There is much talk about Trump. This is in itself astonishing – never has the guy who allegedly lost a Presidential election commanded this much attention a year later. That he’s still a massive topic of discussion shows the historic nature of his Presidency.
A lot of the talk is a bit of whistling past the graveyard. Especially a lot of Never Trump who didn’t go Full Democrat are certain that Trump is a fading commodity and we can all just move on from him. For the moment, their eyes are fixed firmly on Ron DeSantis…whom I think we all agree would be a fine President, but we also have our doubts about him. Not on basic policy, but on attitude. And that, I think, is why Trump stubbornly won’t fade away.
We on the right do want a good policy President. And we’d like a President who is much better at picking staff than Trump proved. And we don’t need daily drama. OTOH, we also know that more than ever, we need a fighter. Someone who will, day in and day out, go toe to toe with our opponents and never let up for a minute. Is DeSantis that guy? He does fight pretty well…but are we sure that when push comes to shove he’ll choose us rather than the Ruling Class? I think for DeSantis, or anyone other than Trump, they are going to have to really prove it to us.
Now, if Trump decides not to run – he will be 78, after all – then all bets are off. The race will be anyone’s for the taking. But even there, the person who gets the nod will be the person who most firmly convinces us that they are unafraid of a four year long slog of fighting. Because we have to have a fight. We can’t afford to compromise even a bit. We win, they lose: that has to be our goal.
The best and easiest way for any putative standard-bearer to make their mark is to simply defend the 1/6 defendants. Even Trump hasn’t been out front on that – and if he runs, the only way anyone will be able to attack Trump successfully will be from the right. As I said in 2016 when Trump was the front runner, the only way to beat Trump is to out-Trump him. Cruz tried, but I think he tried too late. But if you want to be the man, you have to beat the man…and nobody is going to beat Trump by going softer than Trump.
The crucial thing to know is that the old rules don’t apply. They really haven’t applied since the Democrats cooked up Watergate into a Presidency-destroying scandal. I mean, what is Watergate compared to Gore taking sacks of cash from monks pledged to poverty? You get the picture: whatever was wrong about Watergate, it wasn’t anything to get too worked up about. But that is when the Democrats, using their cat’s paws in the MSM, started making all political battles scorched Earth battles. But from Watergate to Trump, the GOP never engaged. We worked on the assumption that Democrats, like us, want what is best for America. Uh, no: what Democrats want is what is best for Democrats. All other considerations come in a distant second. They do this because they sincerely believe that basic human decency requires Democrats to be in charge. That we see it differently doesn’t matter – and is irrelevant. What we must do in response is what we’ve always had to do but refused: sincerely believe that basic human decency requires the GOP to be in charge.
It isn’t a very large mental shift, but it is a necessary one – because it builds into the mind the need to always thwart the Democrats and always advance the GOP. Never compromise. Never give anything and if you really are forced to give them something, make certain that you get ten times as much for yourself. Never attack your own side; abandon those found to be corrupt, but don’t attack them. Ignore them. If asked about one of ours who goes wrong, immediately launch into an attack on a Democrat who did similar. Always cast Democrat programs in the darkest possible terms – it is easy to do because all their supposed social programs are mere grift to payoff donors. What is being done against CRT is the template – the old GOP might have merely quibbled around the edges while essentially conceding the main point. But the people battling CRT started with the assertion that CRT is evil…and they’ve forced the Democrats into the untenable position of defending the worst aspects of CRT…and it is working for us. It played a huge role in winning Virginia.
It is all a very long way to 2024, but I think I can be safe in saying that how it will come out won’t be in anyone’s predictive model. We’re in flux. We’re in danger of civil war, actually. None of the old political certainties are holding up. Liberals in San Francisco are buying guns while working class Latino voters are for the first time casting GOP votes. Meanwhile, upper class white people with a college degree become even stronger for the Democrats. Victory and disaster stare us in the face: we’ll get one or the other. And only a fighter – backed by fighters – can prevail.