Jan 10, 2021
With the Trump incited mob attack on the Capital this week, following by social media giants halting his access to his megaphone, the Donald is now inevitably headed for oblivion. He’s not going to succeed in another try for the Presidency, no matter whether he is indeed impeached and convicted. He is not gong to be a major voice in the (new) Republican Party either.
Admittedly, these are my convictions, but increasingly also those of many others. Not just the dreams of the entire Democratic Party, although clearly that is our fervent hope. Increasingly, moderates and even notably Republicans like Toomey and Murkoski are calling for his early departure from the Presidency. Others like Sasse and Graham have severely criticized his rhetoric leading to the capital rampage. Clearly, his “base” will be significantly shrunk by these recent events. This alone will dramatically lower his influence over the more politically aspirant members of his party. The fear that his “tweets” (presently permanently suspended by Twitter) or other channelled criticisms will destroy a Republican’s re-election chances have diminished significantly. This was one of his most powerful weapons and measures of Party control, now weakened if not destroyed. Members of his staff and even Cabinet members have resigned. Some notable politicians and media personalities previously praising his every action, have turned critical–e.g., Matt Schlapp, Chris Christie, Mark Levin, and others. Even Mitch McConnell strongly denounced Trump’s behavior in his speech to the Senate at the meeting for electoral vote count.
Trump is facing a possible 2nd Impeachment or removal by 25th Amendment, and is likely to be facing multiple federal and state investigations and civil lawsuits after departing office. He is blamed by many for costing the GOP the Georgia Senatorial runoff elections, thus denying Republicans the Senate in 2021, due to his persistence in claiming elections cannot be trusted.
The counter opinion? A duly elected President ending his term with 75 million votes, will most certainly continue to be a major force in American politics and has a high probability of being re-elected in 2024. After all, he is able to command a “base” of followers numbering 80 million on Twitter (until denied access only recently). He was able to gather tens of thousands to dozens of rallies he conducted across his four years. He is applauded on a wide variety of right wing media, including Fox and other Murdoch sites and publications, and also extremist media. He is popular among those who subscribe to conspiracy theories and those who believe in white supremacy. Regrettably, these are no small number of Americans, and taken alone enough to assure the continued relevancy of the clear leader of such beliefs in the way to Make America Great Again. Furthermore, his policies appeal to many: Abolishing abortion, preventing immigration, fighting with allies over relative world power, lowering taxes and reducing regulations. Blaming immigrants and foreign nations for our problems. Insulting anyone who disagrees. Even lying repeatedly, daily, decrying the media as “the enemy of the people.” Even this, all of this–popular with millions of Americans.
Finally, on his side of the future role ledger: Given that these beliefs have widespread support, Trump’s disappearance will not make them go away. Instead, they will sustain and will need a populist leader to lead them. Who better than a former President who has been unfairly treated by the Left and by the “swamp,” and by our failed institutions. Who better? After all, his whole persona has been described as built on grievance.
OK. Maybe. But I don’t think so. One major reason is my conviction that a majority of Republican politicians do not really like Trump, but have simply feared him. Many will be glad to get him out of the way. For one thing, the Republican Party wants to get on with restoring itself to its Conservative ideals, which Trump certainly did not exemplify. For another, no matter the media’s controls continuing or not, no longer President, he wields far less power and influence over their political futures. For many, their constituent balance has now likely shifted away from Trump, on balance. Finally, many Republican politicians have ambitions of their own for the Presidency–including Rubio, Cruz, and others. If they continue as sycophants to a departed ‘unhinged’ President, support him for a 2024 run he might again win, they must wait at least 8 years from now for their own chance. That’s too long. Human psychology on a personal level will play in. My allegiance only goes so far when it is up against my own opportunity.
He’s done. He’s relegated to nothing more than a far Right voice, if he can find a new megaphone. He isn’t even consistent, has no unifying meaningful political philosophy, and is left to a weakening voice, primarily casting blame on the innocent. It will be a sad scenario, as he loses power and fades into oblivion.
Think Richard Nixon, who was popular right up to the end, but immediately faded into oblivion.