In this installment of our weekly conversation, PF Whalen and Parker Beauregard of The Blue State Conservative consider what’s next for Former President Donald Trump. With impeachment complete, and as the book is closed on his presidency, how should Trump proceed?
PF: There are really two fascinating questions to consider regarding Trump’s future: What will he do, and what should he do? Trump undoubtedly has various business ventures he’s considering, and he’ll likely be able to capitalize financially on his presidential legacy. If that’s the direction he wants to go, good for him. But we know Trump’s primary focus moving forward will be on the political landscape.
There have been whispers that, from a business standpoint, Trump will focus on the issues of freedom of speech and media bias. This strategy would make tremendous sense, and with Trump’s resources and connections he could have a huge impact.
Starting with a lower bar, Trump could develop or purchase a social media company. If Trump were to join forces with Parler or Gab, for instance, or if he were to develop a similar platform to compete with Facebook and Twitter, the venture would be a lock to be successful. It would get a tremendous amount of publicity and millions of users would jump ship. Such a move would be a win for free speech and would likely damage the market share of Twitter and Facebook. It would be a true win-win.
The next level would be to start up or combine with an entertainment company. Disney, Viacom, Netflix and others are becoming increasingly leftwing, and Fox Corp is only the tenth largest such company. If Trump were to launch a new competitor with conservative content and values, it would thrive and also help stabilize our cultural decay.
The ultimate undertaking would be for Trump to move into the communications industry. Such an enterprise could include an entertainment aspect as well, similar to Comcast. The recent coordinated effort from Big Tech and the communication industry to de-platform and silence conservative voices has been scary. An endeavor such as this by Trump could go a long way to solving such problems, and would also make boatloads of money.
Parker: There is a hunger and a market for any of the business ventures you mentioned. It reminds me of the talk about Trump T.V. back in 2016. If Trump lost then, there was speculation that he would capitalize on his television and political acumen. The way I see it, nothing has changed except that he has increased his voice and visibility. If he could have done it in 2016, he could certainly pull it off now.
You’ve mentioned this before, but neither of us are huge fans of Parler. The platform is ugly, limited, and only gained traction because it was billed as the “conservatives’ Twitter.” Sorry, but we need meat on those bones. Gab isn’t really much better. Let’s be honest: Twitter is a vile company but it figured out social media. My question has always been why can’t we produce something like that? Why did we settle on the way-too-orange look and the simplistic feed? I am no tech mogul, but even I can tell Parler stunk. Trump could go down the road, then, of engineering the largest competitor to Twitter or Facebook, but I hardly see that happening. The same thing goes for Trump T.V.
It might have been a good idea five years ago, but too much has changed, and he knows too much now. The future of Trump is politics. He loves this country too much and he sees how damaged it is. While the likes of DeSantis, Noem, Crenshaw, or Cotton are all capable, as it stands today there is only one charismatic, inspiring, and thick-skinned person able to rally tens of millions of Americans to the conservative, American-loving cause. And that is D.J.T.
PF: I agree, and without Twitter and Facebook, Trump’s options for voicing his opinions are limited; for now. But there’s no doubt that he’ll find some way to be heard. When he does, I hope he keeps his focus on the radical left and the Democrats. This should have been his primary strategy leading up to the election, but it wasn’t.
For those of us who consider ourselves conservatives, there’s an interesting conundrum to consider, and one that the late Rush Limbaugh discussed frequently. Should our main strategy be to promote conservatism or oppose leftism? The question is similar to the debate regarding positive Vs negative political campaigning. There will continue to be opportunities for conservatives to promote ideas such as fiscal responsibility, limited government regulation, and the right to life. Unfortunately, however, if we are going to stop the radical left, our priority for the foreseeable future needs to be on exposing them and acting as anti-leftists. And Trump can play a significant role.
I know Trump likes to call out Republicans like he did with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) this week, and he can’t help himself. But he’s got a unique ability to call attention to the ridiculousness of the Democrats. He could simply sit back and call them out on their absurdity. President Biden’s plan to grant citizenship to 11 million illegal aliens is outrageous, Trump can bring attention to it. The nonsense going on with teachers’ unions and getting kids back to school is disgraceful, and Trump could make a difference.
I think it’s highly unlikely that Trump could return to the White House in four years. I think there are just too many impediments, including the fact that he’ll be 78-years old. But I have no doubt Trump could play a part in our political discourse. I just hope he keeps his focus where it needs to be, on defeating radical leftism.
Parker: The question we both asked ourselves was what should Trump do next? I will address that in my last section, but I am going to say what he shouldn’t do next or what I don’t anticipate him doing next.
What shouldn’t he do? Put bluntly, he shouldn’t go away. As we have both identified, Trump is too big of a name, too unifying a figure in the party (by that I mean he brings people to the GOP who would otherwise sit out), and is one of the few conservative politicians willing to call out and stand up to leftist bullying and dogma. Trump generates such enthusiasm because he is an outsider. As the Biden administration is proving, life doesn’t improve when the Swamp is led by the Swamp Creatures. Trump wasn’t perfect at dismantling it, but he has been the best.
Now, I java read unfounded reports that Trump could run for a House seat in Florida for 2022. The thinking behind that is that he could be voted Speaker of the House if and when Republicans capture a majority. It’s an enticing proposition. Speaker of the House Trump could command quite a bit of attention and cause a lot of noise. An impeachment for Harris? The introduction of America-first legislation? I love the idea of him sitting behind the president at every State of the Union.
However, I don’t see this in Trump’s path because Trump strikes me as an all-or-nothing guy. He owns the business or he runs the country, but he doesn’t settle to be CEO of someone else’s company or work alongside 434 other congressmen and congresswomen. Could he be voted in? Probably. Would it be awesome to see him in that role? Absolutely. And, the move isn’t without precedence; Martin Van Buren served for years in that same function after leaving the White House. I just don’t see it.
PF: Trump as House Speaker would be fascinating to watch, and that would be fun.
One thing Trump will undoubtedly work on is trying to shape his legacy, like all ex-presidents do. It is with that effort that Trump can be most valuable, I believe, because a large part of his legacy is what happened in November.
There were substantial voting irregularities in the election, and there was indeed some voter fraud. The levels of those irregularities and fraud, however, are very much in dispute. At this point we have not seen sufficient evidence to prove that any of the shenanigans were adequate to have changed the election’s outcome. In Pennsylvania, for instance, Trump’s legal team didn’t even allege voter fraud in their legal appeals. But Trump and his lawyers need to do everything they can to get to the bottom of what happened.
Americans must have faith in the electoral process; it’s critical. And for the past two elections, there has been widespread skepticism. In 2016, most of that doubt was unfounded; having been based largely on the Russia Hoax and the media’s promotion of it, whereas cynicism of the 2020 election is more reality-based. Either way, if Americans can’t trust in the legitimacy of elections moving forward, they won’t trust in their governments. It’s the most fundamental aspect of a democracy.
Trump could make an enormous impact here, but he has to focus on facts and proof. It’s not about him; it’s about the future of the country. Whatever voter fraud took place, prove it, expose it to the public, and make the case legally. Then demand corrective action. If the proof shows that voters were disenfranchised, but not to the level that that Trump would have won; so be it. Call it what it is, acknowledge the facts, but insist on solutions. If fraud occurred, it’s still unacceptable at any level, regardless of whether or not the election results would have changed, and it needs to be fixed.
Parker: I agree with you that Trump should play a large role in the political landscape. You want him to engage in the security and integrity of our elections, and that is certainly an area that he can expose not only real fraud, but the double standards applied by Democrats just a few years ago. He needs to be a broken record that cannot stop looping on the same message. “The election was jiggered. Here’s how…” However, no more Kraken nonsense; just the facts.
Donald Trump should also remain visible so that if the time comes and his nation asks him to serve, he is ready. Again, there is precedent with Grover Cleveland serving non-consecutive terms in the White House (not that there needs to be, but you know that the left would come up with reasons why it isn’t practical to come back). I don’t doubt that tens of millions of Americans, and quite possibly much more once we suffer through years of Biden’s and Harris’s abuse, would uproariously champion his return. His age is immaterial. In a triumphant return to the political landscape, Trump would not only have a record to run on, but he would foreseeably have the advantage of not being in the spotlight as much. Americans voted against Trump rather than for Biden, that much is clear. In four years, there will absolutely be a recoil to the America-Last platform espoused and enacted by the left; this opens the door for the exact same pendulum swing toward Trump. He would be able to remind all Americans about his service and commitment to them. It would be quite powerful and undoubtedly well received.
That being said, four years is akin to decades in political years. It might age faster than doggie years. Who can even remember the latest scandals from a week ago? We have repeatedly named potential suitors to the GOP crown, as it were, and they could be equally viable and exciting candidates. I stand by my statements weeks ago that the Republican Party should strongly consider nominating a black person and a female. I despise identity politics, but there are clear and obvious advantages. 1) Like it or not, it is part of the national narrative, 2) It resoundly punches the entire Harris fraud in the gut (you said it only mattered she was a woman! Oh, politics matter now?), 3) Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney…need we say more? It isn’t like the Bush family was better, either. Every single nominated Republican, outside of Trump, in the past thirty years has been either a Swamp Creature, boring old fool, or both. Time to mix it up.