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From Trump to Biden and back?

   Unless blocked by a court ruling, ex-President Donald Trump will most likely be the frontrunner for the Republican candidacy in 2024. Currently, he seems to enjoy the almost unanimous support of the GOP. Terrible or marvellous?

   Among others, Adlai Stevenson II and Hillary Clinton have shown that Americans don’t like losers. Once you lost a primary or a presidential election, you are out. That’s the rule, and the GOP pundits know it as well.  Still, they support Trump with the enthusiasm of lemmings, why?

There are two possible explanations

– they are still under Trump’s spell and afraid of his followers

– they think: four years are a long time and Trump might be blocked or fade away.

   Indeed, under “normal” circumstances, Trump “fighting ïn his basement” at Mar-a-Lago would have hardly a chance against a President Biden enjoying the glamour of office and running for re-election after four moderately successful years.

   But circumstances are far from normal. Twice, America has shown that it is ready to morph from a white plus minorities society to a minorities plus white society. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are two milestones marking a transition unique among major countries with the exception of South Africa.

   The South African parallel is not as far fetched as it may seem: the whites still claim they settled and developed an empty country before the blacks moved in from the North, established a majority and grabbed power. Like Republicans in the U.S., whites in S.A. represent old money and wield economic power.

   More than Obama, Biden seems ready to implement policies dear to the progressives and the minorities. Consequently, the conservatives are furious and disgusted. After four years of an administration pandering to their ideas and preferences, the shock of Biden’s reversal is deep.

   The result is despair and radicalism among the Republican electorate. Today, if a President Trump would again call for an attack on the Capitol, thousands instead of hundreds would be coming.

   Some observers predict that Trump, if reelected, would repeat the January 6th event on a much larger scale instead of giving up power. Support among Republicans for his attempts to topple democracy would be stronger than ever.

   There can be little doubt at this juncture that many Republicans would trade in America’s democracy for a system that offers conservative white rule forever. Biden’s liberal immigration policy and his intention to legalize 15 million illegal foreigners are the opposite of what these Republicans consider indispensable.

   There are three possibilities how Trump might get a real chance to return to power

  • Biden’s policies result in havoc and disaster

  • Biden falls ill and Harris takes over

  • Biden is exhausted, refuses to run for a second term, and the Democrats present a weak candidate as successor.

If none of the above happens, it is likely that America will be able to definitely close the chapter Trump.

   Still, there is the possibility that the GOP would nominate a successor candidate who is more Trumpian than Trump.


John Wantock

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