Probably the most honest and intellectually coherent thing Vice-President Kamala Harris has ever stated in public life, has been her pre-election assessment of the impact of Tuesday’s November 2 election. On Friday, October 29, in the historic city of Norfolk (VA), Harris said, “What happens in Virginia will in large part determine what happens in 2022, 2024, and on.” The vice-president was correct. Virginia, like Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s seminal March to the Sea, was an astounding political victory for Republicans. However, the triumph was not just of any variant of the GOP. This is one of the reasons, Republicans still need Trump.
CNN political commentator Van Jones, known for his brilliant cynicism, called Virginia governor-elect Glenn Youngkin on election night, the “delta variant of Trumpism.” The former Obama administration “green jobs czar”, who resigned over scandals of his previous ties to Marxist groups, was astutely referring to a more sophisticated political class that could have greater effectiveness.
The idea is that this could be achieved by avoiding Donald Trump’s crudeness yet retain the essence of what the 45th president stood for and what a large segment of the population approves of. While Jones may be partly correct on this point, this is not to say that the Republican Party, if it wants to expand on the mammoth win in blue Virginia and New Jersey, a virtual Democratic fiefdom, must not abandon the course that Trump set, nor alienate him from the GOP’s central command post.
A better understanding of what one means by “Trumpism” requires certain clarification. By default, the Left, never-Trumpers, and other establishment Republicans refer to this term in a pejorative way, as if to mean not a “real” or “orthodox” member of the GOP. If we categorize Republicans as members of the “Right”, then we must dissect this classification further. There is an “Old Right” and a “New Right”. The Old Right, while socially conservative in general terms, gives primacy to the economic realm, lends great weight to globalist considerations of power distributions and is more secular.
The New Right, more conservative than libertarian, acknowledges a need to bind the notion of self-government to a morality checked by religion and custom. Here culture is prioritized given its importance in determining political and social outcomes. For the New Right, the economy should be as free as possible, however, cultural, and national security considerations are always primal factors. New Right politics, for example, would not have allowed communist China to become the Frankenstein that it is.
Trumpism is the New Right. It does not equate all civilizations. Free societies, capitalism, and the republican model of self-government are the direct products of Western Civilization. This decisively includes Christianity and Judeo-Christian values. In the American context specifically, individualism, equality before the law, a meritocracy, a competitive free enterprise, limited government, private property as a buffer against tyranny, and love of country are foundational hallmarks. This is what “Trumpism” or the New Right is about.
The colossal victory in Virginia, the epic achievement in New Jersey, and basically across the whole nation that held elections that night, was materialized because of the Republican strategy of concentrating on issues that have a cultural and ideological context which is synchronized with the American Creed. The Democratic Party’s obsession with indoctrinating children with Neo-Marxist tenets such as Critical Race Theory and Gender Ideology was challenged head on. This was a parent’s revolt against the state’s and teacher union’s brazen attempt to replace them as a child’s premier educator.
The Covid-19 pandemic draconian lockdowns, based more on political capriciousness than scientific evidence, was rejected by voters and the Republicans wisely capitalized on this. The battle cry was moral and philosophical, more than economics. Freedom was the issue. By standing up for American Exceptionalism and Western Civilization, Trump’s presidency emboldened the fight against cultural Marxism, communist China, 21st Century Socialism, lawlessness, and the strangulation of capitalism. Virginia and New Jersey were early battlegrounds for a referendum on the Biden-Harris administration and its identity politics, collectivist mission.
One can argue that the November 2 election was also an indirect plebiscite on the things that Trump placed on the national agenda. With the 2016 election, the GOP became the party of the blue-collar worker, the middle class, entrepreneurs, and a surprising number of minorities such as Hispanics, blacks, and Asians. Democrats are now the political machine of the elite, crony capitalists. woke enterprises, and the politically manufactured state-dependent class.
Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Nelson Rockefeller, Gerald Ford, and George Bush (father and son) are all Old Right Republicans. The core of their agenda was rejected in 2016. The Republican Party transformation where voters massively migrated to the GOP’s New Right brand of politics was abandoned by voters. Only the party hierarchy, the Lincoln Project, and other never-Trumpers remained. Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Patrick Buchanan, and Donald Trump typify that New Right version. The term “Reagan Democrats” accurately reflected the same blue-collar, middle class, union member voting bloc that voted for the 45th president.
Some argue that a New Right Republican class of politicians has emerged. This is true. Ron DeSantis, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Tim Cotton, and Glenn Youngkin are all fine choices. However, this does not mean that Trump, while living and mentally functional, can be expended from the GOP. This is for the same reason that Reagan could not be erased from a winning Republican agenda.
The Gipper’s presidency (Reagan) was a paradigm shift. Reagan, in many ways, made much of what Goldwater stood for in 1964, both, appealable to the public, and functional as to its successful implementation. Trump achieved the same thing. A political paradigmatic shift was witnessed with his 2016 election. Much of his policies: economic nationalism, conservative and pious values, national security highlights, and a forceful advocacy of the American Creed were not his original ideas. It was, however, his job, as a messenger first, and then as the nation’s chief executive, that this worldview was put into practice.
The Republican Party in 1974, sought to distance itself from Nixon. The Watergate scandal and the subsequent resignation help explain this. Trump did not commit any crime while in office, nor has there been any legitimate scandal worthy of excommunicating him from politics. Undoubtedly, this is something the Left would love and has done everything, legal and illegal (DNC and Russia connection 2016 election), to make this happen. Republicans would be in suicide mode if they part ways with a figure that, despite his unpolished and non-protocol mannerisms, can still energize more than half the country and has ably demonstrated that he knows how to successfully run a nation.