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A Trump-Thomas ticket would be a game-changer for 2024
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A Trump-Thomas ticket would be a game-changer for 2024

But if the president can’t lure Clarence Thomas from the Supreme Court, a case could be made for picking Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to unify traditional conservatives in November.

Donald Trump has yet to announce his vice presidential running mate, a decision he doesn't take lightly. While there are many fine Republicans, Trump should consider only two: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Here is some unsolicited advice, respectfully submitted.

Thomas has been a pillar of the American republic for nearly half a century. No one has demonstrated more political courage, except for President Trump, than Justice Thomas. Normally, it would be fine to leave Thomas on the Supreme Court. But our republic is broken, and we are in a revolutionary moment that requires thinking outside the box. This election will decide the future of the country. Why not go all in with the two finest political figures we have: Donald Trump and Clarence Thomas?

If the MAGA base and the political right in America unite, they will have a fighting chance to turn this around.

Intellectually, Thomas has demonstrated an unparalleled devotion to the principles of the American founding. His application of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to the legal and political crisis we find ourselves in today has had a profound and enduring impact on American jurisprudence. His understanding of the natural law and his common-sense legal opinions have reshaped the court in decisive ways.

Politically, Thomas is in a unique position. He is an elder statesman whom both the American people and the Republican political class respect. The MAGA base and traditional Republican Party members look to Thomas as a bulwark of traditional American morality and common sense.

Not only does he represent the best of American constitutional thinking, but he is also an eminently good man with a good and lovely wife. Millions already love Trump, and a Trump-Thomas ticket would generate unprecedented energy. Thomas is the kind of man for whom millions of Americans — especially Christians — would tirelessly walk precincts. The reason is simple: The MAGA base wants a running mate for President Trump who is authentically MAGA, not a pretender like Nikki Haley or Doug Burgum.

And at the most fundamental political level, the Democrats, should they have the majority, would not dream of impeaching President Trump with Vice President Clarence Thomas in the wings. For whom else could that be said?

Some will say that a Trump-Thomas ticket is crazy because Justice Thomas would have to give up his seat on the court. This is true, but unless overwhelming numbers of Americans vote for President Trump in November and overcome attempts to steal the election, Democrats will win the White House, along with the House of Representatives and Senate. They will then pack the Supreme Court, making Justice Thomas a minority view. If victorious, who better to advise President Trump on the future of the court than Vice President Thomas?

But, of course, Trump may not be able to pry Thomas from the court. In that case, the other choice is a nod to practical electoral politics: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. It is well known that Trump and Kemp are not the best of friends. To put it mildly, they did not see eye to eye on how the 2020 election was conducted in the Peach State.

Some might say Kemp didn’t fully apply his experience and proficiency as a former Georgia secretary of state to ensure a fraud-free 2020 election, impacted by changes to election laws due to COVID-19 lockdowns. This could be remedied in 2024. Kemp is one of the most skilled politicians in the country. If he were on the national ticket, he would ensure a free and fair election in Georgia. Under these circumstances, President Trump could win the state’s crucial 16 electoral votes. No other potential running mate offers this possibility.

It's true Kemp represents a more establishment part of the Republican Party. Bringing this faction back into the fold to join President Trump's MAGA base is crucial. In politics, unity is assumed come election time, but that was not the case in 2020 and 2022. If President Trump is to return to the White House, party unity is indispensable in 2024.

Many within the MAGA base will be appalled by such a selection. However, this is about political math. Georgia’s 16 electoral votes are critical. While Kemp has many establishment tendencies and is not MAGA on several issues, he is a traditional conservative on illegal immigration and gun rights. He was also among the best governors in the country during the COVID-19 lockdowns, keeping schools open and businesses running.

Whatever differences Republicans may have, the country is being torn apart. It may already be too late to reverse course. One thing is for sure: If the MAGA base and the political right in America unite, they will have a fighting chance to turn this around.

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Brian T. Kennedy

Brian T. Kennedy

Brian T. Kennedy is the chairman of the Committee on the Present Danger: China; the president of the American Strategy Group; and a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute.
@BrianTKennedy1 →