Some endorsements have a different kind of meaning. When they come from someone who lived through the Great Depression and World War II, they carry a significance that other endorsements cannot.
Longevity, of course, does not automatically confer wisdom. It does, however, provide a perspective unavailable from any other source.
With this in mind, Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus’ endorsement of former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination commands our attention.
Marcus, 94, entered the world on May 12, 1929 — two months and eight days into the presidency of Herbert Hoover. Less than six months later, the infamous stock market crash signaled the onset of a global economic catastrophe.
The multibillionaire’s endorsement of Trump, therefore, blended the political with the autobiographical. It reminded readers of the values for which Americans once stood and now must reclaim.
“I am 94 years old and like many of you, I am exhausted by politics and saddened by what I see happening to America,” Marcus began.
He then cited urban lawlessness, open borders, failing schools, struggling families and a gargantuan, weaponized federal government. Freedom and the American Dream cannot survive these circumstances.
The multibillionaire then explained that he stands as living proof of what this rare country means.
“I was born here and can give testimony about The American Dream. I lost my job and was broke when I was 48 years old,” he recalled.
Alas, such a thing seems unlikely in President Joe Biden’s America.
“The state of America today, especially record inflation, government over-regulation, and the problems of the last three years, would prevent my partners and I from succeeding as we have,” Marcus wrote.
Thus, we must reject socialism and the vision of the current political elite.
Next, Marcus turned to his endorsement in the GOP primary race.
At first, he addressed his comments to fellow affluent Republicans, some of whom seem to think themselves above the brand of politics Trump represents. Perhaps they regard the daily struggles of ordinary Americans as a theoretical or moral problem — no real concern of theirs.
Either way, Marcus — a longtime supporter of Trump’s who donated $7 million to his 2016 campaign — acknowledged their hesitation to back the 45th president. But the billionaire businessman advised them to get over it.
“I, too, have been frustrated at times, but we cannot let his brash style be the reason we walk away from his otherwise excellent stewardship of the United States during his first term in office,” Marcus wrote.
Who can deny the truth of that phrase, “excellent stewardship”?
Then, Marcus made the strongest possible case for Trump, not as a practical political calculation but as a qualitative preference.
“I endorse him not only because he has the best chance of winning the general election but because he is the best person to take on and dismantle the administrative state that is strangling America,” Marcus wrote.
Finally, having argued that Americans would be freer and more prosperous under Trump, Marcus added that the world — now teetering on the brink of a calamitous conflict — would be safer and more peaceful.
“Many, including myself, believe that Hamas would not have unleashed its barbarism and cruelty on Israel if Donald Trump was our president today,” he wrote.
In short, Marcus argued that Republicans should rally around Trump even before the first primary votes are cast.
“Let’s face it: Donald Trump is going to win the nomination,” he wrote. “You should be doing all you can to ensure his winning the general election.”
“I urge the Republican National Committee to end the Republican debates that only benefit ad makers and political consultants. They are unproductive and embarrassing,” Marcus concluded.
Fantastic wealth and advanced age, of course, do not in themselves command total deference. After all, rich old people say and do foolish things all the time.
Nonetheless, when mingled with the natural respect we owe to elders, a powerful message reads as exponentially more powerful, particularly when that message comes from someone who has lived nearly a century.
In reflective moments, I have often thought about the gradual disappearance of the World War II generation. Their loss seems incalculable, as if our rapid national descent into madness could only have occurred without them here.
Thus, Marcus’ endorsement of Trump should strike us as a plea from the past. It said, in essence, “For your sake and for the sake of posterity, do not squander all that we built.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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