MAGA after Trump
Whether the president serves two, four or eight years, the movement that elected him must start engaging in a conversation about MAGA after Trump. We need not denigrate the president. I seriously doubt that he will run for re-election because I believe that, at this point, he cannot win in 2020. His election in 2016 was predicated on winning the states of Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. In the recent mid-term elections, Republicans lost statewide races in each of these states. In summary, whereas several million Americans simply could not vote for Hillary Clinton for President in 2016, once she was absent from the ballot many of these voters pulled the lever for the Democrats. They will likely have another option besides either Trump or Clinton in 2020 and enough, based on the 2018 results, will choose to turn the president out. We cannot afford to turn over the presidency to either a Jeb Bush Republican or any Democrat. Therefore, we must commit to drastic actions.
The president has taught us many lessons. Some on what to do going forward. Some on what not to do going forward. One which I hope others are paying attention to are the rhetorical bombs he so adores tossing at the press corps. After dropping the bomb, the president retreats to his residence, grabs a cheeseburger and watches everyone in the media talk about Donald Trump. The media, as it turns out, can be manipulated to our advantage. We should learn the value of a strategic rhetorical bomb. We should also learn that such a thing is best utilized strategically and sparingly.
Trump has also shown the Republican Party a new way forward, the availability of a new coalition. His departure from Republican orthodoxy on trade and foreign wars helped him break through the Blue Wall. The recent midterms showed that tax cuts no longer win wealthy district. The GOP needs to become the party of the working and middle class. But to do that, we need a MAGA leader who is focused, informed and determined.
This brings us to where we are today. We have a president who is quite obviously not disciplined. His ego is easily bruised and he is not the least interested in becoming proficient in policy. He is completely dependent upon his children to advise him, if not run the entire administration.
If Jared and Ivanka were capable managers, then the president delegating to them would not be a problem - but they are not. His children would never be hired into the roles they now occupy under any other president. Unfortunately, they are directing the administration off the path of the agenda which got this president elected and taking it in a direction that does not appeal to those who elected Trump in the first place. Therefore, it has come to the point that activists in the MAGA movement must move beyond “the man,” establish the campaign for his successor, identify that individual, take over the movement and move the ball (“agenda”) down the field. While I remain hopeful the president is capable of growing into the role for the benefit of the agenda, his continuing behavior has become a distraction to the same. He should not run for re-election and the movement must stand up and select his successor and move forward, grateful for, but without the man.