All the spotlights point to Donald Trump again. The former president of the United States has lived a frantic week since last Saturday, August 6, he made his star appearance at a conservative congress in Dallas with an apocalyptic speech. At that time, he did not know that a judge had already signed a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago, his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, for the possible commission of at least three crimes. The politically explosive action of the FBI has made almost everything in American politics revolve around a Trump who no longer doubts that he wants to run for president again in 2024.
The populist and demagogue Trump who won the 2016 elections has given way to an extremist and arsonist Trump, who does not respect the law or the institutions. He is the same one who refused to accept his electoral defeat against Joe Biden and led to the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. He presents himself as a martyr of political persecution. He reuses hoaxes and conspiracy theories as a strategy, which spread like wildfire, fed relentlessly by the conservative Fox network. On his journey, he has dragged the vast majority of the Republican Party, in which he maintains a hyper-leadership that it’s starting to get problematic.
His extreme speech has been accentuated, if possible, after the action of the FBI. The insinuation that the Department of Justice has fabricated false evidence, the reference to the third world and the accusations of political persecution have inflamed his Twitter reply, Truth Social, with war-civilist rhetoric. One of its most active users, Ricky Shiffer, crossed the line between verbal and physical political violence on Wednesday and launched an armed attack on the FBI office in Cincinatti, Ohio. He ended up dead, shot by the police. Meanwhile, the judge who signed the search warrant, Bruce Reinhart, is facing anti-Semitic threats and insults. Trump supporters have spread what they claim to be his address and phone number on social media. The synagogue he usually attends has had to cancel some services and tighten its security.
Since the registration, Biden has avoided any comment and has even gone on vacation to Kiawa Island, North Carolina. With this, she tries to avoid being perceived as a political case and, at the same time, avoids further polarizing society. The president met last week with historians who warned that democracy is faltering and compared the current situation with that of the years before the Civil War and with the pro-fascist movements of the 1930s. One of them was Sean Wilentz, a Princeton history professor, who said on television this Saturday that the country is “in a dangerous situation.” “Everyone should take a deep breath right now and try to calm down.”
“[Biden] understand the situation we are in. There are no easy answers either. But I think he’s going to do the best he can to run the country. And that’s the best he can do. We all have to do our jobs and I think he’s going to try to do his to the best of his ability,” Wilentz opined.
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White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment this week on the possibility of Biden running against Trump again in two years’ time: “All I can say is that the president intends to be presented in 2024″, settled on Tuesday at a press conference at the White House.
Trump also seems to have that intention. His speech last week in Dallas sounded like it, but he carefully avoided an announcement about it. The most there were insinuations: “I introduced myself twice. I won twice and I did much better the second time than the first (…). And now we may have to do it again, ”he said, installed in the electoral hoax and lifting people from his seats.
As a result of the registry, Trump has put his factory of hoaxes and affirmations without contrasting to the maximum of revolutions. He has claimed, without the slightest bit of evidence to back it up, that it was Biden’s decision. He has encouraged conspiracy theories that the FBI had “planted false evidence” on him. The lie that he has insisted on the most, with the purpose of spreading an idea of double standards, are the “33 million pages of documents, many of them classified, that the president [Barack] Obama took Chicago” without anyone claiming them.
The National Archives have had to go out and deny it: “The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of the presidential records of President Barack Obama when he left office in 2017,” he says. He explains that NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a proprietary facility in the Chicago area and maintains Obama’s classified presidential records in the Washington area. “As required by law, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores his administration’s presidential files,” he explains in a statement.
Republican state governors and party leaders in Congress have closed ranks with Trump and have signed speeches that speak of a third world country, politicization of the FBI, use of justice as a political weapon and persecution of opponents, always without providing any evidence. and without knowing the details of the proceedings. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (known as MTG), one of the most conspicuous trumpists, has started wearing T-shirts with a slogan calling for defunding the FBI (“Defund the FBI”). In parts of the party, that enthusiasm has dimmed somewhat after it became known that Trump had numerous “top secret” documents at Mar-a-Lago and there have been at least some calls for caution.
Those close to Trump have implied that the legal proceedings against him not only do not weaken his willingness to run for president again, but rather strengthen it, either to shield himself or to take revenge. His former adviser in the White House Steve Bannon has asked him to respond to the registry by announcing that he will run in 2024. It does not seem likely that legal problems will legally prevent him from running for office.
Less than three months before the mid-term legislative elections, in which a third of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives are renewed, the Republicans prefer that Trump not advance his announcement. They have been seeing a clear victory at hand. Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, who, on the other hand, is a staunch Trump supporter, noted this week on Fox: “I would tell any candidate not to skip what is going to be one of the midterm elections. most important and with the greatest consequences in the history of our country. We have to (…) make sure we win in November.”
Given Biden’s low popularity, Republicans wanted the midterms to be a referendum on the president, but they may end up being a referendum on Trump. That can mobilize the disaffected Democratic vote and drive moderate Republicans away from the polls.
Trump has other reasons to delay his announcement. US election finance legislation places restrictions on the raising and use of funds by candidates. Trump, on the other hand, through the fund of his Save America initiative, can receive almost unlimited money and use it if he wants for personal purposes, such as paying his lawyers. At the end of June, according to official data, the fund had 103 million dollars (about 100 million euros), almost triple the money available to the Republican National Committee.
Trump, who this week has also been called to testify in a case of tax fraud in his companies, has in fact taken advantage of his legal problems to aggressively launch himself to raise more funds, with mobile messages, emails and constant advertising. When you want to sign up to receive communications from Save America, you first have to answer the question: “Do you love Trump?” Yes or no, the world divided into two halves.
Trump’s influence in his party is enormous. The two great American political parties do not have an institutionalized leadership. The presidents of the Democratic and Republican National Committees are a kind of organizational secretaries, with the main mission of raising funds and distributing them for the campaigns and organizing the national convention every four years, which, based on the previous primaries, chooses the candidate for The presidency. At that moment, he becomes leader de facto of the match. If he wins the presidential elections, he still is, because of the power that the presidency gives. If he loses, he usually takes a step back, the same as presidents who leave office. Not in Trump’s case.
The former president exercises a hyper-leadership that very few dare to contest. Republican primary campaigns were defined around him. Out of conviction, convenience or fear, hardly anyone within his party dares to openly deny the electoral hoax. Most of those who have stood up to Trump have fallen out of favor with Republican voters. The most paradigmatic case is that of Congresswoman Liz Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney and a pure-blooded conservative, protagonist of the Congressional commission investigating the assault on the Capitol on January 6. Her bravery is on track to cost her Wyoming seat.
In some constituencies, Democrats have barely covertly supported the most Trumpian options in Republican primaries. They believe that come November 8 they have a better chance of beating more extreme candidates, but they are playing with fire.
As for the presidential elections, if Trump decides to run, the other potential candidates, such as the governor of Florida, Ron De Santis, or the senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, will have a very difficult time. Due to the financial power and the overwhelming leadership that he exerts in his party, only more serious judicial revelations could put his primacy at risk. in the vote on-line organized last week by the conservative congress in Dallas, the former president swept 69% of the vote. Through it all, Trump remains the party’s favourite.
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