Trump Is About to Wreck His Legacy

Former President Donald Trump. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.)

Are your hands still singed after handling yesterday’s hot take?

Sorry for that. In my defense, though, speculating that Trump might be hurt rather than helped by a crowded 2024 primary field is only marginally hotter than my friends at National Review pleading with Republican hopefuls to clear the field for a Trump-DeSantis showdown.

That’s the right strategy if you’re a conservative whose goal is to maximize the GOP’s chances of nominating a superior candidate, but it’s eye-roll material if you’re an ambitious Republican politician who looks in the mirror and sees a president staring back. That ambition won’t yield to matters as trivial as basic electoral reality and civic duty. Inevitably, you’ll talk yourself into believing that chasing your dream is a necessary and even altruistic step toward Trump’s political demise.

Why, you might turn out to be the Trump-slayer prophesied to end the reign of darkness. Or you could prevail as a consensus compromise choice after primary voters crumble into bitter Trumpist and non-Trumpist factions. Either way, depriving GOP voters of your candidacy might mean the difference between Republican victory in 2024 and defeat.

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