Stop Calling Trump 'Former Guy'
Editor’s Note: Rick Wilson is a Republican political strategist and commentator. He is one of the co-founders of the Lincoln Project, and he served as field director for George H.W. Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign. On Friday, Wilson slammed Democrats who are calling former president Donald Trump, "the former guy," as naïve and juvenile on his Twitter feed. MaxNewsToday has compiled his tweetstorm and published it in an easy-to-read editorial format. It has been edited for clarity. Those of you thinking Donald Trump will go away if you call him “the former guy” miss the point; you cannot wish him away. It’s politically naïve and borders on juvenile. The evidence is piling up: Trump’s iron grip over the GOP has been institutionalized. “I’ll call this cancer a bad cold, because then the algorithms won’t give it as much attention,” isn’t a strategy. It’s -- at best -- a prank. In 2015 and 2016, the entire American political class, myself included, had a massive failure of imagination. It can always be worse. Trump’s minions, both in Mar-a-Lago and beyond, now entirely control the political and fundraising apparatus of the Republican Party. His word is law. No one is coming to save the GOP from him; they’re accomplices, not hostages. Many of the “call him the former guy” advocates live in a beltway dream world. Mitch’s fans and his Lil Abramoff consultants are huffing political jenkem. McConnell runs the GOP? Ha! “A new MAGA prince will take the mantle!” Trump can break any of them with a word. Refusal to focus on the pendant reality of his next run and his defining role in our politics is going to make 2022 and 2024 that much harder, and while the internal splits in the Democratic Party are expected, the GOP is planning, working, grinding.