He hasn’t been in the news much these days, unless he’s passing along more of the same idiotic statements he tweeted back when he was president, but over the weekend,Donald Trump made news as the first ever recipient of the prized National Republican Senatorial Committee’s Champion of Freedom Award. You probably never heard of the Champion of Freedom award, which sounds a lot like the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest honor the President of the United States can bestow on a civilian, and which Trump routinely gave away like candy to some of his most venomous supporters. That’s because there’s no such thing as the Champion of Freedom Award – the NRSC just made it up on the fly and had its chairman, Rick Scott pose for a picture with Trump.
It’s a way to keep the two of them relevant. Scott is up for re-election in 2024 and Donald Trump is keeping up some specter of running, ginning up his base and keeping their morale while he deals with a slew of legal issues. The trouble is that between his own scandals and the new can of worms that Florida Republicans are facing with Matt Gaetz’ investigation, they’re running ideas for how they can both appear on the same page and hope that their own voters won’t punish them for it in 2022 and 2024 by not turning out to vote. However, this desperate joke of a photo op is a pretty good incentive for voters to show up and vote against politicians like Gaetz and Scott – and make the next midterm yet another referendum against Donald Trump.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making