A Take on Trump and Tulsi
"In order to have your voice heard in Washington, you must make some small contribution."
Donald Trump is a political vampire, now a mythical figure; folk hero to some and an ogre for others. Try as they might, the American establishment, right and left, have been unable to put a stake through the political heart of Trump and his populist/nationalist narrative.
The mirth that accompanied Trump's campaign in 2016 is gone. The man who slew the dragon lady is no longer a punch line. MAGA is now just another rude four-letter word, if you were to ask Democrats. For the feminist left, Trump is the vulgar patriarch who quashed the Hillary quest; the second best dream, after race, for the identity and intersectional crowd on the American left.
Granted, the worst of the Hillary fail was irony.
The far-left fembot, who would have been a historic first, was subsequently thrown under the diversity bus in 2020 for a family of white Delaware grifters who put real vice into the office of vice president. There is more than a little truth to the claims of 2020 election "deniers," at least to the extent that many partisans were casting votes against Trump, not necessarily casting votes for Joe.
Biden may well be the first default president in American history. Such are the wages of binary politics. No surprise, then, that a Beltway of socialist camp followers swirls around Washington like a self-flushing toilet.
At the moment, kingmaker Trump seems to be an ominous cypher. The Donald is not running for anything in 2022, but he still reigns as rainmaker on the right. Republicans seem to be ecstatic about prospects for congressional gains in November, but there are several potential futures that should serve as cautionary tales.
First is the state of the American Deep State which will still be Democrat, leftist, partisan, and obstructionist after the November midterms. Then there is the possibility, in the next two years, that Team Biden may drive American foreign and economy policy off a cliff. With established Democrat party nuclear and cyber-war precedents, Team Biden keeps upping the ante with Moscow, too, by sponsoring terror, pipeline sabotage, and the bombing of Russian infrastructure.
For reasons unknown, with serial escalations, Biden and Brussels seems to be cultivating a nuclear/radioactive off-ramp in Ukraine for the Kremlin. According to the Cassandras, Armageddon is now back on the table after 75 years of shaky but successful "deterrence." Europe needs to pump the brakes. When the balloon goes up, Brussels, not Washington, will be the next ground zero.
But then again, given what we know about Western virtual culture, attention spans, and memes, it is possible that any blooming nuclear threat will not be able to compete with the need to police all those new pronouns and 100 newly minted genders. The paint never dries on stupidity.
Indeed, no matter who owns the House and Senate after the midterms, surely the media will be focused on creating or aggravating any rift between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. National prospects for conservatives without the Trump vote are nil. The next curated political narrative from the American left in November will be Trump/DeSantis fratricide. Legacy media shills like Susan Glasser and Peter Baker are already hustling the "divider" narrative on CBS's Face the Nation with a new literary hatchet job on the Trump presidency.
Trump-phobia is a cash cow for the obsessed. When you can't run on issues, you need a devil to run against. Projection is now the weapon of choice for a very paranoid American and European left.
If Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, and independents take the bait and buy into an internecine war on the American political right, 2024 may be a replay of 2020. Ron DeSantis is no longer a rising star: he has arrived. If Trump gets into a gutter fight with DeSantis, recidivism wins, and the perilous nihilistic drift to the left in America will continue unabated.
Even with half or all of Capitol Hill in hand, pragmatic America can ill afford to blow another presidential election. Trump and DeSantis need to get out in front now by getting on the same page. A Trump/DeSantis one-two punch might be ideal, if you crave poetic justice. In this scenario, DeSantis plays apprentice for Trump's second four years, then Ron runs on his own in 2028. Albeit, two alphas on the same ticket may be too much ego and testosterone in one duet. Still, there's no shortage of talent in the bullpen to run with either candidate sequentially.
Whilst loath to admit it, American conservatives have a yen for intersectionality, too, and here the sidekick possibilities are abundant. Nikki Halley, Marsha Blackburn, Laura Ingham, Candace Owens, and Kellyanne Conway, among others, come to mind immediately. No second bananas here. All are intelligent, articulate, and courageous. Unlike Hillary, all are attractive and congenial, too, with style sensibilities beyond Mao's pantsuit.
Politics is visibility. Hard to believe that Clinton's wife ran against Trump with those fashion and congeniality deficits.
The real gem in any future Republican V.P. sweeps is Tulsi Gabbard; wahine, surfer, former congresswoman, independent thinker, military officer, ethnic mutt, former Democrat, fashion plate, and drop-dead gorgeous. Politics is the definitive spectator sport, after all.
Tulsi touches more bases than a plate umpire. If ever there were an awesome intersectional ticket asset, Gabbard is it. She just called out the Democrat party as a woke joke.
The center-right bench in America today is as deep as it has ever been. All prospects will wilt if Trump and DeSantis don't reach some kind of rapprochement and agreed strategic vision for a Republican future long before the 2024 primaries. As a bonus, between Trump and DeSantis, Republicans can set the stage to ensure that America's first female president will be a sensible choice, not a knee-jerk wokester.
Get on with it, gentlemen.
G. Murphy Donovan writes about the politics of national security.