Trump has no right to the nomination, blacklisting DeSantis’s staff is pure thuggery

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A vehicle with flags in support of Donald Trump drives outside of the Paul G. Rogers Federal Courthouse, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Attorneys for the nation’s largest media companies are presenting their case before a federal magistrate judge to make public the affidavit supporting the warrant that allowed FBI agents to search former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) Lynne Sladky/AP

Trump has no right to the nomination, blacklisting DeSantis’s staff is pure thuggery

Primary elections usually create some awkwardness. Candidates of the same party spend months campaigning against each other, which entails at least some level of criticism of one another. Then after one candidate wins, his or her erstwhile opponents need to explain why this person whom they had attacked is, in fact, the best man or woman for the job.

In some circumstances, this peace never happens. Sometimes it’s because the primary attacks became too personal and too brutal. Sometimes it’s because the ideological gap between the primary opponents is too great. Sometimes it’s because the primary winner is obviously unfit. Often it’s because the loser is just too petty.

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This failure to make peace always harms the party by dividing it. So it ought to be disheartening to see that Donald Trump’s campaign is already declaring that anyone who runs against him is a mortal enemy and that anyone who works on a rival campaign is branding himself an enemy of the party.

Reporter Phil Wegmann has the story:

“As Ron DeSantis emerges as a prospective rival for the Republican nomination, Donald’s Trump campaign has put word out that anyone who works for the Florida governor will be blackballed. “According to sources with direct knowledge of the edict, Justin Caporale, who helps lead the advance team for the former president, has said that anyone who staffed a recent DeSantis book tour will be considered ‘persona non grata.’ A top Trump ally was more comprehensive, telling RealClearPolitics that the prohibition would apply to more than just the junior aides tasked with setting up folding chairs and hanging banners. “‘It’s a time for choosing,’ the source close to the former president said. ‘If you work for Ron DeSantis’ presidential race, you will not work for the Trump campaign or in the Trump White House.'”

This is silly at best, and gangster politics at worst.

The Republicans I spoke with expect that Trump will not follow through on this pledge but that his campaign sees this sort of threat as a way to scare cowardly politicians out of endorsing DeSantis. In that regard, this sort of goon-ish behavior might work because so many Republican politicians are evidently cowards in the face of Trump.

But the premise is disturbing. The premise is that simply running against Trump is an affront. Incumbents often act as if primary challenges break some sort of moral code, and that’s dumb enough. But Trump isn’t even an incumbent. He’s a former president who lost reelection and who, for that matter, lost the popular vote twice.

Even though the blacklist threat is likely an empty threat from the Trump campaign, it’s disturbing because it echoes and reinforces the widespread mindset in the Republican base: that Donald Trump is the GOP, is conservatism, is patriotism, and that the very act of running against him makes you a RINO or an enemy of the people.

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This is simply stupid, but it also is what guarantees that Democrats will win every presidential election as long as Donald Trump is on the political scene.

The more the Trump campaign declares that all rivals are enemies, the more years of Democratic dominance it guarantees.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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