On January 6, did we really expect more from other than a handful of rank-and-file congressional Republicans? Did we really expect the votes on certification of Biden’s state electors’ slates to be something other than pro forma? What about Mike Pence? Though we may have had a smidgen of hope that Pence might show some audacity, he played to type. Pence is a decent enough guy but has always had one foot anchored in the establishment. Lest we forget, that was a key reason Trump selected him to be Veep.
When President Trump had to make a public plea for Pence to do the right thing and send back the disputed Biden slates to contested states, it was game over. Oh, and Pence’s stilted letter alluding to elections “irregularities” merely added insult to injury.
Then there was the kerfuffle on Capitol Hill, where Trump stalwart and Air Force vet Ashli Babbitt was gunned down by Capitol cops. By all accounts, Babbitt was a victim, not a perpetrator. She should be remembered as an innocent who is casualty of war. Let’s also recall the Boston Massacre was a catalyst for the Revolution.
Since Wednesday, we’re gaining insights into the Hill fracas. It’s looking more like a false flag event with each passing hour. But why should it surprise us that the left would infiltrate provocateurs into MAGA crowds at the Capitol to spark confrontations with police? That’s Brownshirt 101 stuff. We do know who we’re up against, don’t we?
If you didn’t know the nature of the enemy, if you were jarred by Republicans being Republicans, that’s a good thing, if it dropped whatever scales remain over your eyes. In war -- and we’re in the early stages of what may prove a decade-long conflict -- it pays for perceptions to be closely aligned with hard facts and realities. Yep, know your enemies well, but damn well know who your friends and allies really are. In the weeks and months and years ahead, we need to be warriors not given to illusions and false hopes.
Then, to cap off a gloomy day, the president stood down. In a statement, he said he’d abide by the certification of Biden’s electors. Here, I must confess, that I had held out a slight hope that Trump would have enabled the 2018 executive order on elections fraud and foreign intervention. Wasn’t going to happen.
As tough a guy as Trump is, enabling the executive order would escalate the nation’s intensifying conflict to, well, open war. He chose, instead, to keep his powder dry. Perhaps, like Sam Houston in the war for Texas independence, Trump decided now wasn’t the time or ground to engage. Let’s anticipate that he’s done so to regroup and fight another day.
As a matter of fact, regrouping is the order of the day. It’s actually a very necessary thing for our side. War, like life, has its vicissitudes. Battles are won, battles are lost (we just lost some big fights). Engagements can be stalemates. Hurry up and wait happens a lot.
Our side not only needs to regroup, but we have to do a much better job coalescing. (Yes, we need a new party. More on that in a minute.) We have to be more strategic, more tactically savvy, more cunning, and more focused and disciplined. Sound like a tall order? Yes, it is. But it was for Washington’s army at Valley Forge. We need our versions of Friedrich Von Steuben.
I’ve lauded passion, will, and endurance as requisites. But, similar to athletes, who possess raw talents, those talents need disciplining. If we’re to restore liberty and the rule of law -- if, in some future time, we’re to be lauded as the generation who delivered the Republic from the clutches of modern tyranny -- we need to equip ourselves with the smarts and skills to accomplish the mission.
Do understand that once Trump leaves the presidency on January 20, he and his family lose the powers and protections of the office. More to the point, understand what that means for Trump and the MAGA movement. Beyond malice, the Democrat-led axis will still regard Trump as a rival and potent threat. The Trumps face perils.
The predatory Democrat attorney general of New York, Letitia James, will have access to Trump’s tax returns -- and the returns of his sons and Jared Kushner’s and Ivanka’s (presumed) joint returns, as will others among the enemy. They not only plan to go after Trump and his kin and their enterprises, criminally and civilly, but “cancel” the Trumps within their industries and business circles. They intend to blackball the Trumps in this way and others because the enemy is diabolical. Post-presidency, Trump needs us to rally around him as never before.
At Twitter, there was a post by someone with the handle, “Lefty Paingood.” The post displayed a photo of a solitary Trump walking from Marine One. The caption read: “Wow, he really was alone. The whole time…” which references Trump’s abandonment by establishment Republicans and Pence.
In fact, the president wasn’t alone, in the sense that a movement of tens of millions of Americans coalesced around him. Diehard patriots, for the most part. Oh, and did I mention that Trump won the 2020 presidential contests? Did you know in a final putsch, the Democrat-led axis succeeded through unprecedented ballot fraud? Now these Orwellians are working around the clock to gaslight the truth. It falls to us to keep the truth alive.
But I get Lefty’s point. Yet, there’s an old saying, “If you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog.”
Though I expect President Trump to continue the fight, we can’t treat him as the Indispensable Man. Trump is in his mid-seventies and time marches on. There are younger leaders who have steel in their spines. Josh Hawley, Ron DeSantis, Kristi Noem, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, and Devin Nunes come to mind. There are others. And leadership at the grassroots is critical. We need to identify and support a cadre of leaders at the national, state, and local levels. Placing an entire movement on the shoulders of one man is a dicey proposition.
Ah, yes, finally, the Republican Party. Every two or four years, there are calls to bolt the GOP. It fits the definition of insanity: Saying or doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. This time, a different result needs to happen.
Establishment Republicans are simply irredeemable. They’ve been that way since FDR. They aren’t going to change, and repeatedly prove to be a drag on the grassroots or populist conservative movements in the party. Those movements have produced Goldwater, Nixon (who glommed on to Goldwater’s populism), Reagan, and Trump. But RINOs are the permanent faction in the GOP. President Trump and others would do MAGA a great favor by spearheading the formation of a new party, call it Liberty, Patriot, or MAGA. But the grassroots need a new home, free from the inertia, backstabbing, and unctuousness of submissive, jaded Republican lifers.
Of course, a new party won’t matter beans without recovering elections systems in the states. Election Day voting, ending mail-in balloting, voter I.D., and absentee balloting only for compelling circumstances must be restored. Otherwise, opposition parties might as well be dinner clubs.
The fight ahead is fraught with assortments of hazards and challenges. There will be many gray days when we wonder if we can ever achieve victory. That’s in the nature of war, but it can’t discourage us. A final victory is far too consequential for the future of America.
J. Robert Smith can be found on Twitter @JRobertSmith1and Parler @JRobertSmith. He also blogs at Flyover.