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It's been a tough few months for conservatives, but I figure it's time we try to get clarity on where we are, why we're here, and where we might go in the future. Yes, it will sting, but what's the alternative? Somehow or other, we must find a way at least to cope with, and at most to replace at some point, what is shaping up to become the most destructive presidential regime in American history.
That it seems to essentially be a foreign sort of thing is even more devastating. As nightmarish as it is to contemplate it, the Biden presidency appears to be the proxy regime of a high-speed Asian superpower right now transforming the United States into its vassal state. It's running the same play in other countries, too.
Now, don't get me wrong: If Planet Earth's rising Asian overlords knew how to govern with decency, deftness, respect for individuals, moderation, etc., maybe that would lessen the horror of all this.
But as it happens, the governing philosophy of these people amounts to a noxious stew of plutocracy, technocracy, totalitarianism, Orwellian pig-snobbery, oligarchy, racism, amorality, corruption, crony capitalism, feudalism/serfdom, "social credit", repression, imperialist dictatorship, fascism, communism, and probably three or four other lousy things I can't think of right now.
Trump was the bulwark against this. He ran against it in 2016. As president, he imposed new tariffs. He scuttled the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord, which he viewed as a sham that wouldn't do anything except weaken the United States economically while accelerating the growth of its aspiring controller.
But whatever his virtues, I suggest it is time for conservatives to fully accept the fact that Trump failed at the Power Game.
Yes, he faced extraordinary opposition. Intelligence agencies tried to frame him. Media concocted fabrications about him. His own administration officials regularly planted damaging leaks about him, or even undermined him publicly. Military leaders joined in insubordination against his legal orders to quash riots. The House of Representatives impeached him on blatantly specious grounds. Establishment Republicans—overtly and covertly—thwarted him whenever possible. Beltway goon George Conway decided it was more important to trash Trump than save his own marriage and provide a healthy environment for his children. Public figures pretended to decapitate him, and mocked his wife and son. Mob pressure targeted members of his administration for career ruin, intimidation and harassment, and social media "disappearance" in perpetuity.
And yet, as the soccer players say, Trump scored a lot of "own-goals". There's no way around that. And if conservatives ever hope to get back into the Power Game again, they need to know exactly what mistakes Trump made, and then, never repeat them.
Here are just a few.
Trump hired people he should never have hired, then didn't fire them when he should have. Sessions. Bolton. Nielsen. Barr. Tillerson. Mattis. Milley. Esper. Scaramucci. Omarosa. Haley. Pruitt. Wray. He even seriously considered hiring the soulless snake Mitt Romney as his secretary of state. On and on the list could go. Trump began by claiming he was only going to hire "the best people". In the end, it was Trump himself who concluded he only hired the worst people, since he so often went on social media to trash the very people he had hired.
That in so doing Trump only made himself look foolish and incompetent to undecided and swing voters didn't seem to occur to him. He also didn't seem concerned that this grating, repetitive process lowered morale among people still serving, each of whom thereafter wondered if Trump would one day trash them publicly, too.
Here's another thing. Over and over, Trump achieved something great, only to then erase the forthcoming positive headline announcing the achievement by shooting his mouth off on social media...which then became the headline, and a negative one at that. Trump would then complain that the media hadn't covered his achievement. The Twitter outbursts were often attempts at settling petty personal squabbles almost no voter cared about. Result: Most voters never heard about his great achievement, only that he was yelling at someone again. And again, this couldn't help but alienate all sorts of swing and independent voters—especially suburban women.
Trump also wasted hours yakking with inveterate Trump-hater Bob Woodward in the vain hope he could charm Woodward into liking him. He did the same with Chris Wallace and other Trump-hating reporters. He never seemed able to accept that no matter what he did, the DC Swamp Monsters were always going to hate his guts. He was an outsider, he wanted to blow up their cozy little world, he was a Republican, and the old Dale Carnegie techniques about charming people into liking you are just never going to work on DC Swamp Monsters. So why bother trying? Why bother boosting the credibility of media goons who are just going to go out and turn more voters against you?
It might be objected that these are fairly superficial errors, so let me turn to something more serious.
In the two years prior to election day, Trump repeatedly announced that Democrats were going to try to rig the 2020 election against him. He said it at rallies. He said it in interviews and tweets. If we take him at his word, he knew perfectly well an attempt was coming.
And so I ask: What was Team Trump's fraud prevention plan? What did he actually do to reduce the chances of ballot-stuffing, voting machine manipulation, fraudulent mail-in ballots, Chinese election-tampering, etc.?
From what anyone can tell, the answer is: nothing. There was no fraud prevention plan.
Most conservatives continue to give Trump a pass on this on grounds it is the states, not the federal government, who run the election process. But the fact is, Trump and the RNC could easily have helped coordinate anti-fraud measures among Republican Party machines (and Republican governors and state legislatures) in swing states. Yet they didn't.
That effort could have, and should have, coordinated legislative and lawfare swing state countermeasures against last minute changes to voting processes designed to make fraud easier. It should have initiated legislative efforts to make voting methods more secure overall. It should have sent RNC money to anti-fraud squads. It should have organized and scheduled designated poll watchers (and local media) at high-risk polling stations. It should have pushed for the abolition of computerized vote-counting machines altogether, since their vulnerability to error has been amply documented for decades. It should have organized state law enforcement supervision at all polling stations. It should have organized federal law enforcement attendance at various polling stations under the rationale they were enforcing federal voting and civil rights laws.
And last, but not least: Trump should have had a top-tier team of legal experts standing by on election night to challenge any dubious results, just in case that national anti-fraud effort failed.
But he didn't organize anything like that. Instead, as noted, he spent his time trying to get Bob Woodward and Chris Wallace to like him, rambling for hours at Covid press conferences, and, in short, all sorts of other things which just were not as important as ensuring the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.
For Trump supporters, maybe the most heartbreaking thing of all was that even with that dereliction of duty, Trump could conceivably still have salvaged victory. Overstock.com billionaire Patrick Byrne has written an entirely plausible, and perfectly frustrating, account of his own attempts to ensure election integrity after election day. What he found was a shambolic Trump legal team headed by a hard-drinking, disorganized, near-octogenarian Rudy Giuliani, who has no expertise in election law, and whose legal strategies were never going to induce a court to overturn a state vote count.
And even when he could still have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, Trump declined to replace Giuliani, declined to follow Byrne's sensible suggestions, and declined to fire White House lawyer Pat Cipollone, who by various accounts, held Trump in contempt, leaked constantly, and did everything possible to obstruct Trump's hopes of winning re-election.
It never seemed to occur to Trump that if, as he claimed, he had proof hostile foreign entities had conspired with domestic traitors to rig the election, that constituted an act of war meriting military response. We are left to wonder whether that proof actually existed. If it did, Trump failed in his first duty of protecting America. If it didn't, he wasn't telling the truth during an emotionally fraught, high-stakes time.
Add to all this Trump's inability to forge a long-term leadership coalition of competent, like-minded people united under his direction; his inability to govern systematically (as opposed to erratically or instinctively); his inability to moderate his coarse communication-style so as to be more "presidential"; and an odd passivity underneath all the vituperative language, and you have a guy who possessed some extraordinary skills...just not the extraordinary skills needed to remain in power.
Against all this chaos, Team Biden ran a highly organized, highly strategized, highly effective campaign to win. Most Trump supporters believe that effort included outcome-changing fraud; but the point is, if it did, Team Biden got away with it—and one big reason they got away with it is because of what we've already discussed: Team Trump, both before and after the election, didn't do what it could have and should have to enforce the law and ensure election integrity. They let their guard down. The Democrats saw it, and exploited that advantage. Of course they did. That's what they do. That's why they win.
And now, the weird alliance of leftist rabble and plutocrats—foreign and domestic—runs everything. They don't just control the entire United States military, the White House, the Senate, and the House: They control the universities. They control the non-profits. They control big business. They control the public schools. They control Wall Street. They control the movie studios, most of mainstream media, the book publishing houses, and the cable companies. They control Big Tech and social media. They control the newspapers, the magazines, and the musicians. They control every, or nearly every, single institution of influence in the entire country.
And they control them all, because for years, decades, they have outplayed conservatives in a million different ways in the Power Game. Trump's recent unforced errors represent only the latest spate of conservative own-goals. Conservatives have been getting their faces kicked in for a century. Every conservative "victory" for the last century has amounted to nothing more than a speed bump during a relentless slide leftward toward national dissolution.
And so, they control everything, and while the outward trappings of democracy (like elections) are currently being left in place to deceive a largely somnolent public, the real shadow rulers have seized more power than ever.
What can patriots do to retake their beloved nation?
That's a big question, so I'll take it up next time.
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