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(77,398 posts)
Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:21 AM Jan 2021

Donald Trump's influence will evaporate once he leaves office. Here's why

Donald Trump's influence will evaporate once he leaves office. Here's why
Julius Krein

Those who believe in the invincibility of Trump’s personality cult hold a view of American democracy that is at once too cynical and too naïve
Tue 29 Dec 2020 06.00 EST

(Guardian UK) Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election has fueled intense speculation about his post-presidency: will he start a new conservative cable network? Will he act as a kingmaker in the Republican party? Will he run for president again in 2024?

Underlying all of these rumors is the assumption that Trump will continue to hold sway over a significant voter base. But this is by no means assured. It seems just as likely that, over time, Trump’s trajectory will land him closer to associates like Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani – hosting a middling podcast and hawking branded merchandise while trying to fend off prosecution.

The media echo chamber which now insists that Trump will be a titanic political force for years to come sounds increasingly similar to the one that, five years ago, claimed he was no more than a flash-in-the-pan celebrity candidate. The glaring underestimation of Trump in the past and probable overestimation of his prospects today actually stem from the same error: the belief that Trump’s political appeal rests mainly on his personality cult, not on any association with a certain set of policy arguments.


First, after one term in office, it is clear that the Republican establishment changed Trump more than he changed the party. Although his administration’s policy record is a mixed bag, the shift in rhetoric over four years was unmistakable. Attacks on hedge fund managers and pharma executives became rarer and rarer, replaced with praise for tax cuts, cheering on the Dow, bashing “socialism” and lauding supreme court appointments. To be sure, arguments can be made for all of these things, at least among conservatives, but they are arguments that Ted Cruz or even Jeb Bush could make, albeit less theatrically. Of late, Trump’s combativeness has focused almost exclusively on allegations of election fraud and cringe-inducing self-pity; most people are already tuning it out.

Meanwhile, as Trump has drifted away from the more substantive themes of 2016, others have embraced them. Up-and-coming politicians like Senator Josh Hawley and pundits like Tucker Carlson have articulated more coherent right-populist arguments than Trump ever has. Senator Marco Rubio is leading an ambitious attempt to rethink Republican economic policy, while figures like Representative Matt Gaetz have emerged as passionate critics of foreign interventionism. It made little sense for these and other prominent Republicans to criticize the 45th president while he was in office. Should Trump enter the 2024 race, however, he will find the populist “lane” of the Republican primaries far more crowded. The Democratic party has also changed. Joe Biden campaigned on a “Made in America” industrial policy program, something Trump never really countered in the 2020 campaign. ..........(more)


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(60,114 posts)
1. taking a business analogy and personal experience
Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:29 AM
Jan 2021

I worked in big pharma for 25 years and we had various CEOs come and go - a very few really good, most not particularly good at all. While they were there they wielded great influence. The day they left- poof! - gone and quickly forgotten.

If trump fancies himself more of a business CEO, as long as the media can quit trump, hopefully this may be true - there will be such relief among so many once he is gone.


(7,676 posts)
2. Rosy view from a 34-y-o libertarian
Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:31 AM
Jan 2021

Who believes in conservative principles that drumpf's supporters don't care about.


(14,591 posts)
3. I hope that's the case.
Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:33 AM
Jan 2021

I believe, at minimum, he’ll lose a third of his supporters and more likely half or more. Of course even with Trump losing influence, there’s a whole class of dangerous Republicans who are waiting to take his spot, as the article says.


(3,409 posts)
4. I think he is very dangerous and will be a threat as long as his base keeps feeding him $$$$
Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:44 AM
Jan 2021

If the $$$$ dries up, so will he. But there's a lot of deep pockets that love to fund racist projects.


(33,286 posts)
6. When a dictator falls from power...there's a scramble to take his place
Mon Jan 4, 2021, 01:00 PM
Jan 2021

History has shown repeatedly that this doesn’t work


(2,069 posts)
7. I think THIS guy is too naive.
Mon Jan 4, 2021, 01:12 PM
Jan 2021

A cult is a cult. While some politicians are already distancing, many are not. His rabid base is not.

Dump will do everything in his power to remain relevant, at least by constantly inflaming his cult base that many rethuglicans will need to get elected. What I do think might happen - if we're lucky - is that he's going to be such a desperate poo-flinging monkey that he'll do more scattershot harm to the rethugs than makes it worth them trying to pander to that base, and the party will have to try to remake itself. There was literally no reason that Hitler should've been able to make a comeback after time in prison, but there it was. Cults are horror shows that way.


(21,093 posts)
8. IMHO his moron supporters liked him because he seemed to be a winner. That's over .
Mon Jan 4, 2021, 01:21 PM
Jan 2021

His lies about the hoax and the eventual reality of the pandemic losses have already cost him supporters. Without power and rallys, he's of no use to them.

The whole validation of his hatred and racism is already in the soup: That can't keep their loyalty forever.


(66,695 posts)
9. I Agree With The Author
Mon Jan 4, 2021, 01:28 PM
Jan 2021

His influence is rooted in the power of the presidency.
There are Rs in power already ignoring what he wants, because they know the power is going away.
Consider: If he finished 2nd in the primaries in 2016, he would have been ignored these last 4 years.
The "falling in line" was due to the power of the position.
Power goes away, so does the fealty.


(9,213 posts)
10. Trump knows he can make way more money now without the presidency.
Mon Jan 4, 2021, 01:36 PM
Jan 2021

Either he is going to go to jail and finally be held accountable for his crimes...

or he will realize the presidency won't really benefit him again and he will just stay on the outskirts thinking of new ways to get his followers to send him money.

He has no need/want for the presidency again and I don't think the Republican party will want him back, once they have a couple of years without him actively hurting them.


(5,511 posts)
11. Trump runs on only one issue: personality cult-- the others lack that
Mon Jan 4, 2021, 01:43 PM
Jan 2021

So, unfortunately, he is not going away anytime soon after he loses his challenges in Congress on Jan 6. The article's focus on the issues behind populism does not address the key point that Trump leads a personality cult, and that the key issue is actually how much Trump is worshiped by his followers. Trump is needy for attention and his followers are needy for his attention to feel they are self-important members of his club. It's as simple as that. In Trump's nationalism, he is the nation: he is America, just like a king. That's why he accuses those who oppose him of being traitors.

He'll claim he is the real President from the sidelines, continue his rallies, and act as Simple Simon to the GOP.

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