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Matured Trumpism Is A More Serious Threat Than Trump Himself – OpEd

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The fundamental question for many international observers and even American citizens in the run-up to the Congressional elections is Trump or Trumpism’s place in the American political structure. After a series of bitter events for Trump and his supporting groups, including the failure in the presidential election, the attack of Trump supporters on Congress, the discovery of top-secret government documents in Trump’s residence in Mara Lago, the possibility of filing a lawsuit or the or preventing him running for the upcoming presidential elections, it can be said that the star of fortune of this showman, investor, and politician is waning. 

But everyone believes that the shadow of Trump’s evil will not go away from the United States and the world forever, and the damaging actions of his administration can be repeated again in American history. Even if Trumpism is no longer limited to the presence or absence of Trump at the head of the US political system, the “whitening of America” or “America First” is not only rooted in the heart of the US society but also many politicians and citizens who did not believe in this approach. 

It can be safely said that this thinking has been consolidated in the minds of politicians such as Mike Pence, Pompeo, Nikki Haley, DeSantis, and other friends and colleagues of this group, and it has become even more reasonable and at the same time more dangerous. In this way, politics inside the United States and foreign policy is facing a kind of matured Trumpism, which, if he wins the majority in the elections in November of this year or takes the leadership in the White House in 2024 can have irreparable consequences. The legacy of Trump in both the domestic and international levels will be far more terrifying.

On the other hand, the severe dissatisfaction of the American people with the performance of the Biden government and the Democratic Party, especially in the economic field, which caused eight and a half percent inflation with their wrong policies, and the inability of the Biden government to fully contain the Covid crisis has increased public favorability towards the Republican Party and has even led to the prominence of new and successful figures of this party, such as Ron DeSantis, the governor of the state of Florida.

In addition, the large volume of military and financial aid to Ukraine in a situation where the American people are suffering from economic pressures, as well as the way the Biden government is dealing with immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, and the ease with which they enter the United States have put a greater financial burden on the shoulders of the American government and taxpayers. Also, jobs that should be occupied by Americans have been taken by these people, which has caused people to turn away from the current residents of the White House and their party members.

Surveys also show that the level of dissatisfaction of the American people with the performance of the government and its direction is not encouraging at all, and only about seventeen percent of the citizens of this country are satisfied with the current conditions, which is an extremely worrying statistic. This means that more than eighty percent are deeply dissatisfied with the procedure taken by the Democrat government, and this amount of dissatisfaction is practically enough to start fundamental changes in any country. Although the level of dissatisfaction among the supporters of the Republican Party and independents is higher than among the supporters of the Democrats, the decrease in satisfaction among the Democrats has been more considerable, from about forty-seven percent in 2021 to twenty-nine percent in 2022. In the past months, some Republicans, especially the ones mentioned above, have mostly adopted different positions from Trump and have tried to keep their distance from him by supporting candidates other than those approved by him. But their movement did not mean a disagreement in the Republican camp. In other words, with the conditions that Trump will probably face from a legal point of view, the Democrat representatives have chosen a wise way not to be on the same side with him. But this does not mean disagreeing or supporting his policies and Trumpism’s thinking.

New figures supporting Trump’s ideas have also entered the scene with new and a more reasonable façade, but they believe in the same policies of the United States during the Trump and Biden era. In fact, the positions of these people in immigration, dealing with illegal immigrants, and completing the wall on the border with Mexico are very similar to Trump’s. If they are not seriously opposed to the illegal entry of asylum seekers into the United States that is because they want to compensate for the losses of American citizens during the Corona era or the Americans who stayed at home to receive their monthly pension.  American agriculture and companies need immigrants more than before.

Of course, the process of transformations and changes will never happen as Trump did. Because the populist and chauvinist face of former President Trump, who wanted highly dramatic and provocative actions, will most likely not exist among the new Republicans, and this makes them more dangerous. In fact, doing such actions with a cover of rationality and avoiding the noise of previous negative reactions can be much more popular and welcomed by the public inside and outside the United States.

It should be said that an issue that is still a source of concern for the allies and partners of the United States in the international context is the continuation of the previous policies of the United States such as self-imposed isolationism, reducing international obligations, withdrawing from some treaties, insisting on increasing costs related to NATO and Lack of support for European allies against future threats from Russia. Therefore, the emergence of a new generation of Republican politicians with thoughts almost identical to Trump’s but without emotional actions like him, and with a distance from the populism that he represented, causing a severe split among the political elites and American society is sounding the alarm for the American intellectuals as well as the foreign allies of the United States that Trumpism is not only not gone, but it is coming back with a new presentation, rebranding, and restoration of its face. This return can have a significant impact on the support of the United States to Ukraine, which will lead to the intensity of the war and Putin’s move toward nuclear weapons, which will leave irreparable consequences for Europe and the world.

Undoubtedly, if the Neotrumpists succeed in the November congressional elections and take control of the houses and then the possible victory in the upcoming US presidential elections in 2024, the world will become much more frightening, dangerous and insecure than before.

Greg Pence

Greg Pence is an international studies graduate of University of San Francisco.

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