By Grant Brooks
In a much quieter scene than his first announcement, Donald Trump declared for the Presidency a few days ago. Having ignominiously departed the Oval Office over two years ago, he now seeks reelection. And this leads to the inevitable question of what Nationalists should do as regards the Republican primary, and the election generally.
Compared against some of his promises, like a wall and an end to border invasions, and being the people’s man in the White House, the record of the 45th President is mixed to disappointing. Especially for those who witnessed the 2020 Election and J6, it would be hard to blame them for feeling the New York titan has lost his luster. And yet, I believe, Donald Trump’s campaign for President represents another great opportunity for National Republicans. But to explain it, we have to wind the clock back 17 years, to the City of New Orleans.
Katrina had just hit, to this day one of the most destructive hurricanes of the 21st century. Much of the city was underwater, and all of it was in utter chaos. In a place that already dealt with a significant crime and social problem, the social equilibrium was utterly undone. It was a terrible time, but there was also an opportunity. Katrina had opened the door to settle scores consequence free. In the words of Hans Lander,
“I heard stories of good ole boys basically wacking 25, 30 looters a pop, and working out a deal with the county sheriff where you just dump them in a landfill and don’t talk about it.”
In a real sense, Trump’s continued presence and active participation is a hurricane Katrina for the Republican Party. Obviously, this is a situation that is way less than ideal or even tolerable, but this is a unique chance to settle scores from the last four decades of Republican politics. The consultant class that has sought to suck the blood of the white conservative voters they pretend to represent loathe Trump, regardless of his actual impact.
The sixth party system, beginning with the gradual shift of the south towards the Republican Party, is generally accepted as having been cemented in 1980, and the electric election of Ronald Reagan. According to more than one scholar,2 this system may be about to give way to a new party system, meaning new coalitions, new geographic battlegrounds, and most importantly different parties. It will still bear the label Democrat and Republican but the actual priorities and driving issues are being reset. According to Matt Kerbel,
“In key respects, 2020 is reminiscent of the last realignment we experienced in 1980. Then, a nascent coalition emerged gradually over many years, as constituent groups once loyal to the New Deal – most notably white southerners – peeled away from the Democratic Party. Richard Nixon’s narrow 1968 victory foreshadowed a majority conservative coalition, much like Obama’s 2008 victory foreshadowed today’s emerging majority, but it didn’t come to fruition until Ronald Reagan’s unambiguous defeat of Jimmy Carter in 1980 – and, even then, Republicans wouldn’t realize a House majority until fourteen years later.”
Matt Kerbel, “Birth Pangs of the Seventh Party System,” Wolves and Sheep: Political Analysis outside the Beltway, Sept. 18, 2020
Sixth Party System according to presidential elections from 1980-2020.
Chris Vance further explains,
“The election of 2016 started, or perhaps accelerated, the movement towards a seventh party system. Reaganite elites lost touch with the Republican base, and lost control over their party. Republican base voters support Trump because they agree with him. They are instinctively protectionist and isolationist. And their nativist passion to restrict immigration is now the driving force of the new “conservative movement.”
The Republican Party of the sixth party system is gone. The GOP has lost college educated voters, especially women, and with them, the suburbs they used to win. The party now is made up primarily of white, evangelical protestants — which is a huge voting bloc — and non-college educated whites. And those in control of the GOP now are content to double down on this coalition, rather than try and take back moderate suburbanites.”Chris Vance, “The Great Realignment: Are You Ready For America’s Seventh Version Of Political Parties?” Post Alley | Seattle, Sept. 13, 2019
So what does it mean? It means that for those in favor of a muscular and nationalist Republican Party, a window is open to settling scores of their own. The GOP consultant class, exemplified and spurred on by publications like National Review, The American Conservative, and men like David French and Jonah Goldberg, cannot resist posturing and walking into the light to demonstrate their disdain for Trump.
Taking this at face value, unprecedented opportunity is avalible. The best chance of most people’s lifetimes to alter the Republican Party is in this window of a few years. This new party might be one not committed to Randian abstractions and losing the culture war, but to the nativism and protectionism that once stood as bedrocks of Republican politics.
And so, as Trump is the Katrina which temporarily suspends the social equilibrium, Nationalists use this suspension to expel enemies and traitors from the GOP. And so they must if the ship is to be righted.