During his presidency, Donald Trump crossed lines that no other president has come close. And if there was ever any doubt, the final months of his presidency have put this to rest.
From the moment President Biden was declared the winner, Trump refused to accept the election results, repeatedly dismissing them as rigged or fraudulent, even as far as possible pressure Republican officialslike the Georgian Foreign Minister Brad Raffensperger to overthrow them. This culminated in the events of January 6th. At a rally that day, Trump said to his followers that the election was stolen and said, “Now it is up to Congress to face this tremendous attack on our democracy. And after that we’ll go down and I’ll be with you, we’ll go down, we’ll go down. “A few hours later, some of these supporters stormed the Capitol, threatened officials and destroyed property. They also disrupted the certification of the election of the electoral college, usually a ceremonial affair. Five people died.
Even so, Trump has considerable loyalty within the Republican Party. Only 10 out of 211 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to indict him over the events at the Capitol, and although Trump is now facing a second impeachment trial, a procedural vote forced by Senate Republicans in late January suggested it There won’t be enough votes to condemn him.
This lack of a clean line between Republicans and Trump, despite being the only president to have been charged twice, raises an important question about the future of the GOP: how far does it stay with Trump’s party?
Given the way Trump defied presidential norms, it can be difficult to compare his track record with that of other presidents. However, it’s still worth taking a look at the role former presidents traditionally played in their party after leaving the White House and how Trump fits into that shape – and doesn’t.
Probably no modern president has resigned from office with as much baggage as Trump, apart perhaps from former President Richard Nixon, who stepped down instead of facing his own impeachment. But Nixon was also able to partially rehabilitate his image after the presidency and finally establish himself as a foreign policy expert whose advice was Wanted behind the scenes by other guides.
Other presidents who left the White House with slightly less baggage, such as George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, also had some successes that continued to influence their respective parties. Bush went record lows in an economic crisis while Clinton left with high approval ratings but also with the Impeachment scandal. But since leaving office, both have committed themselves humanitarian activitiesand try to polish yours respective reputation (maybe with mixed success). While other voices have emerged to lead and define their parties, neither has completely disappeared from the limelight with either of them Bush’s brother and Clinton’s wife later seek the presidency. A career in politics is a possible avenue for some of Trump’s children with Rumors are already swirling around.
And some former presidents have established themselves very successfully as key players in their parties. After the end of his second term in 1989, Ronald Reagan stayed one iconic figure among Republicans. And in the 2020 election, the Democratic Party seemed at times more and more like Barack Obama’s party than Biden’s. Obama supposedly played a pretty significant role Role behind the scenes in elementary school and was a central figure at the Democratic National Convention. Part of it was that his former vice president won the nomination. But Biden also specifically advocated it the achievements of the “Obama-Biden” administration and chose a fellow campaigner who also reflects the image of a diverse, pragmatic Obama-style Democratic Party.
What is hard to tell about Trump, however, is the extent to which future generations of Republicans will want to lay claim to his cloak. On the one hand, it’s not really clear that Trump had a winning formula. In 2016, he formed a coalition of more traditional Republican voters as well white voters without College degrees, and that coalition was enough for an electoral college victory. But even Growth of that voter base in 2020 was not enough to win re-election. When you combine that with the Republican Party’s losses in 2018 and the minor loss of Senate control in the Georgia runoff election in January, there are some reasons to believe that the Trump brand wasn’t entirely good for Republican political fate. In fact, a number of reports suggest it Congress Republicans, as well as Party donors, blame Trump for the party’s losses in Georgia.
The thing is, Trump does represent an idea that has appealed to some voters in his party: Politics is based on complaint, especially when connected to white identity. Trump has emerged as a powerful leader in this movement, claim that the 2020 election was stolen, that the Media and technology company try to silence voices on the right, and that Institutions no longer work for “normal” (read: white) Americans. And while many GOP establishment members disagree with some of Trump’s more extreme words and actions, they did continued to defend himor at least don’t really distance yourself by him. The impending impeachment trial and the fact that Most GOP senators will likely vote against his conviction Use a long pattern left when Trump was in office: criticize Trump’s actions, but ultimately don’t reject him.
But while the party has maintained its stable, albeit uncomfortable, pattern of loyalty to Trump, the sheer number of ambitious politicians who want to succeed Trump may leave little room for him in the party. Representative. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn have already proven, for example, that they can make headlines with theirs extreme views and actions without Trump. (And, like Trump, the media coverage isn’t overwhelmingly positive, and it has generated some criticism within their own party.) Of course there is still one crucial difference between them and Trump in terms of power and influence: A group of representatives can form a faction of a party, but only the president serves as the party’s mouthpiece.
However, there is one more reason to believe that Trump may run out of place in the Republican Party. Political science research has found that out republican are actually quite successful in Establishment of a “farm team” in state and congressional elections (Compared to Democrats, who often struggle with this). This means that Republicans may not really have any trouble finding a replacement for Trump. For example, it is not difficult to imagine that one day there will be other ambitious Republicans – such as Senator Josh Hawley or former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley – who aspire to higher office and claim they are the true heirs of Trump’s legacy, themselves if they are, they represent distinct differences in style or approach. Indeed, there are a number of signs of this The party is already over in this direction, away from more established GOP types and towards more Trump figures.
Yes, that speaks for Trump’s continued influence in the party, but it doesn’t necessarily leave him that much room either. It is difficult for a former president to both advance an idea and get involved in the party’s day-to-day politics.
After the Capitol rising on January 6th, it appeared to be some GOP establishment leaders ready to take a break by the 45th President. But it is telling that mainstream Republicans are still largely reluctant to publicly criticize Trump or his actions until that day. It can also be an indication of how the ideas Trump is advocating prevailed before his election. His presidency gave the Anti-establishment wing of the party, although the former president did not create this faction. At the moment, the GOP looks a lot more like Trump’s party than a moderate or established GOP alternative. It may be up to other politicians – not Trump – to determine exactly what that means.