Whether or not the current projection of a Biden-Harris administration is realized in January, it’s worth looking forward to the next few years and finding the best way forward for the Republican Party. The 2016 election of Donald Trump and subsequent rise of “Trumpism” signaled what many consider to be a realignment. Socially conservative Democrats hopped aboard the Trump train because of Trump’s policies on immigration, trade, and his desire to avoid pointless wars.
Some people want Trumpism to be a blip on the radar. They want the GOP to go back to being the party of foreign intervention, unrestrained capitalism and free trade. This is a losing strategy.
Trumpism, America First, or national populism must have a large presence in the GOP for the party to be viable. Going back to the neoconservative establishment days where people like Mitt Romney and John McCain were slandered as bigots and happily took it on the chin is not an option.
The ultimate goal can be distilled down to one point; find someone with Trump’s upside, but without his downside. That will be hard.
It won’t be hard to find someone who can restrain themselves from airing grievances and inner thoughts out to tens of millions of Twitter followers, but it will be hard to find a media-savvy warrior with unlimited self-confidence, and Trump’s “F you” attitude.
Firstly, the party has to embrace economic populism and nationalism. Being the party of small business and the middle class has broad appeal. These were democratic strategies in the past, but they have since become the party of coastal elites and globalism. As soon as the left began deserting the reliably democratic working class vote, Trump pounced on an opening.
Many working class and middle class Americans do not ascribe to the socially liberal politics of today’s Democratic Party. Many are pro-life, pro-2A, religious, and don’t buy into notions of widespread systemic racism or climate change alarmism. They’re not concerned about bathrooms or pronouns.
Without this coalition of working and middle class Americans (which increasingly includes black and Latino Americans), the Republican Party has no future.
Policies aside, the movement needs leaders willing to happily handle the various slings and arrows that inevitably will come their way, and then give them back with equal or greater ferocity. As we’re currently embroiled in this alleged election fraud controversy, we need to see which leaders are standing up for the base, and which ones are caving to pressure from the media and their left of center colleagues. The latter group needs to be purged from any meaningful positions. When the chips were down, they didn’t show up. That is inexcusable.
No matter what some people say, Trump’s bombastic and crude style won him some support. You may not like how it sounds, but everyone knows he fights on behalf of his base. Nobody doubted that.
Several candidates have been floated for 2024. Nikki Haley, Dan Crenshaw, and Marco Rubio are names that GOP establishment types want to promote going into the next election, whether or not Trump is able to reclaim the presidency. Unless these three and those like them begin to embrace some aspects of Trumpism, voters will reject them. They are not capable of putting a coalition together to beat Joe Biden, or more likely, Kamala Harris. Establishment GOPers may get back some of the suburban vote, but at the expense of losing the working class folks who left the Democrats to support Trump. They also signify a return to a Republican Party that doesn’t seem willing or able to fight for their base as the left assaults their culture and way of life. The same enthusiasm and turnout for Trump simply won’t be there for another generic GOPer.
An interesting ticket would be one I’ve seen floated recently; Florida governor Ron DeSantis and Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, with Tucker Carlson as a primary policy advisor. Both have stood with President Trump throughout this current debacle. Both are willing to fight. Neither are afraid of using their power to achieve a desired outcome. Hawley has been very vocal about regulating big tech companies and has been a leading critic of the Chinese Communist Party, which will be a necessity going forward. DeSantis was one of the biggest opponents of prolonging COVID-19 shutdowns.
Others that could take the baton from Trump are Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, and former ambassador and DNI Richard Grenell.
Hopefully, those in charge have learned a few important lessons over the last few years. Whoever carries the banner for the Republican Party in 2024 must live by the following assumptions:
1. The mainstream media is your opponent, and should be treated as such.
2. The left is willing to destroy anything or anyone in pursuit of a goal.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, accept the left’s/media’s premise or narrative. Turn it on it’s head.
The party leadership has to be ready to play ball. If they don’t, there is no GOP, and no viable way to combat the left’s onslaught.