For a moment, let’s imagine:
It is the third Monday in January 2025. It’s cold on the West Bank of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. where thousands of people cheer for their leader. After a very intense and hasty electoral process, Donald J. Trump won the presidency of the United States for the second time. As in the beginning of his first term, with his right arm to the front and a tight fist he swears in office and promises the American people a “prosperity never seen before” and, of course, “clean the country” of all “scum. ”And the multiple“ enemies of the homeland ”.
Nightmares aside, in this fall of 2021 the fact is that even without the megaphone of Social Media, Trump is the one who controls the main financing flows and the axes of the Republican Party’s narrative and, therefore, he is the one who is ahead in the race for the presidential candidacy of that party for 2024.
Faced with a very probable and to a certain extent natural erosion of the Biden Administration – the current president would come to the next contest at 81 years of age – the 74 million votes obtained by Trump in the previous election and, above all, his false denunciation of fraud and subsequent coup attempt, make it a formidable threat.
Starting from that rude and noisy character who for decades became a kind of caricature of the modern oligarch and knew how to amass a fortune using and abusing his celebrity status, Mr. Trump had the undoubted political talent to ride the social wave of resentment , frustration and hatred that still travels the world. At the same time symptom and cause, he is the most visible face of a right-wing neo-populism that reeks of fascism.
No one should be surprised anymore. His crude attempts to manipulate the electoral results in the last election and, above all, the repeated and unfounded allegations of fraud against him have allowed him to stay on the offensive and thus try to evade recognition of his transparent condition of being – in the words by David Brok in the NYT— “a pig (for his anti-women expressions), a fraud (multiple failed deals and bankruptcies and a cheater. Not to mention his blatant racism and misogyny.”
Not even the recent denunciation by former President George W. Bush, who reproached him for having promoted “violent domestic extremism” in clear reference to the assault on the Capitol that January 6 of last year, have allowed the old traditional forces of the GOP to take away his power. party control.
“Too much of our policies have become a clear call to anger, fear and resentment,” lamented Bush, one of the last representatives of a “compassionate conservatism”, a right of traditional values and a promise of prosperity for all . A model prior to what Trump represents: the ode to savage capitalism, radical isolationism, police violence and intolerance, elimination of freedoms against those who do not subscribe to his doctrine of “genetic superiority” who incite racism and the use of immigrants as goats expiatory.
Both because of the rivers of money that he continues to be able to move towards the candidates of his preference, as well as the still strong influence of him in the most radical positions of the right, Mr. Trump continues with one foot on the neck of the old establishment. conservative.
Still deprived of his main propaganda weapons – his social media accounts – the character who promotes himself as if he were a kind of messiah of the worst causes, continues, with erratic steps certainly, charging millions for his lectures to his personal benefit and his Political Action Committees (PACs), as well as dragging crowds to the rallies of his candidates for 2022.
An autocrat friend of the tyrants and demagogues of the moment – Putin, Bolsonaro, Kim Jun-un, Rodrigo Duterte, among others – Trump is clearly betting on the delegitimization of the entire system. If he was able to consider using the nuclear destruction buttons to prevent his electoral defeat, what could he care about spearheading the demolition of American democracy.