Send This to That Voter in Your Life
You know how sometimes we make ads that aren’t directly for you? Well, my message today is a form of that. I want you to take what I say below and send it to the people in your life who think we need to spend money defeating Trump in the primary.
We all know those people. Yeah, the ones who think Will Hurd will give the GOP a moral reckoning. Or, Chris Christie will be a debate stage attack dog (to me, he still reeks of eight years of sucking up to Trump, but whatever).
I know some of these people. They’re former colleagues of mine, and right now they’re making ads and spending money to try to accomplish the absolutely impossible.
They want to deny Trump the nomination. They’re, of course, completely wrong. But they make up a sizable enough amount of the discourse out there that I think we need to spend some time getting them back on our side.
Here’s how I break these zealots down. Really, it comes down to three groups.
1. DeSantis can magically be elevated over Trump. Have you met this guy? He started out with lots of Never Trump and some Dem-leaning money going towards him. The support ignited with the MAGA base wasn’t vile, racist, and anti-Semitic… but it wasn’t enough.
Even if the guy wasn’t in the lower quartile of warmth, connection, personality, humanity, etc, I’m still shocked at the donor coalition he’s courted by simply not being Trump. But we know that’s coming to an end. His biggest donors are already courting other candidates. What’s that slithering sound I hear… the Youngkin snake? You better believe that DeSantis hears it, too. Regardless, the donors who aren’t willing to just go from DeSantis to Trump need to be brought onto our side.
2. X candidate is a bold truth-teller. Now, I can’t say I’m not happy to see Asa, Christie, and Will Hurd flensing Trump (They aren’t really, though — those moments are few and far between). Any flicker of light in the chthonic gloom of the GOP’s moral midnight is better than nothing. But at the end of the day, they’re a rounding error. You can put a billion behind them and they’re still a rounding error.
Believe me when I say this. We’ve done polling on it. The GOP base does not give a damn about these candidates. Truth versus Trump is a contrast that you make in the general, but it doesn’t dissuade the MAGA cult in the primary.
So to these last moral holdouts, I can say this: quit wasting your money on a party that is morally defunct.
3. The GOP base reformers. That brings me to the final and frankly most ridiculous line of argument. These people think the base can be reformed. Sometimes, they might even sound like us. They call Trump political poison, a loser, and a lawless criminal. Three cheers to all that.
But they differ in one major way. They fail to understand that no ad strategy, impassioned op-ed, or heartfelt speech will reclaim the base from the dark grips of Trump, Fox News, or their upside-down world Facebook feed.
These voters are not economically anxious. They’re not the forgotten man. They’re not ordinary folks who are worried about progressive ideas.
They’re willing members of an authoritarian personality cult. They’ve bent and sworn. They’re proud to be locked in with the QAnon cult, the Proud Boys, and the January 6th attackers.
Now, they don’t make up a majority of the electorate. Really, they’re far from it. That’s why the approach we’re taking is to keep splitting off the parts of the base (a narrow path, but the same one we’ve walked in 2020 and 2022) to make Trump morally, politically, aesthetically, and socially poisonous.
It’s no secret how we do it. You saw it happen in 2020 and 2022. The Lincoln Project is an antibody in the traditional system. That’s why Trump hates us with a passion and so do our former colleagues in the GOP.
So send this message to someone who falls into the three camps above and send them our way. Then, if you can, pitch in to help support our cause. We’ve got a long road ahead. But you know it’ll be worth it when Trump is finally banished from our politics.