As someone who worked with his campaign in 2020 and has been a supporter since 2016, I have been asked this question with some regularity. This is not a decision I take lightly. I am committed to the conservative cause and have given blood, sweat, and tears to President Trump’s efforts in 2016 and 2020. However, it has become clear that the Republican party will be better served by nominating someone other than Donald Trump in 2024.
In 2020, Trump failed to gain the 270 electoral votes needed to win re-election. Trump’s claims and my own concern that the election in 2020 was rife with issues don’t negate that fact. Regardless of any irregularities, the 2020 election was not unwinnable for Trump. Trump should have won by dominant margins based on his multiple domestic and foreign policy accomplishments. Unfortunately, he demonstrated a distinct inability to know when to speak and when not to. This was obvious in the first 2020 debate when he interrupted and insulted Biden several times. Several of my friends decided they could not support Trump based on that debate alone. Rather than learn from these mistakes, Trump has doubled down on his brash and crude personality. A quick scroll through his Truth Social account shows the ramblings far more befitting of an insolent pre-teen or your weird uncle after a few beers.
Speaking of Trump’s policies, his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic must be addressed. During the crisis, Trump ceded charge of the country to Debbie Birx and Anthony Fauci, and the results were disastrous. Entire states were locked down, and two hundred forty thousand small businesses went under. When states like Georgia decided to reopen, President Trump harshly attacked them. Through Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, thousands were forced out of their jobs for refusing to accept an experimental vaccine, and those who did take the vaccine suffered the side effects. At no point has Trump ever owned up to his responsibility in this assault on the American way. To this day, he insists that he saved millions of lives through his handling of the pandemic. Trump has even gone so far as to host a rally with the heir of Johnson & Johnson on the same day their COVID-19 vaccine was pulled from the market due to blood clotting issues. Unfortunately, this is not out of character for President Trump as he holds and has held several liberal positions. Trump supported banning bump stocks, never passed a balanced budget, and has attacked states for passing heartbeat legislation, which bans abortion when a heartbeat can be detected.
It would be dishonest for me to discuss the negatives of Trump without discussing the positives, as he accomplished enough to earn my support in 2016 and 2020. His tax cuts, judicial nominations, and foreign policy were some of the best policies enacted this century. However, other candidates are running who support those kinds of policies that do not have Trump’s baggage. While some may insist that Trump is the only one qualified to accomplish those policies or has some sort of “unfinished business” to achieve, that sort of thinking is sycophantic at best. Should Trump be the 2024 nominee, he will have my support. However, in the meantime, I will do my part to ensure we nominate a candidate who is a champion of conservative policies and can lead our party into the future.