There is no future ‘Trump-less GOP,’ rightfully and thankfully so
Notwithstanding the official results of the 2020 election, many in the mainstream press and even on the Right are cheering and forecasting a future Republican Party not dominated by President Trump or ‘Trump-ism.’
Such prognostications are inaccurate and for conservatives, foolhardy.
Trump has accomplished more in his one-term as president than at least the previous three GOP presidents, including unprecedented—and far more reliable—conservative appointments in the judiciary and the nation’s highest court.
Further, the United States’s scaled-back role in the international order is a welcomed alternative to the financially-draining and deadly foreign wars ushered in by Bushes and perpetuated by Republican candidates such as John McCain and Mitt Romney.
Trump’s successes are evidenced by the nearly 80 million votes received by Trump and the unprecedented success down-ballot for Republicans across the country, as well as the unrivaled enthusiasm and excitement generated by the Trump/Pence ticket.
Most importantly, the GOP has found a distinct voice—populist, independent, aggressive, nationalistic, and at times, combative. In short, Trump’s greatest contribution to the conservative cause, aside from his political success, is teaching Republicans how to fight and win.
If allegations of voter fraud are proven even fractionally true, Trump’s willingness to fight in response to Democrat trickery – something Republicans have been clamoring about for decades—would even further vindicate his presidency.
Further still, if state legislatures, Republican governors and electors were to deliver a Trump victory, in response to uncovering of voter fraud (which does appear credible, in some states), Trump would cement his legacy as the most accomplished modern-day Republican president.
Conservative intelligentsia have sat on the sidelines and scoffed at the sometimes-crude, yet overwhelmingly effective, Trump presidency, trivially arguing against the stylistic tendencies of an East Coast businessman—while he tirelessly pushed an ideological agenda over which they substantively could find little to squabble.
One must wonder whether conservative thinkers, who represent an extraordinarily narrow slice of the GOP electorate yet comprise what seems like 90% of network and cable news appearances, would rather lose politically and maintain a positive image in the eyes of their left-wing counterparts than win with a candidate able to advance the values they supposedly hold.
The ineffectiveness of perpetual political losers – like leaders of the Lincoln Project in 2020— so eager to earn the approval of mainstream press by bashing the Right, reveals just how little persuasion such groups have in achieving actual electoral success, never mind advancing a policy agenda (difficult to do without elected office).
The generational impact of three Supreme Court nominees and confirmations in a single presidential term is a legacy-defining accomplishment by itself. The effectiveness of such an accomplishment will manifest even further in coming decades, as some ‘never-Trump’ conservatives return to the fold and realize such a pivotal presidency.
Voices which advocate for a gentler, more sophisticated conservatism should be ignored in future debates amongst right-wingers, as the electoral and policy success of the Trump presidency speaks for itself— particularly amongst demographics Republicans have so desperately tried to win over for decades now.
For example, Trump recorded 20% support among Black men this election cycle—still, obviously, a sizable advantage for Democrats, yet historically high for a Republican candidate. In Florida, Trump carried close to half of the Hispanic vote—cutting into Democrats’ lead in this demographic by over ten percentage points compared to 2016.
All this from a president and candidate the media tried so desperately for four years to paint as racist and xenophobic, a message which apparently resonated with white progressives and independent voters, yet very little with the supposed victims of the president’s "cruelty."
Given the GOP’s surprising electoral success this election cycle — Trump’s included, regardless of how the litigation and Electoral College vote shapes out — should indebt every Republican elected official and candidate to Trump’s defense as he contests the results of a dubious and incredibly tight election.
This, of course, includes Georgia, where the GOP needs the Trump base to turn out in support of two GOP senators, in order for the party to retain control of the Senate. A dispirited electorate, whom state officials are inexplicably attempting to alienate from the president, has no reason to turn out in support of candidates who won’t stand firmly behind the president.
There is no returning to a Romney-esque Republican Party, in which polite Republicanism yields to Democrat majorities and electoral success. The future is Trumpism—and future Republican electoral viability hinges on a full-on embrace of this identity.
Image credit: Pixabay public domain