Donald Trump’s historic victory to the White House demands that liberals and conservatives alike reevaluate their paradigms for political persuasion and, ultimately, victory.
Conservatives are at a crossroads. The establishment GOP, as currently constituted, is dying. The Tea Party GOP emerged triumphant in down-ticket races. The Alt-Right coalesced with grassroots populists to form the New Trump Party, becoming its #TrumpTrain constituency.
In a Trump administration, who will wield the reins of power? Alt-Right? Constitutionalists? Statists? To whom will Trump turn for counsel? The president-elect’s choice of Stephen Bannon as chief strategist suggests the Alt-Right will have significant power in his White House.
I have always said that Trump is the only GOP candidate who could lose to Hillary Clinton. I stand by that claim. Any other GOP nominee would arguably have done better than Trump against the Democrats’ utterly abysmal nominee.
Hillary was the worst candidate the Democrats could have nominated for their party. She literally drove people away from her. The electorate repudiated her as a person and for her policies.
Had, for instance, Ted Cruz been the GOP nominee, he could have drawn a clear distinction between himself and Hillary – in both personal morals and public policies. Instead, Trump’s worst character traits and ugly behavior almost sabotaged his own campaign.
Trump’s consigliere, Ann Coulter, attempted to distinguish between Trump’s personal baggage and his positions on the issues. She said, “I’m talking about his issues. No-one is voting for Trump because of his personality.” (But, wait, didn’t her latest book praise Trump, the man?
Coulter hammered home her point, arguing, “Issues, issues, issues. He wins on the issues, that’s why he keeps being attacked on his personal baggage, but nobody is voting for Trump the man.”
The problem with Coulter’s reasoning is that few people really trust the man on the issues. Time and again, Trump has proven himself untrustworthy as a person and ignorant on the issues.
Hence the #NeverTrump movement.
Henceforward, we must all exercise wisdom as we navigate through these unchartered political waters.
From #NeverTrump to #VerifyTrump
Those who are #NeverTrump should support the Trump administration wherever possible, as long as it is in keeping with conservative principles and the Constitution. We must switch from being Never Trump to, as Ronald Reagan might have phrased it, Verify Trump.
Trump, like the Vladimir Putin he so admires, cannot be trusted. We cannot believe either his words or his promises. We must look to his actions. Verify Trump by verifying that his actions further what is truly best for America.
Examine his staff appointments, his judicial nominations, his executive orders, and the like. Keep him on his toes. Curtail his progressive inclinations. Prevent him from continuing Obama’s unconstitutional executive imperialism. Restrain his inner tyrant.
From #TrumpTrain to #TrainTrump
Trump devotees must do something similar. Jump off the Trump Train and climb aboard Train Trump. In other words, stop worshiping the man and treating his varied and conflicting promises as holy writ. Instead, train the man you have elected President of the United States.
Train Trump to do what is right for America (and not just himself). Train him in the Constitution and founding documents of this great nation. Train him in the benefits of the free market and limited government.
If those who were Never Trump and those who are on the Trump Train can unite to tame the untamable ego of the newly-elected Narcissist-in-Chief, perhaps America will not only survive, but thrive, under a Trump presidency.
[A new book, #NeverTrump: Coulter’s Alt-Right Utopia, sheds some light on the #OnlyTrump movement and its Alt-Right constituency. It is now available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2fzA9Mr.]