The Identity Crisis Facing the America First Movement
When Donald Trump came that escalator in Trump Tower in 2015 to announce he was going to run for President of the United States of America, the America First Movement was born. I had wanted him to run in 2012 instead of Mitt Romney, so when he announced his candidacy that pivotal day, I immediately switched over my support from Rand Paul to Donald J Trump.
Trump changed the face of the Republican Party. To be honest, most of it was good, while some bad. He became the de facto leader of the party, although a lot of the support from the party itself was out of necessity.
Once he was president, we saw many of those who attacked him during the election cycle (even often times during the General Election) come around and fully get behind his presidency. Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and even Kayleigh McEnany as just a few examples.
It seemed like all of a sudden, the entire GOP was America First, despite the fact that it was clear for us all to see that they are all a part of the swamp that Trump was supposed to drain. However, they understood that the only way they could stay in power was to suck up to Trump and his supporters. So suck up, they did!
Obviously both the 2020 and 2022 elections were rigged. In my personal opinion, I think that the GOP leadership was more behind the stolen elections than the Democrats. But that leads us to where we go both as a party and as a movement.
Donald Trump announced that he’s running for the President again in 2024. However, there are a lot of concerns everyday Americans have with Trump. Yes, we all loved him as president. From my perspective, he’s the greatest president of my lifetime. He’s done more to preserve freedom and allow as many people as possible to fulfill the American Dream than any president in modern history.
However, now we are dealing with a president that is toxic, more so because of the mainstream media’s narrative about him than anything else. Once he gets to the General Election, it’s going to be non-stop attacks about January 6th, Election Denial, his taxes, getting raided by the FBI and the list goes on.
Sure, his base isn’t going to abandon him. But will the moderate Republicans and Independents vote for him? This question is why some are beginning to lean towards someone like a Ron DeSantis.
However, this also leads to a deeper and more foundational question: What is the America First Movement? For many, it’s all about Donald Trump. Period. End of Story. For others, like myself, it’s a unification of like-minded people around the common principles set forth by President Trump during the 2016 campaign. Things like draining the swamp, having a strong border, fixing poor trade policies, having an America First foreign policy, economic freedom, etc.
Can we have an America First Movement without Donald Trump as the leader? I don’t know the answer to that. I’d like to think that the movement is bigger than one man. Although, it may be that we ride and die with Donald J Trump without exception, even if he’s wavering from the America First agenda, as he’s done since he’s left the White House.
The America First Movement has a choice to make regarding our identity. Do we find our identity in Donald Trump or in a common worldview? I pray it’s the latter, but the next two years will indicate the true answer to that question.
If you missed the latest episode of The Jeff Dornik Show with special guest Seth Holehouse, I highly encourage you to watch it: