Once there was a larger than life Republican celebrity with a passion for winning who beat the Democrat establishment, but then let himself be steered away from the conservatism that got him into office and became a leathery, near-forgotten joke. President Trump, never, ever go Full Arnold.
He is so close to success – it’s in his grasp – and yet the President is in danger of allowing both well-meaning friends and false ones to drag him off target by embracing the failed liberal nonsense that created the mess that led to his election.
Trump’s winning now, which is why the reports hinting that he is considering jettisoning his conservative principles in favor of liberal mush are so bizarre. The stock market refuses to tank and thereby obey noted Enron associate Paul Krugman. The job numbers are through the roof; even driving around town in the Venezuela-by-the-Beach that is L.A., you see scores of “Help Wanted” signs. And the Justice Gorsuch nomination was not merely a touchdown. It was Trump scoring seven points, plus two extra points, and then a couple of the hottest cheerleaders running into the end zone while he was spiking the ball to invite him back to their condo for a dip in their Jacuzzi.
Plus the whole “But but but … Russians!” thing went up in a fiery blast – actually, two kinds of fiery blasts, figurative and literal. The figurative detonation of the collusion lie occurred about the time it became clear the only people who might have committed any crimes were the Obama hacks using the NSA to spy on Trump and Co. The literal explosions were over the Syrian airbase, and represented the best of some very bad options. His strike also had a strategic effect that is far more important than the still significant consideration of punishing those semi-humans for their sick Sarin murder spree. The strategic impact was to show those gay-hanging freaks in Tehran and that pudgy slug in Pyongyang how it goes when a president with a presi-sack plays horsey.
Plus, it was politically useful to be firing missiles at Putin’s pal. If Vlad and The Donald have an inappropriate relationship, then it’s mega kinky.
The risk comes from the people around him. There are three kinds of people surrounding Trump – public servants, enemies, and friends. The quintessential, non-political public servant around him is Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. The President is being very well-served by this fellow cavalry officer who has returned the National Security Advisor post to one that provides the President with advice on national security instead of, you know, spying on his political enemies. If you spent any time in the military, you will recognize how McMaster is acting as an executive officer using the Military Decision Making Process to oversee the National Security Council in synthesizing the President’s intent into fleshed-out courses of action from which he chooses. I can almost see the sleep-deprived majors, their bleary eyes held open only by willpower and Mountain Dew, hunched over laptops in some West Wing broom closet pounding out PowerPoint slides for the CINC’s decision briefing. Pardon my nostalgia, but it’s so refreshing to see an Army general in the news for demonstrating the kind of technical excellence I routinely observed, rather than for getting caught banging his driver.
Trump’s enemies are no threat either – he has no problem identifying them, targeting them, and calling in a tweetstrike. His opponents lie broken and moaning, Democrats defeated and strewn all about just like those other Republican-punched Democrats in the Atlanta train yard scene in Gone with the Wind. No, Trump doesn’t need protection from his enemies – they need protection from the political Sherman in the White House.
Trump’s danger comes from his friends, and from enemies disguised as friends. Some of his friends are useful for keeping him focused on the promises he made and the people he made them to – conservative promises. Steve Bannon, for example, is an invaluable conduit into the conservative movement that provided the impetus to his victory. Jeff Sessions is going to vacuum the Obama reek from the outhouse that is the Department of Intermittent Justice. Trump needs conservative voices like these whispering in his ear to keep him from wandering off the reservation at the suggestion of misguided friends and covert enemies.
Trump is not an ideological conservative, though ideological conservatism is the stallion upon which he rode into the White House. He is a New York City Republican, which means he’s a bit liberalish by inclination. So are many around him, and some are not Republican at all. They will push him, cajole him, plead with him, not to listen to those nutty, kooky, crazy conservatives because conservatives are so nutty, kooky and crazy. Trump needs to politely ignore these voices of defeat.
Some will push him because they really think Trump should turn his back on a huge chunk of his voters in the hope of … what? A huge chunk of the Democrat Party coming around and embracing him? Really? What is the name of the Democrat senator Trump can win over by shafting conservatives and breaking his promises? Name one. Just one. I’m waiting. I’m still waiting. Okay, I’m getting impatient now, just like Hillary does at 4:50 p.m. when people are watching and she can’t pour herself a Crown Royal a smidge early to take away the pain of her humiliating defeat.
You’re not going to ever name one, because he will never win over a single partisan Democrat by going squish. He’ll only alienate the conservatives he needs.
His lib-leaning friends want him to veer left because they, wrongly, even insanely, think that it will help him in the long run. But his covert enemies, the people who pretend to be his pals, want to see him fail for one of any number of reasons. Some hope that the Failure Caucus will return to power if they turn him against the Freedom Caucus. Others are looking eight years down the road, when Trump is gone and they can get back to plundering the public as usual. Some just hate him because he beat them. Us and America? We’re acceptable collateral damage in their quest for their own personal advancement.
No, no, no, no, no! No left turns.
No, we cannot get hip-deep in another Middle Eastern quicksand pit. Yes, we can zap the bugs when they get uppity, but no more Trump-voters’ kids from Tennessee are going to get waxed in some endgame-free sand trap while the spawn of the people who sent them there march around protesting pronoun misgendering hate crimes at Rich Kid U.
No, we will not wrap the stinking carcass of Obamacare’s failure around ourselves and walk about wearing it while the village children laugh and pelt us with stones and rotten apples.
No, we will not non-consensually Jeb America’s working people, who voted for Trump because they had lost all hope, by committing an unnatural act of love upon them in the form of amnesty.
No, no, no, no, no! No left turns, ever.
Another celebrity-turned politician flipped a 180 on the people who elected him as an alternative to the Democrat establishment, and today everyone is laughing at him – including Donald Trump. Arnold Schwarzenegger made a bunch of promises to the people of California, got to Sacramento, and then decided he would start listening to his stick-figure Kennedy wife and his new Democrat “friends.” He totally betrayed the people who supported him, and he became a punchline, a gooey mass of ropey muscle and utter submission, provoking no respect, no love, only contempt.
And everyone knows what happened when Arnold took over Trump’s show. Sad!
Trump can win it all. He has been winning. But he needs to always remember why he got here. He made promises to a center-right electorate to aggressively pursue center-right policies. When Trump does that – whether by naming incredible justices, by repealing job-killing rules imposed by weird weather cultists, or by inflicting decisive damage on America’s enemies without dragging us into another ground war that his own voters would largely have to fight – Trump wins. But if he were to listen to his well-meaning friends and his not-so-well-meaning “friends” counseling him to go flaccid and proggy, then he loses. He becomes a bad sequel to The Failurenator. And, for a change, Arnold will laugh at him.
Trump needs to stay strong, and tweet, “Hasta la vista, liberals.”