Is Trump an Outlier, or Is “Trumpism” the New Normal?


Is Trump’s brand of authoritarian bullying going to be the new normal in the US? Or will something better, more civil, and more equitable come to define politics after Trump is no longer president?

Donald Trump speaking before a campaign rally

In order to help us answer that question, we’ve asked Douglas Dedrick, the editor-in-chief over at The Rising Republic, what he makes of the current chaos in the White House.

Is “Trumpism” the New Normal?

“Looking back at other elections and presidencies over the years,” Douglas states, “the current political climate doesn’t seem all the different. To me the difference is Trump. Rather than accepting or ignoring public criticism, he takes it head on. He doesn’t back down, and he even strikes back.”

He continues, “Many find it fascinating, but it only makes his adversaries more [likely] to come against him. I don’t feel that it is the political environment that has changed so much, though it has. The biggest factor in the ‘chaos’ surrounding the Presidency is the president himself. Which for better or worse, makes everyone more in tune with the political environment.

“So, unless someone as expressive as Trump comes along again, I don’t think we will see this amount of ‘chaos’ revolving the Presidency for some time.”

“Trump Fatigue”

While Trump’s brand of chest-pounding politics remains popular with his base, there’s evidence to suggest that moderate Republicans and independents (so much as they can be said to exist) are largely tiring of Trump’s fiery rhetoric.

After all, it’s hard to stand as the party of law and order and fiscal responsibility when flagrant disregard for Congressional norms and massive tax cuts for the wealthy are your administration’s most memorable accomplishments.

The Danger of Stretching the Norms

Trump sets a dangerous precedent for future presidents. Since he has frequently disregarded subpoenas, resisted oversight, and encouraged members of the government to do the same, he’s made a scene of acting as though the president is above the law.

It will be telling how much of Trump’s precedent is disregarded by Republicans in Congress when a Democrat sits in the White House. It is almost unthinkable to imagine a President Warren or Sanders defying Congressional subpoenas without Republican stalwarts like Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham demanding that heads roll.