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So, here we are once again.

So, here we are once again.

Much has changed since 2015. Firstly, we now have evidence that society can collectively exhibit significant folly. The threat of a Donald Trump presidency is taken more seriously, given his success in half of the presidential races he has entered. His blatant grift and tabloid con-man reputation from the 80s and most of the 90s have not hindered his election to what is arguably the world’s most powerful position. This is especially true if he can persuade the most hostile subset of society that he is on their side.

The fact that Donald Trump initially tried to launch his political career as a Democrat between 2000 and 2010 does not concern Republicans. The left never regarded him as a serious contender, and he made little progress in politics until 2009. That’s when he realized, and has since openly acknowledged, that Republicans, regardless of their individual intelligence,  are collectively stupid and ardently support and defend anyone who claims to be allied with them.

This is a lesson in public relations previously learned by others before Trump. Evangelical Christians, followed by the NRA, AIPAC, The Russian Federation, the Oil & Gas lobby, and more, have all understood this: It’s relatively easy to manipulate the modern right-wing by simply feigning political alignment with them.

Few are aware that Donald Trump initially attempted to gain traction as a Democrat on a national level in 1999, advocating for a nearly 15% one-time tax on the wealthy to eliminate national debt, and calling for diversity reforms like federal legalization of gay marriage. Throughout the decade, he lavished praise on Bill and Hillary Clinton. This all appeared to shift with Barack Obama’s election.

Whether due to Obama’s mixed race or the exploitation of the hatred towards him based on his race or political stance, Trump realized that the conspiracy-oriented would support a concept or person regardless of the lack of evidence or proof. Suddenly, for the first time since his 1987 presidential ambitions, a particular group started taking him seriously: the right-wing subset known as “The Tea Party”.

For Trump, being taken seriously entailed aligning himself with the Republicans. He swiftly changed his voter registration from Democrat to Republican, immersing himself in the world of hate-mongering and conspiracy theories to be perceived as ‘one of them’. It turned out this was sufficient for the modern right-wing. Trump didn’t create them; they were eagerly awaiting someone to voice the hatred and anger they felt. They deluded themselves into thinking Trump had charisma, was a great speaker, and was ‘on their side’, all of which is far from true.

Anyone observing Donald J. Trump objectively can identify his narcissism and self-centeredness. This was confirmed when he famously said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK?”. Trump’s view of the Republican base as gullible was further reinforced by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who, in response to a criticism during an interview, remarked, “He doesn’t really believe it, Elizabeth. He just knows Republicans are stupid and they’ll buy it.”

All of this is well-documented. Yet, Donald Trump remains the 2024 Republican front-runner, much to the embarrassment of the global community, whose leaders have openly labeled Trump as an “idiot”. His own senior cabinet has denounced him as unfit for the presidency, highlighting traits evident to the rest of the world. In just five years after switching from Democrat to Republican, he gained control of the entire party. Despite facing numerous felony charges and a highly inept presidential term, his influence persists.

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However, there is a silver lining. Trump didn’t originate the right-wing’s hostility towards fellow citizens with differing views; he merely exploited it. By highlighting the worst elements of the right-wing, it becomes clear their aim is towards a fascist theocracy, the very concept they claim to oppose. With this exposure, clear lines have been drawn.

If most people have not lost their sense, recognizing Trump for who he truly is, then the lasting damage he inflicts on the right-wing will become more evident post-election. Key Republicans like Ken Buck and Lisa Murkowski are already distancing themselves from Trump’s version of the GOP. A significant shift is expected after his potential election loss, when the right-wing might finally disassociate from him. However, the question remains: How long will it take for them to regain any semblance of credibility?

For now, Donald Trump remains the focal point around which the GOP orbits, ironically held up as the best the modern right-wing has to offer. Tragically, they might not be wrong.”

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