Looking Ahead to Trump’s Second Term

So many articles are being written these days about the likely shape of a potential Biden Administration that it’s high time we asked the question: what would a second term for Trump look like? More importantly, what should it look like?

Given the growing evidence of a rigged election, and the fact that neither the U.S. Supreme Court, nor the Electoral College, nor Congress have weighed in on who the next president will be, it seems at least plausible that Trump could prevail while Sleepy Joe snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. If so, we can expect much gnashing of teeth among leftists. More than a few neighborhoods will be burned down, more than a few stores will be looted, but, in the end, when the leftists have cried their eyes out, it will be time to get back to the business at hand: making America great again. Here is how it can be done.

First, it would seem that, after a long period of trial and error, Trump has mostly settled on a cabinet that works for him. Bill Barr and Mike Pompeo, for instance, have been rendering good service. Moreover, leftists despise them, which is the highest possible recommendation that either man could receive.

Some changes to the cabinet should be considered, however. Trump should try to lay the groundwork for a further expansion of minority support for Republicans. To that end, there are some excellent Hispanic Republicans who potentially could be added to the cabinet, such as Brian Sandoval in Nevada and Susana Martinez in New Mexico. Both would also help Trump to bolster his support in the Southwest, which is clearly a weak area for the modern GOP.

In addition, we have a vacancy at the Department of Defense, and I would like to suggest an outside-the-box alternative to fill it: Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Manchin has been the most Trump-friendly Democrat in the Senate. His inclusion in the Trump cabinet would complete the destruction of the traditional “Southern Democrats,” who, other than Manchin, have almost all become Republicans. 

Moreover, Manchin represents a solidly Republican state in the Senate. If he moves to the cabinet, then West Virginia’s Republican Governor Jim Justice will name his replacement—bolstering the Republican majority in the Senate. If Manchin isn’t seen as suitable for the Defense Department, then perhaps he could be slotted in at the Department of Veterans Affairs or Homeland Security.

Among Trump’s most pressing tasks in his second term would be to redefine his undeniably toxic relationship with the media. Since most mainstream “journalists” (and news directors) are pathological in their Trump hatred, I suggest a radical approach. Our understanding of the “news media” must change.

Any media organization that reports negatively on the president of the United States more than 90 percent of the time—and that describes most of the print and broadcast media today—isn’t engaging in “news” reporting or journalism in any practical sense. Such an organization is dedicated to propaganda, not truth-seeking. 

Therefore, members of the Trump Administration, and Republicans in general, should stop engaging with these phony journalists altogether until such time as their editorial policies change. By denying these metaphorical bomb-throwers access to the president and to other public figures, we can create the conditions for a transformation of the “news” business.

To abet these changes, conservatives should also bring maximum pressure to bear on advertisers who support, even if only indirectly, biased journalism and slavering Trump hatred. If advertisers pull the plug on the Anderson Coopers and Rachel Maddows of this world, we will soon see a news media that sings a decidedly different tune. And, let’s face it: media bias is the most aggressive and destructive cancer currently eating away at the American body politic.

While most of Trump’s policies, from border enforcement to trade fairness, can be continued unchanged, or intensified, there is one area where I would hope to see a meaningful change of direction: fiscal conservatism. In his second term, President Trump should pay greater attention to the need to control—and, if possible, reduce—federal spending.

If we’re being honest, even before the pandemic the federal government was spending money at an irresponsible rate. Once the coronavirus started to bite, we panicked and threw piles of cash in every direction. 

Yes, some degree of stimulus was necessary, but even the United States of America has limited financial resources, and trillions of dollars frivolously spent today means trillions of dollars that we will be unable to borrow, even for a noble purpose, tomorrow. Sooner or later, lenders will say, “No more!” It’s high time that we brought our federal deficit under control.

And that brings us to Trump’s most important task of all: continuing the struggle against the deep state. As we all know, even before Trump took office, sinister forces in the federal bureaucracy, and especially in the FBI and the intelligence community, were marshaling themselves for a subterranean assault on the Trump Administration. Thanks to them, we got one overzealous special prosecutor, one impeachment farce, and dozens of planted stories designed to make Trump’s job harder, or to make members of his administration turn on each other.

Trump pushed back, and his mere survival attests to the inadequacy of the deep state’s efforts. Be that as it may, there are still entirely too many die-hard Trump haters and crypto-Marxists infesting every echelon of the federal government.

The simple fact of Trump’s (contested) reelection will motivate many of these swamp creatures to raise the white flag and retire. Nonetheless, Trump will need to press his advantage: he should keep a close eye on career bureaucrats, and he should accelerate, by every means available, the transformation of both the bureaucracy and the judiciary. 

Fact is, without such a transformation, even the most stunning GOP electoral victories will never produce lasting results. The culture of the Beltway itself has to change—which means, above all, the personnel needs to change.

In this sense, we should see Donald Trump for what he is: a sentinel against an anti-democratic, elitist plot to disempower the American people in their very own republic. Rooting out “the swamp” is the only way to defeat this plot once and for all.

In the end, it is plain that the revolution in politics and in governance that Donald Trump unleashed when he ran for and won the presidency in 2016 is not yet complete. The Left’s and the establishment’s powers of “resistance” are far from exhausted.

In his second term, therefore, Trump will need to be far bolder and more aggressive. With the loyalty and passion of 74 million Americans putting wind in his sails, there’s hope that, starting in January, Trump will be, if anything, Trumpier than ever.

And that’s exactly what we need.

About Nicholas L. Waddy

Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at: www.waddyisright.com. He appears on the Newsmaker Show on WLEA 1480/106.9.

Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

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