It is absolutely clear now to all but the most ideologically infected or close-minded automaton that the prosecution of President Donald Trump for various levels of malfeasance in regard to his handling of records seized by stormtrooper agents of Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice is just the latest, and most egregious attempt to “get Donald Trump.” It comes after the implosion of the failed “Russia Hoax,” two utterly obscene impeachment efforts, a series of January 6 “show hearings” (which would make the East German Stasi or KGB envious!), and various harassment trials over purported sexual miscues (like the accusations against Justice Kavanaugh, financed by big Democratic Party billionaire Reid Hoffman).
Since Trump’s shocking and unsuspected election to the American nation’s highest office, virtual panic has taken hold not just of the Left, but also conspicuously of the establishment Republican elites, supposedly on the Right. For decades these elites, both the managerial Left and the establishment conservatives, have considered their sinecures and positions of power over the rest of us to be untouchable, and their authority theirs by right. They have formed a kind of self-perpetuating oligarchy, an exclusive Uniparty, and simple citizens, no matter whom they may be, have no right to question its right to control our lives, not just politically, but increasingly via the incestuous partnership with national and international finance corporatism (including the electronic media giants).
One only gets access or elevation to this new elite by making the proper obeisance, mouthing the “correct” messages, appealing to the “correct” financiers and corporate managers, and effectively accepting a certain template and a resultant narrative. There are, of course, some variations which are permitted: one can be a Republican or claim to be a “conservative,” and utter from time-to-time the banal and increasingly stale talking points which are supposed to indicate that a candidate is a “conservative,” or a “constitutionalist,” or “favors lower taxes.” Such affirmations usually occur during fevered election campaigns and are meant to assure and soothe restive voters that candidate X really does represent constituent wishes and will fulfill campaign promises once in office.
Of course, after election, the charade is over for nearly all those candidates, as they slide seamlessly into the embrace of the DC Swamp and begin to “suckle at the teats” of the managerial state. Few there are who dare oppose this immense cabal, for it has the power not just to exile dissenters but effectively silence them. Thus, we have the current example of a Marjorie Taylor Greene who is treated as something of a “wingnut,” mostly shunned by Republican elites.
This brings us ineluctably to the election of Donald J. Trump in 2016, and the near-hysterical, laser-like, and abiding hatred of him. For it is understanding that hatred and those efforts to “get Trump” that in so many ways explain what is occurring in the lead up to the 2024 presidential election: the unceasing efforts using the courts, employing the media, using bare-knuckle politics, to discredit and defeat him, and possibly to imprison him, to stop him by any and all means….
And that is the major reason that Trump should be supported for 2024. Not because of his failings (about which more a little later), but because he represents existentially a real and present—identified—threat to the dominance of the managerial oligarchy which essentially controls our nation. And he does this almost uniquely, far more than any other candidate in the Republican stable (most of whom are considered “manageable” by the Establishment). The unhinged Left (i.e., almost the entirety of the Democratic Party) and Never Trump/Establishment elements of the GOP understand this threat more profoundly than even many of Donald Trump’s nominal supporters, and it literally scares the hell out of them.
I have argued before in several essays that I was not sure to what extent President Trump fully understood his role in what has become, in my view, an epochal and perhaps final battle for the future of the American nation. In 2016 I suggested that his positions came from his intuitions and his instincts, and weren’t really formed “political” or “ideological” perspectives. They just seemed logical to him as a businessman as he viewed the Swamp from the outside. And that also would in part explain reasons why, when he became the GOP candidate and then president, he listened to Republican apparatchiks and attempted in his own way to bring about unity of the party, something traditionally that party candidates did. That effort, as we can state, was probably the most unsuccessful and destructive aspect in his first term, for many of his counsellors and appointments (e.g., Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, “Mad Dog” Mattis, Nikki Haley, et al) did their damnedest to undercut and stifle his announced positions and programs. And perhaps his own initial political naivete’ compounded matters, as well.
Yet despite some frustrated initiatives, some uncompleted programs, and frequent internal administration sabotage, Trump achieved something that no president in a century had accomplished: he forced the fangs of the fearsome managerial state out into public view for the first time.
Back in 2016 I first argued that Donald Trump’s role was akin to a “bull-in-china-shop,” to break the taboos of the Left and the managerial elites, and, at best, to force the maniacal establishment to lower its mask which for decades had occulted its actual intentions and its progressive infection of our society’s historic institutions with a virulent and fatal venom. That infection had been percolating for years, it had near total control of our educational and academic institutions, it largely dominated our entertainment industry, it controlled most of our media, and it had forced an iron-clad template on our politics…that is, until Trump came upon the scene.
As he spoke mostly off-script during the 2016 campaign, he gave voice to the fundamental views of regular citizens, that broad swathe of folks which Hilary Clinton called “deplorable,” and who now are denominated “MAGA.” Those rumblings, those views, previously had been mostly unexpressed on a national level; most citizens lacked a real means to do so. The few earlier major figures challenging the status quo, the progressivist Leftist “long march” through our institutions, had been sidelined, silenced, or exiled from the public square.
But as Trump spoke, he rattled cages, challenged establishment bromides, and questioned the progressivist template, whether he fully understood that or not. No matter that some of his rhetoric never made it into real programs or was stymied from within. The really significant factor was that he said it fearlessly from a national bully pulpit, that he made it acceptable to be a real opponent of the ongoing progressivist Leftist transformation, and that his presence unleashed an actual counter-revolution of sorts which, despite heightened persecution and concerted “cancelling,” continues. In that sense, Trump opened a Pandora’s Box which, since his election, the DC Uniparty has been unable to close, despite its frantic and heavy-handed stepped-up efforts.
Thus we come to the lead-up to the election of 2024 and the continued frenetic and unleashed efforts to stop Trump, not just by the fanatical Left but also by the self-satisfied Republican establishment. But unlike in 2016 or even 2020, that reaction is far more poisonous, widespread, and ingrained in the institutions of our society. And it has marshalled legions of Never-Trumpers and those who have convinced themselves of oft-repeated refrains that: “Trump can’t win,” or “Trump will bring down other Republican candidates,” or “Trump is a moral reprobate and will lose the women’s vote.”
None of these accusations is actually true; nevertheless, they have taken hold even of some sincere persons on the Right. Any summary of polls over the past few months indicates that in addition to running away with the Republican nomination by huge margins, Trump can beat Biden in the general election. A RealClearPolitics average of all presidential polls (June 20, 2023) has Trump slightly ahead of Biden in an eventual face-off. He has a lead among independents (Economist/YouGov, June 9, 2023) and leads DeSantis among Republican women (Washington Examiner). More than that, an honest examination of the 2022 election reveals that Trump-supported candidates, contrary to the illusory claims bandied so widely about, were victorious in 236 contests out of 274 where he made endorsements, according to a Bloomberg News compilation (November 15, 2022)—more than a 6 to 1 margin of wins. He was not a drag on Republican candidates; rather, election mechanics and widespread rigging in key states played a far more significant role in a few high-profile GOP defeats. Those defeats cannot be laid at the feet of Donald Trump.
These arguments against Trump, then, collapse.
Other critics maintain that: “Trump has made promises he hasn’t kept,” or “Trump appointed and listened to bad advisors.” Even the staunchest Trump supporter can acknowledge that, even with the many positive things the Donald accomplished in his first term (e.g., especially three critical Supreme Court Justices), his selection of advisors and, at times, appointments, undercut much of his announced 2016 agenda. Yet, closely monitoring his campaign in 2023 and examining his Agenda47 items, he seems to have learned from mistakes made in 2017-2021.
The essential point is that Donald Trump is the one candidate the managerial Deep State really fears, and the reason for that is that he is the Great Disruptor, he endangers their hegemony and their seemingly unstoppable advance to globalist domination. In reality, his abiding support has little to do with whether he would advocate lowering taxes, or reducing foreign entanglements, or even completing a border wall—these are all very important, of course. But the often-unspoken reason that Trump supporters are so committed is that they know intuitively he is the wrecking-ball that is so sorely needed along the banks of the Potomac these days…as well as in Bruxelles and Davos. And with wrecking-balls, at times the process is messy and untidy.
No one else elicits more abject fear and loathing from our enemies than Donald Trump; no one else can bring on the necessary and probably final confrontation with the progressivist forces of the Leftist managerial state. The MAGA folks understand that the sooner this final confrontation occurs, the better are their chances of success. Other, more establishment-oriented candidates who propose a return to “normalcy,” only prolong our national agony while essentially allowing the rot to continue.
That is unacceptable and a recipe for the certain disappearance of the American nation as we have known it.
This piece was originally published on My Corner on June 24, 2023.
Boyd D. Cathey holds a doctorate in European history from the Catholic University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, where he was a Richard Weaver Fellow, and an MA in intellectual history from the University of Virginia (as a Jefferson Fellow). He was assistant to conservative author and philosopher the late Russell Kirk. In more recent years he served as State Registrar of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. He has published in French, Spanish, and English, on historical subjects as well as classical music and opera. He is active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and various historical, archival, and genealogical organizations.