The Whole “Trumpism After Trump” Thing is Premature — He’s Not Finished Yet
November 16, 2021 ( ago)

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by Scott Greer

Republican Glenn Youngkin’s surprise win in Virginia inspired a deluge of takes. Liberals claim it shows white Virginians are racist. Conservatives say it augurs a Red Wave in 2022. And one of the favorite takes on both sides of the aisle is that the election shows the GOP moving beyond Donald Trump.

A number of conservatives went a bit further, arguing Republicans no longer need Trump and the former president only serves as dead weight on the party. “It’s time for the GOP to move beyond Trump the candidate and figure out preserving the Trump policies voters embrace,” Erick Erickson argued. “The GOP can win, just not with Trump himself moving forward. His voters will have to decide if they want him or his policies. With the former, they’ll get nothing. With the latter, they could get everything they want.”

“The new conservative movement is finally bigger than Trump,” radio host Matt Walsh tweeted. “It cannot go back to revolving around him again. We will destroy all of this work and all of these gains if it does. It will all be for nothing if it reverts back to being merely a Trump fan club.”

“Trump is so over,” Ann Coulter declared.

National Review editor Rich Lowry at least acknowledged that Youngkin could not have won without “MAGA voters.” But he insists that Youngkin earned their vote without any help from Trump, proving that the party can dispense with the former president.

In other words, the conservative commentariat says it’s time to dump Trump. There was a similar consensus in 2016, and we all know how that went.

There are two different factions that want a Trump-free GOP. There is the old Never Trump guard that wants to return the GOP to the pre-Trump era. They want a party that acts like Paul Ryan and upholds Business First attitudes. On the other side are those who want Trumpism without Trump. They like the populist policies Trump advocated for, but feel he failed to implement them and is too toxic to win in 2024. They want someone more respectable to carry the torch.

In spite of their policy disagreements, both sides agree that someone new should lead the party.

This idea makes sense on Twitter, but it’s not shared by the majority of Republican voters in the real world. Every single poll on Republican preferences for 2024 puts Trump well ahead of the competition. A Harvard CAPS-Harris poll released on the same day of the Virginia election showed 47% of GOP voters prefer the Donald as their presidential nominee. No other name even broke double digits. Trump’s numbers among Americans in general are also strong. Most recent polls show him beating Joe Biden in a rematch.

Trump continues to hold massive influence within the party itself. No Republican candidate in a tough primary wants to be seen as the guy “moving beyond Trump.” Every serious GOP candidate insists they are a huge Trump supporter and beg for his endorsement. Just look at Glenn Youngkin.

Youngkin presented himself as a loyal Trump supporter ahead of the nominating convention in May. He didn’t ignore Trump or attack Trump—he embraced him. This helped him secure the nomination and led to Trump’s endorsement, which unified the party ahead of the election. We all know that Youngkin kept Trump at a distance as he campaigned in the general election. But the candidate never once criticized his patron and said he would happily back Trump in 2024. That’s not quite moving beyond Trump. That’s simply being tactical in a state Trump lost by 10 points.

In competitive primaries throughout the country, candidates present themselves as proud Trump supporters. A Trump endorsement for a candidate is likely to scare away challengers. We can see this in the Georgia Senate primary. Several serious candidates, including two former senators and a popular congressman, eyed the race. But they refused to jump in over the foreknowledge that Herschel Walker, a close Trump friend, would run. They all knew that they could not hope to win the primary against someone with Trump’s full backing. That demonstrates the continuing power of the party’s true leader.

Things are not going well for those who wanted to get rid of Trump. Two of the 10 Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment retired due to their poor re-election chances. It’s expected more from that group will follow. All of the remaining ones face competitive primaries. Even Republicans who want to get rid of Trump still play nice with him. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell absolutely hates Trump and even considered voting for his impeachment after January 6. Now the Kentucky senator says he will support him if he’s the GOP nominee again. So much for moving beyond Trump.

Much of the hope in a Trumpless GOP lies with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. People believe that he is the one who can make Trumpism without Trump a reality. They even believe DeSantis can challenge and defeat Trump in a Republican primary. DeSantis’s fans, however, overlook how much the governor’s popularity depends on Trump. DeSantis always praises Trump and even imitates his mannerisms. Watch a DeSantis speech and see how much his movements resemble Trump on the stump. He follows Trump’s act closely.

If DeSantis did challenge Trump in 2024, he would lose. DeSantis lacks Trump’s charisma and magic before crowds. DeSantis often looks down at notecards and repeats carefully crafted lines. Trump whips up massive crowds for 90 minutes with off-the-cuff remarks and politically incorrect jokes. DeSantis lacks the name recognition and star power. The base does not see him as the leader—Trump is their leader.

The key issue with moving beyond Trump is there is no one to replace him as the central figure. The suggested alternatives lack the charisma and the populist instincts to take over from Trump.

There are issues with Trump’s electability, but people often forget the main problem here.  It’s not due to his controversial remarks or his actions while in office. It’s the fact that he’s unpersoned. Trump can’t have a Twitter or Facebook account. Videos of his speeches get taken down from YouTube for violating its dubious “Terms of Service.” This censorship can be extended to TV networks refusing to run his ads and financial institutions cancelling his accounts. There’s even the chance venues would refuse to host Trump rallies due to regime pressure. It’s hard to run a 21st century presidential campaign when you’re banned from every single social media platform, payment processor, and TV station.

This will likely make Trump’s base more loyal to him—but it will also decrease his chances of re-election. It’s short-sighted to look at this situation and conclude that the best thing to do is to run Ron DeSantis. There’s something fundamentally wrong with our system when it can unperson the President of the United States. It may be better to run Trump and show the regime to be a sham rather than hope a more presentable candidate wins with a watered-down platform. What good is a democracy if Google and Facebook can veto Republican party nominees?

Trump wants to run again, but he knows the hurdles he faces. Even if he ultimately decides against it, he will still loom large in the party. You can expect several candidates in 2022 to beg Trump to rally for them. A 2024 presidential field without Trump will likely resemble primary contests right now. Every candidate will tout their Trumpist credentials and emphasize how much they liked him as president. Whoever gets the nomination will depend on Trump’s support to unify the party and win the election. He will still be the central figure of the party until a candidate is selected at the 2024 convention. And that candidate is favored to be Trump.

Unless a worthy successor rises to the throne in 2024 (or 2028), it’s still Trump’s party.

Scott Greer is the host of the popular Highly Respected Podcast



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richard margarit
14 days ago

I’m in the process of writing a book and if you have time I would like to talk to you at your convenience on Skype or FaceTime. Richard Margarit

14 days ago

I highly respect this article. Very high IQ take.

Undieturd (@frankstiles)
14 days ago

Citing lefty articles and Liberal polls to support your premise, proves nothing. Its been that way for 5 years! The real issue is the rancid, necrotizing rot festering within the old GOP. Its dying like a homeless addict under a bridge, terrified to save its own very existence by grafting into MAGA.

14 days ago

If you still believe in the Cowardly Liar aka Toxic VAXX PUSHING Traitor aka Trump you Deserve Everything he is doing to you, Trump and Biden are Killing us all and the US Military are TRAITORS allowing it to happen.

14 days ago

Matt Walsh is unfortunately a slave of the Ben Shapiro organization.
And Shapiro is a fraudulent, neocon, RINO Marxist who wants Marxists to control America.
So Matt has to parrot the Shapiro company anti-Trump line

13 days ago

These republicans all live in D.C. and New York, places that are 95% democrat. They are surrounded by democrats but their livelihood has them supporting the right. They still want their fancy NYC and D.C. dinner parties and events but they all are dying to be accepted by their Democrat friends and everyone surrounding them. That’s why they can never embrace being fully right wing. When they say they want a respectable republican it means their friends and family want republicans to be respectable good boys and girls that are merely a few inches to the right of democrats. For years they’ve survived by saying “I just prefer lower taxes and personal freedom, thats it, and Romney/McCain/Bush are decent kind people”. They could say that for years and still keep some of their friends. They couldn’t do that with Trump. Trump was the real litmus test. He made you embrace being right wing.

13 days ago

I Suppose I’m a deplorable rube but I will vote for, and financially support, Donald Trump. Is he perfect? No way. He is better than any conceivable opponent. Trump was a blast of fresh air in our sordid political system.

What is this belief that Facebook, Google and Twitter control the population’s information. Does anyone beyond halfwit brains get their news from Facebook and Twitter?

Mark Simmons
13 days ago

First of all … Ann Coulter would’nt know her butt from a hole in the ground, who in their right mind listens to that loon? As for Trump, he made America a great place again, so show me someone, anyone better? The GOP is nothing but a piss stain on America’s bed sheets. I honestly can say that I like about 80% of Trump. I cannot say I like any other GOP person in double digits. “TRUMP WAS PLAYED” on this vaccine, the left (who I give credit for having their act together way better than the clowns in the GOP) had this vaccine all along (Fauci and China) they just needed a stooge to present it to the world … Enter Donald J Trump. And he fell for it. He owns ” introducing” this killer to the world, but the left created it and knows its a bad vaccine but don’t care because for them its all about control. Climate change, as also this vaccine are all designed for a evil take over.

Kevin Klein
13 days ago

Nice Info But to Simply use the terms; Unperson, Facebook, and Google as reasons to consider others…. Balderdash.
MAGA Started with a Fearless Leader…
We want our Best General on this Unperson Battlefield…
Trump 2024 Desantis as VP.

Nick Solari
13 days ago

No, we want Trump.

13 days ago

Trump is still the only viable MAGA candidate, but he lacks the skills to build a true MAGA movement that operates not just in terms of rally turnout (his forte in retail politics) but also putting together a legislative majority and the ability to clean out the Deep State stables and corrupt judges. This is a huge reform agenda that needs to be prosecuted with discipline and courage and requires significant widespread organizational support with consistent messaging and several Tsar-type stars beyond Trump himself.

Can he build such a beast? That is the question. Up to now, and given his two impeachments and stolen election and banishment from social media, have to say ‘no.’ Could he? Maybe, but thus far it doesn’t look like he even has a vision for such a thing let alone an intention to try to bring it about.

Race Bannon
13 days ago

The Republican Party is supposedly for personal and fiscal responsibility and less government. There have been very few politicians that have championed that since the 60’s. Barry Goldwater is the gold standard of the modern conservative. However, Barry Goldwater was as charismatic as Les Nessman. Regan, took Goldwater’s ideals and effectively communicated them to a voting public. Regan had very little support from congress, but “did a lot with only a little”. Regan changed the brand. He made it look prettier and more acceptable, but also had results. His results made the party more acceptable to the American public even with bad presidential candidates. Since Regan, The Republican Party has had a slew of RINO’s. The Bush family, Paul Ryan Romney, McCain — all zeroes as Republicans, and all big govt/deep state guys.
Now comes Trump:
1. He immediately puts RINO’s in their place and tells the public the truth about them. (Did we really want Jeb Bush to run against Hillary).
2. He aggressively went after Hillary and put her in her place with not that much money. (I will be forever grateful to this man for beating Hillary)
3. He then goes to work like a manager. No other president that I can recall worked as hard as he did. He did this as the media, the federal government and the opposing parties were attacking him.
His results were mind blowing, and his opponents knew it. What he did was that he tapped into liberty. Liberty and free will are the only virtues that can tackle and win against evil and the will to be taken care of. Yes his rhetoric was obnoxious, but everyone looked at each other after they heard his comments and with a wink and a nod to others — he is right. Lastly, he made government look easy. If they really think anyone else has the Winston Churchill charisma to win the big one — Good Luck.

Conor handley
13 days ago

Wow what a big brained piece. Scott must have a 187 IQ or something

fat boyz
13 days ago

Trump IS the reason for all the $#it going down. He cowardly left the White House without protecting our country from foreign and domestic enemies after the election was stolen. He also is behind the killing of masses of people by promoting a deadly jab. WAKE UP CONVERSATIVES HE’S ONE OF THEM. Ever hear of good cop bad cop?

Black Label
13 days ago

We really don’t need another Judas Dump presidency.

Carol Bogosian (@10540)
13 days ago

Donald J. Trump in person is who must lead, not disembodied zombie Trumpism which would quickly become diluted and lost in the swamp of imposters. I just pray he doesn’t get the third jab.

13 days ago

Trump is still running the show.

13 days ago

funny they talk about all the gains conservatives have made, but who did that, no one could but Trump and now they want to bench him, not going to happen, conservatives know who we can trust and it aint those saying get rid of Trump. Trump 2022 reinstate before our old frail demented bumbling president destroys our country from within.

Matt Richardson
13 days ago

If the governor didn’t attack parents right before the election, he would have won the election. VA flipped because of gaffs. Trump is a King Maker right now.

Undieturd (@frankstiles)
13 days ago

(11/16) FBI raided the home of Mesa Cty. election official, Tina Peters, taking all her electronics.

Robert Billeaud
13 days ago

Trump will be 78 in 2024. He’s no political Tom Brady. Time to step aside and let a younger man or woman take the lead. Look at it this way, at some point he’s not going to be able to do it any more. Better to groom a replacement now rather than later. Have a good replacement ready and in place lest the Dems gain an advantage by having a leaderless GOP.

13 days ago

This author is correct- conservatives who live America want Trump back. Only a handful of idiots don’t because they get money from China

13 days ago

Lets run a Republican candidate that is acceptable to Dorsey, Zuckerberg and Google. (lol)

Yes, Trump didn’t get as much done as he could have in his first four years, but who could under the circumstances? He didn’t know the DC Swamp, but he does now.

Will DeSantis be able to withstand what and who will come after him should he win the Presidency? Not a chance.

Trump 2024 is a reckoning.

If he is denied by anyone but the voters, the United States is finished as a Democracy. IMHO

13 days ago

The usual suspects, Lowry, Coulter… Trumpism without Trump’s guts is RINO. BTW, the one who is “so over” is Coulter.

13 days ago

For me, it’s Trump or DeSantis 2024. The rest of the worthless gutless GOP can go pound sand.

Donald Holland
13 days ago

What would make you think DeSantis wouldn’t get instantly deplatformed the instant he was nominated? All the TDS hate would just transfer to him. Or any other Republican nominee.

13 days ago

I hope he stays on the sidelines coaching.
Trump is a blunt instrument.
He was a symptom of, and a part of the solution to
The reality that existed before him.
He was effective and necessary.
He turned the tactics of the Left, back on them.
In an over way vs. the covert way they do it,
But the tactics are the same.
And it was very refreshing seeing someone finally
Fight fire with fire.

If he runs again though,
it will be about Trump the person,
Not about principles or policies.

I wish that were not the case, but there is no way to avoid it.

I love Lefist tears, but to make any lasting progress,
We need a Reagan or a JFK or a Churchill type
To soothe and embrace the terrified snowflakes
Off the ledge of irrational fear
Whether it is COVID, Trump, White Supremeicists, or Domestic Terrroists, etc.

The only antidote to fear is hope.
That is what I hope the Republican President in 2024
Brings to the table. It’s a lot to ask
One hell of a hard job, being kind, funny, fair but
very firm, taking no shit and suffering from no delusions
about reality.
I love Trump for what he is and will vote for him again if he is the nominee,
but he is who he is and he, only with the help of the MSM,
will terrify the Emoltionalist Left.
Which will only make them even crazier and more radical,
It will create solidarity via nothing but Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Ron Desantis might be a candidate,
only one I’ve seen that looks promising at all anyway

We’ll see…

JGalt1776 (@pandrew858)
13 days ago

Also, the “totally organic” DeSantis-Stans on twitter have created a meme-culture of pure cringe.

13 days ago

good article

13 days ago

Trump seemed to have his mistakes(criminal justice reform, not withdrawing from Afghanistan sooner) but every other candidate has those problems or worse. Desantis would be more likely to get U.S. in war with Iran or try to do regime change in Syria. As for Trump’s picks, most of the foreign policy people he picked opposed his America First agenda and his picks did not get better over time. He went from neocon H.R. McMaster to neocon John Bolton who both supported the forever wars. I don’t care any about Youngkin winning. He supports removing the Robert E Lee statue and opposes the Texas abortion bill. I don’t see how electing people like him is a step in the right direction

13 days ago

The man will be 78 in 2024.
We already know what a 78 year old in the White House looks like….

13 days ago

If he runs in 2024 he needs to not try to do the platinum plan, american dream plan, Trump pride, and all the other leftists coalitions he put together in 2020. The RNC pandering is so bad. The convention was like 50% black with all these speakers whining about the crime bill. Trump should follow the Sailer strategy like in 2016. I really, really, really wish he didn’t hold that stupid log cabin republican thing at mar a lago. The republicans take advantage of their socially conservative voters just to stab them in the back every time. I don’t know if he could win again, but it would be funny for him to get back in office after the capitol storming.

David Robinson
13 days ago

I hope the Youngin thing is a ‘give’ to keep the illusion of a ‘fair’ election going. I don’t really trust the guy myself, but at least they know our NUMBERS

Youngboy better
13 days ago

We love Scott

12 days ago

The Never Trumpers whether they are the openly professed type or the ones still in the closet are declaring Trump is over, it’s time to move on, yada, yada, yada. It’s just a new version of the same old never Trump song. We don’t trust you guys because we gave you chance after chance and you stabbed us in the back. Trump is still needed to be the verbally abusive, bomb dropping, flame throwing bombastic guy that drives all the Dems and RINOs into making mistake after mistake, and to hire the people with the savvy to make good policies. DeSantis’ time will come. Meanwhile he is needed to make Florida a beacon of freedom for the rest of the U.S. and the world. Trump 2024!!!

12 days ago

We need exposure on this because Meadows is selling a book about himself being a great American and this story tells me he is a sell out to the Chinese Communist Party !!!. ,

12 days ago

The RINOs are

12 days ago

When Trump first entered the primaries in 2015 and they had debates with 9 other Republicans on stage, all of the other ones (Cruz, Rubio, Jeb, Rand, Kasich) had their own version of the same Republican orthodoxy “pioneered” by Reagan, who before Trump was considered the patron saint of the Republican Party. Trump has since replaced Reagan as the “idol” of the GOP. As an under-30 male, my boomer mom and all her relatives of the same age or older worship him. His word is sacred to them, he’s the only one that they trust unequivocally.

Regardless of if Trump runs again or not, he’s the new face of the GOP. All politicians who run for office (especially on the national stage) will run on some copy-cat version of his 2016 platform (with minor aesthetic changes of course).

Ultimately, it may take a while (10, 15, maybe 20 years) before another figure comes along that has the bravado, the swagger, the charisma, to move forward new issues against an the current orthodoxy. Which leads to a greater point that ideas themselves cannot manifest into the real world just by how valid and good they may be (immigration moratorium, pro-white culture, saving western civilization, trust busting). Only a true leader with power and sway can push ideas.

10 days ago

The RINOs want a Mitt Romney clone.

Stephen Triesch
2 days ago

Tonight (Sunday, 11/28), Mark Levin devoted his whole show to an interview with Trump, focusing on Trump’s new book. This might seem like an odd point, but Trump’s quiet voice and demeanor (believe it or not), his love of country, his humor, and his basic grasp of issues, stood in stark contrast to the clamor and chaos of the left, the ugliness and/or phoniness of corporate holiday ads, and the inanity and debility of Joe Biden. If Trump could maintain that demeanor if he returns to the campaign trail, he just might have a chance in 2024.

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