Orange Balloon


A bumpersticker circulated during the fall of 2004 in Washington, D.C. It showed Edvard Munch’s painting, “The Scream,” and the caption read: “Oh no, not again!” Everyone knew what it meant. The United States had just reelected George W. Bush whose friendly, every man personality is viewed today with bittersweet nostalgia even by liberals, but it wasn’t always like this. For example, Bush’s style reminded George Soros of what he heard in Europe in the 1930s (that is, during a period of rising Nazism), although he probably regrets those statements. Where did the good times go?

In 2016, the leaders of the Republican Party seriously underestimated Donald Trump. They laughed at him when he entered the primaries, but their smiles froze on their face when more promising candidates dropped out, including Bush’s younger brother Jeb, or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. One can argue about whether

Trump has since shaped the party in his own image, or whether former New York liberal s have turned into white, uneducated, Southern and rural right-wing voters afraid of change. Regardless, the result today is that the two are the same, and Republican leaders cannot kid themselves. If Trump runs for president in 2024, he will be the party’s presidential candidate. And he will lose.

It is true that never before have so many people (74 million) voted for a losing presidential candidate as they did for Trump last year, but it is also true that 7 million more voted against him, empowered by a sense of rage. Intellectually, Trump is not a leader, but an orange balloon. He has no original thoughts; after all, racism, nationalism or populism can hardly be considered something he invented. He goes along with the mood of the times and says whatever his voters, entangled by their own grievances, want to hear. He is already a broken, sputtering record and in 2024, at the age of 78, he won’t sound any better.

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About Adam R. Johnson 26 Articles
Graduate student working on his MA in International Security at the University of Denver - Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Raised in Budapest, Hungary, Adam enjoys utilizing his Hungarian language skills and hopes to use it in a future career in homeland security.

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