What’s the Argument For Trump, Anyway? Part 3: “Trumpism”
If you missed it – in part one of this series I examined some of the positive reasons to vote for Trump. In part 2, I take a look at Biden’s faults. In part 3, I want to examine how Trump has changed the right and the Republican party and ask is “Trumpism” sustainable in the long run?
Trump isn’t a republican in the traditional sense. He basically hi-jacked the party apparatus in 2016 and has never let go. I don’t think the shift in the party at this point can be reversed as the center of gravity and energy has shifted towards all things Trump. We’ve started seeing a party that doesn’t apologize for winning. A party that isn’t instantly cowed into submission when the left calls them racists or sexists. Can you imagine the traditional, establishment Republicans filling a SCOTUS seat days before a presidential election? No! You know they would have backed down to be “civil” and then acted surprised when the Democrats filled a SCOTUS seat when the situations were reversed.
The term for this new shift in Republicans is called Trumpism. Trumpism is a word that can mean different things to different people and obviously a lot of that will depend on your politics. I think Trump is funny and his policies overall have been pretty positive. To me – Trumpism is a populist movement with the major themes being economic security and peace through strength. It’s very “America first” while at the same time recognizing that our allies doing well also helps us. It is economic security through better trade deals and bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States. It is peace through strength by building up the military while also forging new peace agreements and extracting us from never ending wars that were started by traditional, establishment Republicans. It is using carrots and sticks with our enemies like Trump’s overtures to North Korea or the targeted killing of one of Iran’s generals while he is in Iraq.
We’ll have to find another word for Trumpism because it’s going to continue to change the party even after Trump is gone. For starters, the right and the GOP is becoming more diverse both in skin color and ideological spectrum although still centered around a right leaning perspective. It’s really amazing to see all the young, black Republicans running for office now like John James, Kimberly Klacik, and Joe Collins. Kimberly Klacik spoke at the Republican convention and when asked how that came about she said it was specifically the Trump team pushing for it. The establishment GOP, those calcified, traditional Republicans just couldn’t see how much energy this would bring to the convention or that it would add more members to the party and that drives me crazy. The establishment looks at minority voters as “ungettable”. Trumpism is about making overtures to all voters… even the ones that you think might not be receptive to you. What have you got to lose by trying especially when there are some that will be receptive to it?
For the right and by extension the GOP to keep growing the establishment absolutely has to be pushed out. People like when the country is not at war. People like when they are all employed and the economy is humming along. People like when we don’t have to rely on China for medicine or PPE. People like when our allies pay their fair share for defense. The RNC understands this, too. If you need further proof how much Trumpism has taken over the party just know that the RNC did not even put out a platform in 2020…. they simply adopted the Trump campaign’s platform! The establishment being pushed out is why there were so many Republican retirements in 2018. They could see that they weren’t wanted anymore. You think anyone misses Jeff Flake or Paul Ryan? NO!
As Trumpism continues to grow and the establishment is removed I think we’re going to continue to see a growing, healthy party. Sure – there will be internal disagreements but the party as a whole will realize that not all people agree on certain subjects. The right is open to discussion on issues we disagree on unlike the left which is a hivemind where thinking differently will get you ostracized. The right is going to be the driving force for new ideas because it’s the only side that allows people to have differing opinions and original thoughts.
Who will be the agent of change that continues Trumpism once Trump is gone? I don’t think there will be any one person driving the agenda after Trump. We now have a bunch of “Trumpy” Republicans like Jim Jordon, Devin Nunes, and Matt Gaetz. Did you see Gaetz on The View earlier this year? It was great! He knew he was going into hostile territory and he didn’t care – he wanted to get the message out there.
Even some of the establishment Republicans have moved towards more Trump-centric positions. Graham 2.0 got that moniker for a reason.
Could there possibly be a left wing Trumpism that rises up? I don’t think so. The Democrats and the left are driving off a cliff as they become obsessed with identitarian politics. I think once Trump leaves the first thing we’ll see is a huge collapse in mainstream media ratings. The only thing that keeps them going right now is Trump, Trump, Trump. When they don’t have Trump to kick around people will tune out. That collapse I believe will actually help the right be able to push their message without a biased, partisan media constantly countering that message with lies and half-truths. As the left drifts further and further their numbers will shrink and I expect there will be a more rightward shift in cultural attitudes. Also, without a mainstream media that constantly pushes fear and hate expect some normalcy and calm to return to your life. Today’s craziness can’t last forever.
Until then – buckle up, kids. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.