MAGA Has Outgrown Donald Trump. We Need Trump 2.0
I know a woman who was lonely through high school and college. She met her first serious boyfriend at age 21, and fell for him good and hard. He broke her out of her shell. He gave her self-confidence she’d always lacked. He shattered the self-righteous and puritanical trappings that had long encumbered her Christianity. She didn’t lose her faith (though her morals suffered for a while). But she became much less of a prig.
Things didn’t work out, of course. Because he was, you see … something of an outlaw biker. A “bad boy” of the type she’d always scorned. A drug-using, street-fighting scofflaw, in fact. And that didn’t exactly work well with her plans for a stable Christian marriage — dream as she might (and did) of “reforming” this wild young man.
Women, You Can’t Change a Man, Except for the Worse
But he was tough, assertive, funny, strong … so unlike the mealy-mouthed, even “catty” young men she’d known from church. He made her feel safe, even when he was actually being so reckless as to put them both in danger. He’d take them to wild bars where other men sometimes menaced her, but he’d always prove willing to get in a fistfight in her defense. (He’d often lose them, but never backed down.)
Eventually things ended. His wild, lawless behavior had landed him with a jail stint three states away. And this young woman was not the prison-conjugal-visit type, so they said goodbye.
But for years after that, she never quite got over him. She kept going to “rough” style bars and frequenting biker hangouts, hoping to somehow replace him with … another equally inappropriate guy who’d stir in her the same feelings she’d first experienced with him. That’s how she wasted quite a few years of her life, before the imprinting he’d made on her finally wore off. She looked back on that romance as a “phase” she’d needed to go through, but not to remain in.
The Love Affair with Trump
That’s a true story and something more. It’s also a parable of the Church’s relationship with candidate Donald Trump.
Yes, we needed to go through this phase. We’d spent far too long with Ned Flanders types, Pharisees and weaklings, hirelings, grifters, and wimps. We needed to shed every single one of the NeverTrump Republicans, and those simpering “public Christians” who found him simply ghastly, and flounced away in a huff. Christians of neither sex ever belonged in the sorority Beta Dogma Stigma, and it’s a good thing that Trump got us blackballed.
Yes, Trump enjoys a good fight. And most of those who attack him are enemies of our founding, families and faith. Trump triggers and infuriates the worst people in the country, and forced our false friends to out themselves.
The movement Trump started in the Republican party, grounded in populism, nationalism, and the brute will to survive, must continue. In fact, it ought to go on dominating the right, not just in America, but all through the West. Trump broke the taboos that prevented Americans from naming and blaming our enemies. He ended the sterile repetition of zombie-Reaganite slogans, while our country crumbled around us.
Trump is hilariously funny. He reached across lines of party, class, race, and ethnicity as no Republican had. He actually cares about advancing ordinary Americans, unlike elite-bought politicos of both parties who act as valets to the super-rich.
Is Our Perversity Our Strength?
Trump blurted out the obvious truths that career Republican operatives had been dog-trained to ignore and deny. No, our Diversity is not our Strength. Not necessarily. By its nature, diversity weakens countries, unless they have special virtues to compensate for it, unique attributes that bring out of many, one. And those virtues, those institutions and beliefs, are precisely what our elites have spent our lifetimes trashing and undermining. So no, we don’t need more Diversity just now, thanks. As Jack Nicholson once said in a movie, “Go sell crazy someplace else. We’re all stocked up here.”
Trump came to a Republican party so comatose, so hypnotized by coiffed mediocrity, that it seemed like enfeebled Theoden under Wormtounge’s spell in The Lord of the Rings. It had freely nominated, in sequence, all of the following candidates:
- George H.W. Bush and Dan Quayle.
- Bob Dole and Jack Kemp.
- George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
- John McCain and Sarah Palin (the only politician on this list worth the DNA she was made from).
- Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
What we were we, high on something? Now after four years of Trump and almost a year of the Bidenist Occupational Government, we can look back and wonder at the parade of soulless, globalist mumblers our party settled for as standard-bearers. The GOP, pre-Trump, was dying of gout, a fat old man like Henry VIII stuffing its face and cursing the servants.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Tweets
So thank God for Donald Trump. And we should thank him, and respect him ever after for what he accomplished in the party and in office. Trump ought to replace Rush Limbaugh on the radio, with three hours each day and a bulletproof social media account, to roast people all day long.
He just shouldn’t be president of the United States in 2024. Like the girl in my parable, we really need to do better.
Who Is the Trump 2.0?
All my criticisms of Donald Trump center on his failure to fully be Donald Trump, to carry through on the promises and impulses that brought him to power. We need somebody who’s better at Trumpism, to put things bluntly. Someone who won’t hire his long-time enemies, because they bat their eyelashes at him and flatter him over lunch at Mar-A-Lago. Who won’t delegate key decisions to his creepy, center-left son-in-law. We need a president who can take advice and reject advice, who knows when to follow his gut instincts. Who will fight for his own people, his Mike Flynns and Steve Bannons, and not hire staff for the National Security Council (see Fiona Hill) who are conspiring in his impeachment.
Donald Trump reaped the loathing and contempt of the unspeakably corrupt, unpatriotic elites who dominated the Republican party for 30 years. Then he wasted his first two years in office trying to win them over to like him. We need a new Trump 2.0 who doesn’t even want those people to like him, just so long as they fear him.
In case you think Trump might have learned from the experience of getting betrayed again and again, you need to think again. Force yourself to go through the following appalling, 11-part Twitter thread by real conservative Pedro Gonzalez for proof. Trump hasn’t brought back any of the good people he sent packing. Instead, he’s clinging to the squishiest denizens of the Swamp. Open-borders, big business, pro-Pharma hacks who belong on the Bush family compound:
If you thought Trump had learned from his first term, you’re going to be disappointed
Trump’s policy flagship for 2024 is not only run by the worst people from his admin but it is explicitly aligning itself with Heritage, AEI, and Cato
So much for draining the swamp 1/ pic.twitter.com/BmSJwTh8BQ
— Pedro L. Gonzalez (@emeriticus) November 6, 2021
No More Rant and Switch
Donald Trump echoed our anger at unelected judicial activists who ignore the Constitution. Then he let three guys in the Federalist Society steer him toward picking … establishment nonentities like Neal Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Comey Barrett.
Trump complained about the crippling power of government to stifle business initiative. Then he bought into the COVID panic and launched the national lockdown. He let Anthony Fauci become a national celebrity with quasi-dictatorial powers. That happened on Trump’s watch, remember.
Trump made some great pro-life steps. But he let Operation Warp Speed exclude pro-life vaccine options, landing millions of us in the crosshairs of government and employer mandates to take the Dead Baby Vaccine. Why isn’t there a single pro-life option? Because Trump didn’t insist on one.
Donald Trump was targeted by the Deep State, the Mainstream Media, and social media monopolies. But he didn’t even try to clean out the Deep State. He gave pointless, self-destructive interviews to the likes of Bob Woodward. He stayed on Twitter, right up until the platform kicked him to the curb — instead of using his power and presence to build competitors. For all that the Establishment despised Trump, he couldn’t shake himself of the urge to win its approval.
Trump Left Our Wounded on the Field
And we paid the price. Think of Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and other loyalists who tried to stop the Steal. They used their own time, talent, and treasure, since Trump wouldn’t spend the money he’d actually raised from us to … “Stop the Steal.” Think of the January 6 protestors rotting in solitary confinement, for accepting Trump’s invitation to march. Why didn’t he send his own lawyers to defend them? Instead, they’re eking by with public defenders who hate them. Ashley Babbitt died marching for Trump’s election win. Seven months passed before he publicly mentioned her name.
We need to do better. We deserve it. Glenn Youngkin, Ron DeSantis, and many other candidates have shown that the MAGA movement is more than a cult of personality. It’s a national awakening from a self-destructive trance. A rebellion against a vicious, selfish Oligarchy. It’s a sea change in U.S. politics. And sometimes you need a different captain, to save the ship.
John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He is co-author with Jason Jones of “God, Guns, & the Government.”