Is there anything of the redhats that could survive, as a movement, without his leadership? Or would they lose political coherence, and dissolve into the general mass of non-activist Republican voters? If they survived, what direction would they take?
Chump supporters are not a new phenomenon. I grew up among them long before he ever came along. They just found a focus in life is all. They’ll go back to being Billy Bob in their redneck bar and muttering about the Gummint and Socialism until someone else appears who can unite them again.
There’s still candidates in that vein. Hawley and Cotton are often mentioned and I’d throw in Meadows. If we still with the “cult of personality” idea, Donald Trump Jr. could easily pick up his banner.
Assuming Trump goes, what happens to his movement?
Hopefully, it gets flushed.
Optimistic take on it all:
They’ve always been here but they’ve previously tended to think their best shot at staying in power was to cloak their hateful stuff in soft language and to be cautious, not overt, about that, and instead to emphasize the aspects of what they stand for that might lure some of the comfortably ensconced suburbanites and golfing society members and chamber of commerce types, who would then pinch their noses and pretend they didn’t smell the hateful parts.
It’s a real sea change that the velvet gloves have come off. It could just be this one jerk, Donald, doing that, but somehow I don’t think so. They’ve been moving in this direction for awhile. My interpretation is that they have less and less appeal to the middle-groundish people from whom they were previously able to woo some support and votes. And to make up for that, they’ve gone all out on blowing the clarion trumpet to motivate all the racists and xenophobes and supporters of total autocracy, hoping in the immediate short run that there will be enough of them, including those who didn’t previously vote much because they were too stupid to understand the dog whistles, for the ones who openly embrace racist sexist xenophobic authoritarian Ranting Man in the White House politics to carry the day. They also know they can’t keep winning this way unless they shift the rules towards a less democratic less fair process, so this is their last stand. They’ll take American from us if they can. I don’t think they can but it’s still scary. ETA: yeah I did say “optimistic”. They’re on the ropes.
The problem is that the entire Republican party in congress (except for Romney–who could have imagined I would ever see him as one of the good guys?) has embraced Trumpism and ISTM they will be stuck with it till their dying days. McConnell is all in for Trump as is Graham and, as long as they are the senate leadership, the party is stuck with it. I just cannot see the party repudiating Trumpism. Fact is the party had been moving in that direction since Nixon and certainly Reagan. Did Reagan balance the budget? Hell, no. All he was interested in was lowering taxes and if the budget shot sky high, so what? Does that differ from Trump? Who started the war on labor unions?
Some of whom only did so out of fear of being attacked by Trump and/or his MAG-hatted minions, thus endangering their ability to be re-elected. Once he’s gone, they’ll likely return to business as usual – at least until those minions start following someone else or they get voted out, whichever comes first.
Wait until you see the next guy.
Unfortunately it’s rolling over us in waves like a sin(x)/(x) function. Years ago it was the John Birch Society, then Reagan, the Tea Party and now Trump. Each wave larger and better organized than the one before. Lying in the valley between Trump and the next wave we have a population of loud, armed, disparate groups searching for a cause. They will mold a Trump mythology to fit their need. They will raise Trump as the unappreciated and much maligned political genius who once made America Great. And, they now have the internet as the ultimate medium for propaganda.
Biden has a huge challenge ahead of him. There is chaos in the streets, climate change is exerting itself, public confidence in our institutions is low and the government is under-funded. Trump’s hard core support is around 30% of the population. Hitler won with 37%. I believe we have a problem: a deposed Trump and an elected Trump are equally dangerous. For our form of government, Trump was a very big mistake.
He had a movement?
IMO, if he had a movement it was one that laid the blame at the feet of career politicians being sleazy, bought, and corrupt.
His promises held water, his actions did not.
People still want the swamp drained. (the devil is in the details as to who all that entails)
One created by tossing out word salad and repeating anything which got the biggest cheers.
I think it depends on how thoroughly Trump is defeated.
Best case scenario he loses in a land slide, and all of the secrets, lies and corruptions are laid open in the Biden administration. At this point the entire GOP and right wind media establishment gets a giant case of amnesia (Trump who? I hardly knew the guy). And Trumps name becomes a household word for corrupt incompetence.
If its a close victory, then I think Trump stays on as a gadfly, still monopolizing the media attention with lies and conspiracy theories, and extolling his followers to resist the Biden Coup. The next four years are pure chaos and dysfunction, and Trump runs again in 2024, either as a Republican or as an independent spoiler.
The Trump movement has several main pillars. The first one is the most fundemental is from it all others follow.
Truth is irrelevant, you can believe what you want to believe and anyone who says that your beliefs are false is lying to you.
There are good people and bad people. Good people are those people who believe the same things that you chose to and bad people are those who don’t.
Everything that good people do is good and everything that bad people do is bad. Any instances of a good person doing a bad thing or a bad person doing a good thing, are fake news.
The bad people must suffer. It is far more important that the bad people suffer than that the good people thrive.
Trump was the first person to realize that these pillars could be political assets rather than liabilities.
The movement will probably coalesce around someone like Tom Cotton, who embodies every bit of the viciousness of Trump, but has none of Trump’s incompetence. His tax returns are probably perfectly clean and fine, for instance, and he has 100x the knowledge of world and political affairs that Trump does.
Cotton would be a younger, much more competent, much savvier version of Trump, and perhaps even more effective.
I can already hear the campaign song:
O, I wish I was in the land of Cotton
Old times there are not forgotten
Look away! Look away! Look away! Dixie Land.
It’s going to depend on the Biden administration. If he governs like a moderate, say a second Bill Clinton or even second-term Obama, the Trump movement will die.
If, on the other hand, he presides over a ‘progressive’ government that starts enacting progressive ‘wish list’ items like shutting down fracking and offshore oil drilling, new rounds of gun control, high carbon taxes, racial quotas and reparations and the like, the right will become even more militant, and Donald Trump would likely play off that and make it worse.
I don’t think the movement will die but I also don’t think they’re just going to jump onto Tom Cotton or someone.
If Trump loses, the GOP is going to be able to rest on being anti-Biden for the mid-terms without needing to coalesce around anyone. And then in 4 years, there are going to be multiple people trying to recreate Trump’s formula.
The true core of Trump’s base hates mainstream Republicans and thinks they’re also part of the deep state. They’re going to try fall in line behind another personality who “isn’t really a politician”. It’s possible the rest of the party will manage to put up a Paul Ryan-type, which would be great for the Democrats because they would spend the whole campaign season walking on eggshells so as not to piss off the Trumpists.
Trump has built a personality cult and I don’t see it going away any time soon. It’s likely IMO that it both shrinks and gets more extreme as the less dedicated believers go back into the mainstream Republican camp.
I believe it will depend on how he goes. Remeber that there were no Nazis in Germany after Hitler’s demise. If he implodes catastrophically and the next administration is able to bring him & his family & minions to Justice no one will have ever stood by him. If he gets away with everything he has done and keeps out of jail and his Twitter account
running bloviating, every disaster is on the cards: from Civil War to a succesor that actually has some brains and gets things done (that probably rules out Don Jr. At least something).
The Nazi Party reorganized into other parties. Here’s one.
None of us really knows, but my guess is that the Republican Party will all but officially become the white supremacist party. After years of having to hide in the shadows and speak in dog whistles, they’re now emboldened to be out in the open. The primaries will be contested on the terms of being loyal to the memory of DJT and how much antipathy they can expressed toward “the other”.
Don himself will never run again. He’s going to be far too busy keeping his ass out of prison, even if he pardons himself from federal crimes and even if the pardon is found to be legal. The state crimes of which he is undoubtedly guilty are enough to get him off the streets. If he manages to avoid conviction, he’s going to make a good living selling his endorsements to other candidates for other offices. He will not run in 2024, but he will decide the nominee.