5 Things the Republican Party SHOULD Learn from Donald Trump
There is only one Donald Trump and any Republican that tries to be “another Trump” is going to fail at it. That being said, there is an awful lot that the Republican Party can learn from what Donald Trump has done as president.
1) The GOP Can Make Gains with Minorities If We Put the Effort into It: A day did not go by when Donald Trump was not smeared incessantly as a racist. It was a core part of the Democratic Party/mainstream media messaging. Yet, as I noted earlier this week on Bongino.com, Trump did better with every demographic other than white men in 2020. He got 18% of the black male vote. Exit polls from Hispanic voters showed his support level between 31-32%, which clearly beats Mitt Romney (27% of the vote) and ties or beats “amnesty” John McCain (31% of the vote). Trump didn’t make those gains by pushing amnesty or meeting with the NACCP, he made those gains by aggressively courting those voters. Throughout his presidency, he was constantly meeting with black pastors, elevating black Republicans, talking with Kanye West and he met with several prominent rappers down the homestretch. Most Republican candidates are afraid to do that sort of thing because even making the effort means they will be called racist. Of course, they are going to get called racist anyway, so why not get called racist for doing something worthwhile like outreach to black voters? Republicans across the country should go all out to build on what Trump and his supporters like Scott Pressler (who organized Republican efforts to go to minority areas and clean up trash) have accomplished because if we can make bigger inroads into the minority vote in America, it will tilt the political landscape heavily in our favor.
2) Pandering to Your Base is a Good Move: The Republican Party has two wings. A country club/corporatist/establishment wing and a populist/grassroots wing. The more both wings are on board with a candidate, the better he will do. The problem the GOP had before Trump was that every president since Reagan was on the far side of the establishment wing of the party. Those Republicans essentially said to the Chamber of Commerce crowd: “How may we serve you today?” Meanwhile, the interests of the people putting signs in their yards and showing up to rallies were treated as an afterthought. On the other hand, Trump showed what a fired-up base can do. Trump was a master at it because he actually listened to what the base said it wanted, took it seriously, and genuinely tried to deliver. Between the rallies, the retweets of regular people, and Trump’s fighting spirit, a lot of conservatives connected with him in a way they just don’t with other Republican politicians. Trump may be a billionaire from New York City, but he did a better job of making conservatives feel like he was just “one of them” than any politician since Reagan.
3) How Big a Scandal Becomes Depends on How Much Shame You Display: One of the ironclad rules of social media is that you never apologize to the mob. Why? Because they don’t want your apology, they want to crush you and any show of remorse or shame over what you did will be used to destroy you. This is also true in politics. The reason Trump was never destroyed by the endless number of scandals he was involved in was that he had no shame about it, and he didn’t apologize for what he did. Granted, we should have shame about genuinely bad behavior, and we should be willing to apologize to people that deserve it and are willing to hear it. However, Republicans have a horrible tendency to apologize to people that want to destroy them and dump people they don’t personally have a problem with because liberals are going all out to smear them. We should be more willing to defend our own when they deserve it and much less willing to cater to people that hate us.
4) It’s Worth It to Fight: The number one complaint you heard about Republicans from conservatives prior to Trump becoming president was that they wouldn’t fight for anything. Trump is not cut from that mold and guess what? It was refreshing to have a Republican who refused to go along to get along, back down, or run from a fight. He even stiffened the spines of other Republicans. How many Republicans preferred the John McCain-lite version of Lindsey Graham to the ferocious Lindsey Graham who defended Brett Kavanaugh? How many Republicans liked the wimpy Mitch McConnell we had prior to Trump coming onto the scene more than the Majority Leader who ruthlessly fought to get more GOP Supreme Court seats? Trump may be too much of a mad dog at times, but it’s amazing how often his fighting spirit paid off during his first term.
5) Trump’s Agenda is Popular: Before Trump, the GOP seemed to be stuck in an eighties time loop, trying to implement a pale imitation of Reagan’s agenda without the Soviet Union around. Reagan’s agenda was admittedly fantastic, but it just doesn’t fit all that well more than 30 years after the man left office. Trump changed all that for the better because whatever flaws he may have had, his agenda wasn’t one of them. Whatever happens with the court battles over the presidency, Republicans held the Senate and added a lot of seats in the House. That is DESPITE Trump’s Twitter outbursts and non-stop controversies. Why was that even possible? Because the people liked what he was doing. They liked the Wall. They liked him shutting down illegal immigration. They liked the strong pre-Corona economy. They liked him crippling Obamacare, fighting for better trade deals, slamming the NFL for disrespecting the flag, cutting taxes, smashing ISIS, meeting with Kim Jong-un, and affirming so many judges. The GOP needs to learn from that instead of staying stuck in the eighties.