My father, Jack, who died around Thanksgiving break six years ago, was a political opponent. He died just as Donald Trump was beginning to become a serious contender for the Republican nomination for the White House; By the end of his life, he had become so disillusioned with the political establishment that he could have supported Trump, although we never discussed the possibility of Trump becoming president.
Dad was honest to the extreme and, in truth, he liked to be contrary in most things. If a different side could be found, I would seek it out, understand it, and then defend it. (I like to think that I inherited some of its qualities). He was born on the South Side of Chicago to an Irish Catholic family. And so when he voted for Richard Nixon over Jack Kennedy in 1960, he was taking the path not commonly taken in his neighborhood.
By 1972, however, he had seen enough Watergate to vote against Nixon’s reelection, which, in hindsight, was not a very good vote. It was never a good time to vote for George McGovern.
I voted for Trump in 2016, despite Breitbart calling him a “never trumper” after the election. I was a “never-cruzer” but never a “never-trumper”. Back then, I thought Trump was the best chance we had to blow up the political establishment, strike a blow against political correctness, get the economy moving again, and keep us out of infinitely stupid wars.
I really liked what Trump did as president and was not bothered by his tweets, which I thought were political theater designed to set lamestream media on fire. Unsurprisingly, the economy roared, we avoided getting embroiled in more wars, our allies were forced to pay more for their own protection, and we were on our way to making America great again.
And then COVID-19 hit us, and all that progress was gone.
Two things make me look for a new nominee in 2024: how Trump handled COVID-19 and how he handled his defeat in the 2020 election.
The biggest bad decision Donald Trump made as president was taking two weeks to shut down the economy and slow the curve. Maintain the head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care – White House Touts Vaccination Rate for Feds 12:30 PM Report from The Hill: Biden Renames Powell as Fed Chairman Watch Live: White House COVID-19 Response Team hold an information session MORE and Dr. Deborah BirxDeborah BirxDocuments Reveal New Details of Trump’s Political Interference in COVID-19 Response The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Democrats insist on closing budget consensus as talks drag on overnight healthcare – Presented by Altria – FDA Advisors Endorse Pfizer Children’s Vaccine MORE, two longtime government bureaucrats, in place to handle the consequences of that singularly horrible decision, it was almost as bad.
Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but I think President TrumpDonald Trump Rittenhouse Says Biden Slandered His Character By Linking Him To White Supremacists Night Health Care: White House Touts Vaccination Rate For Feds Trump Backs Hogan Challenger In Maryland Governor Race MOREHis inattention to detail, his deference to government bureaucrats, his inability to come up with a federal strategy, and his press strategy of shooting from the hip all led to his downfall. Rather than invest resources to expand permanent hospital capacity and find life-saving treatments, we have been quick to find a vaccine that may or may not work as well as advertised. The divisive mask mandates and vaccine mandates that have emerged from the Biden administration are a direct result of the Trump administration’s incompetence.
Equally bad was Trump’s reaction to the 2020 election results. Instead of gracefully handing over power and planning his return, he reacted badly. He relied on the advice of wacky lawyers who concocted wacky conspiracies. It inspired ordinary citizens to storm the Capitol, and many of them now rot in the harsh prisons of DC. He seemed to purposely throw two Georgia elections to the Democrats, and now Senate Majority Leader Chuck schumerChuck SchumerBiden Administration To Release Oil From Strategic Reservoir: Senate Reports Call For Smithsonian Museums For Women And Latinos To Be Built On The National Mall Voters Should Feel The Benefit, Not Just Hear The Message MORE (DN.Y.) succeeds in promoting tax cuts for his wealthy friends and raising inflation for everyone else.
I’m not sure what my father would have said about Trump if Parkinson’s disease hadn’t taken him away six years ago. But I know what I’m going to say now: we need new blood for the next election. Trump did a lot of things right, but what he did wrong means we need a new White House nominee in 2024.
John Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman for the former president of the Chamber. Dennis HastertJohn (Dennis) Dennis HastertFeehery: The next Republican wave is coming Feehery: The Republican Party could have done better Feehery: The main theme of the counterrevolution MORE (R-Ill.), As communications director for former House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas), and as a speechwriter for former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill. ).