Another great one from Codevilla.
As I explained a year ago, by 2016 the ruling class’s dysfunctions and the rest of the country’s resentment had pushed America over the threshold of a revolution; one in which the only certainty is the near impossibility of returning to the republican self-government of the previous two centuries. The 2016 election is not reversible, because it was but the first stage of a process that no one can control and the end of which no one can foresee.
Donald Trump is not and never has been the issue. With or without Trump, the nightmare of those who resist the 2016 election was, is, and will remain the voters who have chosen and will continue to choose candidates who they believe are committed to reducing the ruling class’s privileges and pretensions.
Let us be clear: the 2016 electorate chose Trump and they saw Trump as the vehicle by which to challenge the ruling class. During the first half of 2017, the Republican Party finished discrediting itself as a possible vehicle for that job. Since this is so, were Donald Trump seriously to bid for the presidency in 2020, it would have to be by leading a new party focused on the identities of anti-ruling class Americans. Carrying the Republican label would be an impossible burden.
Were an energetic, unambiguous, unapologetic Trump to affirm the majority of Americans’ political identity, not all Republicans would follow. Nor does he need them all. By bringing new elements into his following and, yes, by dropping some Republicans from it, Trump would effectively build a new party, with intact credibility. The departure of major corporations from his business council—big business is deeply unpopular on Main Street America—is an example of how to gain by shedding baggage. At any rate, it was never possible that the entire Republican Party would represent America against the ruling class.
But by the same token, each action taken by anyone who is creating a new movement must speak for itself more loudly and clearly than the words used to explain that action. Democracy does not tolerate pairing big words with small accomplishments. Today, Trump’s role in fulfilling the political marketplace’s demand is up to him even more than it was in 2016. But now as then, America’s open political marketplace invites all. The anti ruling class constituency is bigger than ever. If Trump does not lead it, someone else will.
Precisely. As Glenn Reynolds always says: if you hate and fear Trump and end up succeeding in seeing him thwarted, just wait till you see what we send you next.