Why Trump is still so strong – Corriere.it

from Massimo Gaggi

The reasons why the former president, whom many consider a danger to democracy, can count on such a broad consensus

PWhile avoiding phrasing them in public, Rupert Murdoch, an ultra-conservative 90-year-old publisher, often makes contemptuous judgments about Donald Trump. But his Fox Newsthe right-wing information battleship, also continues to support the former president ahead of the 2024 elections, although it has also begun to give space to possible alternative candidates. His son James, the designated heir of the Murdoch group and for years its de facto CEO, has long since gone without hiding his indignation at how Fox has backed Trump even in his overtly undemocratic moves.

Brother Lachlan, who replaced him at the top of the group, made no secret of his sympathies for the more radical right in public speeches and defending the Fox leaders even when they argued that the assault on Congress was a left-wing maneuver against Trump or have espoused the conspiracy theory of the great replacement: a conspiracy against the whites of America destined to become an oppressed minority. For a few months, however, Lachlan has also privately argued that Trump is bad for America. But then he adds (story of the Cnn) that Fox will not stop supporting him because otherwise he would lose a large part of his audience: Despite all the damage he has done to America, the violation of democratic rules and the illegal acts now proven beyond reasonable doubt, Trump remains hugely popular on the American right. Why?

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Com it is possible that a character who first antagonized the whole
establishment
conservative, then broke with almost all the characters called to collaborate with him in the White House (fired or left slamming the door, then publishing hot memoirs) and who seems to have lost the support of many of his financiers, tempted to support politicians younger and more reliable, is he still an almost unbeatable candidate on the Conservative front?

Before the November 2020 defeat, dozens of essays had been published on the diabolical communication skills and also on the political intuition of The Donald. All forgotten in the months of his silent retreat in Mar-a-Lago after the assault on Congress and the unsuccessful attempt to subvert the outcome of the presidential vote. As the newspapers filled with analysis of the end of his political career, Trump played golf and worked on building the second act of his battle for the White House. driven by an obsession: not only the desire for revenge, but also the determination not to recognize the defeat of 2020.

His intention, once back as president, is that of to demand wider powers from an increasingly Trumpian parliament: to manage public affairs in a personal way without too many debates and democratic guarantees that lengthen the times and force us to seek compromise solutions. And also with the hope of subverting a judicial order which, although composed mainly of conservative magistrates, has so far confirmed the correctness of the election of Joe Biden.

Trump’s strength is based primarily on three factors. In the first place, his ability to keep compact over time the hard core – minority but very determined – of his supporters (the people of forgotten menwhites allergic to multi-ethnic society and more) who sees in him much more than a political leader: the man capable of reassuring them, of embodying their desire for social revenge, of alleviating their frustrations. Not bad if in the 4 years of the Trump presidency things have not improved for them: i forgotten men they do not have great illusions, they do not believe in the virtues of the economy. They are content with consoling expressions, slogans, libertarian proclamations, rebellions against the rules imposed by socialist governments.

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The second factor Trump’s ability to connect with his people, to entertain them by making a show rather than talking about politics, to construct suggestive slogans, to exploit in his favor even the negative information spread about him. In this way, in 2016 he beat the competition of the other Republican candidates and then managed to prevail over Hillary Clinton. Likewise, the four strands of ongoing investigations into Trump – the assault on Congress a year and a half ago with an attempt to block the ratification of Biden’s election, the stolen presidential documents, the alleged financial and fiscal irregularities of his companies and the attempt to alter Georgia’s election result – now allow a The Donald to present himself to the voters as a leader who can only be brought down through the courts because he is politically unstoppable.

Except that stopping him in court will not be easy at all: the indictment of a former president would be unprecedented in American history. If, too, it goes that far, Trump will fight (and make a show) up to the Supreme Court. Where there is an ultraconservative majority he himself molded with the three judges he appointed during his presidential term.

The third factor, which is also the most delicate, has to do with Trump’s devastating ability to exploit the processes of political radicalization already underway in the US for a long timeto modify the democratic sensitivity of a large part of the conservative front to the point of making the right minority, which still believes in the Constitution and in the mechanisms of a democracy that can only work if the loser recognizes the defeat and does not try to delegitimize the winner.

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There are many now, not only in the moderate right but also in the more fundamentalist one, who understand that Trump represents a threat to US democracy: they would like to replace him with an equally radical conservative, but more respectful of the Constitution. Prohibitive undertakinggiven that, in the light of the results of the primaries, the next Congress will be even more favorable to Trump while the army of fans of the former president, intoxicated by an authoritarianism that they find even reassuring, prepares a very bellicose electoral campaign.

August 11, 2022 (change August 11, 2022 | 21:48)

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