As the run-up to the 2024 election begins, you’ll start to hear a lot about who the various pundits in charge think should run, especially on the Republican side. The Democrats will just have to find someone who checks all the right boxes, or at least most of them, so it’ll come down to Mayor Pete or Kamala. One’s gay and the other’s a black woman, so in the diversity and oppression Olympics the DNC is running, it’ll be hard to predict ahead of time. Their Big Government, anti-tradition viewpoints are the same, however, so little in Democrat policy is dependent on which is chosen by the powers that be.
On the GOP side, however, things are a bit more interesting, as this election will determine which of the three party factions will be the future, at least for the next half-decade or so.
The RINO Faction:
The RINOs will likely choose someone who is immensely unpopular and would be completely ineffective in office that they can laud as a “principled conservative” and pat themselves on the back for supporting. People like Liz Cheney (just voted out of the Wyoming GOP in a symbolic vote) or Mitt Romney (former corporate raider that probably thinks milk is spicy) will fight for who gets to represent the RINOs.
They’ll be unimportant other in that gobs of corporate money will flow to them, as happened with Jeb! Bush. That money will be wasted, as whatever loser midwit is chosen won’t be much more than a punching bag for the MAGA Candidate.
But, because choosing someone will make the Jonah Goldbergs and Bill Kristols feel important and give them a claim to more Koch money, they’ll still choose someone to fill the silk-stockinged RINO role.
The Real Battle
Once the RINOs are made fun of and disposed of is when things get interesting because this is where the real battle will start. In 2024, the real battle will be between the Conservative, Inc. candidate and MAGA candidate.
The Conservative, Inc. Faction
On one side, the Conservative, Inc. side, sits a gaggle of people who are actually pretty conservative in terms of perspective, but don’t have the balls to get anything done. They’re the guys that got mad in high school because no one would go on a date with them, but the reality was that they never worked up the courage to ask.
What they want is someone who is conservative, but nicer than Trump. Someone that might tackle cultural topics abortion (as long as it doesn’t raise criticisms of being anti-woman, as if that will ever happen), but will mainly stick to the corporate agenda of cutting taxes, helping out Big Business, and funding the military. And no, that pro-corporation, pro-military agenda won’t be accompanied by rooting Marxism out of the military or attacking woke capital because doing so would be uncomfortable.
You see, to a Conservative, Inc. Republican, what really matters is staying in the shadows and shying away from controversies that might lead to dirty looks at the country club. Sure, they’d prefer that abortion be done away with, but really they want to just go along to get along with their liberal colleagues.
These people are largely the Republicans in the professional class–doctors, lawyers, etc.–they have resources and, generally, the right views about cultural issues, but don’t have the cojones to turn their wishes into reality.
Because of their resources, they tend to have an outsized voice. They donate to the right (read: moderate, well-dressed) candidates and hope that’s good enough. But, they’re not that numerous. Their main constituency is out of shape, upper-middle-class guys in the suburbs that are married to sexually frustrated wine moms. So, while they might have an outsized role in who gets chosen by the GOP, their votes aren’t overly important.
Expect them to push for someone that shares their temperament and sensibilities. Milquetoast Mike Pence. Little Marco. People that are generally conservative, but don’t have the guts to put their preferred policies into action if they ever make it into the halls of power.
The MAGA Faction
Then there’s the MAGA faction. This is where Trump’s support, obviously, comes from. It’s the base he stirred up and the gang of real conservatives he inspired to start speaking loudly.
On the personal level, people in this category span every demographic. There are the white-collar workers and highly educated professionals that despise their liberal colleagues and go fishing or hunting on the weekends. There are the blue-collar workers that used their calloused hands and strong backs to build immensely prosperous small businesses. There are the individuals–the truck drivers, plumbers, electricians, mechanics–that make a good living and hate that the welfare reprobates gobble up half of each paycheck. There are the intellectuals–Michael Anton, Jack Murphy, Michael Knowles, Kurt Schlichter–that walk in the same circles as the Conservative, Inc. and liberal crowd, but still speak their minds forcefully and stand firmly for the MAGA agenda. And, of course, there are the dispossessed factory workers, coal miners, steelworkers, and others that used to have good jobs but saw their livelihoods outsourced by the Mitt Romney types.
All of those groups, about 65% of the GOP, support the real fighters in Washington. Josh Hawley, Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, and Rand Paul are all supported by this crowd, with the obvious first choice being Donald Trump. If he doesn’t run, DeSantis will likely get their vote.
And, if one of the Conservative, Inc. or RINO losers gets chosen, they won’t vote because they know they deserve better. They’re pissed about the 2020 election, furious about how Biden is destroying America’s credibility, and unwilling to go along with the corporatist agenda of the RINOs and Conservative, Inc. any longer.
How the Battle Will Go
The RINO losers will be disposed of almost immediately. They make up like 2% of the party and are only influential at all because most of them live in the Swamp. Liz or Romney will be a fun punching bag for Trump, nothing more.
Then it will get to a fight between Conservative, Inc. and MAGA. That disagreement will be fierce, but, like much in American politics today, won’t necessarily be rooted in policy, but rather form and aesthetics. Both sides want the same things–an end to abortion, a return to American prosperity, American military strength, etc.–but they disagree vehemently over how to get there.
The Conservative, Inc. crowd thinks that McConnell is the path. They want to keep it quiet, fly below the radar, and only put up a real fight on less touchy issues like taxes that won’t lead to accusations of r-r-r-r-racism! from the left. Lacking the balls to fight, they’d rather just elect someone that “doesn’t go there” on cultural hot topics.
The MAGA crowd couldn’t disagree more. It’d rather have its electoral victories lead to actual victories, no matter how costly in terms of personal relationships and screaming matches that might be. If given the option, they’d fire the intelligence agencies, deep-six the FBI, get rid of woke teachers, and punish woke corporations with heavy fines without a second thought. Such policies would lead to leftist vitriol, sure, but would also lead to actual political victory.
And therein lies the real issue. One side wants calm. It prefers the safety of ineffectiveness to the tempestuous seas of a real fight. The other side will do whatever it takes to win. Now that we saw the Deep State attack Trump in 2016-2020, their return to power would be Sulla-like, and those policies will be carried out with glee.
But, ultimately, it’ll come down to the primary. And the MAGA crowd, according to polling, has a major numbers advantage, so it’ll win. Yay! That’s the camp I fall in. But, the “Why” needs to be examined so that we can understand how to replicate this victory.
Why MAGA will Win
The simple fact is that “Trumpism without Trump,” which is what the Conservative, Inc. faction wants, doesn’t exist. Not yet, at least. Trump is Trumpism. He’s the one with the balls to carry the his victory past the finish line and then rub it in the faces of those he defeated. He’s the one with the vision to restore American Greatness. He’s the one that doesn’t surrender, doesn’t back down, and doesn’t give in.
That fighting spirit can be uncomfortable at times, especially for the rich Republicans that still rub elbows with leftists from time to time. Trump’s famous “only Rosie O’Donnell” comment is the essence of what they hate about him.
But real America couldn’t care less. It loves Trump’s style, his fighting spirit, his energy, and his inner determination. Whatever the personal cost, they want America to succeed and would do anything to get there. A percentage point or two of GDP don’t matter if it means crushing China. Higher prices don’t matter if it means the return of factories to America. Screaming matches in real life and on Twitter are meaningless so long as the culture war is won.
And only Trump is a safe bet if that’s what you want. Only he has proven that he’s willing to fight and shrug of the left’s scorn. The Conservative, Inc. crowd is far too cowardly, hence why MAGA will never support it. That’s why Trump will take the primary. If a future candidate wishes to follow in his footsteps, they’ll have to show just as much fighting spirit.