Giving Donald Trump the 'God Emperor' treatment is a strategic mistake.
When Trump lost in 2020 to Biden, I was one of many who felt distraught, cheated and angry. This is odd, considering I’m not even an American. But Trump had global appeal, as his narrative of ‘Make America Great Again’ could easily be transformed in Australia, Japan, France or the United Kingdom. Populism is attractive for this very reason: nations prosper when they are willing to put themselves first. Naturally, I believed the election was stolen due to a conspiracy of globalist elites.
Before I continue, I’ll say this. Although I’m now ‘Team Switzerland’ on concerns of voter fraud (I can’t comment right now), it is disgusting how January 6th protestors have been treated, or how eager the Democrats and corporate media are to shut down any possibility of fraud, often through censorship. A country that accepts late ballots and no longer gives election results on the same day will always have a high probability of fraud.
The American voting system is unprofessional and inefficient. As an Australian, I enjoy a far more robotic system that’s world-class. As Helen Dale argues, the Australian ballot is one our most famous exports. Although I am no longer conceding ground to ‘the election was stolen’ I do believe the voting system must change in the future. Please note that this article is not about election fraud.
Back to Trump. Many referred to him as a ‘God Emperor’ and although it’s easy to dismiss MAGA as cultish or overly paranoid, I won’t do that. It’s disrespectful, and I know many Trump supporters who are good people. But I believe treating Trump like a saviour figure was always doomed to fail. He had his flaws, such as alienating white middle class voters. On the other hand, Trump mainstreamed ‘build the wall’ and had the guts to talk to a North Korean dictator.
His firm stance against Black Lives Matter, although not going far enough, was sorely needed while America burnt. I approve of his support for young sportswomen against trans lobby groups. Overall, I have positive thoughts about Trump. But there has to be more to right-wing strategy than him. More importantly, there should be.
We expected Trump to save us from the 21st centuries worst impulses – vast economic inequality, global elites, mass immigration, endless wars, the rise of authoritarianism, terrorism, corporate bureaucracy and financial monopolies. But these problems will not go away in four years, and I was foolish to expect Trump, a human being with limits, to make everything better. In some ways, Trump did. But only to a certain extent, and maybe that wasn’t enough.
So, how can we fight these problems? A top-down strategy of political representation is important, but it’s not enough. The right needs cultural representation, and that means senior positions in art communities, school board positions and becoming high-ranking public servants. At the very least, it means punishing ‘woke’ companies with our wallets. If Mailchimp removes The Babylon Bee from their service, we should badmouth them and refuse to give them an inch. Make it clear that if companies become ideological, they must fall in line with us. Not the left. Yes, we’ll be called bullies and accused of practicing cancel culture. But our options, right now, are limited.
The next few decades will be shaped through monopolies, technology, artificial intelligence and geopolitics. Meaning: who you vote for becomes less significant. Elections matter – but they aren’t the final moment. Right-wingers should also forge alliances with other, non-Anglosphere countries. I know there is terrific work being done in Hungary and Austria, but also Brazil and Japan. Part of Trump’s limitations were the result of the presidency, as well as personality and GOP flaws.
The days of expecting right-wing politicians to act as stand-ins for culture are gone.