Given the depth of his successes, the fact that there’s no one like him, and the reality that he’ll probably win 49 states in 2020 thanks to the media’s flagrant partisanship — it’s time for Republicans to start thinking about who should proceed President Trump in 2024.
During the 2016 primaries, I argued vehemently that a Trump Presidency would make it okay to put America first, and to want our laws upheld without being called racist, and to basically be Americans again without being shamed for it by the Democrats and media, or lectured to by John Kasich and Mitt Romney.
And I argued moderately that with the freshly-established permission to say “I love America” with no “but we’re awful in a lot of ways” caveat, someone like Ted Cruz could become a lot more palatable to Independents and
Blue Dog Trump Democrats.
And with the media having all but locked up 2020 for President Trump’s re-election, now is when we can start talking seriously about who could fill his enormous shoes.
The first part of the conversation is the reckoning that must take place among the GOP electorate regarding Trump’s strengths.
People like Jonah Goldberg, Evan McMullin, Rick Wilson and Seth Mandel think that anybody could’ve defeated Hillary, and that Trump was just the one lucky enough to get that chance.
That claim is ridiculous.
Hillary may not have had the rock star adoration that Obama did, but she had the Clinton machine, Democrat party to include their establishment Republican whipping boys, extremely vocal and hugely promoted #NeverTrump forces in conservative media, virtually all of the other media and literally all of Hollywood — all working hard to promote her and marginalize Trump.
And what did Trump have?
He had his base of supporters, and himself.
And that’s it.
And. We. Won.
So when Conservative Inc. (formerly known as #NeverTrump) comes along and says “Anyone could’ve won,” it’s just reminiscent of how out-of-touch and breathtakingly wrong they’ve always been: It’s more evidence of why Trump was able to beat them and their preferred candidates with relative ease, and it’s more reason to celebrate their being demoted and exiled from the Right’s power rankings.
But they truly believe that DC-idiot-chattering-class talking point that anyone could’ve beaten Hillary. Just like they truly believe that their careers getting curbstomped by the Left netted the best results we grassroots rubes could ever hope for. And just like they truly believe they’re the smartest people in every room they enter. And just like they truly believe we should all be grateful to them for ensuring that we spent generations getting our butts kicked socially and culturally. The useless grifters in conservative media and among the political class don’t care about anything except helping themselves and each other, while mocking we in the grassroots if we dare challenge them or threaten their power. So of course after Trump wins again in 2020 and continues doing great things for our nation, they’ll hedge “Yeah but anyone could’ve done that!”
And then they’ll try to push Ben freaking Sasse on us. Or some other Ruby Red State Establishment D-bag who’s done nothing since November 2016 except sit on the sidelines and poll test when it’s okay or not okay to attack Trump.
Conservative Inc. love to mock Trump supporters for saying “He fights!”
And that always reminds me of Leftists rolling their eyes when we say “Broken homes create disparity.”
They take the one thing that’s actually the most true, and marginalize it to reduce or eliminate its potency.
Trump beat The National Review, The Weekly Standard, Rich Lowry, Stephen Hayes, Stuart Stephens, and the rest of the conservative griftosphere because they thumb-wrestle for participation trophies while he dropkicks people for the win.
When the media attacks Conservative Inc., they release press statements apologizing and then spend years atoning for the sin of losing in the court of public opinion.
It’s almost never about what actually happened. Apologies, walking back, “toning down” and the like are very often about losing the conversation. And that’s all our side, before Trump, knew how to do.
Oh sure every now and then one of them would mount some defense of free speech or promotion of intellectual honesty, but most of the time they were too busy lecturing us in the grassroots about lowering our expectations and not complaining about media bias.
They’re weak, feckless, useless grifters — and I’m thrilled that Trump’s ascension has meant their exposure and demise.
And it’s important we remember that when nomination time comes for 2024. I know we’ll have some help from President Trump, but I’m a little concerned that he might be angling to push Ivanka up the ranks — and that’s when I and many other of his supporters will have to respectfully decline. (We know he loves her, and that’s great. But it’s obvious that she hasn’t lived or fought nearly as hard as her dad, and thus still clings to her celebrity-like, socialistic tendencies.)
SO WHO SHOULD WE LOOK AT?
I don’t know the answer at all, because it’s the trickiest raw politics question I’ve ever faced. But that’s why I think we should all be thinking/talking about it a little bit. Let’s put the pressure on the cream to rise to the top, and get ahead of Conservative Inc. hijacking the conversation.
Where I am personally, I would consider another Trump. I’d give a Don Jr. a very close look. Based on what, you might ask? Based on his Twitter feed, for one thing.
Laugh it up, Tom Nichols, Ana Navarro, Sonny Bunch and Becket Adams.
But his Twitter feed shows more dedication to intellectual honesty, and a greater ability to smack the media and opposition right in the mouth, than anything that the entirety of Conservative Inc. has amassed in their collective history.
I’d need to hear more. A lot more. But when I ask myself the tremendously tough question of who has the guts and smarts to carry President Trump’s torch, Don Jr. has come to mind and I’d be lying if I didn’t disclose that.
I know some very keyed-in Trump supporters disagree with this one, but I’d also give General Kelly a close look with an expectation that he describe “America First” and articulate his passion for President Trump’s vision and goals. That’s if he’d even consider the gig, of course. And obviously, if he can stay on all the way, or at least not start bashing Trump at the end of his tenure as Chief of Staff. But he seems to have a real no-nonsense capacity for dealing with the media and not bowing down to their partisan demands. And that’s a big part of what I’m looking for here initially. Because policy goals and good intentions mean nothing if you’re able to be manipulated by the media…which literally every Republican after Reagan and before Trump, in some way, was.
I’d love to add Rand Paul to the mix, but right now he’s too much of a wild card on too many big issues. He is intellectually honest though, and that — coupled with the ability to stand behind the courage of one’s convictions — is really the most important thing to me. (See this piece from December 2015 called “Donald The Candid.”)
Ted Cruz is still on my list, but I just hope he’s taking some excellent notes as he watches Trump in action.
Because we have huge shoes to fill in 2024. And there will be a long roster of establishment grifters who will try to convince us that they can bring the heat and defend us the way Trump always has. And Trump supporters who were there from the beginning will see right through them very quickly. But all we’ll have are the people the establishment give us. Another figure like Donald Trump won’t just miraculously emerge. And the swamp parasites will be on life support by 2024, even more desperate to return things to the natural order. (IE, Democrats and media are in charge, and the Republicans are there just to stay fat and happy while pretending to put up a fight.) And again, that’s why I want us to start thinking about this sooner than later.
I don’t think Mike Pence is the guy. At all. I think he’s ten times the man I could ever hope to be, and I appreciate all he’s done and sacrificed to help President Trump, but he’s not the guy.
We need someone who fights. And who isn’t afraid to call the media liars. And who does so forcefully enough and without fear so it’s effective.
JERK ON CAMERA / SWEETHEART OFF CAMERA
I started supporting Trump around August 2015. I wrote a lot about it at the time, but the “Why” is maybe even more important now. When he gave his launch speech, he failed to parse a few words carefully enough for the mainstream media, Democrats and establishment Republicans. He never said “All Mexicans are rapists,” but that’s what the media, Democrats and establishment GOP claimed. And he was brutalized for it. For being honest about real problems at our border, he was attacked dishonestly by the entire American political machine. And he didn’t back down. Because he won’t admit he’s wrong? No. It’s because he wasn’t wrong. The swamp (media, Democrats, establishment GOP) had lied to us for decades about immigration problems, and now they were lying about the first person with a real platform to stand up and tell the truth. But he didn’t allow himself to be bullied. Because if he let himself be bulled then it’d be okay for the media, Democrats and establishment GOP to keep bullying us.
Could he have been “more artful” during his launch speech? Sure. But did what he say make him a racist unfit to breathe the same air the rest of us do? Not by a long shot. But that’s what the swamp wanted us to believe, because they wanted to neuter him and make sure he’d fall in line when/how they told him to.
And he didn’t do it.
Because he fights.
And we need someone else with the courage of their convictions to stand up to the media, and the intellectual honesty to put the Democrats and establishment Republicans on perpetual defense.
So let’s start thinking about it now because it’s a big question, and we Trump supporters will have a lot of fighting of our own to do against the Conservative Inc. zombies on our way to answering it.
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