Be wary of talking heads adopting Trumpism for clout
WELLINGTON, OHIO – JUNE 26: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Lorain County Fairgrounds on June 26, 2021 in Wellington, Ohio. (Photo by Scott Olson / Getty Images)
Donald Trump inevitably has a huge impact on the current GOP. Whether or not Trump runs in the 2024 presidential election is less important than the way he has already changed the party, mainly by getting conservatives to join the culture war.
Still, voters need to know the social and economic credit politicians gain by mentioning the former president’s name and style: there is no more opportunistic person than a lawmaker.
Given Trump’s tremendous popularity among Conservative voters, which was consistent in post-election polls, Republican lawmakers are faced with a choice: either support some of the populist policies favored by his supporters, or prefer the old neoconservative order, and risk a Trump- Tucker Carlson allegation that will end with an Asa Hutchinson-Kristi Noem guy.
To put it more simply: sink or swim.
Before Trump won the 2016 primaries, the GOP establishment was on the hunt to deplate him. Some of the former president’s vocal supporters, including South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, were extremely critical.
For Washington D.C. insiders Trump represented a suspicious, strange character. In his vows to expose the endless, self-fulfilling political machine, professional politicians scoffed. He was way too rude for her – an adulterous, mundane celebrity who was doomed to lose after wasting money trying to distract from supposedly more appealing candidates.
So it went to the GOP insiders, who were voters excited with another Bush president, Jeb, and thus another war in the Middle East in the foreseeable future. But the tables turned and Trump sank Jeb and everyone else in the waters of the DC Swamp.
And so Trump was widely adopted by the party, legitimately or superficially, depending on the politician. His victory in 2016 made one thing very clear: there is and remains a fundamental divide between the elites who select candidates and promote them to fame, who seem to only respond to tax reforms and corporate bailouts, and the general public who choose the social and cultural Decay in communities is increasingly seen at a breakneck pace.
It is evident that Trump is the most significant leader among serious conservatives today. Politicians, who are always preoccupied with personal calculations about the viability of elections, would be foolish or blind to ignore it. Trumpism is popular.
As a result, many career Republicans have moved to endorse Trump in rhetoric – with some newcomers even trying to imitate his language for aesthetic appeal. And based on how the same lawmakers voted for decades, tip, tip: Lindsay Graham – Conservative voters need to scrutinize voter minutes and policy proposals, rather than just rhetoric and venues of speeches.
It may seem unclear which Republican leaders will be involved in MAGA in the long run, or just benefit from a brand that has proven successful in winning elections – as Trump’s support for the candidates has proven extremely important. But voters have to pay attention to how the GOP lawmakers operate – how they act.
After all, as Bryson Piscitelli argues in the latest edition of TAC, the President’s movement was an “outlaw” movement and went directly against the grain of the methodical GOP of the past. The question arises as to whether our professional politicians persist against this grain or only reinforce it once enough years have passed.
The populist movement that was sparked by Trump threatens to turn into some sort of Populism, Inc. – where the national GOP is developing strategies to attract voters – if at all – it has not represented for many years.
Americans who were expelled from the political backyards and smoky skull and bones rooms of the past GOP must be just as careful about their own party as the radicals on the other side.