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The Half-Life of Trumpism and the Return of Normal Politics |

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Not much was noticed, amid the Republican celebrations and the crying and gnashing among Democrats, it’s this: It wasn’t just about Donald Trump. Overall, it was a normal election in which the party opposite the President won, Democrats and Republicans won and suffered losses.

The winners were gracious, the losers stoic. No one claimed they had been swindled out of victory. Donald Trump allowed himself, in the interest of winning Virginia, to confine himself to televised rallies in rural Southside and Southwest Virginia, while allowing his anointed candidate, Glenn Younkin, to d ‘establish an identity of a reasonable and educated commuter mindful of the schools. Trump was nowhere to be found in New Jersey, where Jack Ciattarelli nearly won.

We could be witnessing the beginning of the disintegration of Trumpism, just as a radioactive isotope loses half of its strength as it disintegrates. Of course, he still has his base believing in any blatant silliness that comes out of his mouth, but there are also just about as many Republicans who would genuinely prefer him not to be their presidential candidate in 2024.

The base is probably slowly shrinking without Trump constantly stirring them up on Twitter. At best, it’s a significant minority of the electorate, around 40 percent at most, probably less now.

The newly re-emerging Republican establishment will be challenged to please the Trump base with dog-whistle rhetoric, as they do their real job of restoring GOP dominance in the suburbs and among white women. educated. It is not an easy task; if they fail, many of these Trumpers could feel disrespectful and ignored, and stop voting. Or the commuters could end up being used by the Trumpers. A delicate dance indeed.

The challenge for Democrats is also great, as Trumpism deteriorates and normal politics resumes. As we could see in the Virginia campaign, Trump was McAuliff’s trump card: when all else failed, he could try to scare voters by treating Youngkin like a Trump clone. It did not work.

It worked in 2020, when Bidens’ main argument was that he was anti-Trump. But even then, many voters who looked down on Trump and voted for Biden went on to vote against the GOP. Bidens’ victory was an anti-Trump referendum. This was not an approval of the Build Back Better program.

Democrats have only a year to understand and sell a positive message against a post-Trump Republican Party. Republicans pretty much have their message.

John Peeler,

Lewisburg

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2/ https://www.dailyitem.com/trumpisms-half-life-and-the-return-of-normal-politics/article_33cfda7a-433f-11ec-89cd-73751c4352e3.html

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