This. This. Right. Here.
Although Donald Trump has not conceded defeat, pundits and Republicanpoliticians are already debating the man’s legacy as though he were part of the past.
A recurring theme is that of “Trumpism without Trump.” If we’re being honest, this is a bit of an extravagant and presumptuous notion. Without Trump? We are talking about Donald Trump, yes?
As far as I can tell, Trump is not a philosopher. He has never written a treatise or a manifesto. The “America First” platform is valuable, and one certainly hopes that it leaves a mark, but unless I am mistaken, Trump supporters do not love the man chiefly for his ideas.
Perhaps the most well-known advocate of “Trumpism without Trump” is Ann Coulter, known for her doctrinaire criticism of Trump’s putative failures to deliver on the “America First” agenda. But others, who cannot be considered hardcore nationalists, have latched onto the concept as well.
That is not much of a surprise, given the abundance of pseudo-Trumpists in that part of the conservative punditocracy that prizes respectability above all. For these, Trump was useful as a muse for waxing about some generic form of “populism” but not much more than that. They’ll be glad to be rid of him.
But can’t we first recognize what an extraordinary person Trump is, before we discard the man for an abstraction?
Oh, I’m gonna be stomping all over Fair Use with this one.
“Trumpism” is a vague thing, and the Republian establishment and the kept Right are eager to jettison Trump and leave us with an ersatz version of his movement. Trump’s primary achievement, says Rubio, is that he made the Republican Party the home of a “multi-racial working class.” But this elides an essential part of Trump’s rise, which was that he acknowledged American whites who had felt put upon and alienated in an increasingly hostile regime. Any “Trumpism” that lacks the courage to push back against the relentless, anti-white sentiment of the Left is counterfeit.
Trump’s movement is a genuine revolution. Like any revolution, it is liable to corruption and change. This has happened with many movements before: the momentum gets lost, and it turns into a husk of its former self. If we’re being unsparingly honest, it is possible that Trump’s movement dies with him. History does not always offer second chances.
If Trump’s downfall really is a fait accompli, then millions of Americans will take his loss like a deathblow to America. If that is cultism, count me in. We are lucky to have Trump. He is an American hero, the best—the only—real defender we have had in generations. We should say this without shame or reservation, and if things do not go our way, we should not flinch from the difficulties that lie ahead without him.
As I’ve so often said, Trump proved to be one of the best Presidents this country was ever blessed to have, perhaps THE best. Certainly the best in my lifetime, hands down. I was on board the Trump Train from that fabled escalator ride, and predicted he would win before almost anyone else, back in the earliest days of the GOP primary stretch. That said, even I didn’t expect the man to deliver the goods to the extent that he has. Considering the devious, conniving opposition he’s faced from every side, the political-neophyte outsider’s many achievements start to look not only exceptional, but downright staggering.
Yes, the struggle will go on, with or without him. But it’ll go much, much better with him, no doubt about it. If there’s such a thing as a truly Irreplaceable Man, Trump at this singular moment in American history would have to come as close to it as anybody ever did. “Trumpism without Trump” is horseshit on stilts, arrant nonsense peddled by Lilliputian mediocrities hoping to make themselves appear bigger via hitching a ride on the shoulders of the bona fide giant they had worked so feverishly to tie down.