There has been a lot of opinion and speculation about whether the 45th President of the United States should run or will run in the 2024 presidential election. In fact, I dedicated an entire article to the discussion titled, “Welcome to 2022, Red wave coming, what will Trump do?” I encourage you to check it out. But something extraordinary happened last Saturday at the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Something that tells me that President Donald J. Trump will not only run, but he intends to win.
If you’ve been to a Trump rally, or any event where Mr. Trump is speaking really, then you’ve seen and felt the excitement and energy that surrounds the former President. Certainly, you’ve seen the lines, the crowds, and the tailgating party-type atmosphere. In all actuality, a Trump rally is more like rock concert then a political event.
Towards the end of President Trump’s first term however, the energy was just different, perhaps a bit less emotional and intense. I don’t know if it was the lingering fear from COVID, the fact that things were just good and people weren’t really that impassioned from hardship, or perhaps the familiar one-liners were growing a little stale. Of course, we all know what happened on November 3, 2020. Whether it was fraud, waning enthusiasm, or Biden being the most popular president in U.S. history (ahem), our country ended up with…Joseph R. Biden as its 46th president.
I’ve written extensively about President Biden’s failures, but for those who want the running list, here it goes…out of control inflation and energy prices, a disastrous and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan, nationwide labor shortage, the bumbling COVID-19 response, the self-inflicted crisis on our southern borders, international instability including a Russian invasion into Ukraine, and the list goes on and on. Basically, you can just take Mr. Biden’s claimed successes at his State of the Union address and state them as opposites.
This article is not about Mr. Biden, however. Don’t get me wrong, his failures are certainly relevant to what transpired at CPAC, but I’m here to talk about a moment. A moment where all uncertainty surrounding the 2024 election was put to rest once and for all. A moment that felt like the home team just won a Super Bowl with high fives, handshakes, and cheers of celebration culminating into a jovial roar--a moment I dub the roar of ‘24.
To fully understand this moment, it’s important to go back to the first day of CPAC for comparative purposes. It was a Thursday. I’m sure there were speakers earning applause for the expected denouncement of big tech censorship, fake news, and fraud, but it was America’s Governor, Ron DeSantis of Florida that stole the show. Participants and politicos alike filed out of his speech flushed with excited for the future, convinced that he should be the Republican nominee for 2024. There was exhilaration, palpable delight, and people were optimistic for the GOP’s future. It certainly fueled the suspicions of an inevitable showdown between the President who created the America First movement and the Governor that seems to typify it.
Then on Saturday at around 7:00 p.m., President Donald J. Trump walked onto the stage. As he walked towards the lectern, any doubts as to whether the 2024 Republican nomination belonged to anyone but Mr. Trump quickly faded to the roar of applause as the entire room stood on their feet. His familiar lines were funny again and it was nice to hear “Make America Great Again,” again. Often referring to himself in the third person as “your favorite president,” he detailed all the Biden Administration’s failures and how he would return America to greatness, again. He called out election fraud and the corrupt establishment. He criticized the radical left for trying to replace American democracy with woke tyranny, he warned that “they are coming after me because I’m standing up for you!” He vowed to end House Speaker Representative Nancy Pelosi of California’s career “once and for all” as well as to get “the Biden crime family” out of the White House. He asserted that a Republican Congress would ban Critical Race Theory, defend parent’s rights, and allow for school choice. Mr. Trump even brought his typical sarcastic humor, saying Mark Zuckerberg “used to come to the White House to kiss his ass”.
As the speech ended, the energy in the room reached a crescendo, a well-orchestrated symphony of excitement and emotion accompanied by the successive thumps of Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin’” playing loudly throughout the room. The people danced as they left, waving flags and signs. Some were hugging, many were singing, and in the distance, you could hear random chants of U.S.A., U.S.A! That was the moment I referred to earlier. You had to be there to feel it, but you must trust me when I tell you, it was special. The energy carried over to the television studios and throughout the hotel bars. The celebration went on for hours. On Thursday Governor DeSantis gave a thrilling speech at CPAC, but on Saturday, President Trump blew the roof off the place in a way that only Trump could. Sunday’s straw poll showed more than a two to one preference for Mr. Trump in a primary over Mr. DeSantis, and there wasn’t any other competition worth mentioning. It was clear after CPAC that the 2024 Republican presidential nomination is Mr. Trump’s if he wants it, and word on the street is: he does.
Considering Mr. Biden’s abysmal record, the enthusiasm for President Trump’s return to the Oval Office will likely continue to grow as we draw closer to the next presidential election. And when Mr. Trump as 47th President retakes his place behind the HMS Resolute Desk and begins to once again put America first, we’ll think back to that moment from CPAC 2022 where the world got its first glimpse of what a great awakening looks like, as they heard the roar of ’24.