I’m often baffled and fascinated by what comes out of President Trump’s mouth. I mean, what kind of leader denounces mail-in voting after using it himself many times before?
From the moment he stepped into office, the president has been a menace to both his party and the country as a whole. His era, often defined as Trumpism, is a manifestation of what degrades American democracy: racial, economic, and gender oppression and bias. As a global leader, he uses degrading language to describe African nations, continuously objectifies women, and lives in a fantasy where the Constitution does not exist.
What disturbs me the most is that Trump continuously refuses to condemn erroneous information about the government. He constantly tries to separate himself from the idea of a “deep state,” the government-wide conspiracy, and flirts with QAnon, a grotesque combination of conspiracy theories, its fervent believers willing to believe anything the president says, and the wildfire-like spread of misinformation tech companies like Facebook refuse to control. Rather than denouncing such false information, he makes an effort to distance himself from the very institution he is a part of.
The effects of Trump’s actions are not limited to his four years in office. The changes that he brought to the GOP will inspire new leaders that follow in his footsteps. It’s clear that Trump influenced and continues to influence rising Republican superstars like Representative Madison Cawthorn (R-NC-11) who teases with Neo-Nazi values and Senator-elect Tommy Tuberville (R-AL). Like the president, they appeal to supporters of the Republican party who felt neglected during the more moderate era in the GOP during the candidacies of Senator John McCain and then-Governor Mitt Romney.
While it’s difficult to see exactly how the President altered the Republican party, we can expect his disregard for basic American rules and values to have effects that outlast his presidency. I guess we will have to wait and see.