(CNN) — Donald Trump’s call for the repeal of the Constitution is his most anti-democratic statement yet and appears to ignore the sentiments of voters who rejected voter denialists in the midterm elections.
It also reflects desperation on the part of the former president to stoke controversy and anger among his core supporters in order to inject some energy into his 2024 White House bid.
Trump’s comments on his Truth Social Network, which should be easy for anyone to condemn, highlight the well-known moral cowardice of mainstream Republicans who will not disown the former president. But his latest denunciation also plays into the arguments of some Republicans who now say it is time to put Trump’s determination behind him in the 2020 election.
And while it’s too early to rule out his chances in the race for the 2024 GOP nomination, Trump’s behavior since announcing his third bid for the presidency also shows his never-ending inability to shock and energize his base. The never-ending quest now means too far to go. To end up in extremist marginalization and almost a parody of himself. In the short time he has been a candidate, he has expressed support for the rioters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and has dined with a white nationalist who denies the Holocaust.
Gabriel Sterling, director of operations for the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, laughed in disbelief at Trump’s claim to the constitution on Saturday when CNN’s Pam Brown described it.
“It is ridiculous, it is madness, to suspend the Constitution. Come on man, really?” said Sterling, a Republican who helped oversee the Georgia election in 2020, when President Joe Biden won the state. “I think more and more Republicans, Americans are saying, ‘Okay Now, I’m done with it, I’m going to move on to the next thing.’”
Trump’s target could be a sign of a faltering campaign in 2024
The more immediate question raised by the latest Trump controversy is what it says about a presidential campaign that has been swallowed up by far-right authoritarian partisans one after the other.
Far from reaching out to rural areas of the country, defending the economy, health care and immigration, or outlining a future agenda, Trump has provided solace to radicals and rebels.
He hosted Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago last month, at a time when the rapper now known as Ye is in the midst of anti-Semitism and praise of Adolf Hitler. Far-right Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes was also at the dinner. Trump claimed he did not know who Fuentes was, but the former president has yet to criticize his ideology. Last week, Trump, in a fundraising video, praised the mobs that stormed the Capitol in the worst attack on American democracy in modern times, again promoting violence as an acceptable response to political grievances.
His attack on the Constitution on social media appears to vindicate the point of the House Select Committee on Jan. 6, which cast it as a clear and present threat to American democracy and asked the Justice Department to consider criminal referrals. Had a meeting on Friday for
The committee’s vice chair, Liz Cheney, a representative of the Wyoming Republican Party, tweeted on Sunday: “No honest person can deny any longer that Trump is the enemy of the Constitution.” Trump’s latest wild post on social media could deepen his legal exposure as the Justice Department seeks evidence of his thinking as it investigates his conduct before the attack on the Capitol.
Trump’s renewed bid for authoritarianism also comes at a time when much of the country, at least in key swing states, has rejected anarchic and anti-democratic candidates for his 2020 election, whom he has fielded in the Georgia Senate. I had opted for mid term with final exam this Tuesday. It seems even more unlikely that the former president, even if he wins the Republican nomination, is a candidate who can win among a broad national electorate. Eventually, his message failed in two consecutive elections in 2020 and 2022. And even in the wild confines of the Republican Party, which has been dominated by Trump since 2015, the call to tear up the Constitution may seem like overkill, and reflects the former president’s growing distance from reality. .
Why Trump’s words are dangerous
It could be argued that the prudent response to Trump’s latest radical rhetoric may be to ignore it along with his promotion.
But even though his idea of scrapping the constitution may seem far-fetched, his behavior should be taken seriously because of its possible consequences in the future.
That’s because Trump remains an extraordinarily influential force in the Republican Party. His aides have immense power in the new House majority due in January, and they plan to use it as a political weapon to promote his reinstatement to the White House. Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is leading the group in an increasingly troubled campaign for House speaker. The California Republican also shielded Trump from criticism of the Fuentes dinner last week, saying that while the man had no place in the party, Trump had blamed him four times, a false claim.
Also, in an electoral sense, the theory that Republican voters may be willing to leave Trump behind and find a candidate who reflects “America First” populism but does not jibe with anti-Semitism Well, it hasn’t been proven yet. Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was stolen is still widely accepted among Republican voters; According to midterm exit polls, only 24% believe Biden legitimately won in 2020.
And a GOP primary that includes multiple candidates competing with Trump for the presidential nomination could once again fragment the vote against the former president and allow him to emerge on top of a winner-takes-all delegate race. may allow. Be the authoritarian who has already tried to dismantle the American system of democracy one step away from returning to power.
Ignoring or minimizing public evidence of extremism and provocation only allows it to be normalised. There is already evidence that the former president’s rhetoric could lead to violence, as he told his supporters on 6 January to “fight like madmen” to save their country. And the rhetoric of people like West and Fuentes, with whom Trump has associated himself, risks normalizing hateful forces in society that will grow if not challenged. After all, Fuentes has appeared with Republican lawmakers like Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, an increasingly influential voice in the House Republican convention.
Even after years of flouting the rules and embracing extremists, the twice-impeached former president has not been persuaded by the party to purge him and his ideas. If it weren’t for principled conservative Republicans like Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and former Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Trump’s attempt to steal the election might have worked in 2020.
Working through an intense session of the outgoing Congress, Republican lawmakers will be asked this week about the tyrannical attitude of their party’s leading presidential candidate.
Michael Lawler, a newly elected Republican who won a Democratic-held House seat crucial to the slim Republican majority, defended the Constitution on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
“The Constitution was established for a reason, to protect the rights of all Americans. And I certainly don’t condone that language or that sentiment,” Lawler told Jake Tapper. “I think the former president would do well to focus on the future if he is going to run for president again.”
Republican Representative Mike Turner of Ohio, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said he “strongly” disagrees with Trump’s statement, adding that his dinner with West and Fuentes was “appalling” and that voters should take both incidents into account. Will keep
But Rep. David Joyce, a fellow Republican from Ohio, displayed the typical reluctance of members of his party to confront a former president who is wildly popular with his base. Regarding the threat to the Constitution, Joyce said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday: “You know he says that a lot, but that doesn’t mean it’s ever going to happen,” adding that “it was important to separate fact from fiction”.
Joyce did not directly condemn Trump’s rhetoric, saying she would support anyone nominated by the GOP in 2024. The fact that Republicans are open to a potential president who would be asked to take an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, but who have already called for its abolition, suggests that the Republican Party is still How much is in Trump’s shadow.