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MAGA Needs to Move on from Donald Trump

Donald Trump
Donald Trump speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

In my last piece for 19FortyFive, this observer outed himself as a Trump fan. There followed a respectable number of comments (14 as of this writing, one of them my own), all of them negative. Most commenters were left/liberal, or at least anti-Trump and they have strong opinions about the article and the author. Thank you, left/liberal commenters, for not letting me down. A few Trump fans had things to say too.

One commenter argued that the GOP establishment is trying to ‘stamp out’ Trump. This is absolutely true and has been true since Trump descended the golden escalator in 2015. The GOP Establishment doesn’t like Trump, and Trump doesn’t like them. In 2016, then-House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seemed to greet Trump’s victory with a disappointed shrug. Ryan and McConnell showed little enthusiasm for Trump’s priorities like the border wall. Forgive this Deplorable for suspecting Ryan and McConnell would rather have worked with Hillary Clinton.

After Trump took office, Congress seemed somnolent. McConnell and Ryan pushed through the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, admittedly a fine piece of legislation, and a half-hearted effort to repeal Obamacare, which Senator John McCain (for whom I voted in 2000 and 2008) killed with a last-minute vote. But there was little congressional action on the border wall, the trade imbalance, and ending foreign wars. Trump acted on these issues virtually alone via executive order. After the 2020 election, most of the GOP, save a few stalwarts, was content to let Biden take the White House unchallenged. 

There, I said it

Most Trump supporters reading this article think Joe Biden’s 2020 victory was at least questionable. Many will say the Democrats stole the election outright. Officially Joe Biden received 81 million votes in 2020. Do you really think old and slow Joe Biden got twelve million more votes in 2020 than the talented and inspirational Barrack Obama got in 2008? Do you also think Jeffrey Epstein killed himself? Maybe I can interest you in cryptocurrency investment or perhaps some Arkansas real estate opportunities.

At least answer this question. Why did Detroit, Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia need days to count the votes when Texas, Florida, and Ohio only needed hours? For that matter, why can Canada, Britain, Australia, and Italy hold an election and tell us who won that night, and why can’t America do the same? By the way, click here for a detailed description of how Canadian elections are run. Compare and contrast with, say, Philadelphia. The 2020 election stinks.

Time for MAGA to Move on

And it doesn’t matter anymore, my fellow MAGA hats. It’s time for us to talk.

We scoff and laugh at Biden’s official 81 million vote total. Okay, so what’s Biden’s actual vote total then? Did Biden still win the popular vote? Did Trump win the popular vote outright? Did Trump lose the popular vote and win razor-thin majorities in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin like he did in 2016? Trump got 74 million votes in 2020. So let’s say for the sake of argument that Biden got 72 million votes. That is, 72 million people voted for the Democrat after a summer of leftwing riots that cost the nation $2 billion. 

Worse, Joe Biden has never been an interesting or dynamic candidate. The man had to drop out of the presidential race in 1988 for plagiarizing Thatcher-era British Labour leader Neil Kinnock of all people. Biden’s campaign in 2008 went nowhere. That year Obama asked Biden to be his vice president allegedly for his foreign policy chops, but more likely because Biden was a non-entity who wouldn’t distract from Obama.

There can only be one sun in the sky. The 2020 primary was the first in which Biden won a state. During the 2020 general election, Biden largely stayed at home and could barely fill a parking lot with supporters as he read from a comically large teleprompter. On the campaign trail, Biden looked old and very often confused. The Democratic National Convention felt like a schoolboard zoom meeting. Despite these many, many drawbacks, here we are about to begin the third year of the Biden presidency.

The hated GOP Establishment knew how to win

But, but … Trump holdouts will say, the entire press was supporting Biden and biased against Trump. The coverage wasn’t fair! So what? The press was against George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan too. This is the natural election environment for Republicans. Despite a press stacked against them, the above-mentioned Republicans won. Even George W. Bush beat John Kerry by nearly three million votes in 2004. That’s winning. If George W. Bush, long loathed by us MAGA hats, could win a clean victory against the Democrats, why couldn’t Trump?

Let’s put it another way. Trump couldn’t wipe the floor with Joe Biden in 2020. What makes MAGA hats think Trump can win in 2024?


Looking for a Different Take on Trump?

MORE: Is Donald Trump Doomed? 

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MORE: Why Donald Trump Can’t Win in 2024


William Stroock has been a history teacher and an adjunct professor of history. He wrote Pershing in Command: A Study of the American Expeditionary Force, Israel at War and Her Enemies, and over a dozen novels including the World War 1990: Series and The Austrian Painter: What if Germany Won the Great War?

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William Stroock has been a history teacher and an adjunct professor of history. He wrote Pershing in Command: A Study of the American Expeditionary Force, Israel at War and Her Enemies, and over a dozen novels including the World War 1990: Series and The Austrian Painter: What if Germany Won the Great War? His latest novels are The Great Nuclear War of 1975 and The Aftermath of 1976.

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. John Funk

    December 19, 2022 at 12:38 pm

    The 10th amendment allows states to regulate elections in their own states. Thus states like Florida can count all their absentee ballots prior to Election Day and states like Arizona can choose to wait until after Election Day. To decide that delays in reporting the tallies in Pennsylvania and other states is the result of nefarious actions suggests that the author who is reportedly a history professor is unfamiliar with this fact. If state legislatures do not like the confusion the delays in counting the ballots after the election creates they are free to change this at any time.

  2. Jeff

    December 19, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    Wow. I’m certainly glad you weren’t my history professor in university since it appears that you would benefit from taking further courses in logic, statistics, and constitutional law. As another commenter posted, how long it takes to count votes varies state by state because the Constitution allows states to set their own election policies, not because of some massive fraud. And you think Joe Biden got more votes than Obama because of that same fraud? How about another theory – way more people hate Donald Trump than John McCain. And a large number of people considered 4 more years of Trump as dangerous to our democracy and sanity. Had McCain won in 2008, I would have mourned the lost opportunity to make some long overdue history, but I wouldn’t have worried about the future of our republic. DJT, however, is another story.

  3. Laura

    December 19, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    81 million voters knew Trump is a facist even before January 6th. I would have voted for a turnip before casting a vote for that disgusting p**** grabber. The GOP better get it right this time. It’s amazing the party of Reagan debased itself like it did. Tragic for the entire country.

  4. Allen Ward

    December 19, 2022 at 10:58 pm

    What puzzles me is that I know that when you are teaching history or writing about it, you can’t rely on gut feelings like, “Do you really think old and slow Joe Biden got 12 million more votes than Barack Obama?”. That’s not even slightly objective. It’s anecdotal. And that is not how General Pershing made decisions. Remember Trump Derangement Syndrome? Yeah, we also call that a Get Out The Vote strategy. We, the Democrats, exploited that at every opportunity. And the GOP knew that, and they employed mirror-opposite tactics like being “anti-woke” and stimulated their voters. Voter turnout was far better in 2020 than it was in 2016….for both political parties. And as for “anyone really believing” in the results of the 2020 election, that question has been asked repeatedly in multiple polls at multiple times since then. The majority of Americans think the 2020 elections were legit, the Republican minority does not. It seems you spend all of your time in your own political echo chamber, which is its own punishment. We should know…we’re Democrats who thought in 2016 that no one would vote for Donald Trump, that he wouldn’t even score one electoral vote. Hubris goes both ways, we have learned.

  5. Harvey Maxim

    December 20, 2022 at 6:30 am

    It’s too bad. I liked your military analysis and hot takes. However, continuing to support Trump after everything you’ve seen so far is a character flaw at this point. In 2016 you get a pass. Sure, no one liked Hillary. Right or left. And maybe you thought he was a breath of fresh air. (If you’ve never paid much attention to him) but after 4 years and all of his many, many failures in basic leadership, the fault is in his continued supporters as it is in him. What else do you need to see to get you to turn away from this professional grifter? How many more scandals does he have to provide before you guys question his motives? So yeah, at this point you guys are the problem, Trump is just the vehicle for your poor choices.

  6. El Gato

    December 20, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    When the poll counters in Philly were covering up the windows with cardboard on Election night 2020, and not letting observers in, the fix was in. On Trump, it was good of him to kick the door open. Now pass the baton to Desantis and let him kick butt on the national stage.

  7. Trump on my shoe

    December 21, 2022 at 12:40 am

    Trump is and always has been a loser, and same with his toadies.

  8. Kelvin Clarke

    December 21, 2022 at 8:18 am

    As a non-American, please let me make a number of observations. Australia too, is a federation of colonies, each with its separate political roots.
    As modern States, those former colonies have divergent electoral and governmental rules which are specific to elections for their regional elections. At the Federal level, however, the electoral rules of the Commonwealth of Australia (via the Australian Electoral Commission) are universally applied meaning that voters in different electorates can realistically expect to vote under predictably uniform conditions.
    Our voting is performed with paper ballots, and handwritten pencil writing. These ballots are slotted into nationally uniform secure boxes which are only opened after the closing of voting by AEC staff under the supervision of candidate nominated scrutineers. The AEC staff count the ballots under the watch of the scrutineers. Informal votes (fail to fulfill the rules of a legitimate vote) are identified: these number about 2-5% in a compulsory voting election.
    Roughly, 20% of votes are postal, and these are formal if received within two weeks of polling day. Counting of postals is supervised by scrutineers.
    In close results, the ballots are subject to recounts under the supervision of professional scrutineers nominated by the parties.
    Contrary to the article, Australian elections can take up to a fortnight to decide. The 1961 election was decided by one seat which was won by 120 votes (imagine 1,800 votes deciding a US election?). In 2016, at close of counting, the ALP looked set to win, but postal votes turned that around over the next few days and the Coalition won by a handful of seats.
    We love observing US politics from Australia. And we adopt many US political behaviours.
    I hope that my reflections are of interest. Cheers.

  9. Derek

    December 27, 2022 at 4:55 pm

    Gut feelings are not facts. What kind of teacher are you?

  10. Patrick Wilson

    December 27, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    William, you’re proof that the MAGAites are wrong about social studies teachers pushing CRT. See folks, there are conservatives in education too. CRT is not a movement of a high number of educators. But misinformation is sure essential to the Far Right. William, there are plenty of blue states who did have their results same day. Funny how you didn’t mention them.

  11. The Unknown Soldier of Democracy

    December 28, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    Can we please get past the baseless rhetoric that somehow vote counting in the 2020 election was incorrect?

    Trump challenged an election result with which he disagreed, which is his prerogative. But the evidence was overwhelming that he indeed lost by almost 7 million votes.

    How do we know this? Because Trump’s team posed 62 legal challenges to the election’s result, and he lost 61 of those challenges. The one case that he won was based on a technicality, and had no bearing on the overall result. In addition, muliple audits and recounts were conducted in battleground states such as Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan, all of which found the same overall result while adding a small number of additional votes for Biden.

    All of this evidence is ignored by people who choose to listen to the grievances of the former president and a cadre of lackeys, to the detriment of the country and especially for the legitimacy of the Republican party.

    The author asks why the vote counting took so long. That’s easy…it was close in battleground states and every vote was counted and recounted to ensure the result was correct. Then these results were audited by bipartisan commissions to ensure election integrity. That’s why the courts overwhemingly found that the election was free and fair by every definition of those terms.

    What followed was an absolute disgrace, with Trump pressuring election officials to “find” enough votes to keep him in office. When that didn’t work, he resorted to mafioso tactics by summoning an armed insurrection to the capital to stop the vote and threaten the lives of his own vice president and the speaker of the house of representatives. That act was a seditious and unprecedented in challenging the underpinnings of democracy itself. All for a man that is either mentally unstable or morally vacuous (or both).

    If you really want to make America great, then move on from those who believe their own power is more important than the constitution.

    Joe Biden is not a perfect president by any means, and I also have concerns about his waning mental faculties. But he’s not out to usurp the power in favor of his own delusions of grandeur.

    America needs a fully functioning Republican party, not a cult of personality. While I don’t personally care for Santos or his rhetoric, at least he is among the sane people who could restore the good name of his party and his country.

  12. oran harris

    December 30, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    So we need to “move on” from Trump do we. Move on from what?? Let’s see, as president, he lowered taxes a lot helping families and helping businesses to grow and hire more people. Should we move on from that? Then there was all the business deregulation giving a massive boast to free enterprise and bringing unemployment to practically zero. Do we move on from that? Trump almost completed the wall desperately needed. Was that a mistake? ON and on I saw things he did that were good for America. Since 1960, I’ve never seen a first term president accomplish so many good things for our country. And the guy above who refers to Trump as a “Facist”. My God how stupid can one be. Facism and Nazism were both brutal dictatorships. NAZI is an acronym. Do any you intellectuals know what it stands for? It is, the National Socialist Worker’s Party. That’s right, Hitler was a left wing extremist as was Stalin and Mussolini. And just like the Democrat Party too. Only most are too stupid and uneducated to have a clue.

  13. oran harris

    December 30, 2022 at 9:23 pm

    Laura, you can’t get your education from the liberal media and expect to be able to write a comment that makes any sense. You need to do some reading and lots of it cause you show much ignorance – as do most of these comments. You all need to learn to think for yourself based on REAL facts – not Marxist Dogma. You’ve been propagandized to think a certain way and too stupid to realize.

  14. Harmen Breedeveld

    December 30, 2022 at 10:21 pm

    I never understand why people find it hard to believe Joe Biden got 81 million votes.

    Millions of Americans voted not so much for Joe Biden; they voted AGAINST Donald Trump.

    Tens of millions of Americans pove Trump. But tens of millions of Americans – including quite a few normally Repiblican-leaning voters- absolutely despise him. It is this latter group that voted en masse for Biden.

    Biden is simply not loathed with the same intensity by his detractors, not as much as Trump.

    2020 was a referendum on Trump. A clear majority of Americans wanted him gone.

    Many Trump supporters seem to have a hard time accepting this sobering truth. Among them the author of this piece.

  15. bart collins

    December 31, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    Dear William,
    3 words: You are an idiot.

    And to poke additional fun at your argument: 3votes+4votes=17votes if you make up new rules for how your State conducts itself. But by all means, keep up the Trump sucks mantra. History professor. Right. And I am Santa Claus.

  16. Joe

    December 31, 2022 at 10:00 pm

    Trump is MAGA and that ain’t gonna change.

  17. Jim

    January 2, 2023 at 2:15 am

    Something has to change. We know it’s not going to be the UniParty; we know it isn’t going to be McConnell; We know the Democrats are going to continue to cheat to win the elections.

    It’s never been a better time for a 3rd party since Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party. Blow up the entire Republican establishment. Split the vote, and had the Democrats a big win. They’re going to win it anyways. To do nothing will simply change nothing.

    It’s time to change. I would love to see a MAGA party. I would cast my vote for any candidates that will go with the party. I will no longer waste my vote on Republicans.

  18. Anne

    January 3, 2023 at 12:55 pm

    No one mentioned that Pennsylvania and other states do not start counting the votes until election evening after the election is complete. That is why it took longer for all counties, including Philadelphia.

  19. David

    January 4, 2023 at 6:01 pm

    When I read that you are an admirer of Trump, I lost interest in what you have to say. Trump fans who voted for him in 2016 are guilty of putting an entirely unqualified, highly narcissistic man, with no government experience into the highest office in the land. There’s nothing in his resume, personality, demeanor or background to indicate he was qualified to lead the free world. I thought his candidacy was intended as a joke; only meant to feed his narcissism. When he launched a serious campaign, it didn’t bother me as I thought no one would actually vote for this empty suit. I thought to myself that anybody could see right through this flim-flam man. I was as shocked as most people when he won, but it was so hard to believe. I kept asking myself how this could happen in America. I thought long and hard and finally came up with a theory; However, it wasn’t something I could share with other people because it was so controversial until now when I have proof. Two years after he was inaugurated a study was done on the election, meant to answer the question of how a man so unsuited to be President was elected. The study was made up of 10,000 confirmed Trump voters and 10,000 confirmed not Trump voters. The study was designed to measure the relative IQ’s, utilizing standard IQ tests given twice over a two-week period of these 20,000 people. As it turned out, the average Trump voter had an IQ of 71, while non-Trump voters had an average IQ of 96. It confirmed my suspicion and scared me to death that people considered to have “moderately impaired cognition” are using their votes for people they think they know from TV. People with an IQ of 71 aren’t likely to read the voter’s pamphlet or party platforms, they’re just going to vote Republican like their daddy did or because they think that being republican conveys a certain cachet that they’re smart and well-off. These voters have no idea how they’re affected by the decisions made in congress. If they checked, they would most likely find that they would have done better with the democrats. William Strock I don’t think you’re a real trump supporter, I think you just wanted to stir things up, and you did.

  20. DirtyRottenLiberal

    January 5, 2023 at 12:20 am

    You are spot on about everything in this article except the speculation about the 2020 Election Being Rigged. Trump knew he was going to lose before the election and started up the rigged election rhetoric a month before election day. We did not need to rig this election. All Democrats would have voted for anyone but Trump. I’ve never been more motivated to vote against a candidate and never will be again unless he gains the republican nomination in 2024. It is not that we love Biden, we don’t, but Trump was the worst president in our lifetimes and probably in the history of our country. I have scoured every conservative site looking for any shred of evidence produced that the election was rigged, and no one has any. You can’t believe Biden won? Welcome to the club we could not believe Trump won in 2016. And there was significant evidence of outside influence in 2016.

  21. Bob Lebeaux

    January 5, 2023 at 8:22 am

    Small wonder you’re a Trump fan.

  22. NMStan

    January 5, 2023 at 12:06 pm

    Make America Groan Again

  23. Jacob Harley

    January 5, 2023 at 4:33 pm

    It’s pretty obvious why Biden got so many votes. Trump appeals to a hard core of – well we all know the types. But to most of us, he’s a despicable piece of excrement. I’d never voted in a US election before – because I wasn’t a citizen, only a permanent resident. And despite what the Trumpsters say, its very difficult and very risky for such people to vote. Having seen what a truly terrible mess that Trump was making of this country I applied for citizenship. I got it in mid 2020 and in late October (early voting) I (along with my wife) trotted along and cast our vote for Biden, on the basis he was not Donald Trump. I imagine this scenario was repeated hundreds of thousands of times across the country.

    The election wasn’t stolen. Donald Trump was unelectable. I hope they select him again as their candidate. He’ll be obliterated again – as Georgia has shown, no amount of voter suppression will enable an unelectable candidate to be elected.

  24. Republican from Ohio

    January 5, 2023 at 4:34 pm

    I am nearly 60 years old and have voted republican consistently since I turned 18. There are 3 crucial facts that MAGA republicans have never understood:

    1. Many mainstream republicans never embraced Trump viewing him as a fraud. There have been many articles and publications since the early 1990’s illustrating Trump’s questionable business acumen and his over-inflated view of his accomplishments. Key point in fact, no major North American bank would do business with Trump after 2012.
    Why? His businesses were suspect after having defaulted numerous times and only foreign, small banks would lend him money, some of them Russian and Chinese. People with real accomplishments usually don’t keep them covered up such as his refusal to release any meaningful business records or his tax returns as a presidential candidate and office holder. In short, mainstream republicans were not buying Trump’s bluster that he was a great businessman without backing it up with facts.

    2. Hillary Clinton was an extremely hated candidate in 2016 and many mainstream republicans voted for Trump simply to keep Clinton away from power. He was the lessor evil in 2016.

    3. Many of Biden’s 81 million votes in 2020 were not “pro-Biden” votes but rather “anti-Trump” votes, just as a portion of Trump’s 2016 votes were anti-Clinton votes. By 2020, Trump had become toxic and proven to be extremely chaotic, self-absorbed and often unhinged. Trump has been the biggest driver for motivating the democratic party and independent voters to go out and vote since FDR 8 decades ago.

    Forget trying to rationalize the math over the vote totals in 2020 – it simply comes down to an extreme hatred for what Trump is. Nothing was stolen. Hatred is an intensely powerful motivator and it got 7+ million more voters to go out and fire Trump in 2020. It’s that simple but Trump doesn’t want you to know that.

  25. Alan Hopkinson

    January 6, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    As a Canadian, I am appalled that you would try to bring our voting system into your article promoting fascism (and purport to be professor in a subject I take great personal interest in). Our political systems are quite different, I suggest the chaotic nature of the U.S. (who can forget ‘hanging chads’?) is likely by design. Anyway, so far your democracy has been resilient under the corruptive assault of Trump and his minions. Fingers crossed it continues to do so (for the whole world).

  26. Jack

    January 8, 2023 at 8:46 pm

    The WORST thing that could happen to the Democrats is for Trump to NOT run again for President… That would virtually Guarantee that our next President will be a Young Republican

  27. Bill

    January 8, 2023 at 11:12 pm

    I am a Democrat and voted for Republican Presidential Candidates from 1972 through 2012. In 2016 I couldn’t stand the stink coming from Trump and the policies he the things he was for. I don’t believe in making fun of Gold Star families just because they are Muslim. They are still Americans and Americans stand together. All I see in the MAGA movement is a group of people who want to deny voting rights to people they perceive as disagreeing with their politics, people that don’t want to do their part to support their fellow Americans, are more interested in yelling and screaming about their rights to not wear a mask Vs thinking about other people and how wearing a mask will protect their fellow Americans. Everything they seem to support is basically un-American. Then they listened to the Trumpists and attacked the House of the People and tried to overthrow our Government. They seem more interested in trashing the Constitution and taking over as the rulers of the country and starting a dictatorship run by super Conservatives that have demonstrated they don’t really know how to run a country.

  28. James A Verzani

    January 9, 2023 at 1:44 pm

    I’m listening, as a former Trump supporter but no longer. Dump Trump! We need to move on, he has become too controversial, really an adversary. He stumped for politicians who did not invite him. Now we see who he really is. I see no problems with his tax returns, and not sure about Jan 6 but I do believe the election was stolen with absentee ballots and other under the table activities. Brandon is an embarrassment. We lack moral and honest, intelligent leadership.

  29. George G. Lewter

    January 9, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    The Democrats cheated in 2020, they cheated in 2022, and they will cheat in 2024. The Democrats are HELL BENT ON DESTROYING AMERICA.

  30. Patrick D Tays

    January 10, 2023 at 1:35 am

    “Still a Trump supporter” Wow. From a historian even more WOW.
    Blaming has become the American-political white-wash. Why?
    Was the Great Depression Hoover’s fault? No.
    Was Pearl Harbor Roosevelt’s fault? No.
    Was 911 Bush’s fault? No.
    Is the border crises Biden’s fault? No.
    Was Jan. 6th Trump’s fault? ~ Not enough time for history to make this determination.
    January 6th needs to be memorialized, the occurrences of that day should mandatorily be taught in high school. No American reaching 18 should have any doubt about the facts. Forget the who caused this or that. We need to remember THE WHAT.
    Facts.

  31. Phil Layshio

    January 30, 2023 at 3:47 am

    Typical republicants, absolutely no loyalty to anyone but themselves. I say hang on to your Donny support, Trumpsters. When he loses the republicant nomination, he will run as an independent and split the republicant vote in the next Presidential election. I look forward to another 4 years of constant boo-hooing by republicants.

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