Fourth is a literal Trump dynasty, in which Trump bequeaths his cult of personality to one of his children (most likely, Donald Trump Jr.) or even attempts to stay personally in charge of the GOP until death does them part. (If Grover Cleveland can serve a non-consecutive second term, why not Trump? He’ll be 78 on Election Day 2024, yes, but that’s a decade younger than the average life expectancy for American men in his wealth cohort.) How feasible this is remains to be seen: I’m not sure Jr. can effectively replicate his father’s appeal to voters, and the Republican establishment may not be terribly interested in continuing to grovel before a demonstrated loser.
Lastly, there’s the ideological Trump dynasty, which could take two forms. The fringier version would have the cult pass to people like Laura Loomer, a Republican congressional candidate in Florida who calls herself a “proud Islamophobe” and supports the QAnon conspiracy movement. Alternatively, someone smarter and more conventionally appropriate than the president — say, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), or Fox News host Tucker Carlson — could pick up the banner of ideological Trumpism and run with it to far more competent effect. David Brooks predicted something like this in a lengthy August New York Times piece; I’m not convinced it will be party-wide as he describes, but a strong faction seems probable. (Consider that Trump’s job approval remains consistently around 90 percent among Republicans; in fact, it’s currently on a slight upward trend.)