Why It’s Important to Understand Trump and Trumpism
January 11, 2017
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Over the course of the next month, I will partner with the Heritage Foundation for a series of presentations focused on understanding the dramatic changes brought about by the rise of President-elect Trump and Trumpism, as well as the policy challenges facing the new Administration, Congress, and the nation.
The following is an excerpt from Part I of the ‘Understanding Trump and Trumpism’ series, delivered January 10, 2017 at the Heritage Foundation. To view upcoming speeches, click here.
It is important to understand both the President-elect and the powerful populist movement that propelled Trump to victory. The combination of President-elect Trump’s key policies and proposals, the emerging empowering technologies and techniques, and the underlying movement of the American people is what I am calling “Trumpism.”
It is important to codify, clarify, and explore the concept of Trumpism because implementing it will require the work, initiative, and creativity of thousands of Americans.
Because our national media focuses so much on the President we have a very misleading sense of how fundamental change occurs in America.
Despite 84 years of liberal efforts to dominate America from Washington, America remains remarkably decentralized with an enormous depth of local leadership.
There are over 513,000 elected officials.
Republicans have over 4,100 state legislators (the most in the 162-year history of the Republican Party).
There are 33 Republican Governors, the most since 1922.
In fact, in 25 states there’s absolute Republican control of the executive and legislative branches. This is a remarkable opportunity to implement Trumpism at the state and local level, and it is also a remarkable opportunity to create an active state-federal transformation which targets the worst aspects of the liberal system and transforms them into the new Trump model.
In Washington, the decentralization continues. There are currently 52 Republican Senators and 247 Republican House Members. They have a staff of approximately 7,500 people.
Even in the executive branch, there is a vast army of people necessary to implement President Trump’s plans. There is a Cabinet with the Vice-President and the heads of 15 executive agencies. There are over 4,000 presidential appointees. The Senior Executive Service has around 7,700 members. There are over 900 general officers in the military. Even in the executive branch the President needs a great deal of coordination and cooperation to get anything done.
This huge number of active players is why it is important to create a clear understanding of both President-elect Trump and of Trumpism as a movement that has to be implemented by many people, in many different arenas, working on many different challenges.
The central proposition of this series is that November 8, 2016 was a watershed.
A watershed is a very large, or as President-elect Trump might say “huge” change. The old order is on one side of the watershed and a not yet understood, slowly emerging and clarifying new order is growing on the new side of this watershed.
We will know in a year if this is a real watershed.
I will continue with Part II of the ‘Understanding Trump and Trumpism’ series this Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 11am ET. The speech will be streamed live on Facebook and transcript and video will be made available at Gingrich Productions and The Heritage Foundation following the presentation.
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