How Trump Could Beat The Deep State

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Apr 10, 2024 - 11:40 PM

Authored by James Rickards via,

Let’s say that Trump wins the November election. What would a second Trump presidency actually look like?

Today we’re going to investigate that question. Let’s first back up to the 2016 election.

Trump ran the most incompetent presidential transition process in my lifetime and perhaps the worst in history. The problems began with the fact that none of Trump, his family members and inner circle actually thought he would win the 2016 election with the exception of campaign manager Steve Bannon.

I predicted Trump would win but I was almost alone in that regard.

Trump picked Chris Christie as his transition manager, seemingly oblivious to the fact that as a prosecutor, Christie had put Jared Kushner’s father in jail. Given Kushner’s role as Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, this was a recipe for failure.

A well-run transition doesn’t start the day after the election. It begins a year or more advance with a list of loyal appointees ready to go. Trump had no preparation and no team. Christie was fired as transition manager and Mike Pence took over, but the entire process was bungled.

The other problem was that Trump applied the New York real estate developer mentality to his administration. He never worried much about his appointees because if they failed, he could always yell, “You’re fired!”

That may work in New York, but it doesn’t work in Washington. Appointees are protected by politicians, lobbyists and the media. If you fire someone, you can expect a barrage of leaks, policy paralysis and opposition to any new appointee.

Even if a bad choice is fired, the lower levels of the deep state take over and run rings around you while waiting for a replacement who will take months to get a handle on the job in a best case.

Trump never understood any of this.

Trump also trusted the wrong people. He installed James Mattis as secretary of defense, Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, H.R. McMaster as national security adviser and John Kelly as chief of staff. They were all RINOs from the Bush wing of the party.

They were brought in as “adult supervision” of the supposedly reckless Trump, but they all stabbed Trump in the back. Meanwhile, loyal supporters like Steve Bannon and K.T. McFarland were shoved aside.

Trump didn’t learn. He did fire James Comey as head of the FBI (three months too late) but then appointed Christopher Wray as the new FBI director. Wray now works for Biden and puts Trump supporters in jail. But Trump was the one who appointed him.

Trump should have fired the lying Anthony Fauci after one meeting. Instead, he gave Fauci the keys to the U.S. economy. Fauci then implemented lockdowns, school closings, vaccine mandates, masking and social distancing in ways that ruined the U.S. economy and gave Trump’s enemies an excuse to change election laws to favor mail-in ballots, which permits more widespread cheating.

The list goes on. The bottom line is no one was worse at transition planning, appointments, endorsements and tolerance of gross incompetence than Trump. He was his own worst enemy and seemed incapable of learning the ropes in how to deal with Washington bureaucracy and the deep state.

This leaves one overriding question. Has Trump learned anything since leaving office in 2021? Will he have a successful transition this time or simply repeat the blunders of 2017–2021?

Read on to see how Trump could pull it off...

How to Take on the Deep State

Has Trump learned anything since leaving office in 2021? Will he have a successful transition this time or simply repeat the blunders of 2017–2021? To answer those questions, we turn to two books that hold the key to possible success in a new Trump administration. The first is called The Plum Book. The second is called Mandate for Leadership 2025.

“Plum Book” is a nickname for a publication from the Government Printing Office based on the fact that it has a plum-colored cover. The official title is United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions.

It’s a 232-page directory of about 8,000 jobs in the U.S. government with an emphasis on the executive branch (controlled by the president) and independent agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It’s literally page after page of job listings by title, department and pay grade.

What makes the Plum Book special (and indispensable to a presidential transition team) is that the jobs listed in the book are those that are open to political appointment and not subject to a competitive process.

These are the jobs where the president can just pick the person he wants and install that person in a key policy position without going through normal civil service channels. Some of the positions may be subject to Senate confirmation, but that usually poses no difficulty, especially if the new president’s party also controls the Senate.

The Plum Book is like a secret guide to understanding the deep state and putting your own people in place to control it.

Even the most obscure federal agencies have top positions to be filled. They all have a director, one or more deputies, board members, executive assistants, etc. That’s how deep the deep state really is. When Biden calls for an “all of government” approach to climate change or DEI, the Plum Book tells us that means 8,000 hands on deck.

The executive office of the president involves a lot more than 10 or so close assistants in the West Wing such as counsel to the president, chief of staff and a few special assistants. The Plum Book lists 83 separate jobs (not including clerks, interns and executive assistants).

These jobs support the president only and do not come close to covering the entire executive branch. Among these positions are “special assistant to the president and assistant communications director for strategic messaging,” and “special assistant to the president and deputy director of White House information technology.” As you can see, even the assistants and deputies have assistants and deputies.

So if Trump wins the election, the Plum Book will be an important tool to put the right people in place..

Still, the Plum Book is only the beginning of a successful transition. It tells us what positions need to be filled but does not offer a guide to policy. The selection of individuals for appointments needs to be guided by a set of policies that can act as a filter for choosing the right individuals.

Who is doing the hard work of outlining policy initiatives for hundreds of agencies, commissions and offices that comprise the executive branch and ultimately the deep state? It’s fine to win an election and use the Plum Book to fill key positions with competent loyalists, but what policies will they actually implement?

Fortunately for Trump, the Heritage Foundation has done this work. The Heritage Foundation is just one of hundreds of think tanks and policy centers in Washington, D.C. But in 2024 they’ve taken the lead in collecting and publishing policy papers on hundreds of key issues.

Their work is called Mandate for Leadership 2025. I call it the Trump playbook. It’s available online at the Heritage Foundation website. It’s 887-pages long and every page is filled with technical discussion.

The content is conservative but not ideological. There is a fair balance and even competing perspectives. In the section on trade, there is “The Case for Fair Trade” by Peter Navarro and “The Case for Free Trade” by Kent Lassman. It’s likely that the best policy includes some content from both perspectives depending on the specific trading partner, reciprocity and the impact on U.S. jobs.

The Heritage Foundation playbook Mandate for Leadership, combined with the Plum Book and Trump’s apparent willingness to learn from his past mistakes when it comes to appointments completes the Trifecta needed for success in a second Trump administration to destroy the deep state. Investors should hope that Trump stays on that path and listens to the hundreds of experts and institutions that are working hard to make that success a reality.

The difference for investors between another Biden administration and the return of Trump to the White House could not be more stark. The Biden administration has been characterized by excessive regulation, pointless mandates as part of the Green New Scam, open borders bringing crime, drugs and cartel influence into the United States, disastrous wars in Ukraine, Gaza and now the closing of the Red Sea-Suez Canal passage, increased segregation of Blacks in colleges, the destruction of 50 years of progress in women’s sports by allowing competition by men and a long list of other ruinous policies.

The first Trump administration was characterized by business and personal tax cuts, reduced regulation, no new wars, outreach to nuclear rivals such as Russia and North Korea, tariffs on unfair trade by China, a concerted effort to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States, demands that NATO members pay their fair share for mutual defense and a secure southern border with Mexico.

Trump also made an historic three appointments to the Supreme Court, which has emerged as practically the last bastion of constitutional order and the rule of law. There’s no reason to expect any improvement in another Biden administration. In fact, policies will almost certainly grow worse as Biden fails physically and mentally and opens the door to a possible acting president in the form of Kamala Harris, a known dunce.

There’s good reason to believe that a second Trump administration will offer the growth-oriented policies of the first administration with a much more effective decision-making apparatus resulting from attention to the Plum Book, the playbook and the transition process.

A better transition process in a second term means the biggest threat to the deep state in decades.

And a new team will put us on the road back to sanity. But powerful people won’t go quietly. A more experienced Trump will conduct a second war to destroy them. Unless they destroy him first.