The Washington Establishment is betting on Trump faltering. Trump can triumph by not letting any of them subvert from within.
The well proven maxim, people equals policy, should be Trump’s driving force. Trump can gain inspiration and insight from Reagan’s earlier victory over the Establishment. These lessons can assure Trump’s tenure achieves historic change.
The Reagan Revolution almost did not occur because the Republican Establishment did everything it could to co-opt it. Reagan’s transition planning team was hijacked by technocrats who had no understanding or desire for revolution. Legions of moderate Republicans, who fought Goldwater in the 1960s and Reagan in the 1970s, poured into Reagan’s transition teams in the weeks following the 1980 election. Former Ford appointees, derisively called “retreads”, filled the short lists for government executive positions.
It took the aggressive intervention of Reagan’s Kitchen Cabinet to clean house and get his revolution back on track. Reagan’s closest friends, including Joe Coors and Bill Wilson, arrived in Washington, DC in early December 1980 and personally took charge of the transition. Their clarity of purpose and unwavering devotion to Reagan and his agenda, assured that Americans got the change they so clearly wanted.
President-Elect Trump has not waited until early December. Trump’s Veterans’ Day Transition realignment was bold and effective. His top associates, family members, and key operatives are now the rocket boosters to propel the Trump Administration into a sustainable orbit.
There is one advantage that Trump in 2016 has over Reagan in 1980 - the Washington Republican Establishment openly and vehemently opposed Trump throughout his campaign. The usual post-nomination unity was hindered by the “never Trump” forces. Many anti-Trump Republicans openly boasted about voting against him in countless social media posts on Election Day.
This disloyalty and outright sabotage must be remembered. It clears the field for new blood to serve Trump. It is far easier to “drain the swamp” when the K Street crocodiles have exposed themselves.
Those who knifed Trump in the back are waiting for the day he “comes to his senses” and sells out his “Deplorables”. Many observers are smugly musing that Trump will have to scale back his revolution and make peace with the Establishment. Otherwise, they declare, Trump will not have enough capable people to run the Executive Branch.
Trump can once again prove his detractors fools. The private sector has a vast array of corporate change agents. These top executives have successfully run enterprises larger than most federal agencies. Those who profitably navigated the post-2008 economic collapse are “battle” seasoned and proven innovators. Those who remained profitable in the face of global competition have mastered the upheavals of the 21st Century. Many will heed Trump’s call to join his crusade to Make America Great Again.
Trump can tap Republican governors who have turned around the governments and economies of their states. Their dramatic successes have earned them re-election or assured a Republican succeeded them.
The Republican governors were successful because they unflinchingly fulfilled their campaign pledges, and kept their focus on bettering the economic wellbeing of their citizens. They were also successful because they hired highly effective lieutenants to run their state agencies. These successful change agents bring a record of vanquishing public sector inertia. They can be paired with private sector leaders to become an unbeatable team for “Trumping” the Federal Government.
Many rallied to Trump within weeks of his announcing his candidacy. These included policy experts and strategic thinkers who helped in the Reagan and Gingrich revolutions. Reagan alumni stood firm with Trump by courageously endorsing him while enduring ostracism from the Washington “powers that be”. Hundreds of retired military and national security leaders, many of whom helped win the Cold War, stepped forward to offer Trump timely and critical support.
Trump’s “Deplorables” are counting on him winning for them and America.