Former President Donald Trump remains the GOP front-runner in the next presidential election, but many have expressed they are amenable to another candidate if former-President Trump does not decide to run. Throughout President Trump’s four years in office, many supported him; as a member of the media, I was invited to the White House regularly and even interviewed him for a primetime special on my nationally syndicated program, “The Armstrong Williams Show.” With that said, I can’t help but raise a simple yet critical question: Is it time for someone other than Trump to take the helm? Someone who is similar to him in terms of policy and candor, but without as much of the unending turmoil that his policy and candor have afflicted on many Republican voters?
Throughout my years in—and in close proximity to—politics, it has become abundantly clear to me that our political system does not do an adequate job of fostering the next generation of leaders. We prefer to hold onto old ideals rather than push forward. I can appreciate how difficult it is to cede power, and I also can appreciate how hard it is for us as voters to move on to something new—especially when so many believe President Trump was treated unfairly by the media and political establishment throughout his term. We must, however, move forward and allow our elderly statesmen and women to enjoy their last winters. This does not imply they must fully withdraw from involvement; they can still counsel, mentor, and support the future generation of leaders.
President Trump has already shown his ability to raise enormous sums of money and is now using those resources to back Republican candidates and incumbents around the nation as Republican’s battle to reclaim control of the House and Senate. He is also helping candidates such as J.D. Vance on the most effective methods to communicate with and motivate his supporters. He’s demonstrating that his true power is perhaps greater than anyone anticipated, particularly those in the mainstream media, and that, unlike during his tenure in the White House, constant Democratic investigations and negative press will not and cannot impact his role in the Republican Party’s future direction.
According to some, the party needs fresh leadership. Someone who resembles Trump but is not Trump. In essence, a new generation of youthful leaders who speak to America’s future and unrealized potential. We need younger leaders capable of combating the filth of secularism espoused by the left. We cannot relinquish control of our cultural battles to Democrats and their fanaticism, which threatens to fundamentally redefine every cultural standard in our nation.
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, and former South Carolina Gov. Nicky Haley have all been suggested. They may very well be the Republican Party’s future. They are youthful, intelligent, and charming, and they demonstrate that the future is bright. They are the embodiment of what America should be. We each have our place, and we must all recognize when the time has come to pass the mantle.
Ron DeSantis is the most like Trump in his candor with the media and Democrats, but he has the experience and understanding necessary to be a successful executive. He is familiar with the bureaucracy associated with working in political institutions and is adept at navigating them in order to accomplish goals. For example, the junior senator from South Carolina, Tim Scott, could join forces with the anticipated GOP nominee, Ron DeSantis, on a DeSantis/Scott ticket.
Considering their respective experience and policy, this would not be too far-fetched; not only would the two of them represent America’s present and future, but they would also bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the jobs they would each play. Conservatives would still see policies similar to those proposed by President Trump, and it would come wrapped neatly without a divisive persona. Additionally, it accords the former president the deference he deserves as a senior statesman and Republican Party leader.
With that stated, we should not be so quick to dismiss a dark horse candidate—that is, an unknown individual who emerges from the shadows to capture the limelight. Obama is a textbook illustration of this; Republicans must recognize that the major names are not the only competitors. Of course, it will not matter who runs on the Republican ticket as long as they bear the mark of the GOP. Regardless of their positions, intentions, or leadership qualities, they will almost certainly be presented in the same light as their predecessors—as members of all major political parties have the misfortune of absorbing. If Republicans can unite and support someone who is similar to Trump but is not Trump, they will avoid having to make excuses, manufacture justifications, or overlook indiscretions. We are all flawed, but a president with added flaws brings with them fuel for the fire, and their policies will garner greater attention for the things they do wrong than right, with Republican voters bearing the burden of supporting and absorbing those flaws.
Republicans are slowly realizing that they do not have to die by the sword; Trump does not have to be the Republican Party’s savior. There are candidates that possess his positive characteristics but not his negative ones. These candidates are not difficult to track down; in fact, we already know who they are. The difficult thing for Republicans will be letting go of Trump. Is that possible?
Armstrong Williams (@ARightSide) is manager / sole owner of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the year. www.armstrongwilliams.co | www.howardstirkholdings.com