To the inattentive eye it always seems that everything happens suddenly, but in reality the flames that periodically light up the Trumpian world are almost always preceded by an abundant burst of sparks. September 2022, Hugh Hewitt-conservative journalist, albeit heterodox-hosts Donald Trump on his radio show. “If I were indicted,” the former president suddenly says, “I think there would be problems in this country like never before. I don’t think the American people would accept that.”
The assault before the assault
More fires, more sparks. Let’s take the assault on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021. Trump supporters attacked the Capitol believing that Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election was the result of fraud. “Stop the steal”, they shouted, “Stop the theft”. A slogan destined to be very successful, but far from new. In fact, it is not difficult to recover on youtube the videos that immortalize the Trumpians as they shout “stop the steal” in front of another parliament, that of Denver: it was 2016, and in those days Ted Cruz had won the Republican primaries of Colorado. According to Trump it was nothing more than a scam put in place to prevent him from obtaining the nomination.
Trump and the square
When in trouble, Donald Trump regularly appeals to the square. In 2016, after the release of a stolen video in which he indulged in vulgar and sexist statements, the future president descended from Trump Tower to greet supporters who urged him not to give up. The reconstructions of the assault on Capitol Hill give us back a Trump who came to physically attack his escort to take him to where his people protested. The link with the square often becomes an obsession, as can be understood from Trump’s angry comments every time the photos of the crowd taking his swearing in are compared to those of the human tide present at Obama’s inauguration.
Has Trump lost appeal?
“I could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and not lose a single vote,” Trump once said. Journalist Michael Wolff, author of a trilogy dedicated to the former President, explained to Sky TG24 that “Trump manages to communicate with his supporters in some particularly direct way; he has carved out the role of the only one capable of telling the absolute truth, strange as that may seem”. It is still so? Many are willing to bet that Trump has lost, at least partially, his appeal: next year’s Republican primaries will tell us if this is true.