To say I’m not a fan of the current leadership at the Republican National Committee would be an understatement. I’ve pretty much made it my mission to ratio everything Ronna McDaniel posts on Twitter. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and the RNC has finally done something right.
According to The Washington Post, in order for candidates to participate in the 2024 presidential primary debates, they will have to pledge to support the eventual nominee.
The pushback here is going to be that this is controlling or that the RNC is attempting to put its finger on the scale. To that I say: Good.
Political parties are not supposed to be abstract. They are supposed to be functioning, influential operations with a singular goal of winning elections. Every part of a party apparatus should be pointed toward ensuring electoral success. Part of that is helping to guarantee that a primary itself doesn’t result in conceding the general election. Otherwise, what is the point of having political parties? Let’s just have everyone run as independents.
And while this may seem pointed at Trump, who himself refused such a pledge in 2015, this is also a good boundary to put in place for anti-Trump figures like Larry Hogan. After all, Trump is the most likely nominee, right?
If you want to run in the Republican presidential primary and your chief desire isn’t to ensure Republicans win the White House, no matter who wins the nomination, then you shouldn’t be running in the Republican primary. It’s that simple for me. The stakes are too high for someone to prioritize their own ego over victory. If Trump wins the primary, he should be supported. If someone else wins it, they should be supported. Call that the squish position, but I’m not into purity tests when the alternative is another four years of Joe Biden.
Besides, I trust the GOP electorate to pick a good nominee. Their choice should be respected by the candidates who come up short. There’s also talk of limiting the debate stage based on polling and fundraising. That’s another necessary rule that would help avoid a repeat of the ridiculous “kids’ debate” format the party had in 2016.
The country is on the brink financially, culturally, and in regard to foreign policy. The GOP can’t screw this next election up. Everyone isn’t going to agree on everything, but we should all be able to agree to fight to win the general election when the time comes.