In 2016, I was one of the people who gave Michael Brendan Dougherty a hard time about Trump. I think he eventually blocked me on Twitter. I’ve since changed my mind. I was wrong. He was right. We are now in total agreement that Trump is an albatross for National Populism.
“Even when President Trump seems to defect from his 2016 agenda, or speak out of both sides of his mouth, everyone knows what “Trumpism” is, or what it would be in someone else’s hands: A focus on regaining manufacturing jobs, particularly those that bolster strategically important skills such as advanced engineering; the abandonment of efforts to transform the Middle East; and the acknowledgement of Americans as citizens rather than mere consumers.
A little more than four years ago, I wrote that I had been waiting for a nationalist, populist course correction in the GOP. I wanted a candidate to tell the truth about our failed wars in the Middle East. I wanted a candidate who would speak bluntly about how China was using the international system we built and maintained to rip us off — how the CCP and American elites were engaged in a relationship that degraded the American worker, de-skilled the American workforce, and empowered the Chinese Communist Party. And I wanted a candidate who would defy the elite consensus that favored mass immigration.
Unfortunately, when that candidate arrived, it was Donald Trump. I was, as the title of the piece in question put it, “For Trumpism, against Donald Trump.” I wrote that I “simply don’t trust him.” …
Over these four years, almost everyone has shifted somehow, bending slightly in the prevailing wind, or becoming totally radicalized. …
I sometimes think Anton and I are two of the only people standing precisely in the same position as four years ago. …
It is true, in many ways, that Trump does not have a party, but he does have the presidency. So I would counter Anton by attributing the failings of the Trump administration to the man himself. He said that transgender persons would not serve in the military; he was countermanded from below. He announced that the troops were coming home from Afghanistan and Syria; those orders were reversed too. If he can’t or won’t discipline the underlings who have so thwarted him time and again, that is his own fault. To be successful, a president needs not only an agenda, but the skill to bend the government into executing it which he so obviously lacks.
Anton says that we need “a party actively opposed to the program of the ruling class.” I agree. “If the Republican Party can become that,” he adds, “all to the good. If it can’t, it should go out of business.” I agree with that, too. I just apply the lesson, “If it can’t, it should go” to the man at the top as well. We should stop wasting time, political capital, and the trust of voters in the vain hope that the next four years will be different. Let someone else be Trump.”
We were blinded by hate at the time.
I’ve said that I wish I could go back and clap for Jeb! The way George H.W. Bush handled the Los Angeles Riots makes his father look like Otto von Bismarck compared to Donald Trump.
We were warned. Little Marco and Lyin’ Ted had explained in detail during the 2016 primary that he was a con artist. Donald Trump was as fake as a diploma from Trump University. He had Jeff Sessions on his side though at the time. It gave him credibility. Cruz and Rubio were more of the same. It will suffice to say that we did not seriously consider the character argument against Donald Trump. Cruz was telling the truth when he said that he had New York values. He mainstreamed homosexuality on the Right.
Donald Trump was a dud as president. Voting for Donald Trump was like pulling a gun on the Left and pulling the trigger and firing a blank. They had no real plan beyond “triggering the libs.” QAnon has created and departed into a parallel universe. The Left pulled a real gun in response and shot us. Trump is perceived as the second coming of Hitler in spite of being the weakest president in history. We absorb all the costs of having a Neo-Nazi white supremacist racist as president and none of the benefits.
The last four years have been the worst four years for our movement that I can remember. We lost free speech and freedom of assembly under Trump. We lost over 200 monuments. We multiplied our enemies a thousandfold. We lost equal justice. We lost law and order. While we were taking all of these staggering blows, normies were convinced they were “winning” just because Trump is president. We are even more marginalized today than the day when he first came down that escalator in 2015.
Donald Trump’s election in 2016 didn’t empower us in the slightest. It only made us more vulnerable to leftwing attacks. In contrast, it empowered people like Jared Kushner, Ivanka and Ric Grenell who is waging a global crusade to force Iran and African countries to legalize homosexuality. I admit that I could be completely wrong about this. I just think that I was wrong about the 2016 election and knowing what I know now I am even less inclined to go out make the same mistake twice.