Stirewaltisms: Trump’s Faction of One
The former president doesn’t care what happens to the Republican Party in Pennsylvania, Georgia, or anywhere else.
TRUMP’S FACTION OF ONE
I think Yuval Levin is quite right that former President Donald Trump’s prodigal endorsements in 2022 Republican primary contests will be a major force in Trump’s shift from being the leader of the GOP to the leader of a faction of the party.
I would think this was so even if Yuval was not my boss at the American Enterprise Institute. (Though his efforts to maintain strategic reserves of cold Fresca for our refreshment here would be reason enough to defer to his judgment.) The obvious truth about Trump is that he has never wanted to be the leader of the whole Republican Party, let alone the whole country. Trump is a chauvinist in every sense of the word, but particularly in his excessive, prejudiced preference for his group.
It would be hard enough to lead a party if one’s chauvinism was ideological or demographic. Parties, or at least parties that can win in a diverse, continental nation, have to include many different groups. But in Trump’s case, it is far worse. “His group” is quite literal here: People who follow him, flatter him, pay him, etc. The barriers to being one of Trump’s people are low, but the requirements for continued membership are severe. One must agree with Trump, even when Trump contradicts himself. When Trump fails or falters, defeat must be called victory and discarded promises must be called strategic genius.