Trump’s handicap is that he is obsessed with one issue — that he was cheated by Joe Biden of his rightful election victory in 2020. Most Republican voters share in that belief, which is a litmus test for candidates. Yet the stolen election myth is their politics’ starting point, not its be-all and end-all. By confining himself to rigged elections, Trump is forgetting Maga’s animating spirit, which is hatred of America’s cultural elites.
When Trump’s monomania backfires, it leaves him looking weak. His sole reason for endorsing David Perdue as Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate was that he agreed the incumbent, Brian Kemp, was wrong to certify Biden’s victory in 2020. Backing Perdue was Trump’s revenge for Kemp’s disloyalty. But Kemp will win easily. It is even possible that Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, who resisted Trump’s direct plea to “find” his missing votes, will also be re-elected.
The more this happens, the less fear Trump will instil in his party. Once a strongman loses the ability to terrorise, a loss of respect is rarely far behind. Kemp’s selling point was that he fed Maga’s cultural agenda. He has made it far harder for Georgians to get an abortion, much easier to carry concealed guns and more difficult to vote, which is red meat to the base. Kemp’s only sin is in not catering to Trump’s injured pride, which can evidently be ignored.