VDARE Radio: Personnel Is Policy


I’m Virginia Dare, and you’re listening to VDARE RADIO.

Longtime conservative activist Morton Blackwell once put out what he called the “Laws of the Public Policy Process.” One of the most important is Rule #26 – “Personnel is policy.”

It’s something President Trump would have done well to learn. Since taking office, President Trump has surrounded himself not just with people who are disloyal, but people who actively opposed him every step of the way.

This might be one of Donald Trump’s fundamental weaknesses. Though he supposedly has a strong attachment to “loyalty,” he comes from the business world, not politics. Ultimately, business is defined by money. Even fierce opponents will make deals or put aside their differences altogether if it means making a profit.

But politics is different. The coin of the realm in politics is influence, and influence revolves, above all, by proximity. Therefore, it’s troubling that President Trump has surrounded himself not with loyalists, but with party hacks, former opponents, and even #NeverTrump figures who tried to destroy him. It’s no surprise President Trump is being plagued by leaks and “sabotage” within his own administration. He can’t even trust his inner circle.

Most people rallied to Donald Trump despite, not because of his personality and history. They were attracted to his nationalist message, the promise of immigration patriotism, an America First foreign policy, pro-worker economic policies, and an unapologetic stance against political correctness. The average conservative activists came on board before the end, but they would have supported any Republican just to avoid allowing Hillary Clinton to appoint Supreme Court justices. These Republicans would have no problem in removing President Trump from office and getting the even more pliable President Pence.

Reince Priebus, who has supported amnesty his entire career, is President Trump’s Chief of Staff. He controls access to the president and more than anyone else, has the power to set the agenda. Not surprisingly, instead of taking action on immigration and trade and setting a new course in foreign policy, President Trump’s agenda looks like something Paul Ryan would have come up with.

Mike Cernovich reports Johnny DeStefano, an archetypical Beltway Right politico, is deliberately preventing Trump supporters from being hired in the Administration and is preparing to purge what few allies the president has within a few days [May Massacre – Johnny DeStefano to purge Trump supporters on May 22, Medium, May 17, 2017]. DeStefano’s life and career is a kind of perfect representation of everything Donald Trump was supposed to be against [This Beltway insider is in charge of hiring for the Trump administration. It’s taking a while, by Lisa Rein, Washington Post, April 19, 2017]. Not surprisingly, a number of grassroots Trump supporters are reporting their resumes are not even getting to the people who make the hiring decisions, while Beltway Right hacks and Never Trump activists are pushed to the front of the queue.

Many Trump supporters were shocked and disappointed when the President seemingly flip-flopped on foreign policy and bombed Syria. And much of the blame may lie with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and his deputy Dina Powell, both of whom have spent their careers advocating against America First policies. Chuck Johnson at GotNews has also reported they are responsible for some of the damaging leaks to the press [BUSTED: Sources Confirm NatSec Advisor H.R. McMaster & His Deputy Dina Powell Are Leaking To The Anti-Trump Media, GotNews, May 16, 2017].

One gets the disturbing sense Donald Trump had no idea of his own importance when it came to his potential to remake the conservative movement. Aside from Tucker Carlson being given a primetime show and Michael Brendan Dougherty (who opposed Trump but showed sympathy to some of his issues) getting a slot at National Review, Conservatism Inc. hasn’t really changed in response to Trump’s victory. The same talking heads are lecturing us every night.

None of these people have any loyalty to Trump particularly. Indeed, they have much to gain if Trump is removed. The only people who will fight for Trump during this difficult time are those who were with him during the beginning.

But Trump hasn’t seemed to learn anything from his experience. Indeed, Trump is flirting with appointing Joe Lieberman head of the FBI, who is hardly likely to be loyal to him.

What he should do is surround himself with a cadre of loyalists, including Bannon, Miller, and Sessions. And Trump needs to recommit himself to the America First agenda which first got him elected. The neoconservatives are not going to allow him to survive by making any kind of compromise. Simply by being President, he is too much of a threat.

Still, as even Trump’s opponents are warning, it is a mistake to underestimate him [Don’t underestimate Trump, by Ronald A. Klain, Washington Post, May 18, 2017]. Let’s hope President Trump starts acting like Candidate Trump. A fighter, someone who wants to conquer the political establishment in both parties, not compromise with them. And someone who knows that if he keeps faith with his base, that his base will fight with him to the end.