Trumpism—that collection of America First policies that President Trump first enunciated in 2016—can save America.
But will it?
That’s by no means certain. It’s now up to the Republican Party, an organization with an uncanny knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Voters certainly backed Trumpism, even if (and it is a big if) it turns out they rejected the man. That fact is uncontestable however contested vote counts are resolved.
The president increased his vote totals over 2016. Voters rejected down ballot Democrats with the GOP gaining at least a dozen seats in the House and poised to hold the Senate.
Record numbers of blacks, Latinos, union members, and blue-collar Americans marched to the polls and voted GOP, many for the first time.
Some 55 percent of Florida’s Cuban-Americans, 30 percent of Puerto Ricans and 48 percent of “other Latinos” backed Trump, according to exit polls.
At the same time, about 26 percent of black men who had a high school diploma or less supported Trump, as did 22 percent of black men with bachelor’s degrees and 20 percent of black men with advanced degrees. Some 1-in-3 black men living in the Midwest also voted for Trump—many of whom are likely to be union members.
The “Blue Tsunami” was a frail old man’s piddling dribble.
So, what is this Trumpism that Americans chose over what the Democrats are offering?
Bring jobs and industries back to America. End our reliance on Communist China and build American supply chains instead of “global supply chains.” Buy American and hire American.
This is so indisputably popular that Joe Biden, the man who never met a free trade deal he didn’t love, made “Buy American” a centerpiece of his pitch to voters.
Given the choice, millions of Americans chose economic nationalism over globalism. Forget free-trade dogma—defend American workers and businesses against the predations of a global corporate oligarchy. Do what’s good for American citizens rather than what’s good for “the global economy.”
America’s voters believe in countries and national sovereignty, not in submission to the alphabet soup of transnational authorities such as the WTO, WHO, G20, OECD, and so on.
They chose to restrict immigration to end the downward pressure on American wages.
They believe in rule by elected representatives rather than by a permanent state bureaucracy and judges accountable to no one.
They chose to end the military adventurism of endless wars that drains our blood and treasure and destroys tradition and cultures here and abroad. Make our allies pay their fair share for their defense. They recognized “America’s leadership role in the world” is fancy talk for making America the “policeman of the world,” and said, “No thanks.”
They know we must rebuild America rather than embark on nation-building projects around the world.
They feel in their gut we must break up the monopolies that control our media, technology, and economy and have an undue influence over our society and government.
They rejected the neo-Marxist ideology of race and gender identity and stood up for American national identity, Western civilization, Judeo-Christian culture, and traditional values of God, personal responsibility, and inalienable rights such as freedom of speech granted by our Creator, not the government.
They spat out the poison of ethnic and gender identity politics, open borders, unbridled free trade, and permanent government dependency the Democratic Party is peddling.
For the first time, millions of voters—many who had never voted before—saw the GOP as the party of working people rather than the country club set. They recognized the Democratic Party as a coven of professionals—financiers, academics, tech entrepreneurs, government bureaucrats, and credentialed elites.
Whoever embraces the philosophy of Trumpism owns the future. More will come into the fold. Can we say the same about the Democratic Party’s ideology? Will the Biden coalition survive without the Orange Man glue that held it together? Unlikely.
The Republican Party can grow by championing the policies millions of Americans have shown they want. It could retake the House in 2022, hold the Senate, and keep the White House in 2024.
Paul Ryan and his neoliberal friends—those who consistently lose elections—hope to go back to the status quo ante in a post-Trump era. Analysts are already saying Biden could find common ground with Republicans leading the Senate on trade policy—that is, trashing President Trump’s tariffs and his America First trade agenda.
To do so would mean restoring the policies of the uniparty Washington establishment that voters have always known acts for its own benefit to the detriment of the rest of us.
The GOP has the opportunity to remake America, remake American politics and benefit in the process.
The only thing standing in the way is the GOP itself.