Right now, Donald J. Trump’s opponents can’t quite believe what they’re seeing.
Just a few short months ago, the “Swamp” denizens of Washington were breathing sighs of relief. They had done it! They had defeated the awful Trump, handed the White House to Joe Biden, and could now begin implementing all their cherished plans for a post-Trump America.
And then an amazing thing happened.
A twice-impeached former president who had supposedly incited an “insurrection” at the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 has returned—and he’s looking stronger than ever.
On the night of Saturday, June 5, Trump emerged to give only his second public speech since leaving the White House this past January. Trump was invited to hold court in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the state GOP Convention in Greenville, North Carolina.
This was not in the script that had been so carefully written. The former President Trump is supposed to be a historical footnote at this point. He’s supposed to be utterly destroyed, completely irrelevant, so radioactive nobody will go near him.
Not only is Trump not sulking in private in utter disgrace, he’s now exerting more direct control over the GOP than he ever did when he was in the White House.
Control the Money, Control the Party
The first quarter’s fundraising numbers revealed that Trump is in the process of raising a massive war chest to draw on in the 2022 and 2024 elections. Trump’s Save America PAC outraised the GOP almost 2 to 1 in the quarter, $85 million to $44 million.
So how did that happen?
At his big CPAC speech in late February and then in a released statement on March 9, Trump called for his supporters to begin sending their donations directly to him rather than to the GOP. While many legacy media commentators and top GOP politicians mocked and dismissed Trump’s Orlando speech as the ravings of a sore loser, it soon became apparent that the Trump base heard him and responded to his request. That money gives Trump an immense amount of clout.
And it didn’t take long for the real estate billionaire to begin exercising that clout. Trump played a role in getting Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) tossed from her GOP leadership seat and replaced by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).
Trump also made a key move during his convention speech. After current North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr stated he will not seek reelection in 2022, former House Speaker Paul Ryan and the GOP establishment wing of the party quickly anointed their chosen successor: North Carolina House Rep. Mark Walker.
And then, during his speech, Trump called up fellow North Carolina House Rep. Ted Budd and endorsed him, and by doing so instantly rendered Walker irrelevant. After all, when it comes to who the GOP base is going to listen to, Paul Ryan or Donald Trump, the answer is obvious.
Running Against Trump’s Slate for 2022 and 2024 Will Be Prohibitively Expensive
Whatever the establishment GOP and their donors expected to have to spend in the upcoming GOP primaries in the next two elections, they had better go ahead and quadruple it. At the very least.
Trump has made it clear that he fully intends to make it awfully expensive to get GOP establishment picks elected. He will be running his own endorsed slate of candidates against the candidates put forward by the establishment.
That entrenched GOP establishment wing was able to hold out for all four of the years that Trump was president, hunkered down and determined to wait him out. Trump could often give them only token attention before turning back to more pressing matters.
Now, Trump isn’t president, which means he can give them his full and undivided attention.
He’s going to root up the party’s Republican establishment wing by starving them out financially, and then beating them electorally. Trump’s plan is that when he returns to the White House in 2024, the Democratic Party isn’t going to be a viable political force due to the exposure of the alleged election theft, and the Republican establishment will be gone from a Congress where Trump supporters are fully in control.
Of course, Trump’s opponents can see where this is going if he gets his way. And it’s making them increasingly nervous.
Panic at CNN
CNN anchor Jim Acosta argued the Saturday morning prior to Trump’s NC convention speech that the country is in the midst of a “slow motion coup” because the former president hasn’t gone away in disgrace yet.
Far from being hunkered down in a bunker, isolated and under siege, Trump was about to hit the campaign trail again. It was almost as if five years of relentless, dedicated effort by an increasingly frantic news media to destroy this man and his family had all accomplished nothing.
If Trump would return to the White House for a second term, one thing is clear: Every attempt to destroy him as a political agent of change in this country will have failed. And in a second term, Trump would have a far easier time implementing his full agenda than he did the first time around.
Brian Cates is a writer based in South Texas and author of “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!” He can be reached on Telegram at t.me/drawandstrikechannel.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.