The GOP, 2024, & President Trump’s Post-Presidency Future

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Friday, May 28, 2021


The Republican Party is in disarray and at a crucial juncture.  After President Trump’s defeat last November, the Capitol Hill protests of January, and the GOP’s split-direction over its future, it is evident that the party’s foundation is crumbling.  Further, any misstep will be costly for the deep bench of presidential hopefuls and diminish any real prospects of winning in 2024.

To some, the party’s future appears bleak.  However, most Lone Conservative readers should rejoice knowing that the GOP is not doomed to fail — at least, not yet.  In fact, postmodern conservatism is as hot as ever and only further cements President Trump’s role as the most influential Republican in a post-presidency period since Ronald Reagan. 

However, let’s not forget that Reagan was loved by many more than Trump is.  Even more so, President Trump’s brand may be damaging for the Republican Party and if the GOP wants to win against the DNC in 2024, then they must play “smart politics”.

Consider these two points on how the GOP should position itself.

First of all, President Trump is unelectable against a Biden match-up and should not be the nominee.  This isn’t to say that the Republican Party can operate separately from Trump’s influence.  Sadly, the party is still beholden to him since he has overwhelming and lasting support amongst the Republicans given that the latest figures peg his support at 53%.  Further, if the primary was today, then this number may be fairly conservative.

Instead, President Trump’s future is better secured as the de facto head of postmodern conservatism rather than as the 2024 nominee.  As the head of a new wing of conservatism, President Trump’s influence will give him staying power past Presidential administrations.

Second, the remaining bench of presidential hopefuls should not be monocultural conservatives.  The Republicans need a crowded field full of big thinkers who will elevate its core platform.  For every paleoconservative against climate change or evolution, there should be a candidate (and hopefully many more supporters) who endorses a pro-science agenda.  The syncretic decision to support science would not cost a candidate votes and would gain crossover voters.  

Further, the beauty of the primaries is that voters can sway the party’s direction in meaningful manners.  Similar to advocating for a free-market approach, the party should allow the many millions of voters to decide.  Then, after the voters decide the party can rally around the eventual nominee instead of the reverse. 

Lastly, the Republican primary will be a race between the candidates to win President Trump’s endorsement followed by a general election season where they will have to distance themselves from him enough to win crossover votes from the Democrats.  Since the best candidates are currently polling at a dismal 6%, such as Nikki Haley and Donald Trump Jr., it seems that President Trump’s endorsement is a requisite to becoming the nominee.  

Perhaps, the endorsement will go to one of his acolytes, but the individual cannot be too close to the man himself given the general vitriol most Democrats feel towards Trump.  Although the race has yet to begin, it will be exciting to see which candidate has the political intellect to navigate choppy waters. 

Ryan Harden graduated with an Economics degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has interned with Senator Corker on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In Organization, and Co-Founded Counter Current, an environmental media company. Disclaimer: Views expressed are not representative of the Department of Defense.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Ryan Harden

U.S. Air Force Academy

Ryan Harden graduated with an Economics degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has interned with Senator Corker on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In Organization, and Co-Founded Counter Current, an environmental media company. Disclaimer: Views expressed are not representative of the Department of Defense.

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