As a life-long Republican and supporter of Donald Trump, I was very disappointed to read in Sunday’s Observer-Reporter that the commonwealth’s Republican Party leadership is planning to invest a lot of emotional capital in whining about Sen. Pat Toomey’s irrelevant impeachment vote. These kinds of emotional outbursts are reminiscent of our former president. Trump’s inability to control his emotions was the fatal flaw that galvanized his opponents and drained support from his base. His unbridled emotions led to many unforced errors, but three in particular cost him the win in 2020.
First, he denigrated Sen. John McCain by declaring McCain was not a Vietnam war hero. This outburst – untrue, ugly, and just plain dumb – cost Trump dearly during his four years in office and ultimately contributed to his election defeat.
Second, his emotions were on full display during four years of social media use. Social media could easily have been a reliable fountain of professional, effective messaging for the public. Regrettably it was more frequently a dripping faucet of unnecessary, self-defeating emotional nonsense.
Finally, he didn’t prepare for the first presidential debate with Joe Biden. Instead of showcasing his administration’s accomplishments and vision, Trump opened wide his emotional throttle, cast himself in a childish light, and put wind in Biden’s limp sails.
I hope the Republican leaders will turn from this emotional rant about Toomey and get hot on planning for 2022 electoral success. Unfortunately, judging from Dave Ball’s recent emotional remarks, Republican leadership attention is fixed on an irrelevant event in the past. And, as we’ve learned, that’s not a recipe for success.