by Rod D. Martin
December 27, 2019

After Trump: What Conservatives Need, the Likely Field, and What It Will Take to Win

We’re starting to have a very interesting potential 2024 field, between Ron DeSantis, Don Jr., and Ted Cruz. DeSantis is of particular interest, in that he’s everything conservatives love about Donald Trump and more (including the willingness to fight), but without the vitriol (or the pre-presidential scandal). Cruz will have a massive national base from the outset, eight more years of hard-won wisdom, and will look a lot better on camera than he did in 2016 (thanks to the beard). Don Jr. may not want it, and might not sell, but I wouldn’t bet heavily on either of those things.

I think Marco Rubio is going to have a very tough sell in 2024, though I think he’ll be very well funded if he wants to be. I think anyone who is either to the left of Marco or squishier than Marco is going to be a nonstarter (though many will try). Lindsey Graham 2.0 is an interesting outlier, because he could appeal to the RINO wing but has done a decent job of pulling in conservatives with short memories.

Net assessment: the Party in 2024 may not want — and will not get — the kind of bomb-thrower they’ve had since 2016, but they’re not going to return to the pusillanimous, treasonous past. At least not willingly: they might get fooled. But they won’t get fooled — or rolled — as easily as they once were. 

Three years in, Donald Trump — however improbably — really has remade the Party, in exactly the direction we’ve fought for all my life.

The question is, can any of these guys win? And the answer is yes, IF:

1. We become the party of the working class — something only Reagan and Trump have accomplished in the last century — and continue in that vein (which means either convincing or jettisoning the Martha’s Vineyard Republicans who led us into the ditch in the first place).

2. We get rampant voter fraud under at least some degree of control, both actual ballot fraud and the human ballot stuffing of illegal immigration.

3. We defeat the National Popular Vote initiative, which seeks to de facto abolish the Electoral College, thus handing every national election to the tender mercies of the people of about four leftwing metro areas and their elections officials.

4. We field a candidate who does better with suburban women than President Trump (any of the aforementioned candidates should be able to, even Don Jr.). This is going to become more important over time.

5. We continue (as one recent article put it) “surprising black voters by seeking their votes”. Ditto for Hispanics. Both constituencies can, should, and naturally ought to be largely Republican because they’re already largely conservative: they’re just constantly told (evilly, deceitfully) that we hate them. Moreover, it doesn’t take a majority of either group to completely upend the Democrats. And it’s just the right thing to do.

6. We keep the internet giants from censoring all (or most) conservative content.

Four other things that ought to go without saying, but which I’m going to say for those of you from Rio Linda:

7. We stick to our platform come hell or high water. The time for “says x in the district, does y in the Beltway” is over. 2016 was the Flight 93 Election. We’re still on that flight. Candidates are either part of the solution or part of the problem.

8. We defund the left. It is crazy that your tax dollars pay for $50 million in political spending — all on Democrats — by Planned Parenthood each year. It is crazy that the left gets thousands of other obvious subsidies from federal, state and local tax dollars that our side never will. Level the playing field: make the Democrats pay their own way just as we have to, and watch their support dry up.

9. We run compelling candidates at all levels. Presidents can’t do diddly alone; and indeed, President Trump may flip every single U.S. Court of Appeals to constitutionalist conservative in the next five years, but only if he can hold the Senate. He won’t hold the Senate if we run a bunch of Jeff Flakes and John McCains.

And finally:

10. We get results. We know conservative policies work. But if we water them down, or accept self-defeating “compromises” that make them of no value, the public won’t see the benefit and will eventually try something new. And by “new” I mean Socialism, the bane of the 20th Century (and Cuba and Venezuela today).

How do we win? Fight. Be savvy. Stick to our principles and make them work. Take away the other side’s unfair advantages. Run candidates who get it. And constantly grow the map.

The country feels as though it’s on the Socialist brink, for the very good reason that it is. It doesn’t have to be. Donald Trump proved that in 2016, when it seemed far more inevitable than it does now.

A high-quality presidential field is beginning to take shape. But that won’t be enough. For the next several years, we’re going to remain on Flight 93. On 9/11, that flight’s target was the Capitol. We’re going to have to stay every bit as focused, and every bit as courageous, as the heroes of that day if we want to deliver this country safely from those who would finish it off.

But if we do, we can win not just the next election or the next, but the national debate itself, however improbable that may seem today. And in so doing, we can usher in an era of hope, growth and opportunity such as the world — and even America — has never seen.

Fight on.

After Trump: 2024 Presidential Predictions originally appeared as a Facebook post by Rod D. Martin.