With Donald Trump's administration nearing its inevitably idiotic end, one of the biggest unanswered questions in American politics today is: What next? What will Trump, and the close nexus of his supporters, sycophants, enablers, and loyal foot-soldiers do for their next act after the president is stripped of his executive authority?
One newly surfaced possibility is, in an effort to extend their familial control — and, presumably, the accompanying financial windfall — across the full spectrum of conservatism writ large, Donald Trump Jr. might assume control over the National Rifle Association.
The move, if it happens, makes a degree of sense. A quick stroll through Trump Jr.'s Instagram account offers a seemingly endless stream of gun-related content, including hunting photos, videos of his marksmanship, and — perhaps most distressingly — a penchant for firearms and ammunition with his father's face etched into them. An infamously tacky big game hunter, Junior has long been one of his father's most effective ambassadors to the rabidly pro-gun community, and reportedly played a role in helping his father craft the Trump administration's policy around firearms.
Speaking with Business Insider, which first reported the first son's possible move to NRA leader on Thursday, a GOP source explained that Trump family allies, including Trump Jr.'s tight group of advisers, are "looking for a franchise for Trump Jr." However, another GOP source told the publication that "Don is just not getting involved in that pissing match."
And what a pissing match it would be. In the past year, the NRA has been wracked with scandal and infighting, high-profile resignations, and is currently fighting a serious threat from New York Attorney General Letitia James to dissolve the organization altogether in response to a bevy of alleged financial crimes. And were Don Jr. to attempt to wrest control of the beleaguered organization, doing so would involve challenging the group's powerful leader Wayne LaPierre, who has spent nearly three decades molding the NRA into the ultra-conservative political powerhouse it's become.
Still, given the group's serious issues, it's feasible that some within the NRA might look to Trump Jr. as a viable alternative to LaPierre, who oversaw the association's recent litigious troubles. And a Trump at the helm of the NRA would mean that long after his father is out of office, Trump Jr. could still wield immeasurable political clout that would allow him to not only shape the Republican landscape for years to come, but would also position him for a potential political career of his own.
So far, speculation of a Trump Jr.-led NRA is just that: speculation. But if it were to come to pass, it would mark a dangerous milestone in the ongoing unification of firearms, Republicans, and the Trumpian reinvention of conservative politics into its own image.