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Donald Trump has cemented himself as a seminal figure in American history. To most Republicans, he has been a godsend, even surpassing Ronald Reagan by some measures. But to one set that still self-identifies on the right, Trump is the bane of their existence. His brand of populism and refusal of ideological rigidity offends these types, who would go back to the days of George W. Bush if they could turn back time.

These “conservatives” and “libertarians” around Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in 2022. DeSantis had modeled himself after Trump to win in Florida. But that only lasted until the megadonors came calling. At that point, DeSantis performed a very public about-face, reinventing himself as a tepid, establishment Republican beholden to the same interests that have dogged Republicans for over half a century. After DeSantis showed zero viability as a national candidate, those interests to former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a neoconservative bleating for and more surveillance . Even the Koch Network has put aside their long-stated non-interventionism to give Haley a boost.

In short: the ideologues who cling to idealistic philosophical theories eschew the rationale for leadership using the faulty shroud of “individualism”. But we, as conservatives, know human nature to be a constant and moral truths to be permanent. Without a leader who fights to uphold such tenets, the foundations we hold dear are easily assailed.

This is precisely what happened to Western civilization. Our culture is rotting because of an unwillingness to use public policy to shape a national agenda suitable for our people. Neither the “free market” nor “laissez-faire capitalism” are enough to fill that need. And as the right has passively been waiting for the “free market” to kick in, America’s enemies have been actively turning the country inside out.

Our first president, George Washington, is frequently quoted as saying that “government, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Because of the collective skittishness of the “conservative movement”, we have lacked fire for generations. Republicans have fumbled continuously, taking any excuse to be shiftless and never help the people. Still, they always seemed to reverse course when it came time to embark on endless wars or enact massive corporate welfare subsidies and bailouts . It turns out these Republican politicians aren’t so lazy when it comes time to enrich the lobbyist class, most of whom either work with them, golf with them, or sleep with them. Sometimes all three.

So we cannot afford to forget what a blessing President Trump has been, disrupting the toxicity within a Republican Party jet-setting its way to national destruction. Many conservatives and libertarians, particularly those carrying prestigious sinecures, had become more than satisfied with the status quo, of losing honor to the Democrats and being happy with whatever scraps tossed their way from the political establishment. Perhaps they unknowingly had become housebroken, losing their will to fight, and coaxed into slumber. Trump’s rise poses as much of a threat to their way of life as it does the globalist class pushing to enslave us in their Big Brother technocracy.

What these anti-Trump conservatives and libertarians have forgotten is that the timeless axioms underpinning American freedom and civilization as we know it will not defend themselves. Principles alone are not enough to save a country without a man of action to implement them. Trump is the rare, era-defining leader who inspires men to rush into battle. His example has inspired millions. Trump is the embodiment of the conservative ideal because he is the catalyst that sparked the ongoing national renewal and renaissance that represents the last chance to save this nation.

Gavin Wax

Gavin M. Wax is a New York-based conservative political activist, commentator, columnist, operative, and strategist. He is the Executive Director of the National Constitutional Law Union. He also serves as the 76th President of the New York Young Republican Club and as an Ambassador for both Turning Point USA & Live Action. He is co-authoring an upcoming book entitled 'The Emerging Populist Majority.' You can follow him on Twitter at @GavinWax.