I always guessed that our version of a new Republican authoritarian would be a Colin Powell type – plenty of medals, perfect posture, and low volume. Military people are usually sheltered by handlers so we wouldn’t hear a lot of (bad) history about stupid/uninformed comments.
I should have seen my mistake. We got a legitimate corporate contender in the 90’s. Instead of a smooth, buttoned up Jamie Diamond we got a paranoid dwarf -Ross Perot. Independent candidates are a varied lot. They often come unpackaged.
So now it’s come to this:
The backdrops are no longer long escalators (plus trophy wife). They are nodding pre-programmed idol worshipers, looking for camera exposure.
My sense is that his failure to choreograph the message is already a drag on the enthusiasm of the true believers. Just as with Bush Jr. they continued to side with their guy but their conviction faded. Trump needed tangible results in a few simple areas (for his simple followers) – there’s no wall, no Muslim ban, no change to NAFTA, no jobs coming back from China. Political corruption in his administration is worse than we’ve ever seen. He needs style to offset all these failures. (Does his Saudi defense help him in the heartland?)
He does best with a target- an adversary. The Dems would do best to hide in the trenches. (sorry Elizabeth) Without one he is adrift and so needs to go back to style. This, he has failed to do. Is there is too much baggage to be manageable?
The racists will be there, but the (economically) disenfranchised and the authoritarians will sit it out. If the Repubs lose the House then the malaise will continue into 2020 and he could be really challenged to get the nomination again. Toilet paper (moments) may have written the next act of the play.
Trump needed Hillary – without her he is flailing.