The day of the Capitol Riot, like December 7 and 9/11, is a day that will live in infamy.
There is simply no way for former President Donald J. Trump to distance himself from that event, not that he has really tried.
Though our democracy wasn’t likely in nearly as much jeopardy as some would like to suggest – the fact that Trump supporters essentially stormed the United States Capitol Building can only be described as a dark stain in American history.
Despite the fact that Donald Trump has never conceded – or perhaps because of it, arguing the 2020 election was stolen – he remained popular even with the Republican establishment, and likely for good reason.
Had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic, which nearly brought the U.S. economy to a standstill, Trump would have almost certainly cruised to a second term.
Unemployment was low, inflation wasn’t much of an issue, and the stock market was soaring to new heights.
Yet, Trump was hardly universally beloved; instead, he was a divisive figure, who the left didn’t even “love to hate,” they simply hated him with a passion.
It would also be fair to say that many on the right only “tolerated” Trump and his mannerisms, including his penchant for going off script.
Perhaps that latter fact is what gave rise to Trumpism, he was attempting to be authentic, but the problem has been that he can’t control himself.
He’s a man who doesn’t take criticism well but is quick to resort to name-calling, even among those once considered allies – as he referred to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as “Ron DeSanctimonious,” for apparently being touted as a potential GOP hopeful in 2024.
That is truly classic Trump, the only Republican candidate in 2016 who didn’t promise not to run a third-party candidate if failing to secure the nomination.
It suggested a scorched earth policy that if he wasn’t the Republican nominee then the Republicans shouldn’t stand a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton.
Fast forward to December 2022, and Donald Trump is the only Republican to officially announce that he’s running for president. It was no surprise that few media outlets even bothered to cover his press conference because it was known from the day he moved out that he was planning a comeback.
Donald Trump has admitted he hates losing, and not running would be an admission he was, in fact, in fact, a loser.
He had no one to blame but himself.
The race was always going to be close, but Trump’s lack of self-control – including his talking over Joe Biden in the first debate in the fall of 2020 – indeed could be seen as the moment he lost it.
Had he allowed Biden to go off on one of his nonsensical tangents, Donald Trump could have come off as being the more presidential. But by the time of the next debate just days before the election, the damage had been done.
In the time since Doanld Trump has done little to help himself. From the classified documents, he shouldn’t have taken that keep turning up, to his recent calls to abolish parts of the Constitution; to his dinner with Ye – nee Kayne West – and Ye’s racist pals, it is clear that Trump can’t be managed or even handled.
There are criticisms that Biden is too managed, too controlled, and too handled. His access to the media is limited, but it is necessary because Biden is a gaffe machine that tells those nonsensical tall tales. And yet, Trump still comes off looking worse anytime he opens his mouth.
Clearly, the country has had enough of Trumpism.
With Herschel Walker’s loss in the Georgia Senate runoff, it is clear that Trump’s popularity is waning. Moreover, nearly every one of his hand-picked MAGA Republican candidates lost their mid-term races.
That was hardly thinkable just a few months ago.
Biden is hardly popular, inflation is at a record high, and yet, it is the first time in decades that no senate incumbent from the president’s party was defeated in a midterm election. Moreover, the Republicans barely took control of the House of Representatives.
There was more to it than Trump of course.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade certainly energized the Democratic base, but Trump failed to deliver the results that many expected. It doesn’t have to entirely be this way; Trump could still be a kingmaker by throwing his support behind a more moderate Republican. But Trump is the sort of man who will accept the throne and nothing else.
However, as HBO’s Game of Thrones taught us, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or die. There is no middle ground.”
Donald Trump is playing the game badly, and his political career is dead and buried.
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.