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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Presidential Rope-a-Dope

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Presidential Rope-a-Dope

During George Foreman’s first run as the world’s heavyweight champion, he came across as the second coming of Sonny Liston – intimidating, boorish and mean. Foreman retired after losing to Jimmy Young three years after losing his title to Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope.

Apparently, Foreman had an epiphany in the locker room after his defeat against Young. Foreman left boxing for a while and became an ordained Christian minister. Nearly twenty years later, Foreman regained the heavyweight title, while becoming one of the most successful and beloved pitchmen since P.T. Barnum.

Foreman’s persona transformed and he became not just popular but someone you could earnestly root for. Foreman credits all of this to his Christian faith.     

The only epiphany Donald Trump has had since departing the White House was running again making his 2024 candidacy anything but a surprise. Provided Trump had retired, he would clear the ring for an impressive group of young, bright, accomplished GOP contenders, while enhancing his own legacy, underscoring what a transformational president he genuinely was. The unexpected always gets more play than the expected. 

The political poise and finesse of floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee was never in the Trump arsenal that would have converted him from slugger to statesman.

The most sense Nancy Pelosi made in a generation was when she announced that she will step down as House speaker saying: “the hour has come for a new generation to lead.” Provided Trump loves America truly, and I believe he does, he would pass the torch to a younger, less bellicose candidate who adheres to the same policies but without the drama. Rather, Trump has become the party guest who overstays his welcome by eating all your ice cream and imbibing on your last beer. 

Trump seems to believe he is entitled to the 2024 Republican nomination, which ironically is the very behavior he panned Hillary Clinton for in 2016. Trump’s caustic temperament helped Democrats win the Senate (twice), the House and the presidency resulting in the Democrat trifecta of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. Democrats scored the technical knockout in the primaries by pouring money into Trump’s endorsed candidates. When the general election rolled around, the majority of Trump’s candidates were counted out.  

Trump never won the popular vote. Does anyone believe he can do better in 2024, not named Trump? The most loyal chief second in Trump’s corner is daughter Ivanka, who announced she is sitting this one out.

The political poise and finesse of floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee was never in the Trump arsenal that would have converted him from slugger to statesman.

Trump’s jab at fellow Republican Ron DeSantis, the most successful governor in the country three days before a supposed GOP wave election, was a low blow.

Trump’s jab at fellow Republican Ron DeSantis, the most successful governor in the country three days before a supposed GOP wave election, was a low blow. Trump is no longer the underdog but the favorite hitting after the bell. The days of Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment schooling Republicans not to speak ill of fellow Republicans is dismissed and that is a major part of the problem.  

The media never stops sucker punching Trump, who stands toe-to toe refusing to use a mouth piece, roll with the punches or throw in the towel all admirable traits in boxing – but not in politics where tradeoffs not trading blows verbal or otherwise – is paramount. 

Since leaving office, rather than doing his roadwork of building a strong coalition that focused on winning the two Georgia senate seats and working to reform election laws, Trump threw bolo punches at something he could not hit. There is no denying many elections are suspect as history tells us so, but the best response would have been to build a resistance dedicated to reforming and strengthening voting laws, while growing lasting alliances throughout the party. 

The media thrives on Republican infighting. Trump never feints his punches preferring haymakers. Make no mistake the Republican stable is deep and talented with DeSantis, Glenn Youngkin, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo and Brian Kemp who are no lightweights but ranked contenders. The nomination will be rendered in the primaries and not by some backroom split-decision like in days of yore that has a certain appeal.

Trump is no orthodox politician, or a palooka, but he could land his party on the ropes especially if he does not win the nomination and goes the distance by running as a third-party.

Wishing you peace Donald and thank you.

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Last modified on Saturday, November 26, 2022
Michael J. Matt | Editor

Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000.  Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.