Based on things he's said, I don't think he wants to earn it. But just on the off-chance, here's the checklist:
- Show some reverence for the Constitution. Trump thus far has indicated a desire to govern by executive action and bullying rather than by a restoration of Constitutional order. This would have to change.
- Talk about freedom. This is what Conservatism is about. It's not about lowering taxes, except insofar as that helps reduce the size of government. It's not about a particular policy here or there. It's about the government not getting in my grill. For example, has Trump ever spoken about the regulatory state? Not to my knowledge.
- Be consistent. It doesn't work to announce a tax plan one day and then reverse course a week later.
- Demonstrate that you're a safe choice. We're contemplating giving Trump the nuclear launch codes and executive control over the Treasury Department. We need to be confident he won't drop a nuke on North Korea just because he and Melania got into a tiff over breakfast, or that he won't actually just print money to clear our sovereign debt (he does know this would result in massive inflation... uh, right?).
- Earn our trust. Most importantly, we have to believe you'll actually do the things you say you'll do.
It's that last point that's the biggest problem. How can he earn trust at this point? He's backtracked, lied, done dirty deals, reneged, etc., all his life. He's never held political office and has no political record to point to. So even if he aces the rest of the points, I'm not sure how he checks off the last one, because I don't know if there's any way to overcome three decades of double-dealing with six months of words.