What attitude would a Trump supporter have

How to get Trump supporters back into the democratic boat

If you want to know how Donald Trump describes a plane crash, you don't have to guess. "It was the nicest landing you've ever seen. The tip only touched the ground very lightly." This is how he spoke in 1989 after the crash landing of a Boeing 727 of his Trump Shuttle. The front landing gear of the jet buckled when it touched down. He had founded the airline two months earlier - and of all things, criticized the safety precautions of the competition. Then came bankruptcy in 1992. The planes, whose toilets Trump had decorated with artificial gold and plastic marble, remained on the ground.

Phrasing embarrassing defeats into glorious victory - that is a specialty of the man who actually left the White House in disgrace and shame after only one term in which he not only lost the presidency, but his party also lost the majority in both chambers of parliament. Economically and legally, Trump is facing a difficult situation. But the glorious election victory, the best presidency of all time, "the most beautiful (political) landing you have ever seen", if only it hadn't been for bad deception - they stay. At least in his rhetoric and in the imagination of millions of fans.

So what's next for Trumpism? And above all: how is it best to deal with it? A question that not only worries the Democrats, but also some Republicans since the storming of the Capitol. For example, those who have lived well with the consequences of the previous government - but who want to avoid a permanent supremacy of the Trumps.

Impeachment friends

Mitch McConnell is one of them, a cynic of power and a Republican majority leader in the Senate. So far. After losing two by-elections in Georgia, he is now a minority leader. An impeachment even after Trump's term in office would most likely set the party's cleansing forces in motion, McConnell probably let the media carry it out last week. He apparently trusts that the end of Trump's invincibility nimbus will also coincide his attraction. He is not sure. This is one of the reasons why he hesitates to announce how he will vote against Trump in the trial. In any case, it is unclear whether the party would follow suit.

McConnell's fear, however, could prove to be true. Not only the Senate vote in Georgia, but a series of elections in recent years has shown: Trumpism without Trump delights die-hard fans and lets candidates succeed in the primary. When voting against serious democrats, however, the votes break away from the middle. So radicalism is worth it, but only until election day.

Believe in the factual

For a party that lives from being able to set the agenda via governor and senate posts, this is a dangerous mix. And possibly also for the USA. Would an increasingly radicalized troop of Trump fanatics come to terms with losing a number of other elections after the one on the White House?

It is therefore urgent to reduce the potential for violence. To do this, some of those who have already sunk deep into the swamp of conspiracy theories must be given back their belief in the factual. How this works, especially in a country that has had freedom of expression as the first amendment to its constitution since 1791, is an open question.

One keyword, admittedly a very sensitive one, is deplatforming, the blocking of accounts in social media. The fact that Trump's Twitter account and many bots can no longer be reached led to a 73 percent reduction in false voting reports in the first week, the company Zignal Labs recently calculated. Of course, it is more of a temporary solution, the avoidance of worse - not a substitute for real attempts to convince.

Populism from elsewhere?

But who could take over this? And for which slogans are those who can now - for the time being - no longer be able to vote for Trump himself or his family members in public offices?

Left-wing Democrats believe that these people can be picked up on issues beyond the political US uniformity. With a decidedly populist program - but with a left-wing populist one. But: If you move too far to the edge, there is a risk of losing votes from the middle. That gains from Trump's reservoir could make up for this does not seem necessarily plausible.

It is also unlikely that Trump will withdraw from political life. In his farewell message, he was moderate, as well as in his speech on Wednesday. But, of course, both times without admitting defeat. And: "The movement that we launched has only just begun." The Democrats are thinking about expanding deradicalization programs. Experts were skeptical about this after the election. After 20 years of cracking down on radical Islam, the main thing is that you know what is not working, said extremism researcher John Horgan of Georgia University shortly after the election of the online magazine "Slate".

In the meantime, some try their own way online. In forums devoted to the confused QAnon conspiracy theory, trolls have reported in recent days that Joe Biden and Donald Trump had each other's face transplanted in a secret operation. Biden is actually in custody in Florida, and a version of Donald Trump that looks like Biden continues to rule the White House. One should continue to support him.

A joke for those who have tried seriously to counter fake news and the absurd. But for the very real problem of violence there is probably no viable solution. But that is perhaps the disappointment itself. On Wednesday evening, doubts could be read for the first time in many "QAnon" forums - many of the alleged prophecies that had been so firmly believed in have clearly not come true. (Manuel Escher, January 21, 2021)