An insidious institutional rot has long afflicted the Republican Party and the broader conservative movement. Historically, this has presented a vexing problem for grassroots activists desperate to change the status quo. Now, after Herculean efforts by players big and small, it appears that the rabble-rousing of the MAGA faithful is finally paying off.

New Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Whatley and Vice Chairwoman Lara Trump have brought immediate change to the institution, working with senior Trump campaign advisor Chris LaCivita to streamline this leviathan. Whereas former RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney-McDaniel did not make the systemic changes needed to support a modern campaign infrastructure, the new team has wasted no time taking a hatchet to overpriced, underworked, and misaligned elements of the organization.

“Every tool that the other side has used, we need to wield for ourselves,” Whatley said in an internal staffing memo to the RNC. “We will strive relentlessly towards historic accomplishments and fully modernizing the organization between now and Election Day,” he noted, adding that the RNC’s goal is to “cater to individual states, realizing that each state is different and that we must evolve to more neighbor-to-neighbor, precinct-level organizing.”

Previously, grassroots groups like Turning Point Action worked in opposition to the RNC, which cared more about providing lavish incentives for veteran operatives than doing the tedious and unglamorous work of chasing ballots and hunting down votes. Now, Whatley and Trump have demonstrated their commitment to build a broad coalition of organizations working in concert to win elections.

The embrace of early voting and absentee ballots, where Democrats have routed Republicans for years, may not be widespread among factions within Trump’s hardcore America First base, but it is necessary. These unfortunate practices have become the facts of life in battleground states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, where Democrats are in control and the genie cannot be put back in the bottle. The realpolitik of the situation dictates that Republicans must fight and win on whatever battlefields that exist, rather than accepting losses while harkening to election-integrity ideals that remain untenable in purple and blue states.

The immediate axing of dozens of RNC staffers sets an example of the culture of complacency that Whatley and Trump will not tolerate. Failed efforts at catering to minority voters, which have not yielded any tangible results, will no longer be subsidized by the RNC. Whereas the previous RNC leadership would have hesitated to make this change for fear of being labeled by the biased media as racist, the current leadership does not shy away from the necessary change. The RNC will instead work alongside individuals who bring tangible value, such as gay conservative Scott Presler, who does far more than collect a salary to check a diversity box.

The America First movement has long demanded this transformation, and the waiting game has been excruciating. It will be far from pretty as the America First movement remakes the machinery of the Republican Party; it is a gargantuan task that seemed impossible before the rise of President Donald J. Trump. The sheer force of Trump’s personality showed the power of a truly exceptional individual to overcome insurmountable odds in a victory for common sense and the virtuous principles shared by the patriots whose spirits animate our nation.

As Trump rose to power, conservative institutions refused to change with the times. They dug in their heels, hoping that things would eventually return to how they were if they bided their time. They believed that Trump would fall flat on his face and that his legacy would be a failed presidency. This is why they looked the other way as the Deep State took unprecedented actions to undermine Trump before he even won his election, figuring that Trump would not be able to overcome their tricks and tactics.

However, the blatant hurdles Trump faced and surmounted only made him stronger and his supporters more fervent. Trump is in a prime position to sweep back into the presidency. For many decades, Conservative Inc. had a fleet of attorneys, bureaucrats, academics, and media apparatchiks strategically placed to make the Republican Party weak and unresponsive to the needs of its constituents.

Those days are rapidly coming to an end, and the baggage of the Republican Party will be cast aside. With President Trump’s victory in November, the obsolescence of the reviled Conservative Inc. apparatus will be apparent to all. Then, the struggle to save our nation will kick into high gear.

When Trump said he would be our retribution, this is partly what he was referencing. Trump’s right-wing realignment is the saving grace for activists who have fought and endured many brutal battles but maintained their spirit and refused to quit despite tremendous obstacles. As the hardships of the Founding Fathers led to the forging of liberty, our hardships will result in the renewal of national greatness. We are seeing the fruits begin to emerge right now.

Gavin Wax on March 23, 2024

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