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Trumpism is Here To Stay, Even if Trump Isn’t

Trumpism is Here To Stay, Even if Trump Isn’t

Trumpism is Here To Stay, Even if Trump Isn’t


Megan Curi '24

Former President Donald Trump announced his bid for reelection on November 15, outside his home in Mar-a-Lago. The speech was met with a lukewarm reception from the G.O.P., with reports of some attendees trying to walk out halfway through. Combined with a lackluster midterm performance by Republicans, especially those endorsed by Trump, it has become clear that the G.O.P. is fed up with the former President.

While the Democrats hardly swept the 2022 election, Republicans failed to gain control of the Senate and barely managed to squeeze out a victory in the House. This comes in a year of inflation and a Democratic President with an approval rating of just over forty percent — all factors that should have contributed to an easy Republican victory. However, a predicted “red wave” failed to materialize, signaling a rejection of widespread G.O.P. messaging. Candidates like Rep. Lauren Boebert, who was expected to be easily reelected, failed to secure a significant lead.

The midterms proved that Americans are sick of an anti-abortion, anti-democracy platform. It’s hardly all bad news for Republican strategists, though. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis breezed through reelection with a record 19.4% margin, and flipped key Democratic strongholds in the state red.

DeSantis has become a rising star in the Republican Party, with some declaring him the G.O.P.’s new leader. Though DeSantis has yet to announce a campaign in 2024 and has kept his political ambitions relatively close to his chest, a potential bid for the White House has been alluded to by numerous Florida lawmakers.

Trump certainly feels threatened by DeSantis as a potential challenger. In a series of statements put out on Truth Social, Trump’s far-right social media platform, the former President blasted DeSantis. “Ron had low approval, bad polls, and no money, but he said that if I could Endorse him, he could win,” the former president wrote. “And now, Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games!”

Trump thrives when he’s able to bully and mock his political enemies, so perhaps the ambiguity around DeSantis’s plans for 2024 is a strategic one on the latter’s part — stay quiet, leave Trump to his ramblings, and don’t give the former president ammunition against him. The Democrats have been equally vague in outlining their strategy for 2024, as the second Trump has an enemy, he’s able to galvanize his base.

To the Republican strategist, Trump is also frustratingly erratic and impossible to keep in check. Trump is exceptionally good at stirring up a mob of supporters. However, his recent turn to increasingly dangerous and blatantly anti-democracy rhetoric makes him unpalatable to more moderate Republicans. The appeal of DeSantis lies in the fact that he is boring. He manages to peddle the same ideology as Trump without any of the narcissism and questionable social media outbursts that defined the Trump Administration.

In many ways, however, this makes DeSantis more dangerous than Trump. His opposition to “woke ideology” riles up much of the Republican base against his political opponents without being obviously dangerous. For example, his Parental Rights In Education Act (better known as the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill) suppresses conversations about or acknowledgement of LGBTQ+ identities in classrooms but under the pretense of making sure content in schools is “age appropriate.”

Trump was effective at bending the G.O.P. to his will, but Republicans may have had enough of his antics and want someone who can actually carry out what he preaches. Trump’s effect on the Republican Party was no doubt massive, but only time will tell if his control is great enough to get him through the primaries.

Benjamin Who is an editor-in-chief of The Record.

December 7th

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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