Opinion Opinions | Trump will go, but Trumpism will remain
How Trump’s erratic behavior and failure on coronavirus doomed his reelection
The same impulses that helped lift the president to victory in 2016 contributed to his undoing just four years later, and the exhausted voters who once gave Trump a shot turned on him.[This story has been optimized for offline reading on our apps. For a richer experience, you can find the full version of this story here. An Internet connection is required.
Donald Trump will no longer be president as of Jan. 20. But his party will remain in the grip of Trumpism, because those jockeying for dominance see it as the only way to succeed in the GOP today.
Before we break down Trumpism into its component parts, the best way to begin may be with this:
Needless to say, the Republican Texas senator’s Thanksgiving will be safe from jackbooted government thugs tearing the drumstick from his hands. But his performative belligerence offers us a good entry into the elements of Trumpism that we’ll be forced to endure for some time to come:
Republicans need a good woman for 2024
A female candidate would show the country that Republicans are serious about expanding their base. Since 1996, a narrow majority of women have backed the Democratic candidate, but that majority was smaller this year than pre-election polls predicted. A female GOP candidate who can compete with Harris is sure to win back evangelical women who felt they had no choice but to vote for Biden. Which sort of woman should Republicans choose? The 2020 election, if anything, cemented the country's fault line.
The belief that everything is a conspiracy. There have long been right-wing conspiracy theorists, but never before has conspiracy theorizing become so common in the GOP — and its politicians know it. The rank and file, having been fed a relentless diet of it for years, are convinced that dark cabals are controlling events, there are no coincidences and anything that doesn’t work out their way can only be the result of menacing forces conspiring against them.
Now that actual supporters of QAnon lunacy can be elected to Congress, the party’s elite will wink and nod to every conspiracy theory that comes along, from stolen elections to pandemic hoaxes to the machinations of the “deep state.” We’ll continue to see a vicious cycle in which politicians and the conservative media feed conspiracy theories to the Republican masses, who become ever more convinced they’re true, and therefore the politicians and media continue pandering to them with still more.
President Trump stays mostly out of view after election but is working, taking steps to, in part, poke Biden
Trump has been mostly out of view since Election Day but is working: He is purging staff and pursuing actions designed in part to irk Joe Biden.President Donald Trump has stayed mostly out of public view in the two weeks since his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. On nine of the 14 days since the Nov. 3 election, his daily schedule has been summed up in a single sentence: “The president has no public events scheduled" – the longest he has been out of public view since taking office in January 2017.
The celebration of violence — when directed at liberals. Cruz guarding his turkey presents a dramatic fantasy in two equally absurd parts: First, that the government would try to keep him from having Thanksgiving, and, second, that when the agents arrive, he’ll engage them in battle.
The celebration of violence against those you hate has been a constant for Trump, from the 2016 campaign when he’d respond to protesters by saying“I’d like to punch him in the face,” to his of a Republican congressman (just elected governor of Montana) for assaulting a reporter, to his recent promotion of the extremist Proud Boys. Watch for it to continue from others, if perhaps not in such plain and vulgar forms.
Comical displays of faux-masculinity. You’ve seen thosepictures of Trump: His head might be plunked onto some romance novel cover model’s body, muscles rippling as he wields an AR-15 while riding on an eagle, or Sylvester Stallone in “Rocky III.” Thus the obese septuagenarian who has never in his life displayed an instant of physical courage is transformed into a cartoonish version of manhood that lives in the dreams of teenage boys and the adults who are still teenage boys at heart.
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Many cases tied to Trump's policies or personal entanglements are likely to become moot or, at least, undeserving of the Supreme Court's attention.Even in the autumn of his presidency, little has changed. The administration came before the justices the week after Election Day in hopes of dismantling the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the most celebrated achievement of his predecessor. Later this month, it will defend its plan to exclude noncitizens from the census count used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives.
So it is that Cruz’s Thanksgiving becomes a battlefield on which the senator will teach trained agents of the state a lesson — except he’ll never have to. This anxious masculinity is a powerful force among the party’s base, and candidates who would faint at the sight of an actual fist raised against them will pose as manly men eager to engage in physical confrontation.
Endless whining about victimization. Every president has had to endure constant criticism — it comes with the job — but no president has whined about it as much as Trump. While it may be intensely personal for him, it’s also central to contemporary conservatism. They believe they are society’s victims, always on the run, always struggling under the bootheel of the government, of the culture, of the media (which, according to South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem, is “”; oh that we had such power).
With a Democrat in the White House, this complaining will only intensify, since Republicans have no ability to distinguish between losing in a democracy — i.e., your opponents win an election and get to implement policies you don’t like for a while — and being the victim of tyranny and oppression.
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Trump has been designated as a political candidate long before the election and Facebook is not in charge of determining a page's titleMany supporters are criticizing Facebook, claiming the platform removed Trump's title of "President" on what many describe as his "official" Facebook page and downgraded it to "Political Candidate.
The irrelevance of policy. While Republicans know that many of their policies are unpopular, they also believe that if they really had the chance to explain them, everyone would agree that, say, cutting the wealthy’s taxes is a great idea. But Trump has taught them that policy is irrelevant. Trump voters didn’t rally to him because they felt economic anxiety, but because they felt cultural anxiety, the fear of being displaced in a changing country. He gave voice to their resentments, their nostalgia, their contempt for people who aren’t like them. And the outcomes didn’t matter; what mattered was channeling their feelings.
It’s all about Owning the Libs. This may be the absolute core of Trumpism: a politics defined not by what you want to change or the country you’d like to create, but by the people you hate. The way to elevate your profile and gain support is to troll your enemies, to antagonize them, to make them cry their.
This just scratches the surface, of course — there’s also the realization that there’s nothing to fear from being caught lying if you’re shameless enough, the idea that no hyperbole is too ridiculous to feed to your supporters and the desire to define oneself through the petty squabbles one can start.
But as you watch Cruz defend his turkey, know that it’s an attempt at performative Trumpism. When you see Sen. Josh Hawley (son of a banker, graduate of Stanford and Yale Law) charge thatto point out that he doesn’t have a home in Missouri, that’s Trumpism, too.
What Trump Showed Us About America
A disruptive presidency is coming to a close. Here’s what 35 thinkers say it revealed—not about the man, but about the rest of us.Trump’s presidency has been a four-year war on many people’s assumptions about what was and wasn’t “American”—what a leader can call people in public, which institutions really matter, whether power lies with elites or masses. And it has forced serious arguments about what information, and what version of our history, we can even agree on.
And when the 2024 GOP contenders compete to see who can be the biggest jerk in the bunch — insulting their opponents, spewing hatred at Americans with different political views, telling voters to nurture their most toxic feelings — it will show that even if he’s just tweeting from the golf course at Mar-a-Lago, Trump will never have left.
If Trumpism survives Trump, it will be a political coalition, not an ideology .
One of the big questions on the table today is whether Trumpism will survive President Trump's time in the White House. The short answer is: maybe as a political force, but not as an ideology. In fact, when it comes to Trumpism as a set of policies or beliefs, I am inclined to quote Gertrude Stein, who said of her childhood home in Oakland, California, “There is no there there.” © Provided by Washington Examiner First, we must admit that there has been surprising political power to Trumpism. It came out of nowhere to take over the Republican Party and win the presidency in 2016, and it rallied over 73 million voters in defeat four years later.