Michael Flynn for Vice President

Much has been written about the absolute travesty that was the case against General Michael Flynn from the very beginning. Arguably he was the first victim of the vast deep state plot against the Trump Administration, and to this day remains perhaps the most deeply wronged of all the Trump associates who have endured the wrath of the swamp.

Carter Page, though harassed, ultimately was not charged. George Papadopoulos served a mere 12 days in prison. Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, on the other hand,  were found to be legitimately guilty—albeit of financial crimes committed years before the 2016 election that had nothing to do with the original accusations of “Russian collusion” or the Trump campaign.

With the exception of Roger Stone, no other associate of the Trump campaign has been forced to endure such an obscenely long legal battle for absolutely no crime whatsoever. Like Stone, Flynn was only ever accused of a process crime that never could have happened were it not for the bogus and politically-charged investigation. That makes the Justice Department’s dropping of the charges all the sweeter. But this is hardly over.

There have already been plenty of suggestions for Flynn’s next course of action. Many will say that he should sue the government for the wrongful charges and the subsequent legal battle that utterly drained his personal finances, even costing him his home. Others will suggest that he also file a lawsuit against his original defense team, Covington & Burling, which horrendously botched his case and almost sent him to jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

A Righteous Return

But while these legal options and pursuits of financial compensation would certainly be a start, there is one avenue that would be even more fitting, would send a far more powerful message, and would truly serve as justice for the wronged general: A return to the Trump Administration.

President Trump was even asked about such a possibility at a press conference on April 30. In a rather bold statement for such a controversial matter, the president did not rule out the possibility of bringing Flynn back if he was exonerated.

That exoneration has just occurred.

But what position would be the most fitting? Simply returning as National Security Advisor would not be enough. Some have suggested that Flynn should replace Christopher Wray as director of the FBI, since not only has Wray proven woefully incompetent, but because no one would have a stronger motivation to clean out the Hoover Building from that swampy stench than Flynn.

But there is one position through which Flynn can have all the power he needs to truly spearhead the process of draining the swamp, not only at the FBI but throughout the whole Washington deep state apparatus. This position would not only have institutional power, but it is a position that brings with it the blessing of the American people.

President Trump should make Michael Flynn his running mate in the 2020 presidential election.

Trump-Flynn 2020

The idea is not at all far-fetched. There was, in fact, mainstream media speculation that then-candidate Donald Trump would pick Flynn as his running mate in 2016. Selecting Flynn to be vice president for the second term would make sense for a lot of the same reasons it did in  2016.

For one, Flynn is a registered Democrat, who even served in the Obama Administration as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. This was one of the main reasons his early support for Trump in 2016 stood out among all of the other endorsements Trump had earned prior to the convention. The Irish Catholic Flynn is a quintessential moderate Democrat, one of the last surviving remnants of the long-gone era of the Blue Dogs.

As such, his selection would be further proof that President Trump has truly shaken up the traditional left-right paradigm that we have known for decades. It is a phenomenon already seen throughout Europe, and the fault lines have been visible here in America ever since 2016.

President Trump bucked the traditional orthodoxy of both parties with his first run for president, challenging previous Republican ideas on such issues as trade, foreign policy, and infrastructure, which also generated crossover appeal among disaffected Democratic voters. These were the policy positions that appealed to many Rust Belt voters who ultimately gave Trump the presidency; most of them, like Flynn, are or were nominal Democrats.

Secondly, a Flynn selection would reinforce President Trump’s commitment to bringing in political outsiders who can initiate true change in Washington. Aside from his intelligence stint for two years under Obama, and then his brief tenure as national security advisor, Flynn has not held any other political office, and has never run for office.

But Flynn’s military background provides enough reassurance that he has the leadership and decision-making experience necessary for the job, and his status as a three-star general will naturally command respect among the vast majority of the Republican base, as well as many moderate Democrats.

Everyman’s Man

But there is one reason above all others why President Trump should make this decision. Flynn’s legal battle is symbolic of the eternal struggle between a large government that is drunk on power, and the common man simply trying to make a difference.

The deep state tried to bring down Flynn with all of its wrath, and only failed because of its own hubris. The charges against Flynn were ultimately dismissed because evidence had emerged proving that the FBI agents in charge of his case, in their sheer arrogance, had kept notes confirming that their intention was to make him lie so that he would be fired and prosecuted. They were not sloppy; they just genuinely did not care if this evidence ever saw the light of day, for they believed themselves to be untouchable. Such is the state of big government today, especially in the “intelligence” community.

It has been said many times before: If they could do this to a three-star general who served in the highest positions in the intelligence community, then they could do it to anybody.

They’ve already gone after civilians such as Page, Papadopoulos, and Stone, with absolutely no remorse and no signs of slowing down their rampage. And for what purpose? To punish such men for challenging the establishment, for daring to attempt to initiate change, and for daring to support the man who has presented more of a threat to the status quo than any other president in modern history.

Opposition to a bloated and tyrannical government should be bipartisan. This is even more apparent in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, where even as the spread of the virus is finally slowing and many Americans are eager to return to their normal lives, Democratic governors and various bureaucrats are determined to keep their boots on the throats of the people, with judges and police officers at their disposal. Those who would jail a salon owner for simply trying to make enough money to feed her children are cut from the same dirty cloth as those who would attempt to destroy a decorated veteran’s life simply because he has the wrong political beliefs.

In that sense, Vice President Mike Flynn would be just as much of a populist as President Trump, for he has undergone some of the harshest treatment at the hands of the government any one man has seen in our lifetimes.

Mike vs. Mike

Of course, it must be acknowledged that such a move would be historically unprecedented. The last time an incumbent vice president was replaced in an election was 1944, when Franklin Roosevelt’s second vice president, Henry Wallace, was taken down at the convention by Democratic party leaders who ultimately succeeded in replacing him with Harry Truman.

Mike Pence has been a fine vice president, taking the lead on such key initiatives as North Korean diplomacy, the formation of the Space Force, and, most recently, the coronavirus task force. The selection of Pence as the vice presidential nominee in 2016 was a smart and calculated decision, aimed at locking down Evangelical voters and more conservative Republicans who were unsure of the more unconventional Trump, while also balancing out the ticket with someone who had plenty of government experience.

Obviously, President Trump has since proven his own conservative credentials independently of Pence. His presidency has been scored as even more conservative than Ronald Reagan’s by a considerable margin, according to the Heritage Foundation. President Trump has also made significant strides in numerous socially conservative causes, from sweeping protection of religious freedoms to becoming the first sitting president in history to address the March for Life in person.

One key objection that may be raised to the idea of replacing Pence with Flynn is the fact that one is indirectly responsible for the other’s firing. As confirmed by Trump himself, Flynn was ultimately let go from his position because he did not tell Vice President Pence the full details of his phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

While this is true, if strict loyalty was all that mattered, Pence would never have been vice president, either. It has been all but forgotten that on the eve of the 2016 Indiana primary—the deciding contest in the Republican primaries that finally secured the nomination for Trump— then-governor of Indiana Mike Pence endorsed Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

But just as Trump was able to forgive and forget with Pence, so too has he clearly forgiven and forgotten whatever past problems he had with Flynn, and rightfully so.

Defining 2020

The selection of Flynn as Trump’s running mate would make it beyond clear which issue would dominate the election, and it is the one issue on which President Trump by far has the most to gain.

Conventional wisdom would tell us that President Trump ought simply to run on the strength of the pre-coronavirus economy, and the promise that the economy will be at least partially rebuilt before November. This is a strong bet to make, since many voters, especially independents, tend to vote with their wallets, and President Trump consistently receives much higher marks on this issue than Joe Biden.

Others may suggest that, as a result of the virus, the issue of the campaign should be China; this would also be a safe bet, since voters similarly rank Trump as far more likely to be tough on China than Biden. It also gives President Trump bragging rights, since he has been consistently warning about the danger of China dating back to the 1980s. Moreover it provides a strong basis for arguing in favor of stricter trade policies, and bringing American manufacturing and supply chains back to America, in a move that would be the very epitome of “America First.”

But selecting Flynn as vice president would instead make 2020 about a far greater issue; an existential crisis that, like immigration, has been creeping up behind us for decades without us even knowing it: The rapid growth and stunning power of the deep state.

The monstrous government forces that have been waging war against Donald Trump for five years have exposed themselves and their thirst for power more blatantly than ever before, displaying nothing but arrogance and self-righteousness in their efforts. They have shamelessly hunted down dozens of civilians, ruined lives, and threatened the very fabric of our republic in doing so. They have essentially tried to undo the results of an election simply because the man who won wanted to reduce their influence and return power in this country back to where it truly belongs: in the hands of the people.

In terms of strategy alone, this reframing of the political conversation would be pure genius: President Trump could portray himself, alongside Vice President Flynn, as the underdog despite being the incumbent; a two-man wrecking crew against the monstrosity that is the deep state. It would also allow him to perpetually be on offense, pushing back against the powers that be and forcing new revelations every day; in any political situation, just as in any debate, if you are ever on offense, you are automatically winning.

But most importantly, selecting Flynn and making 2020 a referendum on the existence and power of the deep state would present Americans with a clear choice regarding the single greatest existential crisis facing our country since the Cold War.

With Trump and Flynn representing one side, and with the other side represented by Joe Biden—the man who was vice president during the administration that set this long train of abuses in motion—voters would be presented with a truly black-and-white decision the likes of which we have never seen before: Vote for the deep state to remain in power, or vote to give power back to the people.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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