Love him or loathe him, Donald Trump remains the most commanding presence in US politics. His 2016 election success was the biggest election upset since Harry Truman's re-election in 1948.
November 8 2022 will see the US Congressional "mid-term" election. This will be the next big electoral test for Trump's attempted return to power in November 2024. (The election will see all of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate up for election).
Donald Trump is, for good or ill, the superstar of American politics. People under-estimate him at their peril.
Traditionally in US politics a losing candidate bows out of politics. For example, Al Gore never ran again after losing in 2000 and Mrs Clinton won't try to run again.
But Trump has not bowed out of politics. He is determined to do better next time (2024).
In the meantime, he is remaking the Republican Party in his own image. The Republican Party is being purged of Trump critics. Of the 293 Republicans serving in the House or Senate in January 2017 (when Trump was inaugurated), 132 (about 45 per cent) are no longer in Congress or have announced they won't run again. It is virtually inevitable that Trump (or his nominee) will be the Republican presidential candidate in November 2024.
Trump has sensed that there is a new mood in US politics. Party activists (in both parties) are less worried about a candidate's policies and focussed more on whether they can win.
Culture – rather than detailed policies – now determines election outcomes.
In management terms there is the warning that "culture eats strategy for breakfast" (attributed to the legendary management writer Peter Drucker). In other words, you can develop a great strategy but if the company lacks the appropriate supportive culture, you are wasting your time.
I think that "culture also eats politics".
Trump's rise has forced commentators to pay a greater attention to culture (and less to the details of policies). Politics is now not so much about assessing policies. Politics is now based on "Where do people like me fit in?" "Which party is for people like us?"
Identity politics is now used across the political spectrum. Trump (and most other politicians) have now weaponized fear. There is a "fear-industrial complex" composed of political parties, lobby groups, and the mass media.
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