Many people are wondering what happens to Trumpists after Trump because President Donald J. Trump (R-Florida) could be gone in a little over a year.
Trump’s departure could be disruptive because of the President’s devoted followers. Some Christians and nationalists; in particular, view Trump as a savior or a protector.
Many Trumpists support Trump because they think the Donald can restore or save the America they love. How are they supposed to believe in America if it rejects their savior?
To answer these questions, I will examine two major groups of Trump followers and their worldviews. Examining these people and their beliefs can show us how they might act if their hero goes down.
Christian Views of Trump
I believe Trump’s conservative Christian followers have three different; and surprisingly cynical, views of the President. Those views are the Anointed King, the Useful Idiot, and the Last Chance for Christian America.
Trump the Anointed King
Some evangelical thinkers believe God made Trump president to protect Christian America. For instance, Vox reports that Evangelical thinker Lance Wallnau calls Trump a “modern-day Cyrus,” an ancient Persian king chosen by God to “navigate in chaos.”
To clarify, some Jews and Christians revere Cyrus the Great; the founder of the First Persian Empire, as a champion. They revere Cyrus because he restored the ancient Kingdom of Israel and allowed the Jews to go home.
Strangely, Cyrus; was probably a Zoroastrian not a Jew. However, Wallnau believes God used Cyrus to save the Jews from tyranny. Thus, Christians such as Wallnau can justify their veneration of the materialistic secularist Trump by comparing the Donald to Cyrus.
Thus, the Anointed King Crowd has little faith in Trump the man. Instead, they view Trump as a puppet or tool of God. These people understand Trump is not a Christian but think he could restore Christian America.
Trump the Useful Idiot
Better educated and more sophisticated Christians; such as The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher, view Trump as a Useful Idiot rather than an anointed king.
To explain, a useful idiot is a naive; or stupid ally, whom political leaders cynically exploit to achieve their goals. The inventor of the term; Soviet founder V.I. Lenin, viewed any non-Communist who could help his cause as a Useful Idiot. Thus, Lenin viewed American admirers; such as socialist John Reed, as idiots.
Similarly, Dreher thinks Trump can help Christians achieve some of their political goals. In particular, Trump could appoint judges who could restrict abortion and protect religious freedom through strict enforcement of the First Amendment.
The difference between the Anointed King and the Useful Idiot view is that Dreher does not believe we can restore Christian America. Instead, Dreher thinks Christian America is dead.
Under those circumstances, the best Christians can do is preserve a distinct religious and cultural identity. Dreher thinks Trump could serve as a last line of defense against the secularist hordes rather than a savior. Additionally, Dreher thinks Trump is the best Christians can do in modern America.
Another way Dreher and company think they can use Trump is as a weapon against a rising tide of secularism. Some Christians; for instance, believe Trump is a “New York Streetfighter” who can defend them against crazy secularists.
Last Chance for Christian America
Many Cultural Conservatives see Trump as either the last White Christian President, or the last president who will listen to white Christians.
Last Chancers; such as Dreher, point to America’s changing demographics. In particular, they point to a recent Pew Research Center study. That study estimates the percentage of Americans who identify as Christians fell from 78% in 2008 to 65% in 2018. Hence, the number of Christians who embrace Christianity fell by 13% in 10 years.
Evangelical Christians are already a minority, Pew estimates they make up 25.4% of America’s population. So are Catholics, they make up 20.8% of the population Pew estimates.
Given those numbers, some cultural conservatives believe Trump is the Christians’ last chance to influence policy. In particular, many conservatives believe Trump is the last president who will appoint a right-wing federal judiciary.
Trump is fulfilling the Last Chancers wishes. In fact, the President has appointed 158 federal judges or 20% of the federal judiciary,The Boston Globe notes. Furthermore, Trump has appointed over 25% of federal appeals court judges. To add icing to the Last Chance cake, Trump has appointed two Supreme Court Justices.
Theoretically, Trump’s judges could dominate U.S. law for decades. However, all Democrats need to put their people in control of federal courts is a President and a small majority in the U.S. Senate.
To explain, all a party needs to appoint federal judges is a slight majority in the U.S. Senate (51 seats), and a president. I suspect Democrats will possess those attributes within in the next decade.
The Constitution places no limits on the number of federal judges or Supreme Court Justices a president can appoint. Theoretically, Democrats could appoint two or three new judges or justices for every Republican appointee and nullify the Conservative judiciary.
Thus, Democrats could pack the courts or appoint enough justices and judges to overturn any conservative decision. Democrats such as David Ferris are demanding court packing.
Several Democratic presidential candidates; including Pete Buttigieg (D-Indiana), have embraced court packing, Mother Jones notes. Therefore, Last Chancers think any victory they get through Trump will be short-lived.
A variation on the Last Chance and Anointed King ideas is the belief God is giving America a last chance to redeem itself through Trump. To explain, some Christians could think God is giving America one last opportunity to return to Christ or Christianity. If America does not return to Christ, God will punish America.
Christians after Trump
I think Trump’s demise will be far harder on white nationalists than Christians.
To explain, most Christians view Trump as a tool or an ally who could help them achieve some political goals. Hence, I do not think Christians will shed many tears if Trump goes down.
Instead, I believe Christians will shrug and say “yawn we were wrong. So God has another plan for America. He’ll probably raise up another leader.”
My guess is Conservative Christians will start shopping around for a new savior in 2021 or earlier. I can easily imagine some Evangelicals will turn to the Democrats.
In particular, I think some Christians could support “strong” Democratic leaders; such as former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-New York). To clarify, the Evangelicals could turn to a rich and powerful Jew if the secularist Trump fails them.
Notably, Bloomberg is already imitating Trump’s act of portraying himself as a “tough and ruthless New York Street fighter” in TV ads and interviews. Additionally, Bloomberg is defending some of Trump’s loathsome behavior including the assassination of Iranian General General Qasem Soleimani.
Other potential saviors are U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), also Jewish, and Andrew Yang (D-New York). Yang’s Chinese heritage and his role as an entrepreneur could appeal to frightened Evangelicals. Note Yang is reportedly a Christian.
To explain, I think many American Christians will start looking for strong non-Christian candidates who can defend them from the secularist horde. Hence, we could see Conservative Christian leaders telling their followers to vote for Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and even Atheists.
Nationalists After Trump
I think white nationalists will have a hard time after Trump because of their beliefs.
To clarify, many white nationalists and nationalists view Trump as a strong and virile idea who will restore the America they love. Trump’s failure to recreate the nationalists’ golden age will disillusion the nationalists.
I suspect some of them will blame Trump and accuse him of betrayal. The nationalists will attack Trump because they will be angry.
Remember, the nationalists have nothing to believe in but Trump. Additionally, the nationalists want an impossible fantasy America. When the fantasies of Trump as a great leader and the return of the Great White America collapse, they will have nothing.
Some thoughtful nationalists will adopt new beliefs. In particular, many nationalists will turn left, while others will get religion. Notably, many younger Trump fans already voicie support for radical Democrats; such as Yang and U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). Interestingly, both Yang and Gabbard are nonwhite. Yang is of Chinese heritage and Gabbard is Samoan.
Unless, a new nationalist leader emerges I suspect the nationalist movement will fall apart. Personally, I do not see any political leader who could take Trump’s place out there. Only time will tell if the New Nationalism falls apart as the New Left of the 1960s did or emerges as a lasting political movement.
The Collapse of Trumpworld
Trump’s departure will lead to the collapse of the bizarre edifice known as Trumpworld.
Trumpworld is a bizarre political coalition that includes libertarians, Big Business, Evangelicals, and white nationalists. Thus Trumpworld is a coalition of groups with dramatically different worldviews.
Only Trump holds Trumpworld together because he has the power of the presidency. Thus, the Donald can reward Trumpworld’s members with prizes such as judicial appointments, tax cuts, and cuts to regulation. Hence, I think Trumpworld will collapse the moment Trump leaves the White House for Mara-a-Lago.
Trump’s departure will clear the way for conflict between those groups. My prediction is that the different components of Trumpworld will blame each other for their coalition’s collapse. Nobody will want to fault the sainted Trump so the Trumpists will turn on each other.
Your guess for what comes after Trumpworld is as good as mine. However, I have one final prediction. Conservatives will hate whatever comes after Trumpworld.