What the Republican Party glorifies

The Republicans must now be afraid of Donald Trump

The circle has come full. Donald Trump - at least in the field of politics - has returned to where he started when he took an escalator into the foyer of his New York skyscraper to announce his candidacy for president. In his first speech after leaving the White House, he repeated, verbatim in some passages, what he did when he started his election campaign. The agitation against migrants. The claim that America will be overrun by criminals if it does not stop the onslaught by building a wall on the border with Mexico. The polemic against a political class that sacrifices the interests of the country to those of a global elite. He is still drawing the same distorted images that Trump drew six years ago in June.

It is rounded off by the lamentation about the allegedly stolen election, about manipulations, for which he still remains guilty of evidence. It is rounded off by the bizarre warning about the socialist conditions that the USA under Joe Biden is supposed to be heading for. It is rounded off by unrestrained attacks against opponents in their own ranks, against members of parliament and senators who dared to vote for his impeachment because of the incitement to storm the Capitol.

Thinking without consequences, if at all

That a more thoughtful Donald Trump could return to the stage after an almost six-week break: This distant hope died at the annual conference of conservative activists in Orlando. The scenario in which the former president continues to play golf in his Florida exile, while letting others take the limelight, has also been dealt with. Trump cannot do otherwise, he has to be the focus. And with that he throws the Republicans into a dilemma.

Looked at soberly, the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan suffered only defeats after their victory in November 2016. She lost the majority in Congress, and a Democrat rules the White House. The more far-sighted among their strategists know that the dry spell can only be ended if you break out of the nationalist impasse into which Trump has led the "Grand Old Party". But you also know how undeterred the hard core of his supporters remains loyal to the billionaire. And this hard core usually decides internal party primaries. He is powerful enough to slow down candidates who doubt the helmsman's wisdom or who dare to openly clinch with him.

This gives Trump a pound to grow with. Regardless of whether he applies again for the Oval Office in 2024 or is content with the role of kingmaker, the crown prince crowns him when they sing praises of him: He will shape the Republicans for the foreseeable future. (Frank Herrmann from Washington, March 1, 2021)