Trumpism without Trump?
By Wayne Allensworth
The redoubtable Ann Coulter’s theme of her latest series of campus tours has been “Trumpism without Trump.” Miss Coulter told an audience at The University of Texas-Austin, for example, that she was happy Trump had lost a narrow election, as a second Trump term “would have killed us.” Trumpism—the America First platform Trump ran on in 2016—hasn’t actually been tried, said Miss Coulter, but she believes that we could get Trumpism without the erratic, inarticulate man himself, whose term in office was not only stymied by the Deep State and the MSM’s relentless attacks, but by the people he foolishly chose as advisors. People, after all, are policy.
She mentioned Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis as a 2024 candidate who would fit the bill as a “Trumpism without Trump” leader.
I’ll venture a guess that Coulter’s views are similar to those of a lot of Trump’s critics, including myself, who have seen him as a transitional figure, someone who opened the door for a genuine patriotic movement. He is not, however, the leader we need to take it from here. From that point of view, it’s better if Biden wins—so challenging the election results would be counterproductive.
I sympathize, but we need to consider a few problems with that idea.
First, this was hardly a free and fair election, a point I made earlier. Do we really want the anarcho-tyrants to get away with brazen fraud? Miss Coulter has also seemed to question the election results and mocked the Dems for their reluctance to concede past elections (here and here).
Second, why should we believe that the next election will be any freer or fairer than this one? Does anyone believe that the anarcho-tyrants will suddenly get religion, and having walked all over us, decide to play by the rules next time? Challenging the election results is simply a matter of defending what is right and just. We can’t walk away from this fight.
Third, after years of hearing our people described as a mass of demoralized couch potatoes, a real Middle American resistance is beginning to take shape. Last weekend, the Deplorables were out in large numbers at “Stop the Steal” rallies across the country, and there was a massive turnout for the “Million-MAGA March” in Washington, DC. Our people are mobilized and want to fight what may be the biggest political theft in history. They do not want Trump to concede.
It’s a mistake to think that all those who have protested the stolen election are defending Trump as a personality. As a commentor wrote here, “We are not just or mainly fighting for him. We are fighting for ourselves, our families, friends and what remains of this once great nation against this whole rotten establishment. This is not one we can give up on.” If we back down now when it really counts, as Conservatism, Inc. has done time and again, we could lose the Deplorables once and for all.
Fourth, if we can defeat this attempted coup, it might disrupt, even fracture, enemy lines, and undermine their morale, giving our side room for maneuver. We can build our movement from a position of strength, not attempt to rise from the ashes of defeat.
We should have no illusions about what is ahead of us. Win or lose, we are in for a serious fight. Now is the time to organize and prepare for the struggle to come. If we walk away from this fight, we may lose more than a political battle. We may lose a golden opportunity to begin forging a genuine patriotic mass movement.
That movement, whatever we call it, will be Trumpism without Trump.
Wayne Allensworth is a Corresponding Editor of Chronicles magazine. He is the author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, and a novel, Field of Blood.