Lest I be cast as a “doomer”—one who has given up on President Trump’s noble attempt to win the re-election that is rightfully is—it seems likely that our ruling elites will assure Biden wins the presidency. I still believe that Trump is the rightful victor; that the election was stolen from him; and that the evidence of widespread voter fraud is compelling enough to throw, at the very least, the election to the House of Representatives.
Remember, we live in a world that still argues that John F. Kennedy’s campaign did not manipulate vote totals in Cook County, Illinois to flip the State away from Nixon in 1960, thereby assuring Kennedy’s victory. What we saw in 2020 was the Cook County strategy writ large. We should fight that manipulation to ensure the integrity of future elections, but I fear the damage is done.
Again, I hold out hope that Trump will be vindicated and that justice will be served. Nevertheless, as conservatives, we should adopt the distinctly conservative course of preparing for what comes next. Even if our dream scenario comes to fruition, it only buys conservatives time. Either way, we’ve got to consider seriously where we’re going, and our place in a society that increasingly rejects us and our interests.
My blogger buddy photog at Orion’s Cold Fire is launching a series of essays considering conservatives’ options. He’s calling it the “Right Wing Guide to Living in the Democratic People’s Republic of America,” and he acknowledges that it
…will be a slow work in progress but I figured I’d announce it because, let’s face it, these people we’re up against aren’t going anywhere and if we’re serious about fighting them we have more than our work cut out for us. This is a generational project that will need to be pursued in an organized and methodical way. I think that the only hope going forward is for President Trump to act as the founder of a new political movement, maybe even a political party, the whole focus of which is to restore the Constitutional freedoms that have been taken away from us.
Assuming Democrats don’t immediately bring bogus criminal charges against President Trump for his crime of not being one of them, I think photog makes a great point here: Trump is going to continue to have yuge influence. My younger brother has made the same point: even if Trump is gone, his coattails are substantial. Indeed, one clear sign of voter fraud is that Democrats did terribly in congressional races, due in no small part to the massive turnout for Trump. As The Z Man points out in his post “Election Math,” Trump earned 17% more votes in 2020 than he did in 2016. One has to imagine a substantial proportion of those new Trump voters also voted for Republicans down-ticket—except, magically, Joe Biden—who underperformed Hillary Clinton—just happened to win millions of mystery votes in exactly the States and precincts he needed them.
Regardless, Trump will be like Andrew Jackson following the 1824 election. In that election, John Quincy Adams won (constitutionally and fairly) in the House of Representatives, because no candidate won a majority of electoral votes. However, the Speaker of the House, Henry Clay, hated Jackson, and used his influence to help Adams win. Adams then appointed Henry Clay Secretary of State—a powerful position that was, at the time, a stepping stone to the presidency. Jackson and his supporters called it a “Corrupt Bargain,” although there is no evidence of an explicit bargain being struck.
Nevertheless, Adams’s alleged “Bargain” energized Jackson’s supporters—and made Adams’s presidency a dismal failure. Jackson returned to win in 1828 by a landslide (and in the first election in human history with over one million votes cast). If Trump can avoid a political prosecution from embittered Democrats and their Never Trump enablers, it’s entirely plausible that he or some worthy surrogate return in 2024 to lead yet another populist uprising.
The only problem is that now millions of voters are disillusioned with electoral politics, having been ham-fistedly disenfranchised in the 2020 presidential election. The elites have made it clear that they will never allow Trump or a Trump-like figure to win again at anything beyond the most meager of political offices. The globalists will attempt to smother nationalism and populism in their cradles, and it’s clear they’ll stop at nothing.
So where does that leave us? The traditional routes, as The Z Man notes in another recent post, are to either build a viable third party, or to take over the GOP from within. Trump attempted to do the latter, but the antibodies of the Establishment GOP rejected and undermined him, treating him as, at best, a temporary foreign monarch—an Oedipal tyrant temporarily taking the reins, but to whom the Party establishment never fully submitted.
The third party option is a seductive dead-end. Our political system is heavily structured against third party success at anything beyond the smallest levels of government (where I do think third parties should focus before swinging for the big leagues), and we’ve been conditioned to believe they’re a waste of time and votes. Also, third parties seem to appeal to wonkish nerds (like me). Wonkish nerds might be autistically addicted to what they perceive to be correct and logical, but they don’t make for good politicians. That’s why you end up with a Libertarian Party full of pagan weirdos.
Z Man points out to the need to win over upper-middle class virtue signallers—an interesting take. To do that, it’s necessary to frame arguments morally and symbolically, not logically. The failure of Buckley-style fusionism (and, sadly, paleoconservatism) is that it believes that a magical combination of words and phrases—of logical argument—can ultimately convert benighted Leftists. While I do think persuasive writing and strong logic have nurtured many conservatives, it increasingly seems that those folks were already inclined to conservatism anyway.
Unfortunately, most people don’t think logically (I certainly don’t all the time), so attracting them with strong moral arguments—while still guaranteeing their economic security—does seem like a compelling route (what Z Man calls “The Kulak Solution” after the independent peasants of Russian Revolution-era Russia). Z Man also links to a piece arguing that conservatism’s future rests in special interest groups, agitating for targeted reforms, rather than attempting to build a new party or infiltrate an existing one.
At this point, there don’t seem to be any easy answers. Z Man is advocating for conservatives to stop voting, withdrawing their support from the GOP in the hopes that the Republicans get the message that they won’t keep getting our votes simply because they aren’t the Democrats. I see the appeal of that approach, but it seems self-defeating, and like it would electorally hand the country to the Democrats. Of course, if elections no longer matter due to voter fraud, then why not stop voting?
That’s a hard Rubicon for me to cross, or to advocate others crossing. Infiltration of the Republican Party seems like the most prudent and likely approach, but Trump did illustrate that the one time it was done, large swaths of the GOP Establishment fought tooth and nail against it.
That’s why I’m renewing my focus on localism, and creating institutions (and art!) outside of the system. Why expend so much energy attempting to engage with a system that despises me, when I can tend to my own backyard, to my own garden, to my own town.
Any enduring change will start with individuals, families, and communities. For the time being, let’s focus our energies there.
Tip The Portly Politico
Support quality commentary on politics, education, culture, and the arts with your one-time donation.