Experienced political players come to terms with the norms established by the institutional model and accept that the rules of the game lead to losing or winning the exercise of popular sovereignty. Trump is not one of those people. He began planning how to undermine the electoral process from the moment he realized he ran the risk of losing reelection.
Donald Trump became president of the United States despite his extravagant lifestyle, unpredictable behavior and aggressive and vulgar language. It’s surprising that someone with such traits could obtain the most important position in the country with the world’s leading economy.
At the time, it was widely believed that Trump would modify his behavior based on the nature and integrity required of the role. That didn’t happen. On the contrary, his ascension to power drastically magnified his behavior, which not only had an effect domestically, but internationally.
An ill-tempered exercise of power coupled with his narcissism and egocentrism are reflected by how he reacted to losing the election. Experienced political players come to terms with the norms established by the institutional model and accept that the rules of the game lead to losing or winning the exercise of popular sovereignty. Trump is not one of those people. He began planning how to undermine the electoral process from the moment he realized he ran the risk of losing reelection. Once his loss became apparent, he did nothing but implement his plan by ignoring the election results at whatever cost, including the disastrous events of Wednesday, Jan. 6, which demonstrated the lengths to which his die-hard supporters would go in response to his calls to action.
In this context, it’s necessary to establish the responsibility of the Republican Party, which offered Trump a space in politics and then accepted his takeover just to endorse his actions. Only the latest events have motivated Republican leaders to distance themselves, adding to the few albeit important instances in which they have not endorsed the president’s conduct.
The Republican Party which has elected numerous U.S. presidents must evaluate its conduct to shake off the legacy left behind by the previous administration and Trump’s influence, something which he would certainly like to continue exercising. The Republicans must accept the political consequences, including the loss of the presidency, the loss of their majority in the Senate, and maintaining their minority status in the Senate,* living in a state of tension which may lead to division. On top of this, there is the image of being seen as complicit in inflicting the most serious injuries on the U.S. democratic system.
*Editor’s note: The 2020 elections led to the Republicans losing their majority status in the Senate and continuing their minority status in the House of Representatives.