Donald Trump launched his new website, signaling that he is nowhere near done with being a force in American politics. As you might expect, social media exploded in a mixture of adulation and rage right away, proving that the former president continues to occupy a lot of headspace in the minds of both his supporters and critics.

A Twitter user named Lucinda53092843 wrote, “Mr. President does what he says, and here is proof! We the people will support this movement.”

While Twitter user KerMillie14 invited the anarchist hacker group known under the collective name of “Anonymous” to attack and take down the website tweeting,

“Alright Anonymous, you’re up. Do your thing.”

Trump Is Moving to Be a King-Maker in the Republican Party

The website operates under “Make America Great Again PAC.” PACs or Political Action Committees are organizations created to raise money to support or defeat candidates. Their donor lists and filings are public and they are limited in accepting donations and making contributions to the amount of $5,000. They may also donate a maximum of $15,000 to the national committee of a political party. Given that campaign expenditure for a national election now run in the millions this may not seem like a large amount, but there are 545 members between the House and Senate and thousands of representatives and senators in state legislatures around the country. Politically, being given a donation by Donald Trump’s PAC would be a seal of approval of sorts that candidates can use to raise more money from donors. It would also bind them, at least nominally, to the things that the PAC stands for.

The website’s “About” section expresses entirely doctrinal positions of the Republican Party in general: opposition to abortion, call for a strong national defense, protection of the 1st and 2nd amendments, and support for an originalist reading of the Consitution. (This is in contrast to many in the Left who support living constitutionalism, a reading of the Constitution based on contemporary circumstances.)

With this move, the former president builds upon other PACs, like the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, Trump Victory, and Save America, that his organization had built prior to his election. In the 2020 election cycle, these committees outraised the Republican Party by a significant amount. This is telling of how Trump has eclipsed the establishment wing of the Republican Party. Going forward, the Republican Party needs Donald Trump as much as he needs it. The ideological alignment of Trump’s declared positions and those of the Republican Party strongly suggests that they are prepared to work closely together in future elections. This is a significant change from Trump’s four years in office when his populist agenda tended to clash with the establishment agenda of the GOP.

At some point, I expect Donald Trump to create or rebrand an existing committee as a Super PAC which, unlike ordinary PACs, does not donate to candidates but instead engages exclusively in issue advocacy. Super PACs are allowed by law to raise unlimited funds and make unlimited expenditures related to issue advocacy. This is the one-two punch of political campaigns. A candidate may receive just $5,000 from the Trump PAC and the Super PAC can then push on the issues that the candidate supports.