Anyone who’s remotely honest would tell you that the 2020 Republican National Convention was an unparalleled triumph. The truest measure of this is in the response from the avowedly Democratic propaganda apparatus that poses as a free press. By the final night, after Donald Trump’s long acceptance speech and a fireworks display that will be replayed for years to come, the most the media could do was complain about imagined Hatch Act violations.
This was not the sort of production we’ve come to expect from the Republican Party. Jokes went around during the Democratic National Convention that since Harvey Weinstein went to prison, the left’s production values just aren’t what they used to be. There was simply no competition between the two conventions in terms of aesthetics. The Democratic National Convention was a dank zoom call in a dingy warehouse with few signs of life. Ritualistically masked attendees, when attendees could be found, didn’t look like people, but rather a legion of shelled Daleks, right down to the demand for total conformity and obedience, none the least among themselves.
In contrast, the Republican National Convention was a mix of the intimate and the opulent, taking place largely in the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, with its aesthetically pleasing Classical Revival architecture, complete with flags in the background. For the main events of nights two, three, and four, we were transported to the Rose Garden, Fort McHenry, and the South Lawn, all with cheering spectators that looked like humans instead of Daleks – a much-needed dose of normality and not the COVID-hysterical “new normal” that neuters our individuality and connections with one another. While the Republican National Convention had the aforementioned stunning fireworks display, its Democratic counterpart was more akin to a Fourth of July picnic, except all the picnickers were unseen because they were cowering in their cars, while the candidates could barely be seen either under their dull masks.
In terms of content, there was also no contest. The Democratic National Convention was an incoherent cacophony of social shaming, Year Zero deconstructionism, and a simultaneous attempt to hide that agenda by having political apparatchiks and celebrities talking about how good of a guy and nonthreatening Joe Biden is, even as American cities burned and neither he nor anyone else said a word. In contrast, the Republican National Convention was an aspirational, uplifting story of the American promise. To carry on that theme, the party brought out a host of Americans from all walks of life. There were workers from the Midwest, a fisherman from Maine, and an army surgeon-turned Catholic nun. There was a Democratic mayor from Minnesota’s Iron Range, an area critical to Trump’s effort to flip the state that he barely lost in 2016 and which hasn’t voted Republican since 1972. There was Vernon Jones from Georgia, a Democratic state legislator that received scorn from his party by voicing his support for the President, but eloquently outlined Trump’s record. Alice Johnson talked about the mercy Trump showed her in freeing her from prison and helping others get second chances, too. People like Johnson and Jones could have a major impact, as any movement for Trump and Republicans amongst black voters would keep traditional red states in the Sun Belt safe while severely complicating Democratic efforts to regain the Rust Belt. Additionally, there was Maximo Alvarez, a Miami businessman who fled from Franco’s Spain and then Castro’s Cuba, who gave a dire warning about Communism and the subversive forces that now control the American left. This was another key point. Trump is already making inroads with Hispanics, a move that could be crucial to victory in Florida, flipping Nevada, and keeping Texas, Georgia, and Arizona red for the foreseeable future.
The Republican Party also showed off its rising stars. Daniel Cameron, the youngest and first black Attorney General from Kentucky, gave an eloquent rebuke to Biden’s record while talking about his belief in American greatness. Then there was Madison Cawthorn, the soon-to-be youngest member elected to Congress in centuries. Paralyzed, he nevertheless made a point of standing up for the flag instead of kneeling in submission. It was arguably the most powerful visual of the entire convention.
The grand finale, of course, was President Trump himself. His speech lasted over an hour – perhaps it was a bit too long in this age of sub-minute attention spans, but that was another mostly fake complaint from a fake media. No one can say that the speech wasn’t worth watching. It was simultaneously an offer to the electorate he had before then been missing and a succinct rebuttal of his opponent’s long record of being wrong on everything, exposing Biden’s empty, “Orange Man Bad” offer to the electorate. The ending of the speech summed it all up:
Together, we are unstoppable. Together, we are unbeatable. Because together, we are the proud CITIZENS of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. And on November 3rd, we will make America safer, we will make America stronger, we will make America prouder, and we will make America GREATER than ever before! Thank you, God Bless You. God Bless America — GOODNIGHT!
I recommend looking at it in its entirety and listening to it. It’s a good launching pad for the Republican Party platform in the new political party system.
The fact is that this is now, unarguably, Donald Trump’s Republican Party. Did you see any of the alumni from the Bushes, McCains, and Romneys of the world at the 2020 Republican National Convention? No. Any that showed up did so at the Democratic National Convention instead, further illustrating the realignment I predicted would happen toward the end of Stumped. That’s not the least reason that the Republican convention was so good and the Democratic convention was so bad. As far as I’m concerned, I’ll trade Vernon Jones for John Kasich and Minnesota Iron Range mayors for neocon warmongers any day of the week. If the radical left wants to ally themselves with perpetual losers, that’s fine by me.
These are but a few signs that, love him or hate him, win or lose in November, Donald Trump is the most consequential figure in the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan. Ironically, this comes in large part because Donald Trump rejected some parts of Ronald Reagan’s legacy. For 30 years, every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the Party tried to fill Reagan’s shoes and inevitably failed. Donald Trump, rather, followed the 41st of Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power and set out on his own path, blazing a new trail.
There’s no doubt that the new trail he blazed saved the Republican Party, even if he loses in November. Before President Trump took that famous escalator ride in the summer of 2015, the Republican Party was on track to become what it is in California and New York – a source of sinecures for a dwindling section of non-woke (or less woke) elites and a vanity project for those elites who want to entertain themselves with political campaigns, maybe with a smattering of local officeholders. The party faithful were none the wiser, content to write their white papers, recycle the decades-old Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley quotes that made them feel good, and join the outrage mob whenever they were called “racist.” Some of them were even fine with losing because they were largely benefiting from America’s hollowing out amidst a rising tide of Marxist subversion.
And then Donald Trump came and changed everything. In his instinctual, if sloppy way, he laid most of America’s unmentioned socioeconomic problems bare, wasn’t afraid to challenge elite hypocrisy, and understood that to be on the right was fundamentally to be a counter-revolutionary.
If you’re looking to Donald Trump for deep philosophical thinking and governing discipline of the kind you’d see in Theodore Roosevelt, you’re looking in the wrong place. He is not that, nor is he an Abraham Lincoln-type leader that can unify the country and completely rescue it from darkness (though he has certainly been hampered in that capacity by an unprecedentedly hostile media that long ago abandoned any pretense of objective journalism). Nevertheless, Donald Trump has been true to his assigned role. He is the force that destroyed the old, obsolete, Sixth Party System once and for all. He has taken out the fading dinosaurs in the former Republican establishment. Even Mitch McConnell, that scion of the old paradigm, has hired Nicholas Sandmann as part of his grassroots team, knowing that he has the populist credentials to reach voters. The lone major force for the old pre-Trump establishment in the Republican Party, and who its remaining members are putting their hopes on as a quiet last ditch effort to retake the party post-Trump, is former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. She is shrewd enough to not “upset the Trump base,” according to People’s Pundit Daily editor Richard Baris. In her forthcoming 2024 presidential bid, she can’t dare to pretend that President Trump never happened, but she will try to subtly move the party back to status quo ante-Trump. At any rate, she won’t succeed Trump as the party’s standard-bearer, try as she might. It’s notable that her speech was considered one of the lowlights of an otherwise spectacular convention up and down the card. That tells you everything. Now, we mustn’t be complacent. It won’t be easy. There is a long and entrenched cohort in the party ranks – the infamous “Conservatism, Inc. white paper class” based on libertarian fundamentalism that will desperately try to protect its territory. They will want to drag the party back regardless of Haley’s predictable failure. Nevertheless, events have with them their own momentum, and these are the ways the winds are blowing.
President Trump is not a Roosevelt or Lincoln-type figure, but by breaking the party out of its 1980s state of suspended animation, he has paved the way for such characters in the future, the ones that can evolve and improve his platform without the drawbacks of his double-edged sword personality. The Republican Party bench (sans Haley) is promising and there is an entire new generation of grassroots thinkers, who to quote David Azerrad in his article in The American Conservative, “understands not just ideas, but power.”
But how should this platform evolve? We must first understand that the new Republican Party’s constituents will comprise primarily workers and some college-educated entrepreneurs, with a smaller group of younger mischievous personalities and entertainers that populate social media and certain messaging boards. Traditional Republican voters, like postgraduate, highly-paid professionals in corporate America and other fields, were trending Democrat for a while, but accelerated under Trump.
One of Trump’s unexpected gifts to the Republican Party was that this new coalition, true to form, defied the predictions of big media pundits in that it made the GOP potentially more appealing to minority communities. He already outperformed Romney and McCain with black and Hispanic voters in 2016, and there is more than anecdotal evidence that he will increase his vote share with these groups in 2020. We don’t yet know where the cookie will crumble, but there is a reason why Joe Biden’s campaign is nervous about this. NBC’s Chuck Todd, a very willing footsoldier, wouldn’t say as much on live TV if it weren’t true. Biden’s connection with those groups is historically weak for a Democrat. Yet, it’s not surprising to me. I spoke about this very thing in Stumped. It’s been known for a long time now that minorities that vote Democrat are actually much more conservative than their white counterparts. They are more religious. They typically populate lower-paying professions or own smaller businesses. Shockingly, they aren’t even as concerned with race as white Democrats are. It’s more than notable that white Democrats are far more in favor of the latest woke cause du jour – defunding the police – than their minority peers.
I have known about this rift for a long time, which is why I’ve been predicting the fraying of the woke coalition since 2014. This passage in my forthcoming book, Lives of the Luminaries, sums it up:
It is dismaying, but unsurprising, to see a statue of Frederick Douglass toppled by the mob on July 4th weekend, 2020. This event should have erased any lingering doubts, among whatever doubters may have been left, that the wave of unrest seen in the aftermath of the George Floyd incident has nothing to do with black lives or even with police practices. It has instead been a useful springboard to launch a cultural revolution to establish an American Year Zero, with the blessings of an odd assortment of Marxist “intellectuals,” brainwashed, self-hating, and otherwise disillusioned affluent kids (who are mostly white), self-victimizing minorities, and opportunistic celebrities and plutocrats. This coalition of the woke doesn’t strike one as being sustainable for the long term, but I need not tell you the damage it has caused to America and the world over the past decade.
It shouldn’t be surprising in the least that minority workers and entrepreneurs have more in common with white workers and entrepreneurs than they do with the far whiter upper professional class and plutocrats. This broad coalition, based on economics, as Tucker Carlson often says on his hit show, is what truly frightens America’s ruling elites, who use endless smoke and mirror acts to prevent it from forming. Identity politics hysteria and Marxist Kabuki theater are the best ways for them to protect their monopolies (at least for now), and they know it.
In the next installment of this series, I’ll explore the prospective new, Seventh Party System Republican platform and what its consequences might be.
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