Like many of us, I have complicated feelings regarding our former Commander-in-Chief, ex-president Donald Trump. For many people, he was the awakening. For me, I thought he would be the fulfillment. I thought he would bring victory after years of struggle. He didn't. His accomplishments were many, but it is hard to argue we are in a stronger position now than we were four years ago. However, I am not willing to say we are in a weaker position than we would have been had Hillary Clinton won.
What Donald Trump showed is, for better or worse, the impact of one personality. He was the indispensable man in 2015–2016. No one else could do what he did. Had he had more skill and courage, the country would have been in a much different place than it is today. And perhaps no one else can do what he can now.
Donald Trump remains the leader of the Republican Party [Nearly half of Trump voters would leave GOP for Trump party, poll finds, WGN9, February 22, 2021]. Personally, I think a 2024 run is insanity. President Trump's habit of appointing incompetents, traitors, and Jared Kushner in key positions would probably continue if he were back in the White House. Also, frankly, he just doesn't have the stamina. It's time for him to pass the torch.
Yet only he can pass that torch. There's no one else. Peter Brimelow gave one of the most important addresses in recent political history when he said it would only take one speech to change the entire political dynamic.
We are again in such a moment and Donald Trump is the only person who can give it. It has to be now. Specifically, it has to be this weekend, at CPAC.
Former President Donald Trump will hammer President Biden on everything from immigration to China when he addresses the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) on Sunday, sources familiar with the speech told Fox News.
Meanwhile, Trump is expected to fall just short of announcing a 2024 presidential bid. The sources said he will go between "warming up to the idea of a 2024 run, and walking right up to the line of announcing another campaign" -- though he is not expected to make an actual announcement.
Trump will be the headline speaker at the event in Orlando, Fla., which kicks off Thursday. Trump will speak on the final day of the conference, topping a slew of conservatives and Republicans from across the country.
It will be Trump’s first public appearance since leaving office and comes as Biden has taken a number of actions to undo his predecessor's policies.
Biden has perhaps moved fastest on immigration, where he has already taken a slew of measures to stamp out Trump-era policies. He has stopped the construction of the wall at the southern border, ended the travel bans and taken steps to loosen asylum policies such as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP.)
Republicans have warned of a brewing crisis at the border, fueled by a surge in migrants motivated by liberalizations on enforcement and asylum policy in the U.S.
[Trump, at CPAC, expected to hammer Biden on immigration, China, by Adam Shaw and John Roberts, Fox News, February 25, 2021]
However, is President Trump capable of moving past himself? At every stage, he has always thought the movement was about him, not what people (rightly or wrongly) thought he represented. Indeed, the only person who seems completely unaware of what President Trump represents is Donald Trump himself. Perhaps he has learned something in the last month. Perhaps he feels the walls closing in, as his political opponents attempt to charge him with something, anything. Perhaps he may do it out of sheer ennui, like Paul Atreides mused about in Dune. Yet he must do it.
CPAC is, as usual, shaping up to be a fools' parade of grifters and incompetents, with some notable exceptions. However, the conservative movement can't reject Trump or "Trumpism." He still holds the power. He must use that power to speak about immigration and call for a New Nationalism, like Teddy Roosevelt once did. He must challenge the GOP to produce a successor—one who will hopefully be less afraid of power and the hard work of governance.
My gut tells me that America is crying out for a leader, but that leader isn't me or anyone else in the Alternative Right or Dissident Right or whatever other label people want to use. That leader has to be someone that has emerged from the last few years, from the Trump movement, and from an existing power base.
Donald Trump must have the courage to pass the torch and the wisdom to know what he started goes beyond him. Perhaps he will let us down again... but I know, this weekend, that I will be listening.
Let's hope Stephen Miller is writing the speech.