A Third Nomination of Trump Is What Conservatives Need Most
Last week, National Review senior writer Charles C.W. Cooke issued "A Long Goodbye to Trump," declaring in his article that it's time to get over the former president and that it's going to take a team effort by conservatives to topple Trump, "bit by bit, day by day, cut by cut, sigh by sigh."
Cooke's piece was unsurprising, being that National Review is the embodiment of the Washington establishment GOP, and that this same publication ran an entire issue in the winter of 2016 titled "Against Trump," writing, "Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones."
N.R.'s distaste for Trump has more to do with style than substance, and even to this day, the bulk of its arguments against Trump have little to do with policy. NeverTrumps are revolted by him because he had the audacity to position himself among the Washington GOP establishment as if he were their equal — as if he had come up the political ranks and had been approved by the party's cultural and political gatekeepers — which he certainly had not.
"Ultimately, voters who want to rid the GOP of Donald Trump need to decide whether we truly mean it when we say that he is uniquely unsuited to office, and to tease out what that means in practice," Cooke writes in his piece.
But Cooke never explains what "uniquely unsuited to office" means. NeverTrumps rarely do. It's implied that Trump is wrong because he's the result of "free-floating populism," which is another way of saying the common person is too dumb and classless to understand what's good for him or his country. Only the polished, college-educated, politically established Beltway conservatives know what's best. Everyday folks from middle America need to pipe down and listen to the experts.
Trump is "uniquely unsuited to office" because his very existence is a painful reminder of the 2016 referendum on the establishment GOP. Trump won the Republican nomination by a landslide because Americans were disgusted by the pathetic inaction of so-called conservative politicians and their failure to stand up against leftist progressivism. They allowed the Obama administration to selectively enforce immigration laws, downplay Islamic extremism, and racially polarize America by fueling the propaganda associated with the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
When Obama sided with activists of BLM and invited members of the Muslim Brotherhood (who had known ties to terrorist groups) into the White House, not much was said. Likewise, when Obama turned the American health care system on its head and was busy violating the Constitution with dozens of "pen and phone" executive orders, much of the GOP establishment went along for the ride, afraid to rock the boat. Republicans even let Obama weaponize the IRS against the Tea Party, knowing that their competition was being eliminated.
Then Donald Trump came down the escalator in Trump Tower in June of 2015 and announced he was running for president. Beltway conservatives laughed, but little did they know that the joke was on them. By the time they realized what was happening — that they'd lost touch with the people — it was too late.
Trump made quick work of "low energy" Jeb Bush, running over the Bush family dynasty like a steamroller. No doubt the Bush clan was humiliated and felt personally attacked, and Beltway conservatives cried foul.
"Little Marco" Rubio was next, followed by "Lying" Ted Cruz. Mind you, Trump achieved all this after skipping the Fox News GOP debate (which no one ended up watching) because of his spat with Megyn Kelly. When Trump announced he was going to skip the 2016 CPAC, choosing to campaign in Kansas and Florida instead, the GOP proclaimed that this was political suicide, that no one could ever win the nomination without attending. Trump skipped the conference and won the Republican nomination by over 6 million votes.
It was the establishment GOP that hated Trump first and hated him the hardest. He's "uniquely unsuited to office" because he takes the totality of the Washington swamp — and all its networks of power — and renders them useless. That's why Trump is so "dangerous" and is a threat to so many powerful people. This threat rose exponentially, of course, when he toppled "Crooked Hillary" and the Clinton Crime Syndicate. Together, the Bushes and the Clintons and all the Beltway swamp creatures, both Republican and Democrat, and all their media allies have done everything possible to disrupt Trump, stop him, smear him, take him down. Russia collusion, quid pro quo, January 6 — all of these sensationalized, theatrical, and mostly unfounded allegations have been used to get rid of an outsider who defies their rules and power structures.
What no one ever talks about, of course, is policy. Cooke writes:
In the more immediate term, conservatives who wish to see Trump retired in 2024 ought to stop talking about him all the time, in favor of building up other politicians who are engaged in active controversies right now; they ought to think more seriously than they have about why Trump rose to prominence in the first place; they ought to explore what Trump failed to do with his time in office, and how someone else might improve upon it; they ought to get into the habit of talking to their neighbors, friends, and co-ideologues about why a third nomination would be a terrible idea; and, above all, they ought to concentrate on the issues that conservatives care about — inflation, wages, education policy, abortion, zoning, the courts, energy production, immigration, and the scourge of race-and-gender-obsessed identity politics — and make clear that they care dearly about them, too.
Ah, yes, the issues. Under Trump, inflation was in check and employment was on the rise. Trump brought due process back to Title IX, rooted out CRT in education, and pushed a pro-American curriculum in K–12 schools. He put three pro-life judges on the Supreme Court and blocked funds to Planned Parenthood over abortion referrals. He placed over 200 conservative judges on federal courts and kept gas prices low through American energy independence and support for clean fossil fuels. And of course, he secured the border and lobbied for merit-based immigration. As for identity politics, no one disrupted wokism and smashed through political correctness like Trump.
The only valid argument against Trump is that he can't win, that the fix is in, that the swamp was caught off guard in 2016 and that this won't happen again, ever. Does this mean conservatives should just give up and let the swamp win? No, it does not. The fight must go on. What the swamp is doing to Trump will ultimately be done to DeSantis or Cruz, or any other conservative who dares follow Trump's lead.
The idea that Trump is "uniquely unsuited to office" is simply propaganda put forth by those who find him offensive in terms of style, and can't argue against the merit of his policies or his power in fighting leftist radical progressivism head on.
A third nomination of Trump is what conservatives need the most.