Who is the Next Donald Trump?

President Trump has been a seismic event in American politics.  For the first time in generations a man dared to speak the truth about like illegal immigration, off-shoring of American jobs and even whole industries to China and malign neglect of the working class in this country.  You have to go all the way back to Ronald Reagan to find someone who challenged the status quo and rallied the country behind a Pro-American platform.  And even though he’s been attacked relentlessly by every aspect of the Elite centers of power he managed to revive the economy and give conservative voters hope that things could be fixed.  And despite the apocalyptic appearance of the COVID-19 epidemic I fully expect him to be re-elected in November and do even more to turn this country around on the social and economic aspects of life here.

But in 2025 there will be a new president.  Maybe Mike Pence will be Vice President in 2024 and that may provide him with presumptive front runner status in the Republican primary race.  But what I’m interested in is who is out there right now that possesses the instincts and talents that could rival the kind of success that President Trump has demonstrated when squaring off against our enemies?

One guess might be another businessman.  In fact, let’s look at the essence of Donald Trump’s background.  He was born into wealth accrued by his father as a real estate developer in New York City.  So, you have a wealthy businessman who isn’t part of the Wall Street crowd.  Later he took some of his business interests public like the casinos, with decidedly disastrous results for his stockholders.  What that tells me is that he is an outsider of the corporate establishment.  His business is based on his family ownership of real estate assets in New York City and the connections with government and local business communities that he has built up over the course of his life.  In my mind that may be the kind of man we might expect to possess the skills we need.

Another possibility is someone like Tucker Carlson.  He apparently has decided that he wants to take on the elites on behalf of the working class, Christians, straight white men and other despised groups who fall into the category of deplorables.  Having grown up as one of the elites, he has quite a lot of information about them and he seems to have a convert’s zeal to repair the damage done by his former comrades.  Does he have the grit it takes to stand up to the kind of dirt they would throw at him?  It’s hard to say.  Having been part of the media for many years he may have all kinds of dirt they can expose against him.  Could he endure something akin to what Billy Bush did to Donald Trump during the campaign?  I think that’s hard to say.  But we may find out.  I have a feeling that Carlson has an interest in politics.

What about conventional politicians?  Ted Cruz?  Rand Paul?  Ron DeSantis? Mike Pence?  I think someone like DeSantis might be a possibility.  I favor a governor over a senator.  And DeSantis is showing determination in the way he’s running Florida.  That’s a tough place for a conservative to flourish.

Mike Pence?  If you had asked me back in 2016, I’d have said definitely no.  Seeing him fold like a cheap suit when that weasel George Stephanopoulos grilled him about the pro-religion law that he passed in Indiana was disgusting.  After eight years of working for President Trump he’ll certainly have learned a lot.  But can you learn instinct?  Can you learn grit?  I think Mike Pence would have to prove himself to me and many others before we’d believe he has the right stuff.

Finally, how about going back to President Trump for a successor.  How about Donald Jr.?  This one is intriguing.  A father is always a bad judge of the talents of his children.  I think we’ll have to wait to see if Don Jr. begins acting like a presidential candidate.

One thing I’m quite sure of is that we’ll be best served by having a long series of debates in which the candidates attack each other mercilessly.  I believe 2016 has shown that a gentlemanly discussion is useless for picking a leader.  We need plain talk and hard questions to find out who is strong enough to knock off the Democrat nominee.  I’m very much looking forward over the next few years to see who emerges on the Right as a successor to President Trump.  I only hope whoever it is that he has half the brains and guts of the current occupant of the Oval Office.

Building on Trump’s Revolt

Donald Trump recognized an explosion waiting for a spark.  He vocalized the outrage and despair that had built up under generations of “leaders” of both mainstream parties who disregarded the will of their constituencies and deprived them of their constitutional freedoms in the name of making a better world.  And now that we have seen what happens when the President is someone who means to work for us and not against us, I think we should be planning to arrange for the same kind of leadership in the next president and in other government positions.

As I’ve said several times before, I think President Trump needs to explicitly name his successor.  Whether he uses the office of the vice presidency as an indicator I think it is vitally important that before he finishes his second term he needs to name a successor.  Whether that will be Mike Pence or someone else, President Trump is the only man to answer that question.

But what about beyond this?  How do we expand this revolt to roll back all the harm done by the anti-constitutional assault we’ve been living under for fifty years?  It’s going to take an organization.  But how does it get built?

When the Tea Party attempted a grass roots movement it devolved into nothing but hucksterism and all that surfaced from that was Mitt Romney.  But without a grass roots movement we end up with the GOP Establishment which once again is Mitt Romney or at best Ted Cruz.  We need someone to build us a new party, something like the Tea Party but with clout and without the grifters.

Once again I hate to say it but we need Donald Trump to build us a foundation that we can flock to.  Replacing the Republican Party probably would do more damage than letting it remain.  But we need an organization that we can build that won’t be easily stolen away by the enemy.  We need someone who doesn’t need money so we can feel like our donations to it will be used for the right cause, to push our agenda among the spineless Republicans and to promote less-spineless Republicans.

I say I hate to say it because it makes me think that we have no hope without a savior with vaults full of money.  But I say it because I think it’s true.  It will take Donald Trump and any other of his class who love this country the way it was to lay a foundation for rebuilding its institutions from the ground up.  It will take lobbyists and PAC money and think tanks and community organizers to start organizing the people who have given up and direct the ones who are looking for effective actions that they can take.

We don’t want e-mails and letters hounding us for donations.  We want leadership and organizational skills and clever lawyers to fight for our rights and defend us from our enemies.  We want someone to attack our enemies using the courts and the Justice Department to stop them from harming us.  Stop Google and Twitter and Paypal and Patreon and Facebook from de-platforming us and stop Antifa from assaulting us in the streets.

So as strange as it is to say, Donald Trump can’t just retire after his terms are over and enjoy his life.  We need him to build the MAGA Foundation and turn it into the weapon we need to keep his revolt alive.  We can support it with our money and other forms of contributions but he’ll have to bring it to life.

Can Pence Succeed Trump?

No one can replace Donald Trump.  He is unique.  Of the seven billion plus humans inhabiting planet Earth there couldn’t be another even close to his experiences, personality and skills.  His quirks and his abilities are completely idiosyncratic.  But he will also someday be term limited from serving as President of the United States.  So, it is necessary to consider who could succeed Donald J. Trump as president.

Mike Pence would be the conventional choice.  The Vice President of a successful President should have a leg up.  But Al Gore and Richard Nixon could disagree.  Assuming President Trump continues to preside over a healthy economy chances are Mike Pence would have at least an even chance at winning.  But is Mike Pence the man for the job?

In terms of personality and background it would be hard to imagine a starker contrast than Trump and Pence.

 

Name Donald Trump Mike Pence
Birthplace New York City, NY Columbus, IN
family business real estate tycoon gas station owner
net worth north of 1 billion dollars $700,000 (mostly future pension benefits)
liquid net worth in the tens of millions $15,000
religious convictions doubtful and conflicted devout
total number of wives 3 1
total lifetime number of porn star sex liaisons impossible to know but upper limit in triple figures zero
Ability to withstand cross-examination by George Stephanopoulos infinite zero

 

If you read Mike’s bio, he checks all the boxes for a social conservative.  He’s pro-life, religious, family values, defense of marriage.  He signed a bill as governor of Indiana to protect religious business owners from anti-discrimination law suits by homosexuals.  But he immediately signed an amended version that gutted it when the Media, some big businesses and progressive advocacy groups coordinated their public attacks and threatened to boycott Indiana.  And this latter incident is the troubling sticking point.  Does Pence have the guts to stick to his guns and defy the progressive coalition?

Now, there are some mitigating circumstances that are in his favor.  Being the Governor of Indiana during the Obama presidency doesn’t have the privileges that being President of the United States has.  You can imagine the pressure being brought to bear by business leaders as negative publicity swirled around Indiana during the blitzkrieg that the Media created.  And I’m sure the US Attorney General’s office was probably on the phone threatening him too.  But however, you slice it, the optics were hardly Trumpian.

It is fair to ask if Mike Pence may have learned something in the last three years of working with Donald Trump that improves his case.  I would have to say yes.  It seems highly unlikely that working in close proximity to President Trump hasn’t provided very valuable object lessons in how to triage the almost unending series of crises, both actual and media-fabricated that have confronted the White House since January of 2017.  By the end of President Trump’s second term, I would imagine even Mike Pence will have added a certain understated swagger to his manner when dealing with the media and other pests.  Undoubtedly, he’ll never be able to launch a vindictive tweet at Chuck Schumer or bark out a fake news sound bite the way The Donald can but I don’t doubt he’ll manage to make his points without collapsing into spineless acquiescence to the likes of Stephanopoulos.

Now this doesn’t answer the other important question.  Is Mike Pence the best choice for Trump’s successor?  Frankly, I doubt that.  I think the best man for the job will be another independent businessman or possibly an extraordinary military leader (of course my favorite choice is always me but we’ll leave that for another day).  But for this essay let’s restrict ourselves to whether Mike Pence could carry on the good work being done by President Trump.  I will give Pence grudging approval and say that based on his strengths, weaknesses and opportunities to grow as Trump’s right-hand man he probably could do it.

One last safeguard for Pence is that if President Trump doesn’t honestly think Pence is the right man to succeed him, he has two chances to correct the problem.  He can choose a different running mate for 2020 and in 2024 if he suddenly objects to Pence, he can recommend someone else for the job.

So, let’s say I give Mike Pence a wavering one thumb up.  Here’s hoping he comes into his own in the second term.

Trump Should Get to Pick the Next Trump

Listening to the Powerline interview of Michael Anton.  The interviewer asked a very  salient question.  Who comes after Trump?  Anton said maybe Senator Cotton might be the closest to Trump in policy position, but that nobody else had the loyalty of the Deplorables the way President Trump does.  And that is true.  And also Trump is the one with the instincts to know who is real and who is “fake.”  I’ve said this before but it bears repeating as we progress through President Trump’s term in office.  He needs to be the one to anoint his successor.

I think it will be very interesting to see if Mike Pence will be his running mate in 2020.  I think Pence probably will be but I wouldn’t be shocked if he weren’t.  President Trump has a great responsibility to try to extend the time during which changes to the troubled status-quo can occur.  Sixteen or even twenty four years is only a part of the time that is needed to repair the damage that has already been done to the Republic.  We need to think of even eight years of reform as just the start of what must be done if we expect normalcy to ever recover.  We need a string of Trump like presidents just to get back to zero.

Sounds impossible.  But stranger things have happened.  Meanwhile hopefully Trump is already thinking about who his successor will be in five years.

The Worriers Are Worried

One of the guys in the office is agitated.  He thinks Trump has collapsed and the world is coming to an end.  There are articles this guy read that say that Trump is caving on judicial appointments to some of the Circuit Courts.  And also, he’s worried about the Wall not getting built.

So, what do I think about all this?  My bottom line is Barr must get approved soon.  I saw that Graham gave the Dems an extra week before the committee vote takes place.  I read that this timing will give Mueller the opportunity to damage the President during some announcement he is working on.  Fine, Graham is useless, I know that.  My read on this is that Barr should be approved by February 15th.  If by March he isn’t approved then I’ll start to think that Trump is trapped.  Getting control of the Justice Department is the most important objective Trump needs to get done right now.  If he lets that slide then there is little hope of reining in the Deep State that is running amok arresting his friends and associates at will.  So that is what I tell those panicking.  If we reach March and Barr isn’t Attorney General then I’ll admit Trump has been boxed in and won’t be able to clean out the Justice Department.

But getting agitated does nothing.  Start taking concrete steps in your own life to protect yourself and your family from the terrible people and things that are going on all around you.  Form alliances and relationships with people who have shown themselves to be reliable and you can trust.  Support people who are brave enough to identify themselves as supporting the truth about what’s going on.  Ignore the liars and cowards of the establishment republican slate.  Don’t support them and don’t give them a penny.  If the Democrats take the Presidency then we are the real resistance.  They will dismantle this country.  They showed us that under Obama.  Then we have to decide how we respond to that.  Make a stand or leave or become slaves.  Those seem to be the choices.

The Last Best Hope and the Alternative

I was talking to a friend at work who is right wing guy.  He is definitely more pessimistic than I am at this point.  He was talking about events and how bleak things looked to him.  I tried to cheer him up by reminding him that the press does a cyclic “Mueller is going to jail Trump” thing every month or so and it doesn’t make much sense getting worried about it.  But he was just generally discouraged and stressed that the way things were going there was no way things would get better.  I couldn’t tell him that I believed that we would definitely prevail against the Left because that would be overly optimistic.  But I told him that I wasn’t going to despair even if we don’t beat the Left in the next few years.  What I said was that if all else fails it’s our job to protect our own families from being propagandized and destroyed by the Left.  He agreed but was extremely negative about the future.  I ended by saying that at least we would know soon enough which way things will go because Trump is the strongest card we have to play.  If he fails, we can’t expect a better chance to come along.  With this he agreed.

I got to thinking about this while I was driving home.  It really is true.  President Trump is the last best hope we have of prevailing in the foreseeable future.  If he fails, we’re each on our own.  If we can form some kind of underground it will be a grass roots business with small groups based on friendship and family connections.  Larger than that will leave it open to the type of surveillance that the security apparatus has perfected.  To expand beyond that will take community building that resembles a religious group.  We know that the government has already shown its willingness to harass religious groups in any way it wants.  But that is probably still the best way to grow a grassroots movement.  It provides a way to meet and socialize.  The idea of founding a fraternal organizational that allows people to preserve the traditional beliefs and share in community activities appeals to me strongly.  It could have all kinds of worthwhile and fun activities.  And I just want to state for the record that although I am willing to accept the title of Grand Master, I absolutely refuse to wear a fez.

All kidding aside, it is without a doubt the case that if President Trump is defeated, we must assume that controlling the government won’t be an avenue for preserving traditional life.  I’ll take it to mean that the dissident right is correct in thinking that the United States as we knew it, no longer exists.  That’s a sobering thought.

Okay, enough gloom and doom.  Now let’s accentuate the positive.  Trump is President and didn’t let the maniacs bust through the southern border.  He says he’ll get the army to build the wall if needed.  And he yelled at Nancy Pelosi and Cryin’ Chuck Schumer at the White House this week.  He is still providing quality entertainment while defying our enemies.  And even if Trump is succeeding, it doesn’t mean I can’t declare myself the Grand Poobah anyway.

What Do We Do After Trump?

Right now, Donald Trump is the most active, disruptive force that the right has had working for it since Andrew Jackson.  It is almost impossible to overstate how important he has been and continues to be for the preservation of the American experiment.  Without his miraculous victory in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election we would be literally choosing between insurrection and slavery.  That is how bad permanent domination by the Left would be.

But now we have to remember that the U.S. Constitution does not include provision for a dictator for life.  Somehow, they decided to leave that clause out.  Something about Julius Caesar, blah, blah, Caligula, blah, blah, blah.  So, we have to face up to the fact that we won’t always have the Donald to speed bag the media, the swamp and the Dems for us.  We will be back to depending on the Republicans!  That is a discouraging thought.  Therefore, it behooves us (now that’s a word) to plan ahead and make provisions for that sad future day.

Let’s try to get to the essence of the problem.  How do we avoid ending up with the Bushes again?  My first thought is install Donald Trump in some position of power in the republican establishment when his term is over.  Maybe the head of the Republican National Committee.  Let him be the one to control the purse strings for the election funds and work on the talent selection and the party platform that should guide the executive and legislative agendas.  But, of course, this is still a temporary fix.  Donald Trump is over seventy years old.  Even he lives to be a vigorous centenarian the day will come when he’s gone.  We need a Plan B.

And Plan B is that we need to become radicalized and activist about the things we want and don’t want.  And the first thing we have to get straight is that this is a permanent state of affairs.  We will never reach a point where we can split the difference with the Left.   Now and forever it is a zero-sum game. Whenever they win we lose and vice versa.  We have no common ground and there is no compromise except as a tactic and even then, it’s probably a bad idea.  We are two separate populations inhabiting the same geographic space locked in a perpetual war of attrition.

We need to become serious about vetting our leaders and those that want to become leaders.  No more Bushes.  No more mavericks.  No more kindler, gentler anything.  No more reaching across the aisles and no more globalists.  If you’re not America first, last and all, you’re a globalist.

We need to become as unfair as we possibly can be toward the Left.  Do to them what they’ve done to us.  Remember they are doxxing, deplatforming, firing and discriminating against Right Wing folks on a wholesale basis already.  The least we can do is return the favor.  Make them live up to the lefty creed but ignore it for our side.  Allow and even egg on the witch hunts for the Al Frankens and Harvey Weinsteins of the Left and laugh at the Stormy Daniels episodes.  Let the Joe Crowleys and Phyllis Kahns experience the blessings of the identity politics and diversity they championed by losing their legislative seats to these new populations when they look around at the Old Democrats and say “What you mean We, kemosabe?”  Make them pay whatever price we can for policies like sanctuary cities.  Penalize progressive states wherever and whenever possible.  Use lawfare to go after their companies and institutions that discriminate against people and companies on the Right.  Use the courts to shield traditional and religious populations and institutions.  And cause trouble for companies that cater to the Left.  Send letters of complaint.  Boycott.  Give poor recommendations and reviews to them.  And by the same token lavish business, compliments and good word of mouth to companies that take our side or at least don’t go against us.  Sometimes it will seem like you’re going against your own interests to do that.  Maybe it’ll be worth it anyway.  Think about it.  Do you really need to drink Starbucks?  Isn’t there another company slightly less obnoxious to your views that still makes decent coffee?  Don’t patronize movies with imbeciles like Matt Damon in them.  Don’t buy their books, don’t read their news stories and don’t watch their television shows.  It’s that simple.

And the most important aspect of all this is don’t wait until Donald Trump isn’t around.  Start now!  If we can start chipping away at the awfulness of the Republican party before we’ll have to depend on them, it will go that much better for us.  If you have a Republican Representative who does not cooperate with President Trump then send an e-mail to his office stating your displeasure.  Let him know where you stand.  Remind him that there will be a primary at some point in his future and someone you like better may be running against him.  Get involved in your local politics and take the measure of the people who represent you.  You might be surprised what you learn.

So, enjoy the Trumpocalypse we are living through in all its sideshow splendor but start planning for the future.