Trump’s run for the White House again: Politics in the first person

Trump’s re-election is a flight forward. But the resulting power struggles in his party are a gift for the Democrats.

Donald Trump poses in front of US flags

Ex-President Donald Trump during an appearance in front of supporters in October Photo: Chery Dieu-Nalio/Reuters

The fact that Donald Trump is running for the White House for the third time is not a scoop. The 76-year-old talks a lot about his “movement” and a collective “we”. But ultimately he makes politics in the first person. He sees himself as the one indispensable man who alone can save the United States. This messianic claim to leadership is reinforced by the fact that, since he now has so many investigations on his hands – for corruption, tax fraud and pressure on election workers – he tries to use the publicity of a new campaign as a protective shield.

Trump’s candidacy is a flight forward. It is also a clever move against competitors from his own party. He has once again managed to focus media attention on himself. And he puts every other Republican presidential hopeful on the defensive. In the time until they make their own candidacies public, he can tour and drum around the country without competition.

Historically, Trump has long since fulfilled his role in the Republican Party. He has given the party an extremely conservative and long-term majority on the Supreme Court and numerous young, conservative judges in all instances. He implemented the most business-friendly tax reform in a long time. He has undermined environmental laws, promoted fossil fuels, set climate policy years back and made abortion a de facto ban in numerous states. In addition, he has made an authoritarian form of politics socially acceptable. And brought a generation of Republicans into Congress and other elected bodies who want to continue his policies.

Under Trump, the entire Republican Party has drifted far to the right. Only the Midterms shook up the party leadership and drove them to search for their place and their future. After years of following Trump – even into the darkest corners of what he does, including lies that erode trust in democracy, and calls for a coup – the party leadership wants him and his numerous imitators in the party now as small as possible.

the Power and generational struggles in the Republican Party do not necessarily mean a handicap for Trump. He also conducted his first election campaign initially against the opposition of the old bosses and structures in the party. But for the Democrats, the power struggles among the competition are a gift. You probably lost the House of Representatives in the Midterms. But they narrowly held and gained the Senate and many governorships. Now they hope that the Republicans, who were as united as an army under Trump, will follow Trump on the rubble heap, lose what he leaves behind.

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