The tycoon’s leadership now seems in doubt and weaker than it was two days ago after several of his supporters lost.
If the American press is to be believed, it is time to think seriously about Trumpism without Donald Trump.
As Tuesday’s election results unraveled, and the hope of the heralded Republican tide faced a diminished reality, the political media were quick to present the fact as a setback for Trump. They focused instead on who may be his most viable competitor for the Republican presidential nomination, Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor who was comfortably reelected and does not have the personal baggage that the controversial former president has.
Trump was ready on Tuesday to present himself as the architect of a great Republican victory. Thus, he would be the man to beat in what promises to be a symbolic race for the Republican presidential nomination. Traditionally, the Republican Party should have swept the midterm elections — usually difficult, if not disastrous, for the party in power.
But now Trump seems like he overdid it, by no means unusual by his standards, but apparently not entirely welcomed by voters concerned about the economy, security and migration — as well as abortion, personal freedom and democracy.
“Trump is still the dominant figure in the Republican Party and he’ll be the favorite to win the GOP nomination for president if, as expected, he runs again,” Politico said.
Trump’s leadership now seems in doubt and weaker than it was two days ago after several of his protoges lost their election bids or had to accept the help of traditional party trends to win. In fact, according to a widely circulated version of events, the former president “is livid” with anger, “screaming at everyone” and claiming he lent his support to bad candidates.
Trump openly endorsed challengers who share his brand of conservatism, who support the idea that there was fraud in the 2020 presidential election and who have an isolationist version of U.S. foreign policy.
In recent days, Trump subjected DeSantis to a series of attacks seen as an attempt to scare him off from seeking the 2024 presidential nomination.
Trump may be outdated, but Trumpism, defined as exaggerated nationalism with populist overtones of xenophobia and racism, is alive and kicking.
DeSantis, who in his reelection campaign accumulated a campaign fund of more than $200 million that will come in handy if he decides to seek the presidency, is considered a conservative, perhaps more so than Trump, and has had no problem using issues such as immigration demagogically against his potential rival, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
DeSantis became embroiled in controversy when people working on his behalf “recruited” migrants or asylum seekers and sent them to pro-democracy states in the Northeast, such as Massachusetts and New York, in search of work and help.
Trump may be too much, but Trumpism, defined as exaggerated nationalism with populist overtones of xenophobia and racism, is alive and well.