Veep Symposium: Nancy Mace
Will Donald Trump choose Representative Nancy Mace for her foreign policy views?
Nancy Mace is a controversial VP choice for the current time, but an exalted one, in keeping with the realist traditions of these pages. The ledger and journal side of her are basically similar, she is at the end of the day a consummate politician. In a period of flux when everyone is dedicated to performative politics, she’s a politician who would beat anyone in performing. Consider Nancy Mace and Kamala Harris face to face, on a stage, with suburban “right-adjacent” women watching. Imagine Mace campaigning alongside Trump in South Carolina, in Nikki Haley’s home turf. One gets the idea.
That is not to disregard her legislative history, positions against human trafficking, against warrantless surveillance, campaign for families’ rights, gender battles in women’s sports, and anti-war stand, her military background, and, of course, attractiveness, both personal and political. Mace reliably voted to repeal the 2002 AUMF, and repeatedly campaigned against the much broader 2001 one, a dear cause and raison d’être for this magazine.
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The most interesting quote from Mace came in a Politico piece when she was first considered as a potential for VP. All her “we want to see more women” boilerplate aside, she was the first to build a bridge with Trump. Mace prudently realized when Trump was indicted that he would be nominated and the resulting lawfare would be both brutal and immoral. “We can’t afford four more years of Joe Biden,” Mace was quoted in Politico, “I’m willing to bury the hatchet to save the country, and I know President Trump is, too.” In return, she got a text from the Trump team thanking her for being one of the first ones to support him. She has been steadfast in her support since.
Mace isn’t a card-carrying social conservative and that infuriates a section of the GOP. That’s understandable amidst the increasing gender gap in politics. To counter that, there are two main arguments. Unless one is interested in disenfranchising the other side (for which I am willing to hear a good case), it remains the system we play in, where we have to get a significant chunk of the other side to win and legislate. Two, the monocausal purists within the ranks of us reactionaries must understand that they can either figure out how to mildly compromise to win, or “heighten the contradiction” and pray for an actual conflict (again, I am willing to hear a good case, albeit far more pessimistically). As Thucydides once wrote, fortune is a fickle mistress when one seeks a conflict. One might be sympathetic to the idea of sticking it up to the managerial gynarchy—and it is archy, not a cracy, elite, not a mass movement, one might at least get the correct suffixes—it is, however, not the only interest in politics, especially not when one might lose.
Accordingly, while my colleagues made a grand case for many good candidates, Nancy Mace might prove to be a decent salesman for a more efficient Trumpism. Just as an efficient politician would. She should be considered as a VP, strongly.