Why Republicans will double down on ‘Trumpism’
With or without the former President, it remains a winning formula
Is the embrace of the Trump agenda the only option for a comeback for the Republican Party? According to a leaked GOP memo, ‘Cementing the GOP as the Working Class Party’, it looks as though this is the path Republicans will be pursuing come 2022 and beyond. The memo states that ‘both parties are undergoing coalitional transformations’ and Republican leaders should not fear losing the support of its corporate donors.
This memo runs contrary to an earlier story from The Guardian, which reports that a “growing number of Republican donors aim to prise the party from Trump influence” with an emblazoned photo of former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley. This could have been written in 2015, or 2017, or 2019, but seems especially pointed in 2021 with a new Democratic president and the man himself on his Elba at Mar-A-Lago, apparently too broke to fix his plane and leave Florida anytime soon, and too hilariously vain to fly commercial. No wonder the man’s enemies are licking their chops, set to rid themselves of not only Trump but his ideology.
Like what you’re reading? Get the free UnHerd daily email
Already registered? Sign in
The fate of Donald Trump is one thing. He’s done himself few favours in recent months, but a return to frontline politics remains a possibility. This is still an unhappy country, to the discredit of both the establishment and the defrocked president.
The new president is popular for now, thanks to a mixture of his status as a mannequin from the centrist past, the reality of a fading pandemic and the extreme measures it inspired. Biden wins as long as the blimp, namely the economy, rises — with him in the captain’s chair. But what happens if things start to fall apart? What would that mean for the Republicans?
Kevin McCarthy, the Republican House leader from Bakersfield, California, is like the city he represents, a perennially overlooked figure. But with his ambitious lieutenant, the driven Indiana representative Jim Banks, the duo unveiled something close to an “autopsy 2.0”. That is, the successor to the ridiculous document published by the Republican National Committee after Mitt Romney forfeited a winnable presidential election in 2012.
But as President George W. Bush once said, “fool me once… you can’t get fooled again.”
The brass seems to have learned something — namely, that America’s opposition party is first a Southern party, anchored in mega-states Texas and Florida, but it is also one with an electoral lynchpin in the Midwest, as well as one gaining ground — fast – in such unlikely climes as Southern California (the Golden State’s leadership being an example of how to ruin paradise), and among minority groups disenchanted with “wokeism,” urban instability and all-pervading identity politics.
What exiled neoconservatives, represented in such outlets as The Bulwark and The Dispatch want, other than revenge, has never been clear. But Trump’s extremely narrow loss in 2020 will be as good as it gets, as Biden’s outfit (and corporate America) moves Left, and the Republicans respond to gravity, becoming the much-mocked multi-ethnic working class party. The sneering — but attention, beyond a shadow of a doubt — directed to figures such as J.D. Vance speaks to the quietly acknowledged, and feared, reality that Trump will have ideological successors, quite likely savvier and more popular ones.
If the economy contracts, or an 81-year-old Biden declines to seek re-election, or both, who wants the other side of the bet on the embodiment of woke corporate politics, Vice President Kamala Harris, in a general election? Here’s forecasting a lot of people, including Trump himself, and this time he won’t be alone.
This is still an unhappy country, to the discredit of both the establishment and the defrocked president.
The country was unhappy before, too, mostly with its ruling class. That’s how Trump was made possible in the first place. The pols and pundits can only miss this by ignoring it. It’s so much easier to blame Orange McBadman than to re-examine their decades’ worth of acting as little more than bagmen for their respective donors.
‘Defrocked President’ Trump lost by 34,000 votes – if you took those marginal counties which would have tipped electors that was all needed, he lost by vote harvesting and voter chicanery. He was not ‘DEFROCKED’ he was as close to winning as any president ever was. An honest election, one where people went to polling places, showed ID and voted and he WOULD HAVE WON by a large margin!
Please unherd, please, get writers who leave their agenda at the door when coming here to write.
Well put, Sanford. What’s striking about Curt’s post is how politics-as-usual it is, like the people who vote are the legal electorate, and the name of the game is to get enough of them to vote for you to get elected president. Curt just completely ignores HR1 and the record numbers of illegal immigrants streaming across the southern border. These are meant not just to guarantee a first elected term for President Kamala Harris, and possibly a second term if the demented incumbent stays around long enough, but Democratic hegemony for the rest of the century. As R.H. Bruce Lockhart wrote: “The most dangerous of all historical aphorisms is the catch-phrase; ‘plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.’ … History has its ebbs and flows, but unlike the tide the ebb comes slowly and, rarely, if ever, in one generation.” If American democracy wasn’t decisively broken in 2020, it was certainly put on that path, and you would think that would be a lot bigger concern for Curt than will there be a recession under Biden’s watch. If the Democrats can corrupt the electoral process thoroughly enough, there could be a Great Depression and they would still win in 2024.
“Trump lost by 34,000 votes – if you took those marginal counties which would have tipped electors that was all needed”
This is an old misconception which gets trotted out after each election in countries across the world. You can’t get extra votes for your side purely in the locations where (you only know with hindsight) it would have been useful to have them, you have to win the election across the country. Biden won by 7 million votes. Sorry you don’t like postal votes, but tough, the same rules applied to both sides in each state and you lost. You even lost Georgia. And you lost the Senate runoffs there too.
Actually he lost by about 5 million votes, whereas 4 years earlier he won by being 2 – 3 million behind. The Electoral College system delivered a bit of poetic justice. We don’t know how much voter fraud there was and what difference it made. If you want to believe in it: fine. Really this is a debate about the extent to which American voters are not keen followers of the New York Times’ lead and what sort of Republican candidate can best benefit from the discontent simmering out there..
You are 100% correct.
Woke parties will, too late, realize that the bywords of the pass still count – livable wage, average American, jobs! jobs! jobs!, etc. Woke virtue comes with very few calories.
Very few calories and huge repair bills.
Yes, but anti-woke has great problems as well. The way things were was a blind alley. White nationalism is a blind alley. More lies and fables and funny money aren’t going to solve any of our substantial problems. I don’t see the kind of easy, simple way out politicians would like to sell us.
White nationalism is a blind alley.
“White” is not a nation. Not even in the USA, and certainly not here in Europe.
That said, care to elaborate why on earth would be what you call “white nationalism” a blind alley? If you look at Europe, the single most harmonious, untroubled countries are those who kept thirdworld black/muslim immigration to a minimum.
You can have a perfectly multicultural, multiethnic, multinational society by mixing with most, but not all: keeping out those who are inconducive to a healthy society. Indiscriminate acceptance is the problem, not the base principle of multikulti. Selectivity is the key.
Forgive me, the whipping boy of white nationalism is hardly there. Fringes always exist, of course, but the WN bully boys are a minute fraction of people – more bark than bite. But they are useful idiots.
So-called ‘white nationalism’ is a myth, Democrat Party propaganda. The USA is one of the most diverse countries on the planet.
White Nationalism. LOL.
that’s bad, for sure, but really, man-bear-pig is a far worse threat to our world.
This article shows the author doesn’t get it! Trump was elected because he was not a Kevin McCarthy, JD Vance or any of the other elitist and establishment professional status quo RINOS and politicians. We took a chance on the hyperbolic billionaire real estate salesman from New York of all places. We took a chance and we got someone who actually fulfilled campaign promises. Donald Trump not only put America back on track economically, renewed our love of country and patriotism, but he was doing the same for the entire world. He is the first President to broker peace in the Middle East. He actually considered collateral damage and loss of civilian lives when he made decisions involving military action. If Donald Trump runs in 2024 he will get 90 million votes. The votes will be counted this time! There WILL NOT be another “Special Democrat election process involving the Internet and truckloads of counterfeit ballots”. ALL the LEGAL votes will be counted in 2024!
????Trump’s economy underperformed Obama’s on every measure. DOW, GDP growth, jobs. What success Trump had was merely a continuation of the Obama expansion. Until Trump tanked the economy (and killed 400,000 Americans unnecessarily) by his criminal incompetence in dealing with COVID. Obama had done the heavy lifting in reducing unemployment. Trump continued that by a few percentage points. Wage increases at the low end were due to the increases in minimum wage which Trump opposed.
???He kept his campaign promises. I mean, aside from making Mexico pay for the border wall, and replacing the Affordable Care Act, and eliminating the federal deficit, and ending North Korea’s nuclear program, and bringing back the coal industry, and ending the opioid crisis, and getting annual GDP to 4% — none of which he did. He did give $3 trillion dollars to the 1% with his tax cuts–which did nothing to stimulate business investment. It merely went into trust funds to ensure the intergenerational wealth of the ultra-rich.
He did succeed in making the US a pariah among democratic nations. Our standing in the world plummeted. Though he was quite popular with the totalitarian set.
There was no significant election fraud. Except in the addled mind of Trumpist conspiracy theory addicts.
Biden and his policies are more popular than Trump ever was.
I know reality is hard for many people to face.
Though he was quite popular with the totalitarian set.
remind me again which side originated cancel culture, which side has declared just about everything as either racism or white supremacy, and which side has been pushing lockdowns and now the vaccine ‘passport.’
Unemployment under Trump reached historic lows. Obama didn’t do that but if you want to say he started, then you must also say Trump continued it.
Until Trump tanked the economy (and killed 400,000 Americans unnecessarily) by his criminal incompetence in dealing with COVID.
I’m almost embarrassed for you for writing something so vapid. Trump didn’t kill anyone; that would be the virus, the same virus that has led to deaths worldwide. His ‘incompetence’ brought about the vaccines whose value is being debated. And the tanking was done by (mostly) Dem mayors and governors who instituted house arrest policies. But, yeah; lecture some more about reality.
Haha, yes. Just like “BoJo and his pals” singlehandedly murdered 127k here in the UK with intent, as many at the Guardian want to make us believe. Genghis Khan must be green with envy.
It wasn’t Trump either who openly egged on the BLM mobs to loot, burn, assault and vandalise either but Harris’/Biden’s merry lot; and in turn making sure that no fair trial can ever take place in US courts, as if the mob is displeased with the verdict nationwide ch¡mpouts will follow.
Trump / Trumpism was America’s last chance to return to sanity.
Trump offered the democrat cities-who had the worse number covid cases-everything they asked for, they turned him down ,then spun their failure as his fault. When even democrat mayors encouraged BLM and their pals , Trump offered the national guard-turned him down and again ( with the help of a complicit media ) spun the anarchy as somehow Trumps fault It looks like big/global tech won and the average American lost out,unfortunately
Had the Democrats not decided to politicize the virus, the outcome might have been different. Trump was foolish in his reactions because you can’t counter a virus with words. His decision before the virus was a real threat (Jan 10, 2020) to fast track a vaccine by throwing the entire government at it was unprecedented. Contrast with the earlier H1N1 effort under Biden/Obama where it didn’t matter that the work was late.
It was Trump’s choice to decry the impact of the virus, oppose mask wearing, organise super-spreader events against scientific/medical advice with many of the attending idiots not wearing masks, and so on. His choice. And others observed, and then cast their votes.
whether masks work is debatable. he did everything that was asked of him by that wretched hack fauci and others…who, btw, also said that masks don’t work.
Wonder what parallel universe do you inhabit, adams.
It’s the universe where feelings and emotions count for more than logic, reason and evidence.
“Biden and his policies are more popular than Trump ever was.
I know reality is hard for many people to face.”
- Biden hasn’t been in office very long.
- Putting stuff in bold does not add credibility to an assertion.
A fantasist and his follies
Do you even live in the United States? People here are experiencing buyer’s remorse with Biden.
ahem…can i just say that every economy that does well under a republican is credited to the previous democratic administration…which means it’s total bs. for example, the housing crisis is directly attributed to the policies of henry cisneros who was appointed by bill clinton, but bush got blamed; he was a bad pres too but the crisis wasn’t his fault. biden is popular because the general electorate is being fed lies by the media and they aren’t aware enough of this, or too exhausted by trumps 4 year drama to go seek truth in various outlets and sources. when the economy starts contracting; that is when the sleepers will awake but it will be too late. critical theory will be entrenched, the democratic party will be in power forever. it’s a popularity as long as people aren’t paying attention but that cannot last especially once gas prices go up again.
Seems not many of us on here agree with you there mate
Unfortunately it was because Trump wasn’t a politician that both the democrat and a lot of his own party dislike him. Susan Collins who did so well at the Kavanagh hearing , suddenly turned RINO at the recent impeachment-why? The democrats are never going to like the republican politicians.Is Biden a popular President? He only got over the finishing line by totally suppressing numerous stories ,each one would usually cause a candidate to withdraw. The democrat party was briefing against him a few years ago-then suddenly hes the only candidate and with the backing of the technology giants hes in power ( or rather they are)
Hear, hear! Spot on!
The Davos crowd had been winning their globalist ambitions with both parties for 30 years. Then Trump came along and pulled the curtain back. He had to be not just defeated, he had to be destroyed. The Davos crowd realizes the can no longer trust the GOP to be manipulated and has gone all-in with the Dems to secure total control.
China is watching and waiting to pounce. Once they grow the largest economy, they will declare a new world reserve currency they control. The US won’t know what hit them. Not a shot will be fired.
The republicans will double down on Trumpism (or a more nuanced version of Trumpism) because they don’t have a choice. Whether they like it or not, they are largely defined by, and must respond to, the progressive left, aka the woke. Mild-mannered appeals to good sense and our common heritage will be completely ineffective against the left. They must be fought with equal fire and zeal. Unfortunately, the US will suffer because of this on-going political polarization, but I believe there’s no choice except to fight the progressive left on their own terms.
The Republicans are not ‘defined by the woke’. The Woke are an unsustainable irritant already losing their gas because the Common Sense Electorate, ie most people – don’t want what the are offering.
i used to think that; since the election i no longer believe in a silent majority. we got what over half of us voted for. they aren’t losing their gas here in america. there’s a few standing up but we need to make an organized effort as it has infected every single institution in this country.
I do not understand articles like this, literally. Lots of key words and phrases which mean something when used within the writers kind, but just words randomly stuck in if one does not speak the code of this guy’s ilk.
Why not just say, matter of factly, what the deal is. Maybe even quote a few numbers, and explain what ever it is you are trying to get across. Maybe I am groggy, I an replacing a roof over the weekend and soon today will be back up there – and something about roofing always leaves me exhausted (it is 22 foot off the ground and I am mid 60s, the awareness you have to keep is tiring, and it is hard work)
But why I am doing a roof job instead of doing what I actually do to make my living, which is build an entire house, is because of what the government has done to the world. Lumber is up 287%!!!!!!!! Copper doubled, PVC plumbing up 200%, doors, paint, nails, fasteners and screws siding, insulation, roofing, all up 20% – 100%. The small house (but fantastic, water front) I just finished building last month (took me 14 months as I build them ground up with a single carpenter as employee) cost me $130,000 in labor and materials and costs, I was supposed to be building another similar right away, but it would cost me $200,000 now! (this does not include anything for me, I get mine through capital gains). So I am waiting for costs to return – but now I begin to doubt they will as the trillions bypassed the consumer and is going into investments and banks, and so mortgages for the well off, till interests go up, so building slows)
The Dow, Nasdaq, all up 60%! Much doubled and tripled, the stocks bloated as the top 10% have increased their wealth by 2 Trillion as the 90% are just where they were a year ago – this is stimulus money bypassing the people and going right into investments, and it is the rich who hold those. Bit-coin hovered up a Trillion $ of stimulus! It is just money seeking a home in investments as it bypasses doing anything useful.
Why is this guy calling Trump supporters Neo-cons? Trump is about the 90% who see the insanity of Monetary Money Theory, how Biden’s Stimulus is 5% of 2 Trillion Infrastructure is actually to be spent on roads and bridges, and 95% on corporate pork and social engineering.
Please, Unherd, get a good, and fringe, Economist here. One who will tell us about inflation, deflation, hyper inflation, MMT, re-inflation, real yields, T-bills, Fiat money, Reserve currency, Brenton woods, Gold Standard, money, currency, stimulus, equities, commodities, Tech stocks, Bitcoin, NFTs, age demographics, and so on – you know – those things which are now as important as Germany and Japan militarizing were in 1932! We are on a knife edge where we may cross, but falling off each side will mean plunging into a chaos not seen since 1939, and yet you are all about fluff and silliness. Get real, get at the heart of the situation and what the REAL matters are.
Did a roof change back in 2006 August on our old house back on the Continent – myself, husband, and a handful of friends. 150+ years old house, much of the roof was of the original construction, with a small section of postwar “repair”. It was stunning how well the 150 year old timber, nails and tiles held up compared to the new bit which was near-disintegrated. I salvaged all the old, handsmithed nails i could find – the postwar mass-produced ones were all rusted beyond recognition. Put back all the original tiles too, with the few broken / cracked ones replaced.
Just as we were getting near to the finish, the mother of all storms was closing in so we had to put pretty much everything in place. It was like slapstick comedy, with the motion turned up to max speed – just about made it when the first wind blew in. Next morning we heard on the wireless that the storm blew off the whole roof of the Alexander Palace in the capital.
Hey there is no inflation we are told. Sorry you are seeing those commodities rise but they aren’t in the basket. Just wait as gas prices rise and Pete gets some more in tax, everything we buy goes by gas trucks. Maybe Elon’s trucks are a winner, if the Biden chargers can get built. Wait until Mr Average can’t buy a vehicle for less than his yearly salary because gas is gone. Bright electric future ahead.
the man himself on his Elba at Mar-A-Lago, apparently too broketo fix his plane and leave Florida anytime soon, and too hilariously vain to fly commercial.
If only their was some option between flying commercial and having your own personal 757. You know, like keeping your Cessna 750 Citation X “in semi-regular rotation for the last few months, often flying between Palm Beach International Airport and LaGuardia Airport in New York” as the very article you link to states Trump is doing. But why let the facts get in the way of your joke.
That distracts from the storyline. Shame.
The vote that matters is the one that elects the next government. The great point of a secret ballot is that no one can be cancelled for voting, “the wrong way”. It is the opportunity for voters to make a rude gesture toward the woke. I sense that the tide of ‘let’s be fair’ to various minorities is now ebbing and becoming irritation. A candidate with Trump-like political values, but with Joe Biden’s courteous behaviour could do very well. Parties come and go, even if the change is slow: the Federalist Party departed and the Democratic Republican Party split. ‘Plus ça change, plus ce n’est pas la même chose.’ …
It just shows how much of a grasp of global politics your average journo has. This has nothing to do with Trump They are “all bad apples, both republicans and democrats, and every single one are as corrupt as it’s possible to get, (with a few rare exceptions.) They have all been on the take for decades, and are all part of the same globalist, war-mongering, swamp known as DC. They do not aspire to Trumps vision of America, they do not aspire a free America, to the rule of law, or the constitution. They do not see themselves as voices, or representatives of the people. They care not a jot for the average rust-belt US citizen, they only care about increasing their own wealth by any means necessary, regardless of the law. (The Supreme court is just as corrupt.)
The truth is, that they fear the return of truth, honesty, openness, transparency, and a man like Trump. They fear world peace, and they fear an electorate that can have a say in what kind of country they want to live in.Trump was the enemy of both parties, because he was for the people.
Neoconservatism and classic liberalism are dead.
i’m happy for the first and sad for the last.
It’s mind boggling to me that Republicans are so confident. They’ve won the majority of votes in one presidential election in the last 30 years. They just lost the White House after four years. The last time a party only managed to stay in the White House 4 years was 1980, before that it was 1896.
But still they seem to believe they have a winning formula.
(GHW Bush, 89-93, the last one term president.) I’m not sure what the GOP has to be confident about either. I think they should be confident that the progressives in the press, Hollywood, the legislative and executive branches, etc. will continue to over-play their hand on every issue from from permitting testosterone in girl’s sports to free money and loan forgiveness. They should not be confident, however, that the radicals will ever have to pay a political price for their vanity and insanity.
Bush the older was a one term president, but came after 8 years of Reagan. I didn’t say one term president, I said the party only managed to hold on to the White House for one period. That has only happened twice on the past 120 years and Tru p was one of them. But go on, double down on your culture wars, if it makes you feel better.
They could try conservatism? Trumpism is a mess. It’s all over the place on foreign policy, and a danger to the US and the world. On border control it’s inhuman (separating families!) and arbitrary (sudden banning of entire countries). On economic policy, it’s unsound money and protectionism, both of which will hurt the working class. And it’s led to massive defeat, with the Left winning Congress and the Presidency. About the only positive achievement is judicial appointments, the price paid for Christian support. Much better to choose a sound conservative.
On border control it’s inhuman (separating families!)
Repeating mindless talking points is not an argument, but perhaps you can explain how things are so much better under Biden with the border being overrun and illegals of unknown health status being released into the country during a pandemic.
It’s all over the place on foreign policy, and a danger to the US and the world.
You could tell by the absence of any new wars, a desire to bring back the remaining troops in Afghanistan, fat boy Kim’s relative silence, and the demise of a particularly nasty Iranian general.
Had a “sound conservative” existed, either in 2016 or multiple cycles before that, Trump would have never been possible.
You could tell by the absence of any new wars, a desire to bring back the remaining troops in Afghanistan, fat boy Kim’s relative silence, and the demise of a particularly nasty Iranian general.
Yes to all that. I’d also add sorting out Jerusalem to the list.
“Sorting out Jerusalem” = capitulating to the Israeli right’s illegal land-grabbing agenda. East Jerusalem is Jordanian territory. Trump endorsing Israel’s grab of it is no more relevant than some foreign state endorsing Putin’s grab of Eastern Ukraine.
You will find those families separated themselves by trying to sneak past a border illegally.
arbitrary (sudden banning of entire countries)
Nothing “arbitrary” about that. You may have missed the news about the events which led to banning those countries.
“Separating families.” Boom! Right there, this comment loses any credibility. I can’t stand this level of either naivete or else deliberate advancing of a false narrative.
Yes exposing Trump’s cruelty to those children by using photos from-The Obama Presidency. They even faked the story they used for Time magazine cover.
Trumpism is a winning formula only if you bet on the dark side of mankind against education and ethics.
Do you really believe Biden et al represent the forces of light?
Oh que Oui !
People can have really absurd belief systems, some bordering on pathology. Chevallereau here seems one of the textbook cases.
There is an article in quillette which shows how the (so-called) educated middle classes are the most easily conned.The reason they don’t like Trump is because they are snobs who believe everything the MSM tells them.
A little ironic, given the way credulous Republicans believe everything Fox News tells them.
Fox is the only vaguely non-left channel and many people say they only watch it for certain people and that in general they are disappointed with it. Where the right-wing made a big mistake was not to create their own platforms years ago-naturally the left wing is going to cancel anyone they see as their opposition.
There is also the One America News Network for those with the stomach to venture even further right than Fox News …
Pray tell what you find “educated” or “ethical” about the vast, perilously low-IQ underclass turning the country into a burnt-out scrapheap. What you find “ethical” about looting. What you find “educated” about dumbing down the education system to the level of primordial slime because “too many dead white people in the curriculum, we can’t have that”.
Join the discussion
To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.
Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.Subscribe