Republicans Need a Reboot; There’s No Future in Trumpism for the GOP

Photo by the New York Times

Outgoing President Donald Trump is a smarter man than most give him credit for. Certainly he already knew the election was over days ago and his removal from office guaranteed. With advanced data modeling via software programs, the extra four days it took to declare a winner was really a practice in caution and going through a process for Americans to have faith in a system. Statistics prognosticators can take data early on and make remarkably reliable projections (of course when dealing with real data like actual votes not polling numbers).

As the final results of the 2020 presidential election showed, the race was not as close as it was earlier believed to be, at least from a historical perspective on American presidential elections. The winner needed 270 votes to win, Joe Biden garnered 306 to Trump’s 232 electoral votes, which is a landslide victory for Biden. On any other election prior to this year’s pandemic with mostly mail-in voting, these results would have been declared an early night landslide victory.

Adding to the electoral wipe out, Biden received more than 5.5 million popular votes than Trump.

Republicans should be looking for a better future than Trumpism
Trump was the first president not to be reelected since George W. Bush in 1992. That fact alone should be telling that Trump is really damaged goods for the Republican party. One (term) and done is not the kind of record the Republican party should have faith in, for that presidential party nominee or what he ran on.

Trump takes credit for being the kingpin of the GOP who can draw tons of crowds wherever he goes. The mainstream media adds to his larger-than-life image with 24-7 coverage.

But the truth is this presidential election really did not live up to the showman Trump is. His post-election ranting – it turns out – was more of a menacing power move than the actual votes he received. If it wasn’t for an archaic electoral system, the wipe out (if you count popular votes) would have been as Trump likes to use the words, a “complete disaster” for him and the Republican party.

The Republican party should realize this failure. The 70 million votes Trump received, it’s arguable that much of it was actually party-line votes and not necessarily a pro-Trump stamp of approval.

Republicans ought to realize their bully’s influence is exaggerated and fearing retribution on Twitter from Trump should be the last of any Republican politician’s fears. It’s safe to say the time has come to bury Trumpism.

The Hillary Syndrome, Trump’s future
Think about the results more clearly. Hillary Clinton lost to Trump by the same electoral votes that he received this election. Democrats of all stripes and sectors of the party’s coalition knew that very night, that Hilary was done as far as being a future party nominee.

But the results of the 2016 election was not the only reason for this realization, it was confirmed to Democrats how Hillary (unfairly characterized or not) is really too large a polarizing figure. She is too easy a target for Republicans to hate on and reason to keep them loyal to the party. She is too difficult a candidate to get independents to crossover to Democrats.

Republicans should see Trump in the same light. Trump – and all this nonsense of running in 2024 – would be like Hilary taking another round at a presidential run.

Trump, like Hilary (albeit a very unfair comparison for Hillary), is too polarizing, and is a stigma of right-wing ideology no real independent voter would crossover for.

The Experiment is Over
Republicans should know that a majority of Americans will not accept fascism. It goes against the heart of our democratic principles. Trump’s ungracious, egocentric disregard to accept the will of the people by not accepting the 2020 election results made any droplet left of hope of him as a future candidate evaporate completely.

His trumped up litigations contesting the results were embarrassing, shameless and undemocratic. The Republicans, not all, who were on board to contest the election, may not see their folly now, but later will realize how un-American their actions were.

The institution of voting is far bigger and meaningful to the United States’ survival and continuity than any one president. How shortsighted of those who put this institution in jeopardy.

In fact all of what Trumpism stands for (racism, hatred, chaos, lies, indecency) , could be categorically dismissed after this election. Trumpism is and has since 2016 had peak-levels of 40s-some percentile approval rating. But that is the cap and Trump or any other Republican candidate running on Trumpism will not be able to win another presidential election with those numbers, with the same strategy. Trump’s 2016 victory was an untested experiment. But after four years of actual power and how Trump used that power, independents and on-the-fence Republicans will not go back to that kind of Republicanism.

What could fill the void
What’s next for the Republican party is anyone’s guess. There will be Trumpism as a carryover, no doubt. But if it leads to big losses for the GOP in the midterm, that would be the exclamation mark to leave it all behind. Some political analysts say a less crude, smarter, sophisticated Trump-like candidate could be far more dangerous than Trump – someone who will have all the far-right agenda and policy pursuits, but without the rhetoric, bombast or authoritarian swagger.

Filling the void of leadership of the GOP will be difficult. The party’s conservative platform doesn’t resound with the Millennial Generation (which will be the most influential group by 2024) and GENZ. Both have come of age, are now real players in American politics, and voted overwhelmingly against Trump.

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