WASHINGTON – He still haunts them.
Those words — echoing the lingering influence on Canadian politics long after Pierre Elliott Trudeau left office — aptly describe former President Donald Trump’s continued influence on the United States control
His supporters held hearings on prime-time television on Jan. 6 to preserve his efforts, and each midterm primary result was interpreted as a referendum on his lasting influence, and he continued to rallied for his rallies. Pack the field and make a splash on the field in the 2024 Republican presidential nomination ballot.
Maybe haunt is the wrong word.By mid-2022, Trump Dominant American politics. still.
He is not only a leader, but the personification of the angry right-wing political brand that exists in his media and ideological world. Fighting it is the defining national issue of this American political era. It could also quickly become a defining issue for Canadians.
At times, things seem to be changing.
At an airport outside Atlanta late last month, Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence spoke at a rally in support of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. It’s a direct denial of the former president: Trump, who has made defeating Kemp one of his main tasks this year, appeared at a “call rallies” against Kemp that night.
In Atlanta, Pence seemed to signal it was time to stop dwelling on Trump’s grievances and break with the past: “When you say yes to Governor Brian Kemp tomorrow, you will send a deafening message across America that The Republican Party is the future of the party.”
Two days later, after Camp won the nomination decisively, he was without a “Make America Great Again” hat at his victory party in downtown Atlanta. Combined with Glenn Yankin’s victory in Virginia’s gubernatorial race last year, it was touted as a template for the post-Trump Republican Party. A poll in Colorado this week showed some conservative activists voting for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as their preferred 2024 nominee. And regular donor-level pleas, such as that of former Nevada Trump rainmaker Perry DiLoreto, who said: “I hope Trump will sit back and be quiet. I Think the country has had enough of him.” Add it all up, and it’s possible to start convincing yourself that maybe Trump is a disarming army.
Especially now, with the end of his bloody and chaotic term revisited with public hearings of the Jan. 6 uprising. And prosecutors at the Georgia and federal Justice Departments appear to be preparing criminal charges.
Is the exorcism coming?
Well, maybe not.
It is certainly conceivable that Trump would find himself criminally charged — a report this week by five legal scholars at the Brookings Institution identified various federal and state charges, and public evidence suggests that Trump can be reliably charged accusation.
However, this is not yet certain. Maybe not even a possible thing. No former president has been charged with a crime while in office. Even if Trump is charged, it’s hard to see how that will prevent his political clout.
Trump and his supporters have long built a persecution complex in the identity of his political movement, demonizing the media, U.S. government agencies, his political opponents—even his closest political allies, who Ended up blaming him for bad behavior – as part of a nefarious conspiracy against him. Allegations of his sexual abuse, backed up by tapes of him talking about his tendencies, were waved and a credible investigation found troubling misconduct in his 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia was dismissed as The hoax, two impeachments – one involving the blackmail of the Ukrainian president who has become a global war hero, and the other an attempt to overthrow American democracy everyone saw on TV – are just further proof that he is persecuted The only evidence of a hero.
During Trump’s presidency, polls show that nearly half of Americans believe the media made up stories about him. As of this year, the vast majority of Republicans appear to be convinced that he actually won the 2020 election.
Not long ago, in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, John Elliott told me that he thinks all politicians have had similar dirty laundry like Trump, the difference being the media coverage. “In the four years he’s been in office, he’s been bashing him…he just blew it away. I applaud that.”
They, the majority of Republican voters, believe he has done nothing wrong. No doubt they still support him.
Check out the polls for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination: While DeSantis’ strength is heavily weighted, Trump has shown more support than DeSantis and all other potential candidates combined. Trump is likely to drop the 2024 nomination if he doesn’t go to jail or get low due to unforeseen health problems.
Moreover, DeSantis’ perceived strength actually shows Trump’s strength: Like almost every other alternative popular among Republicans, he is a product of the Trump campaign. The template of anti-awakening, fighting Fauci, hotkey pushing, enemy hunting, verbal abuse that makes DeSantis stand out is the one Trump laid out.
Last month in Rome, Georgia, where Trump’s brand was strong enough that his endorsement was a prominent feature of the candidate’s lawn sign, a white-haired Kemp voter who wouldn’t tell me her name said she still thinks of the Georgia governor. Was on the same team as Trump — hers — and the “personal” spat between them was exaggerated by the media. “Governor. Camp did a great job for us. Just like President Trump did a good job for us.”
Even if Trump himself will soon be sidelined, his party will continue to follow in his footsteps.
Canada is not immune to the effects of this phenomenon.
Many Canadians may be concerned about the impact of our largest trading partner and closest ally bringing Trump or someone like him back to power. But more importantly, Canadians are already starting to see the rise of right-wing populist movements – such as the antics of Maxim Bernier’s People’s Party in the recent federal election, and the motorcade closure protests in Ottawa. A few weeks last winter. Pierre Poliyev dominates the Conservative leadership race.
Frank Graves, a pollster at EKOS Research, has long warned that the Trump-backed “prospect of orderly populism,” or authoritarianism, is strong enough in Canada that exploiting it could be conservative. The party’s best election strategy. That’s what Poilievre is doing now.
“Support for Mr Poilievre is largely concentrated among voters expressing this orderly populist view, and the ties are very strong,” Graves said. Graves said his candidacy, from associating with Jordan Peterson to catering to the anti-vaccine mandate crowd to demonizing the elite, was tailored to mimic the American movement he was using to evade nominate.
“I think he’s playing textbooks to the Trumpist crowd in the North.” Graves thinks he has a good chance of winning the next Canadian election.
But for Canadians who are not inclined to vote this way, and are alarmed by Trump’s continued strength in the US, the problem may not be if Trump retains his control, but whyAfter all, why do so many Americans still support him with an almost religious fervor?
I’ve asked this question to people in states across the country over the past few years, and the answers can be varied and complex.
From Trump supporters, you’ll hear complaints about racial issues and education that sometimes provoke white grievances. You hear complaints about gender issues. About cancel culture. On the major shift in the economy – especially from carbon fuels to free trade, they blamed it for destroying many traditional job categories.
“The people I know who live here are coal people, energy people,” a man named Paul told me on a patio in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, before the last election. “Biden is back and they’re going to destroy the energy industry.”
Paul said part of the reason he and his friends like Trump is because he is so chaotic, divisive and shameless. “He’s not a politician. I think that’s more in line with a lot of Americans.”
Last year, a Virginia woman who backed Trump and Youngkin’s gubernatorial bids concluded that Democrats — and what she sees as the special interests behind key race theories and gender education in schools and the COVID mandate — are tearing her community apart, She thinks she used to feel at home. We don’t want to hear it anymore. Shut up! Shut them up, that’s how I feel, you know? ”
Perhaps the most indicative answer I’ve heard came from a guy in Georgia named Greg Mintz who told me, “I know the world is progressing, and I’m moving with the times. But I’m from the Democratic side. Some of the changes I’ve heard – I don’t want my daughter to grow up in a world that looks so different from the one I grew up in.”
You put it all down to a lot of people feeling that the world is changing in a way that excludes them, or makes them feel like the power they used to have is diminishing. They were angry about it.
Donald Trump channeled outrage and promised revenge.
Given Trump’s economic populism against free trade, traditional business Republicans have often accused him of not being a “true conservative.” But William F. Buckley famously said: “Conservatives are the ones who stand in history and shout stop.”
Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan is about going back to the idealized past: he’s yelling “stop.” and threatens an important “or otherwise”.
Lately, Trump has been obsessed with the recent past — the election he feels has stolen from him. But it’s an extension of a larger theme, in which he claims his supporters are stealing their economic and cultural power.
Those who want the party to surpass Trump, like Pence in that speech, may want to talk about being the party of the future. But they are small boats upstream, constantly returning to the past – with their country. Be haunted by a former president who is unwilling to let go of his imagined former glory. And his loyal supporters, who don’t want him to.