(NewsNation) — More proof of the moment we are in is that Donald Trump’s announcement last night has not been met with the fervor expected. There are several reasons.
First, let me say he announced way too early. That was his choice, but it is just too soon for people to get pumped about 2024 when we’re only a week removed from the midterm elections. I really thought he would not announce, and I know he was counseled not to, but I accept the reasoning from his people: that once he said he was doing it, he needed to, even after the midterm results. I don’t agree, but I understand it.
If Trump does not learn to change his sell to match the shift away from the fringe that we saw in midterms, his run may be short-lived. Of course, it is way too early to say if he will win a primary, let alone a general election, but the change in reaction to him within his party and in general is meaningful.
His party has many in power who clearly smell change. Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are nipping at Sen. Mitch McConnell, a spotlight has been shone on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and donors are saying it is time for a new horse.
But they are missing the moment. This is not about simply losing. It is about hearing what the people were saying in the midterms, and President Joe Biden putting out a statement Wednesday night is also telling.
It reads, in part: “The American people want us to get things done for them. They want us to focus on the issues that matter to them and on making their lives better.”
Those two sentences should have led the statement because they were so true. Independents made the difference in these midterms.
Meanwhile, Trump is singing his same old song that will have the base singing along, but many are humming a different tune. Free agents don’t want to hear just how bad everything is. They are not asking for a hit man, an agent for their animus; they are looking for better. They are looking for normal, for decency, for the government to do things for them, rather than do things to each other to gain advantage.
Trump listing all the things that have gone wrong during what he called the “pause” of Biden’s term was little more than a list of grievances that fact-checkers are feeding on because Trump’s moves were nowhere near as good as he suggested.
His economic analysis was grossly exaggerated and he ignored his biggest problem: he has been weighed and measured and found lacking. He says he deserves another chance, but on a bogus basis — a lie about losing the election and seeding a riot at the Capitol. People saw it, did not forget it, and rejected it.
If you are rolling your eyes, the midterms were a measure of the impact of the denialism and deception about the last election, and deniers took a beating anywhere that was not a race where the Republican was safe.
So, Trump folk can rationalize it any way they want, but the election lie was a lie, and it was rejected because the majority doesn’t want fringe extremism. It doesn’t want more investigations instead of legislation. It is sick of left and right and who is worse. It is desperate for reasonable and who has ideas to make us better.
It is hard to sell that you want to make America great when you talk for 40 minutes about how bad everything is. Trump was talking about a “pause,” but his list of whiny grievances sounded like some kind of “manopause” where his ability to create a better reality was transitioning into something else that is giving him hot flashes.
The winner of the next election will be the party that puts someone up who sells us on the idea that they can make us better in a way that is not just about saying the other side is worse. I don’t know if Trump is the guy for the right or Biden is the guy for the left, but I know that the fringe days are fading.
People are not signing up for parties. Twitter is not reality. The midterms showed all of this, and we are here for it. We are free agents are the future, and I think it has to be better than where we have been.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.