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Why Donald Trump’s Absurd ‘Reinstatement’ Fantasy Matters




At a far-right rally in Phoenix this weekend, Representative Andy Biggs (R-Arizona) told attendees Donald Trump would return to the presidency in 2024 – “if not sooner.”

The crowd cheered, as if there was a chance the ousted former president could be reinstated, his defeat could be overturned and Trump’s second term could begin before the next national election cycle.

Soon after, Trump himself appeared at the same Turning Point USA event and suggested he was thinking along the same lines.

“They almost got away with it. Maybe they got away with it. We’re going to find out because something’s going to have to be done… If someone steals Tiffany – a handsome jeweler, 57th and fifth, good location, great location – and they steal the diamonds and then they get caught. They have to return the diamonds. It’s very simple. It’s amazing the way it works.

By the Republican reasoning, he had his presidency stolen, and therefore “they” should give him back what was taken from him.

I think there are three elements to this that are important. The first is that Trump’s obsession with the absurd fantasy of “reinstatement” does not go away. Earlier this month, Politico reported that Trump had convinced himself that the utterly ridiculous Arizona “audit” could trigger “some sort of legal process” that would make him president again.

As we discussed at the time, absurdity is part of a growing pattern. In April, for example, Trump looked a lot like a politician who believed there was still a possibility that his defeat was and would be reversed. Shortly thereafter, the former president reportedly told associates he believed Arizona’s indefensible election audit “could overturn” the 2020 presidential election.

In May, via his now-defunct blog, he celebrated a poll showing most Republican voters “believe Donald Trump is the real president,” and last month, Maggie Haberman of the New York Times noted that Trump ” said a number of people with whom he is in contact and whom he expects to be reinstated “as President by August.”

Around the same time, CNN published a related article, reporting that Trump had “asked advisers in recent weeks if he could somehow take over the presidency this year after listening to far-fetched suggestions from conservative commentators and ‘allies’.

This all leads to the second point: Trump’s fantasy is hopelessly insane.

Charles CW Cooke of the National Review, a prominent Conservative writer, explained last month: “[E]even if it were true that the 2020 election had been stolen – which is absolutely not – his belief would still be absurd. It could be confirmed tomorrow that agents working for a combination of Al Qaeda, Venezuela and George Soros had hacked all voting machines in the country and changed the totals by the tens of millions, and that would still be the case, he doesn’t know. There is no mechanism in the American legal order for an overhaul of any kind. In such an event, there would be indictments, an impeachment campaign and a constitutional crisis. But, as bad as it is, Donald Trump would not be “reinstated” in the presidency. This is not how America works, how America ever worked, or how America can work. American politicians don’t lose their re-election races to be reinstalled later, as does the second-place horse in a race in which the winner has been disqualified. The idea is otherworldly and obscene. “

And finally, there are the real implications of insanity. On the surface, it’s obviously relevant that the United States has only two major parties, and right now one of them is becoming a sycophantic personality cult towards a man who, as National Review’s Cooke says , is actively engaged in “a rejection of reality, a rejection of the law, and ultimately a rejection of the entire system of US government.”

But just below the surface it’s a little scarier. CNN reported a few weeks ago: “The Justice Department said this week that former President Donald Trump’s illusory claims that he would be reinstated in the White House could fuel further political violence from his officials. supporters. ” Politico had reported two weeks earlier: “The conspiracy theory that Donald Trump will be reinstated as president in August has raised concerns at the Department of Homeland Security, a senior official told members of Congress on Wednesday.”

It’s tempting to ignore the ridiculous absurdities of the former president, but for those worried about the violence of domestic extremists, the fact that Trump and his cohorts continue to push the “reinstatement” line creates a threat that does not can be ignored.




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