Ryan tried something of the same: He attempted to explain Trump as a wayward conservative, and Trumpism as a traditionally conservative philosophy that occasionally strayed from principle out of emotional necessity. He, too, wanted to be superego and ego; he wanted to redefine Trumpism as something beyond Trump, twisting Trumpism to mirror Ryan’s conservatism.
But Ryan isn’t the leader of the movement. Bannon isn’t the leader of the movement. Trump is. And Trump isn’t interested in any of this. Trump wants to do things when he wants to do them; he wants to tweet when he wants to tweet, legislate when he wants to legislate. There is no central principle to his governance.
The civil war that’s likely to occur over Trump, then, isn’t over Trumpism. It’s just about him. Those who wish to harness the power of Trump — the id of the movement — are mistaken if they think they can. The id and ego of the movement are one. And that means that wherever Trump leads, the movement will follow. That’s why Trump’s intellectual heresies in the eyes of both Bannon and Ryan will be frequent, but his emotional heresies in the eyes of the base will be minimal.