Dangerous Parallel Worlds: With Trump’s Conviction, Threat from the Right Is Anything But Averted

Guilty on all 34 counts. That was the verdict that the jury reached on May 31 in the trial of Donald Trump. With it, the right-wing populist becomes the first former U.S. president to be convicted of a crime. On July 11, the judge will sentence him, and Trump could, in fact, soon end up behind bars.

Those Europeans who are hoping that this trial will bring the Trumpian insanity in the U.S. to an end are, unfortunately, wrong. Just because Trump is a convicted criminal doesn’t mean that he’s no longer in the running to be the future president. His nomination as the Republican candidate is considered in the U.S. to be a done deal — after all, there are no more opponents, and the majority of the party seems to still stand behind him. There is still hope that enough moderate Republicans and independent voters will see Trump as unelectable because of the conviction and instead support the Democrats.

Trump, however, has been undermining the legitimacy of the case against him and the judicial system as a whole for months. He’s completely gaslighting his followers, who, in the end, are caught in a parallel world in which he’s necessarily always the Republican Messiah.

At every opportunity when there is a microphone in front of his nose, Trump whines that he is totally innocent. The charges are fabricated. It’s a political witch hunt, he says, and he’s being politically persecuted. He even made a comparison to Nelson Mandela. According to Trump, Joe Biden is behind it all; he’s pulling the strings because he’s afraid of losing the election. The judge, the jury, the prosecutor are all part of a great conspiracy against him. Trump and his mouthpieces have repeated these and other lies like mantras over weeks and months, all so that Trump voters have no more confidence in the judicial system, no matter the trial’s outcome. If Trump is found not guilty? It’s only because he’s stronger than the conspiracy against him. If Trump is found guilty? It’s only because everyone has worked together on a plan to get rid of him.

Trump pursued a similar tactic in the 2020-2021 campaign. Then, he undermined the entire electoral system in a way that no other candidate before him had ever done. After the election, he simply refused to recognize the results and incited his followers to go “fight like hell.” That resulted in the violence of Jan. 6, 2021, when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.

The inclination toward violence has not disappeared from the scene. Even now, there are discussions in some forums that the judge and the prosecutor in the New York case should be “punished” and that the jury members should all be “doxxed,” their names, address, etc. made public with the ominous goal of making them “pay for what they have done.”

That shows, among other things, that Trump’s stranglehold on American politics is anything but gone. If things don’t turn out like he and his supporters hope they will, some of Trump’s followers may be willing to use violence against everything that doesn’t fit into their self-made parallel world. And unfortunately, the tactics the right is using in the U.S. all too often serve as a blueprint for the right in Europe.

About this publication

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply