From the downfall of the 2020 presidential elections to legal setbacks, Donald Trump’s political fortunes have plummeted in recent years. But is this the end, or the beginning of another Trump era?
Since the 2020 elections, Donald J. Trump’s political autocracy has witnessed a massive and dramatic turn. From losing the big show to Biden’s league in a landslide to the ensuing lawsuits and legal setbacks, the 77-year-old ex-president’s political career has suffered a major setback in recent years.
However, despite his legal perils and tarnished reputation, the former president’s campaigns to reclaim the reign continue to be heard and watched in the media and in US politics.
After becoming the first Republican in history to announce his bid for the presidency in 2024 after two consecutive impeachments during the presidential term, the “John Barron” is doing everything to be the fair-haired boy of the media. From calling out “enemies” and promising the moon to his supporters, to his usual ballistic yet witty speech, his election campaigns are all fuzz and buzz, successfully capturing the media’s attention.
However, while Trump is riding high on the tide of support for tearing down the current administration, analysts are divided over whether this period of turmoil signals the end of Trump’s political dominance or the beginning of a new Trump era.
Let us take a quick trip back in time to the very beginning to see where the ship’s current course is likely to end up.
The Aftermath of the 2020 Elections:
Despite the authority and hold that the ex-president savored during his tenure in the big office, November 2020 turned everything upside down for him. The elections saw record voter turnout, and Trump’s defeat came as a surprise to many, including himself.
After losing to Biden, Trump refused to concede, claiming widespread voter fraud and rigging in the elections. However, due to a lack of substantial evidence, his demands and claims for the voting machines to be “recalibrated” fell on deaf ears.
This irritated Republicans even more, resulting in numerous legal battles and lawsuits in various states that were eventually dismissed due to insufficient evidence. Even some conservative judges that Trump himself appointed rebuked him.
This was the second blow to his power and influence in four years after losing to Biden.
Legal Charges and Setbacks:
Following his removal from the Oval Office, Trump faced a new front in the form of 40 criminal counts. Among these cases, 32 were related to withholding national defense information, five to concealing the possession of classified documents, one to making false statements, and two to an attempt to delete security camera footage at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, where the documents were stored.
All of these criminal counts, however, are separate from the other ongoing investigations, which include the January 6th Capitol Hill Rioting, the Manhattan Criminal Case, and the Georgia Criminal Inquiry.
The Impact of Social Media Bans
Another significant blow to Trump’s political standing came in the form of social media bans. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube permanently suspended his accounts, citing concerns over his role in inciting violence during the Capitol Hill insurrection in early 2021.
These bans effectively cut off Trump’s direct communication with millions of his followers, limiting his ability to influence public opinion through his preferred channels.
Trump’s Variable Influence on Republicans
The setbacks and controversies have undoubtedly hurt Trump’s reputation, but it is still too early to write him off completely from the political scene. There is no doubt that the Republican “Trump Card” still holds immense sway over his Party, with many GOP lawmakers and candidates embracing his policies and rhetoric.
As of August 1st, ten senators and nearly seventy House members have announced their support for Trump in 2024 or expressed their backing for his campaign, even as he faces criminal charges in New York. This list also includes Henry McMaster, the governor of South Carolina, and Jim Justice, the West Virginia governor who tweeted in support of Trump in April after being indicted in Manhattan.
As president, Trump held an iron grip over the Republican Party, and while his power has waned since then, many of his allies and longtime loyalists remain by his side. He continues to be a force that Republicans cannot ignore; despite their disagreement with him on some issues, most elected Republicans say they won’t make a decision until they see who else enters the race or that it’s too early to decide.
However, as we all know, every coin has two sides. While many major Republicans are rallying behind Trump, many others have lost faith in him.
According to the most recent poll, conducted from July 24 to July 27, roughly half of American adults believe that Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, has committed an illegal act. This includes the vast majority of Democrats and a slim majority of independents. Simultaneously, roughly a quarter of Americans believe he acted unethically but not illegally.
The Potential for a Trump Comeback:
On the eve of the election, not only have Trump’s campaigns doubled, but he is also employing a novel strategy to win over his supporters. Recently, in a march, he told his supporters not to just see him as a candidate but as their “retribution.”
He has also promised to initiate a complete overhaul of the federal government, which he claims as “the final battle” between him and his opponents.
In order to accomplish this, he has proposed a revival of an executive order from the final months of his presidency, which would allow him to replace federal employees with those loyal to him. This could potentially give Trump unprecedented control over the federal bureaucracy.
This strategy could be met with criticism by some Republicans, who have already been denouncing Trump’s tactics. This could lead to a dramatic reshifting of power within the Republican Party. However, considering his solid support base and their willingness to remain loyal, it is practically impossible to predict how Trump’s bid for the White House will play out in 2024.
The Uncertainty of the Future:
As the political landscape evolves, it is difficult to predict the exact trajectory of Donald Trump’s career. The 2024 presidential race, in particular, holds the potential to redefine his status as a leading figure in politics. A successful bid for the presidency could cement his position as a force to be reckoned with, while a failure to secure the nomination or win the election could further erode his standing.
Furthermore, ongoing legal investigations into Trump’s business practices and finances could pose additional challenges to his political aspirations. Any serious legal repercussions could tarnish his image further and limit his ability to engage in active politics.
The question remains: Is Donald Trump finished now as a leading figure in politics?
Given his political shenanigans and indictments in several cases, his future prospects are certainly not at their best.
However, it cannot be denied that he still wields significant power within the Republican Party, and if he can reinvigorate his base (through the use of political chicanery), he still may have a chance to remain on the map.
Only time will tell if Trump can make a comeback and truly live up to his slogan, “Make America Great Again”. Despite the odds being against him, it’s impossible to ignore how influential Trump has been and continues to be in American politics. He may not be a leading figure anymore due to his dwindling credibility, but he still has an undeniable presence in today’s political landscape.
However, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for Trump and his supporters. Good or bad? Only time will tell.