Trump may be best bet for Democrats


Last updated 10/1/2023 at 2:44am

I’m conflicted.

The American in me doesn’t want Donald Trump to ever again come close to the presidency. A second time around would be a move away from democracy and toward an autocracy, which sounds very un-American to me.

The partisan side of me, however, sees another Trump nomination as great for the Democrats. First, the odds are Trump will lose again in the general election, dragging other Republicans down with him, maybe even giving all of Congress back to the Dems.

With Trump at the top of the ticket in 2024, the Republicans will be in trouble up and down the ballot. It has pretty much been that way since his hostile takeover in 2016.

Let’s not forget, however, that Trump has never won a popular majority, only an electoral majority, in 2016 — and it showed in every subsequent election.

In 2018, Trump’s midterm, the Republicans lost the House. Then in 2020, Trump and his party lost the White House, the House and Senate to the Democrats.

And while Republicans won back control of the House last year, in Biden’s midterm election, they barely did so, while the Democrats actually gained a seat in the Senate.

Meanwhile, here in New Mexico, the state’s Republicans bucked the 2020 blue wave and got Yvette Herrell elected in the Second Congressional District. But it didn’t last long. Herrell lost her re-election bid last year to Democrat Gabe Vasquez.

In her two short years in the House, Herrell was a Trump Republican, but that didn’t seem to help her in 2022. Nor did the support of “Cowboys for Trump” leader Couy Griffin, who’s now a poster child for what some litigators would now like to do to Trump.

Griffin’s Jan. 6-related conviction and subsequent removal from office as an Otero County commissioner is precedent-setting fodder for a recently launched effort to keep Trump off ballots next year. In Colorado, a group has filed suit seeking to keep Trump off the state’s ballot, based on a provision in the 14th Amendment that bars insurrectionists from office. A similar legal argument was used to remove Griffin from his county commission seat last year.

The Colorado lawsuit is a longshot, but the effort is getting attention. A week after the Colorado filing, another one was filed in Minnesota.

Of course, all that pales to the four criminal indictments facing Trump in Washington, New York, Georgia and Florida. Those could actually result in jail time for the former president.

The fact that the GOP is about to nominate such a troubled candidate is a testament to mob rule. Behind the scenes, powerful Republicans loathe Trump, but because the GOP’s base is so aggressively enamored with him, they don’t feel they can go against them.

They’re scared of their own constituency.

I wish the Republican Party would return to sanity so we can get back to a healthier two-party approach to governance. Right now, the GOP is on a suicide mission, one in which Trump will win the party nomination then lose in the general election.

Tom McDonald is editor of the New Mexico Community News Exchange. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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