The War on Trump Continues

We are living in a political war the likes of which this country has never seen. Politics is always filled with lies and deceit. This is something different. The society-wide use of political narratives, gaslighting, and disinformation designed to confuse and disorient the American people is unprecedented. Now add to this the indictment of President Donald Trump on charges relating to classified documents—documents he had the unilateral constitutional authority to declassify at his own discretion—and we see the weaponization of government taken to new lows. 

Let us first state the obvious. The presidency of Donald Trump revealed to the American people the corruption of our ruling class with striking clarity. Trump also revealed the nature of our enemies abroad. Because President Trump had the courage to stand up against both the political and financial elites who run the United States and the malfeasance of the Chinese Communist Party, a war was waged against his presidency, the American people, and our way of life. 

For millions of Americans who believe in liberty and who believe this country can be saved—namely, the MAGA movement—Trump embodies the manly principles of independence. These Americans want Trump to be president again. 

The War Against Trump 

That Trump would even run for president again seems fanciful. The Durham report released in May reveals an American intelligence community that was well organized and determined to advance a sophisticated disinformation campaign against him. This campaign was not unlike those the U.S. government runs against foreign enemies of the United States. As a matter of high government policy, the Obama Administration disseminated falsehoods about Trump and the Russian government to undermine his chances of winning in 2016 and, after he won anyway, to bring down his presidency and undermine the political agenda for which he was elected. 

These were not rogue actors behaving contrary to agency policy. These were the leaders of the intelligence community from CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch. They established among intelligence operatives, the large number of so-called journalists that fancy themselves part of their apparatus, and members of Congress like Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) the false narrative that Donald Trump was somehow a traitor to his country. 

Trump mistakenly believed that his focus on rebuilding the American economy and relying on the Republican establishment for support would be sufficient to win him reelection. This served him ill in his bid for reelection in 2020. The American Left had established a narrative—which is to say, a lie—and were disciplined in its propagation: Donald Trump was a racist and a Russian agent of influence, they insisted, so anything, and everything, should be done to ensure that he was not reelected. This narrative was advanced by an army of radical leftists from Antifa and Black Lives Matter on the ground, to George Soros and Mark Zuckerberg and a network of dark money organizations, some associated with the Chinese Communist Party, financing multiple independent operations to ensure that the changes in the election laws allowing for the universal use of mail-in balloting—changes that were on their face unconstitutional—could be exploited for maximum advantage. That this was a Marxist-style revolution was plain for anyone with eyes to see. 

Add to this that COVID-19 came out of nowhere, created, it would appear in retrospect, for the political effect it would have on the United States. That COVID-19 could have been part of a political war against Trump by the Communist Chinese was ignored by the intelligence community and the mainstream media. This despite the fact that in May 2019, Communist China, through its People’s Daily, had declared a “People’s War” against the United States. 

The reason for the People’s War was that President Trump, in his negotiations with China over trade, had demanded that the theft of American intellectual property cease immediately. This theft amounted to roughly $600 billion annually or $6 trillion over the past decade. China’s Communists believe it is their right to steal such intellectual property from us and that President Trump demanding otherwise amounted to an act of war. Within six months of that declaration, COVID-19 was spreading throughout the world. In another six months, the world would be locked down, profoundly altering the American political landscape. Donald Trump, an American president who had established his political popularity through the use of large-scale citizen rallies, would now have his campaign relegated largely to the tender mercies of a news media that stood in opposition to him and had already decided he should be removed from office. 

With America in lockdown and its major cities on fire due to race riots, Americans were asked to believe that Joe Biden received almost 12 million more votes than did Barack Obama at his most popular. This, despite the fact he did not campaign and was surrounded by political supporters who believed America was a racist and immoral country, should defund the police, and that open borders—and a wave of illegal immigrants—was the only just policy to remake our society. 

It requires a special kind of self-deception to believe that platform could have been a game-changer for so many Americans. Indeed, this is among the reasons 60 percent of the American electorate believes the 2020 election was stolen. Claims of a thorough investigation and showing election fraud “thoroughly debunked” are pure gaslighting. The Left openly boasted about an industrial level effort on the part of dark money groups to manufacture votes for Biden. 

Is Trump Electable? 

Some of what I have laid out might seem disqualifying. Who should run for president with the whole world standing against him? Who should run for president when one’s own party appears completely incompetent to challenge the radical Left? Who indeed? 

In one sense it doesn’t matter whether Donald Trump wanted to run for re-election or not. The American people wanted him to run. For his people—the MAGA movement—he is the only thing standing between them and destruction for the American way of life. 

President Trump’s framing of his political beliefs into the simple phrase, “Make America Great Again,” is far more than a slogan. As the political scientist John Marini has argued, it is an indictment of the progressive elites who occupy our government, our universities, the entertainment industry, Wall Street, and the news media. Moreover, it signals a fundamental shift in our politics: the rejection of the Progressive idea itself. 

President Trump articulated what common sense already told most Americans: that their lives would not be happier managed by an army of bureaucrats, that American security is not dependent on maintaining endless wars abroad, and that American jobs and the prosperity of the American middle class are good and important things. Trump not only believed these things, he laid out concrete steps to make them a reality. 

Trump’s power is not so much intellectual as it is visceral. Put simply, his supporters believe that he is on their side. He is on the side of the working man, the forgotten man, the American who wakes up in the morning and goes to work to build a better future for his family. That is what “Make America Great Again” is all about. It was a defense of the American way of life, as Thomas Klingenstein has argued. To abandon Trump now is to abandon the people who were moved by the MAGA movement. At one level it would be a betrayal. At another it would just be bad politics. 

The MAGA movement today has all the energy in American politics, made more so by this indictment. President Trump has captured the imagination of millions, perhaps tens of millions, of Americans who were not part of American political life for the past two decades. They are only engaged in American politics because of him.

 Are There Alternatives to Trump? 

Only one person, of course, stands as an alternative to President Trump: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He is indeed a good man and is the governor of an important state. DeSantis wishes to lead his country to recover American liberty. And he has proven in Florida that he can advance policies for the betterment of the working men and women of his state. His defense of American families and his keen desire to check the corrosive effects of woke corporatism are to be applauded at every turn. What the governor lacks is an understanding of the moment we are in and the power and loyalty of the MAGA movement. 

The American people know Trump. A substantial portion of the American electorate loves Donald Trump. They watched him for 20 years on his television show “The Apprentice.” They saw him as president of the United States. They saw their real wages increase. They saw peace and prosperity. They saw a president making good on his promise to stop illegal immigration. They saw a president unapologetically on their side against the mainstream media and Communist China. 

The same cannot be said of DeSantis. He is not a household name and the American people do not have decades’ worth of experience knowing him or what he thinks about a variety of issues. Whatever the appeal of his résumé, none of it translates on television or even in speeches. And his campaign announcement on Twitter was misguided in a number of ways. 

DeSantis believed by using Twitter he was speaking to the American people, which was his first huge mistake. In truth, he was speaking to and through the tech oligarchs who have done so much to corrupt American freedom and our ability to communicate honestly with one another. Witness Twitter and Facebook’s cooperation with the intelligence agencies of more than one country to manipulate Americans’ opinions. 

DeSantis wanted to give the impression that Big Tech and social media were on his side and that they would help magnify his message as he seeks to win the Republican nomination. But Elon Musk’s fortune is dependent on the acquiescence of the Chinese Communist Party. His multi-billion dollar Tesla investments in China are held hostage by them. It is entirely unclear how far Musk and Twitter will go in allowing DeSantis, if he is indeed their preferred candidate, to present an America First agenda that is at odds with his Communist Chinese overlords. 

After running against President Trump in the primary and especially after the federal indictment, why would DeSantis believe he could win over the millions of voters in the MAGA movement? Even if Trump dropped out today, how likely is it that the MAGA base will embrace DeSantis? Even with all the great things he has done in Florida, and even if he is the future leader of the Republican Party, who is Ron DeSantis to the MAGA movement if he will not stand with Donald Trump now? 

Trump Without the Baggage 

But wouldn’t DeSantis be “Trump without the baggage?” This is a naïve way of looking at things. What baggage exactly are we talking about? If it is the lawfare being waged against Trump at an unprecedented level by the Department of Justice and New York state officials, that is a fair point. But what makes people so sure no lawfare will be waged against DeSantis? Is the governor somehow immune from this form of political warfare? 

If by “baggage” the governor’s supporters mean Trump’s stance on a variety of issues, that is a different matter altogether. DeSantis and Trump share similar if not exact views on illegal immigration; that means they will both be called racist. They are both pro-life and pro-family which means they will both be “alienating” the ever elusive suburban white woman. There are differences between them, to be sure, but DeSantis is not so much “Trump without baggage” as “Trump without MAGA.” 

In any event, if DeSantis supporters think the array of Marxist dark money groups that are already in operation throughout the country will not turn their guns on the governor because he is not Donald Trump, they are fools. 

If there is a genuine difference between DeSantis and Trump, it is that President Trump stands alone and apart from the network of Republican donors who are more than happy to make their peace with the oligarchs on Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and in Communist China. Ron DeSantis needs many of those donors if he is ever to win the presidency. President Trump does not need them. 

It is worth stating that the first term of the Trump Administration was not perfect. That is perhaps the reason DeSantis is running. Having to rely mainly on Republican Party operatives, Trump was unable to build a team of people to challenge the administrative state, let alone dismantle it. These failings were decisive in the handling of Russiagate and then with the response to COVID-19 in submitting to Anthony Fauci and the CDC’s outsized influence. 

The absence of genuine MAGA defenders at the cabinet level undercut what Trump might have achieved as president. Much of what he did achieve—and those achievements were substantial—was in spite of the actual agencies that made up his government. Thankfully, these lessons appear to have been learned. Efforts on a number of fronts to build a new administration that will be both principled and capable are well underway. 

The Road Ahead 

It must be said, however, that the odds of a Republican winning in 2024 and into the future are slim. The task is not insurmountable, but very difficult to be sure. No one should have any illusion otherwise, despite very favorable polls for Trump. There is a multibillion dollar political machine at work on behalf of the American Left, and aided by Communist China, which does not want to see an America First president in the White House. That political machine has a near lock on the six swing states Trump lost in 2020.  

There is every reason to expect the 2024 election will be run just like the 2020 election. Indeed, it is likely to be conducted in an even more ruthless way simply because left-wing elected officials at both the federal and state levels, having crossed so many lines in pursuit of power, cannot risk a restoration of the rule of law. The political Right—most especially the Republican National Committee—has not built a political effort to ensure a fair election is possible. Whether one can be built in time is yet to be seen. 

This indictment of President Trump was an act of intimidation. It was not designed to uphold the law but to twist it for a political end, namely the demoralization of the MAGA movement and the removal of President Trump as a political candidate. The indictment was also geared toward those within the Republican establishment who oppose the MAGA agenda and seek an alternative in DeSantis, Pence, or Christie. They will point to President Trump’s legal problems as evidence that these candidates should stay in the race, even when there is little support for them from voters. 

If the country was in good health politically it would be fine to have a heated primary. We are not. The country is coming apart and the time grows short in which we will be able to fix it. If it is going to be fixed it will not be by the Republican establishment, specifically current elected officials and the RNC. They would be more than happy to see Trump lose again. 

Common sense would dictate now is the time to unite behind President Trump since he is the one man that has a chance of bringing enough political forces—most especially the MAGA movement—to bear on the crisis at hand. This will require organization the likes of which we have not seen before on the political Right. And it will require the blessings of Almighty God on the American people that they will rise up against the dark, demonic forces that have enveloped this world and corrupted so much of this country.

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About Brian T. Kennedy

Brian T. Kennedy is president of the American Strategy Group, chairman of the Committee on the Present Danger: China, and a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute. Follow him on Gettr and Truth Social @BrianTKennedy. The views expressed here are his own.

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Notable Replies

  1. The country is coming apart and the time grows short in which we will be able to fix it. If it is going to be fixed it will not be by the Republican establishment, specifically current elected officials and the RNC. They would be more than happy to see Trump lose again.

    Amen! The Republican Party is dead to me.

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