Trump without Trumpism

This week Trump sat for an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, and he obsessively pressed his claims that there had been incredible, can’t-believe-it revelations in Arizona, Georgia, and other states that he lost in 2020. All he could talk about was the supposed conspiracy against him. “How come Biden couldn’t attract 20 people for a crowd?” Trump asked. “How come when he went to speak in different locations, nobody came to watch, but all of a sudden he got 80 million votes? Nobody believes that, Steve. Nobody believes that.”

While it is true that many Republicans have a bone-deep belief that the electoral system is somehow unfairly stacked against them, the obsession with these claims reverses the polarity of Trumpism itself. When he first ran for president, Trump genuinely promised to do things that voters wanted, to make the country great, proud, and prosperous again. Now, he is essentially asking Republicans to do something for him, to restore his tarnished honor and make credible his belief in his own victory. All that is left of Trumpism are Trump’s grievances and aspirations.

This is not an agenda that will win him high office, help his party, or accomplish anything for his countrymen.