump did little or nothing to try to stop it.”
DeSantis and Haley wouldn’t have instigated January 6
The editors describe the series of events as “infamous presidential acts” that “represented serious offenses against our constitutional order.” They contend that it is “impossible to imagine” DeSantis or Haley engaging in “such grotesquely selfish behavior injurious to our republic” as Trump did. “On this basis alone, both are vastly preferable to Trump.”
Trump’s favorable polls
The editors go on to give their reasoning for Trump’s rivals’ lack of success in posing a serious threat to the former president: “One reason no one has gotten much traction against Trump, besides the backlash against the indictments, is that the electability argument has been rendered null and void by his strong polling in a hypothetical matchup with President Biden.”
“The Democrat is so weak he could lose to Trump, but the former president is still a risky bet compared with another Republican candidate without his baggage.” They argue that Democrats plan to focus their campaign on Trump to repeat their “winning formula” of the 2020 presidential election and the midterms in 2022.
Trump’s personality is a Democratic tool
The GOP “nominating someone else would instantly deny the Democrats their most powerful weapon in the cause of winning an otherwise unthinkable Biden second term — Trump’s radioactive persona.”
Trump over Biden
The article says that Trump had some impressive conservative achievements in his first term, notably the Abraham Accords, and admits that “he’d be an enormous improvement over Joe Biden on many policy questions.”
But they argue much of his focus “would be wasted on his personal vendettas and fighting back against the Left’s sure-to-be-unhinged reaction to his return to the White House.” This would cause Trump to struggle to attract talent to serve in his administration.
Don’t take it personal
“His bad instincts on trade and NATO, tendency to personalize everything including foreign relations, contempt for rules that get in his way, and erratic nature would risk real harm to the country. He’d be an easily distracted 78-year-old one-termer sure to get wiped out in the midterms, once again.”
The editorial argues that DeSantis and Haley would avoid “almost all” of these downsides. It hails DeSantis as “an accomplished governor of a major state, with an impressive agenda of conservative reform under his belt. He is a serious-minded policy maven who wouldn’t fail as president for lack of discipline or knowledge.”
But the National Review contends that the Democrats have gone to “outrageous lengths” to target Trump, citing examples of his removal from the state ballots in Colorado and Maine.
Rallying support for Trump
They write that a large portion of the GOP has “rallied to Trump,” believing “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” But conservative voters have better choices to vote for, the article ends.
Vote for a more capable president
DeSantis and Haley “haven’t disgraced themselves by trying to deny the results of an election,… would be quite likely to vanquish Biden, and… would be capable presidents. It’s not too late to choose one of them, and forge a better path for the party and for the country.”