It begins: The most important election ever -- and our game plan to engage

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

It took a few tries by Elon Musk yesterday afternoon for the Republican presidential field to officially firm up, even if it’s not necessarily complete. Ron DeSantis patiently waited for a series of technical failures to resolve before officially announcing his candidacy for the presidency, and delivered a short speech before fielding a Q&A with several figures.


And while the rocky start no doubt frustrated DeSantis and Musk, the fact that well over 600,000 people simultaneously attempted to participate in the campaign launch speaks to a lot of interest in DeSantis, if not outright support.

We may still see a few other candidates get into the race. Glenn Youngkin is signaling some interest, and both Chris Sununu and Chris Christie have hinted at candidacies as well. For all intents and purposes, though, DeSantis’ entry officially opens up the GOP primary fight.

This is the moment for which we planned our revamp of HotAir. And I am sure that our readers are curious as to how we’ll approach this primary and the general election to follow. In the past eight months, our team has worked hard to build trust with our readers. We have a diverse group of voices that speaks to all corners of the Right — traditional conservatives, populists, culture-issue activists, and policy advocates.

It’s our aim to put that to use as a way to robustly debate the issues and the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates in this race in order to pull that coalition of the Right together rather than break them apart. We all have our own opinions, concerns, and desires when it comes to this primary cycle, but we all have one thing in common, too. We all want to defeat Joe Biden and the Democrats. The disaster of the last two-plus years — especially the utter disgrace of Biden abandoning Americans in Afghanistan in August 2021 — renders the old cliché all too true.


This is the most important election of our lives — and we will be smack in the middle of it with you, and for you.

That means we have to take this more seriously than ever, and help bolster chances for victory no matter who prevails in the GOP primaries. Just like our readers and voters, each of us will have candidates we like better than others. We will argue passionately at times for those positions, and we will have criticisms of all the candidates at one time or another as well. A competitive primary demands no less, because the point of this process is to find and support the person with the best chance of defeating Biden and the Democrats. That matters more than any affection or disaffection we feel for any of these candidates.

We have to win. No other choice in this cycle matters more than that choice. And I can assure you that everyone here at HotAir knows that. Nothing can change in America until the White House changes hands.

That doesn’t mean values don’t matter. The best way to win in November 2024 will be to nominate someone who reflects America’s broad values and presents a stark contrast to the degradations of the fringe progressives leading this country at the moment. And that is what a real competition and honest debate should produce, and why we want to be not just part of it but a leading part of a robust and honest debate.

That means we want to respect the entrants for their potential, but even more, we want to respect you and your own process in this cycle. We want everyone to come here with the expectation of honest engagement, even if they have already made up their own minds as to the best candidate in the process. That is especially true of our VIP and VIP Gold members, who regularly engage us in the comment sections. Whatever our criticisms of the candidates, we recognize and respect the support they may have with voters. We need them to be engaged all the way until Election Day 2024 — and we need their wisdom as part of the collective of the Right.


And even more, we hope that our readers will value us for our ability to expose the Protection Racket Media’s attempts to interfere with those choices, to smear good candidates, and to wreak havoc by manipulating their consumers for their own agendas. That’s why we developed our VIP/VIP Gold membership programs – to ensure that we can remain independent of mainstream media hostility, Big Tech’s cowardly collaboration with government censors, and periods of advertiser trepidation stoked by activists and extremists. It keeps us free to speak our minds and to bring dissent and debate back to our readers. It also provides exclusive content, such as:

  • The Amiable Skeptics featuring Adam Baldwin
  • Off the Beaten Path with Larry O’Connor
  • The Week in Review with Duane Patterson
  • Exclusive columns from Tom Jackson, Duane “Generalissimo” Patterson, and Matt Vespa
  • Members-only content from our HotAir team – David Strom, Jazz Shaw, and myself
  • Live chats and interactive engagement on all platforms with VIP Gold
  • Exclusive access to the comments sections on each post, so that you can join the conversation at HotAir
  • And more yet to come!

We talk about this more often now because we see the coming crisis in media more clearly than ever. We hope we can gather as many allies as possible to keep all of these issues in the public square – and indeed to preserve the public square at all.


Join us in the fight. Become a HotAir VIP member today and use promo code SAVEAMERICA to receive a 50% discount on your membership.

Thank you, and thank you for standing with us.

Ed Morrissey
Managing Editor

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