Right-wing extremism in the US, known as Trumpism, is seen culminating in the US Congress yesterday. In fact, if politics were to be considered a theater, the fall of Trumpism could not have imagined any more dramatic and destructive climax and anticlimax. Before stepping down from the throne of the world’s most powerful ruler, Trump showed the people of the US and the world just how serious his low-mindedness, anti-democratic and barbaric approach is. Trumpism took its cosmic form yesterday at the US Capitol.
The distance between the extremist racist pragmatist and US President Trump, who crowned the ivory crown with a spear-wielding national flag and stormed the Capitol, is very short. Right-wing extremism dreams of a centuries-old decline in values and attitudes. A section of the people who share that dream has been supporting Trump for the past four years. The noisy manifestation of the barbaric racism and violence they carry is no small shock to democrats.
It may seem paradoxical that right-wing extremists have stepped in to attack parliament in the United States, the site of one of the most politically motivated protests of the last decade, the Black Lives Matter. When the United States, one of the largest democracies in the world, witnessed the call for a ruling movement to overthrow the will of the people, it seemed as if history were suddenly returning to the primitive world of savage justice.
In the end, Trump was ready to kneel like the rebels in the Capitol and admit that he was ready to hand over power, even if he did not accept the poll outcome, only because he had no other choice. Trump has realised that there is no way out, as Joe Biden, who won with a clear majority, failed in his last experiment with technical loopholes to become the next president and vice president Mike Pence himself turned against the president’s agenda. At the same time, even if Trump steps down, he still has the potential to remain an influential force and to keep Trumpism intact.
Over the past four years, Trump has laid the ideological foundation for a large group of racists who are ready to step forward to do anything if he shakes a hand or writes a sentence on social media. That base will remain strong even if he leaves power. With that, he is likely to win popular support to run again in the next US presidential election in 2024.
If that is not to happen, the Republican Party itself must make an effort to combat reactionary ideologies and keep anti-democrats out of politics. Republicans must be able to continue to work with the determination not to give up democratic values, as Pence did the other day, and to prevent the popularity that Trumpism is gaining. Even if he comes to power, Joe Biden will face the same serious challenges as Trump.