Any conservative Trump alternative will do

The Washington Post:

The network of donors and activist groups led by conservative billionaire Charles Koch will oppose Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination, mounting a direct challenge to the former president’s campaign to win back the White House.

“The best thing for the country would be to have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter,” Emily Seidel, chief executive of the network’s flagship group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), wrote in a memo released publicly on Sunday. The three-page missive repeatedly suggests that AFP is taking on the responsibility of stopping Trump, with Seidel writing:

“Lots of people are frustrated. But very few people are in a position to do something about it. AFP is. Now is the time to rise to the occasion.”

The move marks the most notable example to date of an overt and coordinated effort from within conservative circles to stop Trump from winning the GOP nomination for a third straight presidential election. Some Republicans have grown increasingly frustrated with Trump after disappointing midterm elections in which he drew blame for elevating flawed candidates and polarizing ideas. But absent a consolidated effort to stop Trump, many critics fear he will be able to exploit GOP divisions and chart a course to the nomination as he did in 2016.

While the memo didn’t name a spending target, AFP’s affiliated super PAC spent more than $69 million in the 2022 cycle, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures. The Koch network joins the Club for Growth, another of the largest outside spenders, and several of the party’s biggest individual donors, such as finance billionaires Kenneth C. Griffin and Stephen A. Schwarzman in signaling their opposition to Trump’s current campaign. Others are holding back for now.

The memo specifically says:
AFP aspires to be the home for voters and policy makers, regardless of political party, who want to change the trajectory of our country toward one guided by core American principles, principles like freedom and empowerment and a strong constitutional system so that all people have the opportunity to live their American Dream. Given all that’s at stake right now, we are redoubling our focus on this vision and taking our strategy to do this to the next level. …
Here’s the hard truth as I see it:
  • The Republican Party is nominating bad candidates who are advocating for things that go against core American principles. And the American people are rejecting them.
  • The Democratic Party increasingly sees this as a political opportunity. And they’re responding with more and more extreme policies – policies that also go against our core American principles.

This means the country is in a downward spiral, with both parties reinforcing the bad behavior of the other.

And to make matters worse, very few voters participate in primaries – and that’s where these candidates are chosen. This makes it impossible to get good things done in Washington. And things are likely to get worse before they get better. When you understand the landscape this way, it’s clear: Our country must move past the current political situation – we’ve got to turn the page on the past several years.

And to write a new chapter for our country, we need to turn the page on the past. So the best thing for the country would be to have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter. The American people have shown that they’re ready to move on, and so AFP will help them do that. It looks like the Democrats have already chosen their path for the presidential – so there’s no opportunity to have a positive impact there. But AFP Action is prepared to support a candidate in the Republican presidential primary who can lead our country forward, and who can win.
AFP is a libertarian-leaning group. Neither Biden nor any likely Democratic presidential candidate can be considered remotely libertarian, and neither is Trump. Poll results show that a majority of Americans don’t think Biden has accomplished much, and a majority of Democrats want someone other than Biden as their presidential nominee. But there is no way Trump can be elected in 2024, and neither should he be.

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