Monday, July 31, 2023

                                             July 31, 2023


MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey


What Would A Second Trump Term Look Like


In a column published at my blog site and elsewhere this past June 24, “The Return of the ‘Great Disruptor’ – Donald Trump,” I offered reasons why I believed Donald Trump would not only garner the Republican nomination for president in 2024, but why much of the criticism directed against him and his candidacy, mostly from other GOP candidates and various “NeverTrumpers,” was largely ill-founded. I urged support for him because I believe he would be the necessary radical tonic needed to dislodge the managerial and administrative elites who now largely control the American nation, and thus begin a painful, but required process—a veritable counter-revolution—to salvage what is left of this country and just perhaps recover some of the guiding principles and beliefs that once informed the republic.

Two of the major objections to my arguments—certainly the most frequently repeated—I addressed briefly in that earlier column: First, that Trump cannot win the 2024 presidential election, that is, he is unelectable. The reasoning goes that he would lose college-educated voters and, particularly, upper-middle class females, as well as independents, put off by his personal hijinks and legal woes. And without them, in the general election, he would lose to Joe Biden, despite Biden’s apparent weaknesses and the electoral shenanigans of the Democratic Party. So, the argument goes, the GOP needs to select another candidate, either a DeSantis, or a Mike Pence, or a Tim Scott, someone who doesn’t bring that baggage to the table and could win in 2024.

Second, and perhaps a more substantial criticism is that Trump’s record of appointments during his first term left much to be desired. Indeed, that a number of crucial appointees named by him to positions within his administration, including some high level policy advisers, actually undercut and sabotaged his announced programs and initiatives. In some cases, not just privately, but publicly they opposed an America First agenda. Nearly all of them can be classified as “neoconservatives” and globalists. The list of those malefactors is unfortunately fairly long, including such individuals as John Bolton, “Mad Dog” Mattis, Jared Kushner, Mike Pompeo, Elliott Abrams, Mike Pence, and Nikki Haley, to name only a few in the upper echelon who occupied positions of authority and direction (and not counting lower-level administrative personnel). Certainly, most of those appointments were recommended by members of the Republican DC establishment and found sinecures due to President Trump’s initial desire to work with the GOP establishment and cement his surprisingly successful candidacy with party regulars.

That strategy of inclusion and party “unity” was a disaster to the Make America Great Again agenda, but, rather, produced various roadblocks and the uncompletion of Trump’s promised agenda. The question, then, for many on the Right this time round is: would a second Trump term resemble the first one, with an ambitious agenda compromised by a dubiously loyal staff?

Just recently two reports have appeared that answer in large part questions suscitated by these objections.

First, new extensive polling demonstrates that Donald Trump enjoys increased support from college-educated and suburban voters, polling better with those groups than Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis’s key argument was that he was “Trump without the bravado,” a calmer and less controversial—and thus more electable—version of the Donald. He could bring over college-educated voters and independents, voters who Trump scared away.

But a report published by The Washington Examiner (July 27, 2023), using June data from Echelon Insights

…shows a significant increase in college-educated support for Trump, surpassing 50% from people with bachelor's degrees. Trump's support surpassed the group's support for DeSantis. While DeSantis is preferred by a notable percentage of those with bachelor's (42%) and graduate (40%) degrees, Trump boasts a 10-point lead among the latter. The former president is also preferred by 46% of those with graduate degrees.

College-educated voters have not historically been Trump's chief constituency. In fact, he was able to beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election with just 29% of his support coming from voters with college degrees.

While Trump doesn't require significant backing from this demographic, expanding support from them has allowed the former president to maintain his lead over GOP competitors, even if they chip away at some of his base.

The second report, first published by Bloomberg News (July 21) indicates that President Trump has taken significant steps to avoid the personnel issues and unfinished or undercut agenda items left incomplete from his first term. An analysis of his programmatic “Agenda47” plans reveal that he apparently has learned from the mistakes made during his first term, and he has now surrounded himself with solid, credentialed talent from the populist, MAGA Right.

The Bloomberg report, despite its hostile tone, deserves to be quoted at length:

If Donald Trump returns to the White House in 2025, he’ll bar babies born in the US from automatically claiming citizenship, ban transgender people from the military, hold elections for school principals and swiftly end the war in Ukraine…. His plans, shaped by a group of firebrand allies from his first term, also include ousting scores of civil servants in the national-security and law-enforcement establishment and ordering the Justice Department to criminally investigate his predecessor.

…Trump has started to go deep in his own policy weeds. Many of his proposals would likely face court challenges; others would be difficult to pass through Congress. “He is throwing down a lot of policy and nobody is picking it up,” Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon, who is once again advising him, said in an interview. “There’s a bunch of think tanks, three or four working groups, and a number of other vectors all coming together. The second term is being put together right now.” 

A coterie of aides and informal advisers from the fringe [sic!] of the Republican Party are advising Trump on his policies. They include Roger Stone, who recently traveled on Trump’s plane with him to Iowa; Michael Flynn, the retired general who was briefly Trump’s national security adviser; Stephen Miller, the former Trump adviser who championed his most aggressive and controversial anti-immigrant measures; and Bannon….

If he wins in 2024, Trump is expected to end all federal prosecutions of himself and his supporters and advisers. At the heart of the Trump policy-development process are two aides and former White House speech writers, Vince Haley and Ross Worthington. They are assisted by think tanks formed by Trump administration alums including the America First Policy Institute — stacked with former officials including Larry Kudlow, Kellyanne Conway, Brooke Rollins and Keith Kellogg — and the Center for Renewing America, helmed by former top budget official Russ Vought.

One of the former president’s allies called AFPI the Trump world’s shadow government…. [A]lso involved, including John McEntee, Trump’s former body man turned head of White House personnel. McEntee spent his final months of the administration trying to root out officials deemed insufficiently loyal.

The policies Trump and his team are drawing from the former president’s own anger toward so-called “deep state” bureaucrats he believes stymied his first-term ambitions, as well as [from] hostility among White conservatives toward education and social movements intended to support racial diversity and gender identity.

Trump recently told a conference of far-right moms that he’d do away with the Department of Education entirely and have parents elect principals. Trump says he’d ask Congress to pass a law recognizing only male and female genders.

He also wants to increase tariffs on China by the billions, deploy the US Navy to help fight drug cartels and build more of the wall between the US and Mexico that his first administration couldn’t finish.

Former Trump economic adviser Steve Moore said he’s scheduled to meet Trump soon to brainstorm ideas for contrasting his economic record with Biden’s. Moore says Trump should zero in on how much middle-class families’ bills have risen under Biden due to inflation.

Trump says he would immediately “settle” Russia’s war in Ukraine, without elaborating. In one video, he calls it a “lie” that “Russia represents our greatest threat.”

Trump’s 2016 campaign was guided more by his own instincts, but his 2024 run is a better-managed affair, including professionally produced, presidential-looking policy videos, shot at his golf clubs, that are catalogued in a section of his campaign website called “Agenda47.”  Trump would be the 45th and 47th US president if he’s returned to the White House.

“Never before in the modern era have you had someone looking to take the White House that has such a firm set of policy objectives,” his senior campaign adviser Jason Miller said in an interview. Former Trump officials say he’d issue a fresh executive order taking aim at bureaucrats believed to be so opposed to his policies that they would quietly thwart his directives. Trump signed an order in October 2020 creating a class of federal employees called “Schedule F” that would have no civil service or union protections, making them easier to fire. President Joe Biden rescinded it.

“I would be shocked if two-thirds of non-political appointees in the Justice Department are not forced out in the first 100 days” after Trump returns to office, Bannon said. “There’s going to be a purge of this corrupt apparatus. These radicals inside Justice, FBI, and CIA are going to be gone.” 

Reading the Bloomberg report one can fully understand the abject terror, fear and horror of the Left and establishment Republican/conservative elites, as well as their determination to “get Trump” by any and all means—"lawfare,” election manipulation, use of the 14th Amendment to disqualify him as having engaged in sedition, rebellion, and treason…any method, any action, including very possibly outrageous imprisonment, and if President Trump should emerge as a real threat to Deep State dominance, could we see an attempted assassination?

It’s happened before.

After all the virulent, hysterical and unbridled hatred of the 45th president knows no bounds, and nothing is off the table. All the more reason to become informed and to be vitally involved in efforts to assure election integrity.

2024 may well be the year that determines if the American republic can survive, much less recover.

  June 10, 2024   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey   North Carolina’s Mark Robinson and the Uncontrolled Rage of the Left ...