“So, at the crossroad of the Republican pathway back to power, there are plenty of known unknowns.
Would possible presidential candidates like Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, former Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, or former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo advance the MAGA agenda, but without the fireworks and distractions?
Or would they prove similar to a once impressive Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker—who nonetheless fizzled on the 2016 campaign stage?
Or would a battle-scarred and wizened veteran Trump now outsmart rather than merely outrage his enemies by picking his targets more carefully?
Can Trump, like Youngkin, win back suburbanites and independents to achieve a 51 percent majority—something no Republican presidential candidate has achieved in 33 years?
Or could his less carnivorous rivals of the status quo be able to keep the Trump base from sitting out the election as they did in 2008 and 2016?
Would Trump ever be content with becoming the senior statesman basking in the credit of rebooting the Republican Party from a stereotyped wealthy white corporate party into a populist-nationalist movement of the middle class of all races and ethnicities?
Or will Trump redo 2016, bulldoze to the nomination, go for the jugular of the now hard-left Democratic Party, clobbering his way to a 2016-like Electoral College victory—or a defeat that others who copied his agendas might have avoided?”
Victor Davis Hanson, “Trump Nearing the Crossroads,” VDH’s Blade of Perseus, 11/4/2021.