Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Trump Voters After Trump

The future of conservativism will likely be something comparable to #walkaway in the center and something more like Le Penism on the right. The big question is to what degree rank and file conservatives will reject their neocon/Reaganite overlords.

By Andrew Bacevich, The American Conservative

In the grand narrative of the American presidency, the Age of Trump will prove to be little more than a momentary distraction, the equivalent of taking the wrong exit off an interstate highway. Within weeks of his departure from office, his successor was already repairing the damage Trump had inflicted on the nation and the world. As measured by substantive impact, his was an ephemeral presidency: plenty of noise and commotion, but little permanent harm and virtually no lasting achievements.

Even so, to judge by last November’s balloting, tens of millions of our fellow citizens remain willing buyers of what Trump sells. Before the election and after, the MAGA masses displayed passion, zeal, and astonishing loyalty. If there were doubts on that score, the January 6 assault on the Capitol settled them.

While denied reelection, Trump hauled in a whopping 74,222,958 votes, the second highest total of any U.S. presidential candidate ever. The significance of that figure, which exceeds Hillary Clinton’s 2016 popular vote by nearly ten million, can scarcely be overstated. It expresses the essential meaning of the Trump moment: What he did or did not do in office will soon be forgotten, but by tapping into and unleashing long dormant forces, Trump transformed the landscape of national politics.


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