He lost the election – even if he doesn’t want to see it. What will happen to Donald Trump, who has been voted out as US President? There are already initial ideas.
Of course, he does not resign like a statesman. He railed against fraud, demanded that the last counts still in progress be stopped here and new counts there. Sues on Twitter as if in court.
That Donald Trump whispers of fraud when he loses is nothing new. As early as 2016, he complained about the few internal party primaries that he had lost. Or in previous years, when, as a reality TV star, he missed out on the Emmys Awards. Trump only likes a democratic vote if he wins in the end.
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But now it is clear that he has lost the election, even if he still tries in many ways to influence the count. Donald Trump’s maneuver can be seen as an attempt to stay in power. Or as his way of fogging up and cushioning defeat and maneuvering himself into a position as a winner of hearts in his parallel society that he has bred for himself. Because Trump is voted out, but far from finished.
Four years in the spin cycle
As president, he put his nation in the spin cycle for four years: scandals every week, every morning tantrum on Twitter. Russia and Ukraine affair, the separation of hundreds of small children on the southern border, a breathtakingly fast-moving personnel carousel and impeachment proceedings. Trump was a master at grabbing the attention of the US and the world and remained an entertainer even as president.
It started with a big promise: “Make America Great Again”. He sealed off the country against immigration and withdrew the US from international agreements. After four years he didn’t really know whether he had fulfilled that or at least could claim.
First he wanted to announce completion with the campaign slogan “Keep America Great”. Then came Corona and a severe economic crisis, plus a mass protest against the deeply rooted racism in the country. In the end, Trump promised again that America would first have to be made “great again”.
Trump never wanted to be president of all Americans and referred everything to himself. He also saw the Corona crisis primarily as a PR problem. He showed no interest in powerful crisis management and thus contributed to the US having such a hard time hit. In the final weeks of the election campaign, he then pretended that Joe Biden’s son’s business activities were more important to the country than the corona, economic and climate crises combined.
He wanted to win the 2020 election as he did the 2016 election by branding his counterpart as corrupt. But Joe Biden was not Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump was no longer the exciting outsider, but the incumbent in a year of crisis. His base got drunk on it, but too many swing voters turned away.
He even had the official bonus on his side. Americans rarely vote out their presidents after a term. He used the White House as a backdrop for party conference and election campaign appearances, and the Air Force One presidential plane as a backdrop at dozens of airports. The show was good. But she couldn’t be a permanent distraction.
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Trump himself suspected it and put it like this at a performance in Pennsylvania: “Before the plague came, I had this thing in my pocket.”
70 million Americans
It wasn’t a crushing defeat. Trump was again stronger than in the polls. The turnout skyrocketed, and Donald Trump got eight million more votes in 2020 than in 2016. 70 million Americans voted for him. That strengthens his position after the presidency.
Trump has a devoted following in whose world he continues to be the hero. They will continue to show him their affection and attention. This offers great opportunities for Trump, who is always seeking attention: in the transition phase and afterwards.
Trump supporters protest in front of a polling station in Phoenix: Loyal supporters. (Source: Reuters)
Before the 2016 election, in which he had already expected defeat, he thought aloud about starting his own television empire. A first idea for the name was already available: “Trump TV”. Four years later, that’s another tempting option for the showman.
Trump is unhappy with his house channel “Fox News” anyway. While influential opinion leaders stood by his side in the evening shows, reported the newsroom Trump too independently – also on the outcome of the election.
The option 2024
Some of his advisors also expect Trump to immediately declare his intention to run again in the 2024 election. He would then be 78 years old. Whether he really wants to take on an election campaign again is a very minor question. The declaration of his candidacy alone enables him to do two things: He could continue to hold his beloved rallies and collect campaign donations.
A question that remains to be answered is how the major Republican politicians behave towards him. At the moment, many are still giving him some time to contest his election. Do you remain devoted to him?
The private citizen Trump can expect numerous unpleasant things, from which he was protected thanks to the immunity for president: There are several investigations into tax evasion or violation of campaign financing and claims by his creditors like Deutsche Bank.
The personal fate of Donald J. Trump is therefore less clear than that of his kind of politics. Populism, which revolves around the identity of white Americans, has the Republican Party firmly in its grip right now. Four years of Trump have expanded the boundaries of what can be said in the political system.
Nobody knows what Trump’s last chapter as president and first as ex-president will look like, probably neither himself. The Trump method, however, that is certain, will remain in America.