by Brandon J. Weichert
Ann Coulter thinks Donald J. Trump will be the last Republican president ever. She might be right. In fact, in my darkest moments, I have feared as much. After all, there hasn’t been a Republican like Trump in more than a generation—and there aren’t any like him on the horizon.
Who will replace Trump when his second term ends? Will it be Mike Pence? I like the vice-president. I’ve even prayed with him. But he simply isn’t a replacement—he struggles to connect with audiences outside of the Evangelical community and he sounds too much like George W. Bush.
Marco Rubio? Nice guy and a good man—but he doesn’t pass the smell test.
Nikki Haley? Don’t make me cringe.
Ted Cruz? He’s not a closer.
Go down the list of potential successors and try not to get too depressed.
Of course, there’s a chance a person is just waiting in the wings, as Trump was, to swoop in and fundamentally transform the 2024 Republican primaries. Although judging from the types of people running the show in the GOP, and given that all of the top-tier “talent” in the party (whether on the campaign side or on the policy side) are milquetoast, NeverTrumpers longing for the return of the Bush years, the future does look bleak.
So, I guess that’s it, right?
Besides, Trump has seemed, at times, to sputter in implementing his transformative agenda—whether it was the Obamacare repeal, the idiotic spending bill from earlier this year, or the border wall. Coulter (and, to be sure, others) think that because it has been difficult to implement the agenda, we should just give it up; we’ve been had, the system is rigged.
Should we just stop trying, since we haven’t achieved the victories we should have won over the past two years? Should we resign to our fate of watching Democrats take over, passively allowing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be sworn into the presidency and vice-presidency because it’s “their time”?
Well, we lost the House of Representatives and the Democrats are closing in on Trump with the corrupt Robert Mueller “investigation” so, at least we can say we tried?
Republicans, along with forgetting how to win without Trump, have forgotten the cardinal rule of warfare: the enemy gets a vote.
Yes, the Democrats are going to fight hard—harder than they’ve ever fought before—precisely because Trump and the Right are winning so bigly. Just look at what’s been accomplished thus far: massive deregulation that stimulated the economy. Yes, the tax cuts were nice. But the real economic stimulation occurred thanks to Trump’s executive order cutting thousands of unnecessary Obama-era regulations on his first day in office. From that point, the economy has enjoyed one of the greatest expansions in decades. Unemployment has plummeted, Americans are getting back to work. It’s not enough, but it’s a start.
Trump is winning. The media won’t tell you that. Academics won’t acknowledge it. But he is pushing back. His mere presence in office is stopping the Left’s “long march” through America’s institutions.
Just look at the courts.
In two years, Trump has made a more lasting impression on the federal courts than his predecessors ever could have hoped to make. Why? Because of his gumption. The president is also forcing Washington’s policy elites to take seriously the concept of protectionism as a viable policy for defending core American interests—something that never would have happened without Trump. The list of his successes is long and we should not be surprised when these wins inspire a greater level of resistance from the Left.
Rather than acknowledge that, Coulter and pundits like her tell Americans that it’s all over. Why, because it’s a lost cause? Because the odds are so greatly against us? I’m reminded of Lord Macaulay’s “Horatius” (which Winston Churchill, the leader of another reputed lost cause, loved to quote so often):
Then out spoke brave Horatius,
The captain of the gate:
“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods . . .”
Politics, whatever the experts want to believe, is not a science. You can’t create an algorithm to predict events. Ultimately, politics is personality more than anything else.
Michael Walsh once wrote that Trump has single-handedly revived the great man theory of history. He’s correct. But Trump didn’t revive it so much as remind everyone that it never went away. One man can truly make a difference—even in the face of terrible odds. And, if that one man is a force of nature, such as Churchill or Trump, then, no cause is truly lost . . . so long as people are inspired and willing to fight for it.
Our task, going forward then, will be to ensure that enough of us on the Right remain so inspired. We cannot be a movement of quitters.
Coulter and others are operating on the assumption that victory is impossible and losing is inevitable. Yet, true victory goes neither to the swift nor to the bold, but to those who endure terrifying ordeals. The Left knows this—which is why they hate Trump and his deplorables even more. We can endure much. Should we deplorables lose and Trump end up being just one man versus an entire wretched hive of scum and villainy, his example—just as with those who died fighting until the end at Thermopylae and the Alamo—will inspire more to follow in his path. Even in losing, Trump could still win.
So, while the Left certainly has some advantages over us and a willingness to deploy them even to the point of open political warfare, Trump is giving enough Republicans—even Lindsey Graham, at times—the kind of backbone needed to ensure that the losing cause of the Right remains, instead, a viable one. And, with a great man leading the movement, perhaps the vision of an America for Americans, who are proud and great again, will be victorious in the end.
One thing is clear, sitting around whining about how defeat is inevitable will only serve to hasten defeat. Yet it may serve to help these conservative pundits who’ve grown worried about their brand after Trump leaves office to curry favor with the dominant political elite.
I stand with Trump, even in his failures, because I know the cause of freedom is worth fighting for—and that it is a winning effort. The stakes are our freedom or their tyranny.
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Brandon J. Weichert is a contributing editor to American Greatness. A former Republican congressional staffer and national security expert, he also runs “The Weichert Report” (www.theweichertreport.com), an online journal of geopolitics. He holds master’s degree in statecraft and national security from the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. He is also an associate member of New College at Oxford University and holds a B.A. in political science from DePaul University. He is currently completing a book on national security space policy due out next year.
Photo “Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.