If you think Trump’s bad, wait until you experience the Republican candidate for the 2028 election cycle.
We’ve known for decades that the Republican Party has based its success on targeting the less intellectually capable and this in turn has heavily influenced its choice of politicians. The preference for stupid has been most evident whenever Republicans have taken the White House: Reagan, Baby Bush, and now Trump are all exemplars of the fact no one ever lost an election by under-estimating the intelligence of Republican voters.
Trump, however, is different from run-of-the-mill Republicans. Of course, he panders to evangelicals and breaks bread with the NRA. These are both standard Republican tropes, as is passing legislation that massively favors the super-wealthy at the expense of everyone else (including, ironically, the vast majority of simple-minded dupes who reliably vote for Republican candidates because they’ve swallowed the fairy-tale that “Republicans are for the little guy, for fiscal probity, for hard work and getting ahead by your own efforts”). You have to do all these things, and many more, in order to conform to political realities. But Trump goes much, much further.
The lesson Trump has taught the entire world is simple: you absolutely cannot ever under-estimate the intelligence of about half the voting population. No matter how pathetically obvious your feeble lies may be, about half the population will believe them. No matter how venal and disgusting and repellent your statements may be, about half the population will cheer wildly and approve of them. No matter how obviously inadequate you are, about half the population will look into your dull eyes and identify themselves with you.
Hence around the world we see politicians who’ve succeeded by modeling themselves explicitly on Trump. In the Czech Republic Andrej Babiš followed the Trump cheat-sheet to the letter. In France Le Pen has been very careful to learn the lessons of Trump, including taking money from the Kremlin and keeping very quiet about Russia’s many cyber attacks on core French infrastructure. In Brasil Jair Bolsonaro is playing the Stupid card to perfection, burning down the Amazon while claiming it’s all the work of the NGOs that are actually attempting to save the rainforest. In the UK Boris Johnson has likewise copied Trump’s approach of lying shamelessly and in Argentina Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is using the Trump playbook to ensure her next administration plunges Argentina back into recession and massive unpayable debt.
But these are merely the opening bars of a much darker symphony. Our present generation of cynical opportunists are for the most part junior league players. They have used the Trump playbook to gain power but they don’t really understand just how far they can go. They have not yet realized that provided you can get a sufficient number of dupes to stand behind you no matter what you do, you can in fact do anything you want.
This was what Hitler understood: first capture the dupes, then use the power of the State to crush anyone who opposes you.
Around 2028 a Republican candidate who is much more intelligent than Trump (admittedly that isn’t difficult — we’ve all seen things under a microscope that are more intelligent than Trump) will emerge. This man will understand how to use his power. ( And it will be a man, because Republican voters wouldn’t vote a woman into the White House because a woman’s place is in the kitchen microwaving something for the family meal)
The Republican candidate for 2028 will be far more self-possessed than Trump, who is nothing more than a sniveling whining infant. And the candidate will have a plan.
The Republican candidate for 2028 will understand how easy it is to gull the gullible, how easy it is to rouse the dull eyed drooling mob to paroxysm of ecstasy by promising to immolate immigrants, execute traitorous Democrats, lock up anyone who disagrees with public disemboweling of criminals, and enforce compulsory Christianity in every school, government agency, and corporation across the nation.
The Republican candidate for 2028 will take full advantage of the fact that Trump normalized behavior which in earlier years would have resulted in rapid impeachment and imprisonment. By the 2028 election cycle US voters will be so numb to scandal and so inured to repellent behavior that they will fail to register they’ve reached the terminus.
The Republican candidate for 2028 is likely to be the last President elected by US voters. After this, elections will be the same as those in Russia: the outcome will be determined months in advance, the voting numbers specified with an eye to bogus credibility, and no one will be surprised in any way by who reliably wins every time. Of course the USA will still be a “democracy” and will still tell its people it is “the greatest nation on Earth.”
On the surface things will carry on much as they do today, albeit with more and more people being arrested and disappearing into a shadowy world of gulags and mental hospitals. The increasing and more extreme economic problems will be blamed on socialists and Democrats and atheists and intellectuals and other wreckers who don’t want ‘Murka to be great again.
Most people will continue to sleepwalk through their lives, stupefied by McSlop and mass entertainment, as always.
But for the few who notice, the USA will to all intents and purposes have definitively ceased to exist. This is why the Republican candidate for 2028 will be a truly historical figure.