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The Right Resistance: Will Trump – or DeSantis or Ramaswamy – be able to find the best personnel?

On the final day of August, with breaking news from last week’s debate(s) having slowed to a trickle (if not a stop), it’s time to look to the future.

The future being a potential Donald Trump second go ‘round (or any Republican administration, since every candidate running would face the same pressing conundrum of picking the right people to man the computers, pens and speaking podiums of the executive branch). Most everyone recalls with a degree of cringe-worthiness Trump’s experience with finding the right crew to work with him on the Make America Great Again ship in his four years.

Those who attended Trump’s inauguration (myself included) on 1/20/2017 remember the newly sworn-in president promising to return the government to the people, and though I can’t speak for everyone in attendance, the true believers in the huge crowd understood he was serious. Trump’s actions as president subsequently demonstrated his sincerity in the attempt.

Yet something got lost in translation as many of the appointees Trump put in place to serve The People fell far short of that objective. Longtime conservative political watchers place the blame mostly on the DC swamp uni-party, a loosely defined collection of grifters, losers and hangers-on bent on perpetuating power rather than breaking new ground on the road to liberty, accountability, responsibility and humility.

Picking the right minds to staff the administration is always crucial and it will be particularly so after Joe Biden is dispatched from the Oval Office forever. Voters should take the topic into account when making their choice next time, shouldn’t they? In an opinion piece titled “Voters need to know who will serve the next president (Personnel is destiny)Michael McKenna wrote at The Washington Times:

“The president has to fill about 5,000 political jobs. The chances of making a mistake or two or a few dozen are pretty high. The stakes are high, as the difference between a successful administration and a failed one usually rides on the people with whom the president surrounds himself. He should be especially careful about those who will work in close proximity to him.

“Mr. Trump’s personnel track record in his first term was not great. In the event you have forgotten the first term, Mr. Trump, unaccustomed to governing, tended to prefer those with the ‘right’ credentials rather than those who could help him advance his agenda. Think of his affection for generals, almost all of whom were hostile to his agenda (former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis), corporate folks (former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson), or simply those who defended him aggressively on television (former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci) ... “Team Reagan used to say that personnel is policy. Personnel is also destiny. The media should start asking candidates (including Mr. Trump) what kinds of people they would appoint in the event they become president. Then, voters can proceed accordingly.”

Yes indeed. Politics followers make an oversized deal over narrowing down the candidates running for president, which is extremely important, of course. But that person’s abilities as a leader, manager, motivator, preacher, mourner, enforcer and teacher will be sorely tested. He (or she) can’t do it alone. The government has grown so large and out-of-control that the president needs legions of helpers to share the tasks, political and otherwise.

In other words, candidates should be asked about their personnel philosophies. Coming from outside the system, would someone like thirty-something Vivek Ramaswamy have difficulty making the correct choices? Governor Ron DeSantis has served in Congress and at the state level. He knows lots of good people – conservatives, not ruling class snobs.

Then there’s Trump, who claims he now knows everyone in Washington and is that much wiser for the knowledge. But nevertheless, some assert that his reputation is so damaged that no one would work for him because he’s purportedly a pain in the rump to get along with. Are they right?

The whole notion that there won’t be anyone to serve in a Trump 2.0 administration is absurd. Plain and simple. This type of argument is advanced by desperate Never Trump souls who will literally do and say anything to convince conservative and Republican fence-sitters that Trump is an unelectable ogre whose personality turned so many people off in his first term that no one would ever agree to do the political work necessary to govern the country starting in 2025.

Nonsense. There will be no shortage of applications from patronage seekers once Trump – or any of the other Republicans – is declared the winner in the days and weeks after the votes are counted and recounted and recounted (Democrats trying to find some way to cook the numbers again). Put it this way, the Republican transition team won’t be out recruiting and pleading with street people using promises of high pay, a warm place to sleep and all the food they could handle.

Why? A few reasons stand out. First, the allure of power attracts people like night insects to a blue light zapper. Having come to the Washington area almost three decades ago intending to find work in Republican politics, I quickly grasped that the young and hopeful (or older and ambitious) will suck up their personal preferences for a chance to do something to make a difference. Idealism is not dead among the patriotic. Far from it. There’s more urgency than ever to lend a hand to reversing the course of decline overtaking America’s institutions.

Two, Trump has more than enough loyalists from his first go-round to staff his White House and inner circle. Over two and a half years of post-presidency and campaign work has demonstrated who is loyal and trustworthy – and who isn’t. Here’s thinking Trump will welcome in some who didn’t immediately support his reelection bid, but leniency will depend on who they are and what they said when it mattered. There is still a large pool of dedicated conservatives willing to go to battle for the MAGA agenda and conservative movement.

If it turns out that Trump is in charge of the former and de facto overseeing the latter, the troops will come, a volunteer army of foot soldiers anxious to serve the commander.

Third, very, very few will come directly into contact with Trump himself on a regular basis. Even those who may be skittish and afraid of the president’s notoriously difficult moods and reputation won’t reject an opportunity to work in a historic administration. As long as he or she adheres to the policy outlines of the president, they won’t draw attention to themselves.

There almost surely will be saboteurs among the group, those who would do anything to trip up Trump just because they despise him – but here’s thinking those clandestine underminers will be exposed quickly and dispatched. Trump is more wary than ever, and it won’t take long to correct the mistakes of the past by tossing the bad apples from the barrel as soon as they expose themselves.

Trump waited far too long to purge the trash from his first administration and he’s anxious to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The Trump inner circle is even more suspicious of the Washington establishment than ever, so your standard run-of-the-mill blueblood Republican will stay far away from the president, which benefits not only coherence and strategy, but the country itself.

The Mitch McConnells of the world already are on the way out, and whomever eventually replaces them will likely be more cooperative with the new conservative/populist agenda. The Republican Party itself is changing. Anyone who saw last week’s debate realized the GOP is about more than tax cuts, low regulation and big business protection these days. It’s a traditionalist populist party now where the average person and working class receives a much larger share of emphasis.

The elites are on the run. If not from Trump, how about from Gov. Ron DeSantis or an outsider like Vivek Ramaswamy? Will a large share of Republican primary voters be eager to pull the lever for neocon Nikki Haley or big fat blowhard Chris Christie? I think not. The final vestiges of the old Bush/Romney party are shriveling up and moving to the background. And they have nowhere else to go, because the Democrats are so extreme.

Lastly, Trump’s unmatched popularity with his hardcore supporters means there will be an army of people ready and waiting to serve in his administration. Only a small fraction is domiciled in Washington, but I surmise there’s enough talent there to get the job done – and then some.

If the shoe were on the other foot, and somehow senile Joe Biden wins reelection, would any Democrats desire to work for the obviously failing doddering dolt with an increasingly palpable nasty side and inability to function normally? Or would Democrats consider Biden too tainted to serve in his second four years? Why would Trump alone turn people off to the point where they quit their penchant for politics?

It doesn’t make sense, and that’s the reason why the boo birds who swear Trump won’t be able to get conservatives to serve are flat out wrong. There would be a ton of boots on the ground. Will there be a general to tell them what needs to be done?

One of the top problems waiting for the new Republican president in 2025 (assuming there is one) is the challenge of filling the thousands of political slots required to run the government. Voters definitely deserve to hear – in detail – how each of the legitimate hopefuls plans to find experienced and quality individuals to carry out the mission. It sounds like a great question to pose at the second GOP debate at the end of next month.

  • Joe Biden economy

  • inflation

  • Biden cognitive decline

  • gas prices,

  • Nancy Pelosi

  • Biden senile

  • January 6 Committee

  • Liz Cheney

  • Build Back Better

  • Joe Manchin

  • RINOs

  • Marjorie Taylor Green

  • Kevin McCarthy

  • Mitch McConnell

  • 2022 elections

  • Donald Trump

  • 2024 presidential election

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1 Comment

It seems like any outsider would be hard pressed to find 5000 or so loyal staffers. I have belonged to a church with about 1000 members for nearly 20 years and I don't know all of them. How can a newly elected president know enough good people to appoint 5000 to important political positions? He can't. That's where he depends on his advisors to identify the best candidates. The problem Trump had in 2017 was identifying which advisors to listen to. Some of them were supportive and others were not to various degrees. I like Ramaswamy. He is a very intelligent and thoughtful guy, but he would face the same problem as Trump did in that he would …

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