Why Donald Trump Is Politically Stronger After His Presidency

Why Donald Trump Is Politically Stronger After His Presidency
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

On Friday, Politico reporter Tara Palmeri noted that Donald Trump has actually gained — not lost — political clout after leaving office. Why is that, exactly?

“People don’t want to hear anything against Trump,” Palmeri said on MSNBC. “Actually, the more he stays out of the media, the more that he becomes this martyr, this looming figure over the GOP.”

Palmeri claimed that many conservatives are waging a “crusade” on behalf of the former president in places like Wyoming, where Trump is “way more popular” than Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

The Politico reporter came to this conclusion after speaking with locals at an anti-Cheney rally led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).

“I actually went out of my way to try to find someone who would defend her and I really could not,” Palmeri told MSNBC. “She didn’t have that much name recognition, considering she’s a Cheney. … I mean, I said her name at a hardware store, and someone shouted a threat.”

“A lot of people said they aren’t really Republicans, that, like, they’re for Trump. That’s it,” the Politico reporter explained. “I think the base is getting stronger, truly. I think an impeachment would make him even more powerful — a conviction, is what I mean.”

“It feels like another world,” Palmeri said. “I don’t think that we can ignore it and I’m really happy that I went out there and saw it because I think there’s a huge disconnect between Washington and the rest of the country.”

Many observers have long noted a growing disconnect between the political and bureaucratic elites in Washington and the rest of the country. Palmeri is right to realize that the elites’ anger against Trump does not translate to the millions of Americans who saw a champion of their values in the White House.

Yet it seems Palmieri did not mention a key reason why Trump’s clout has grown since he left office — the unpopularity of his successor’s policies. In less than a week, Biden managed to ram divisive policies down Americans’ throats through massive executive orders. A Biden backlash is already brewing.

A federal judge blocked Biden’s moratorium on deportations of illegal immigrants.

After Biden signed a mammoth executive order on climate change that will flip America’s national security on its head — undermining national security while claiming that the so-called “climate crisis” is the central national security threat — the Western Energy Alliance, an organization representing oil companies, said it filed a lawsuit challenging that order in court.

On Thursday, Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy.) introduced the Protecting Our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act, which would prohibit the Biden administration from blocking energy or mineral leasing on federal lands or waters without approval from Congress. Among many other things, Biden’s climate order directed the federal government not to approve any new leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands.

Biden’s climate orders have also alienated union leaders. The Laborer’s International Union endorsed Biden in the 2020 presidential election, but it has condemned the cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline. The United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters also endorsed Biden, but it condemned the administration for the loss of jobs and likely rising energy costs.

According to The Washington Examiner, at least 13 state legislatures are preparing legislation to fight radical transgender policies like the ones Biden has ordered via executive diktat. Biden’s transgender orders undermine science, allow biological males into women’s bathrooms and changing rooms, and enable biological males to defeat women in women’s sports. Americans will fight back.

Meanwhile, Democrats appear to be pushing a new domestic “War on Terror” targeting conservatives as if the 75 million Americans who voted for Trump represent a cabal plotting “insurrections” like the Capitol riot. Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has boldly spoken out against this “KGB-style surveillance” effort. Democrats may be able to pull something like this off, but Americans will be on our guard and the backlash will be deafening.

Biden narrowly won the presidency likely because he was a cipher — Americans didn’t vote for Uncle Joe so much as against Donald Trump. Biden also promised to be a president for all Americans, but he’s already alienating millions of voters and destroying thousands of jobs.

Meanwhile, Trump has lost Twitter, which proved a liability as well as an asset. The former president would do well to focus on speeches and rallies and leave the angry tweets in the past. For now, he is a silenced martyr, and the impeachment trial will only underscore that impression.

As Biden’s policy weakens America, Trump’s record will look better and better. The president should store up this political capital and use it to secure GOP victories in the House and Senate in 2022. He should also pick a successor and prepare the ground for that candidate — whether it be Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, Tom Cotton, or Ron DeSantis. A reinvigorated GOP should resurrect Trump’s agenda without the former president’s downsides.

Trump has a strong policy legacy. It’s time for him to build a political legacy that will silence the Left’s threats to America, from China appeasement to climate alarmism to Marxist critical theory to transgender radicalism.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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