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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Like it or not, Trump isn’t leaving politics or the spotlight anytime soon

How the last four years will continue to shape the GOP

On Jan. 20, 2021, a new President of the U.S. will be sworn into office. 

At least, that is what is supposed to happen. 

President Donald Trump has yet to concede to President-elect Joe Biden and accept the results of the election. Results of the safest and most secure election in the nation’s history, according to Chris Krebs—the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency who was fired on Nov. 17 by Trump for making that statement. 

It’s now been weeks since the Associated Press called Pennsylvania in favor of Biden, giving him more than the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the presidency. The president-elect currently sits comfortably at 306, the same “landslide” margin that Trump won by in 2016. So if Biden is the president-elect, and Trump didn’t really win, why is he still claiming victory?

Over the past four years, and in recent weeks especially, many have argued that the Grand Ole’ Party (GOP) is of the past and that populism has been on the rise. Consider numerous reports that the outgoing president has had Republican senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham in his pocket since the start of his term in 2017. Watch a recording of a rally Trump has held this year or interviews of attendees. Watch an hour of Hannity on Fox or Newsmax if you’re feeling daring. Wherever you look, the message is exceedingly more pro-Trump than pro-Republican. 

While Trump is on his way out of the White House, it’s been made apparent that he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Hints of a 2024 presidential run have already been made, his daughter-in-law Laura Trump is rumored to make a run for South Carolina Senate in 2022, Jared Kushner is likely to continue building on his foreign policy portfolio and the vocal duo of Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle is not likely to quiet down anytime soon. His press secretary Kayleigh McEnany (whose salary, as a government official, is paid for by taxpayers) has been serving the Trump campaign more and answering questions from the press less to spread misinformation in regards to claims of voter fraud in the election. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press conference that “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.” Until Thanksgiving the President hadn’t taken any questions from reporters since election night, only appearing on Twitter to create one false claim after another. Lawsuits across the nation put into motion by his personal attorneys have been quickly shut down for lack of evidence. 

But why insist victory when everything points to defeat?

Because that isn’t Trump. Seventy four million (give or take) voted for a populist candidate who, ironically, was born into a position of elitism and has maintained that status throughout his life (despite countless controversies and failure in both his business and personal life).

Trump had become a household name by the time he announced a bid for the presidency. He was recognizable to the “ordinary” American who watched reality television, didn’t follow politics and wanted less government meddling in the affairs of its citizens. What started as a surge for a populist candidate turned one political party into a cult-following, and the other, naturally anti-cult.
Written by: Cameron Perry —arts@theaggie.org

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