Nearly a third of Republicans – 29% – believe that Donald Trump will be ‘reinstated’ as president by the end of the year, according to a new poll from Morning Consult and Politico.
“This is the kind of thing that he is trying to flush into the conservative media ecosystem,” Maggie Haberman, a New York Times reporter, said on CNN. “And I expect it to get more intense the more he is under investigation by the Manhattan district attorney and the state attorney general in New York and the threat of indictment over the coming months.”
According to Bloomberg, Trump’s fantasies are sustained by a coterie of yes-men and enablers who have flocked to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Major figures in right-wing media – including Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Neil Cavuto – have bought multimillion dollar estates near Trump’s southern haunt.
Likewise, Trump administration officials who have struggled to find a foothold in corporate America have clung to the former President. A number of former aides, like Brad Parscale and Hogan Gidley, have also relocated to homes near Mar-a-Lago. It serves their interests to keep Trump’s political aspirations – and delusions – alive.
“They have nowhere else to go, these people,” Sam Nunberg, an early Trump campaign aide, told Bloomberg. “What else are they going to do?”
“Think about how utterly bizarre that is,” Eddie Vale, a Democratic strategist, told Bloomberg “It’s like if Rachel Maddow and the Pod Save America guys all bought condos in Chicago because they wanted to be close to Barack Obama.”
One of the enduring myths in Trump world is that his 2020 defeat in the presidential election – it wasn’t that close, he lost by over 7 million votes – was the result of fraud. Hope springs eternal that one of the frivolous audits or court challenges waged in Trump’s name will lead to his Oval Office comeback.
Mike Lindell, the conspiracy theory enthusiast and MyPillow CEO, told The Daily Beast that he’s ‘probably’ responsible for injecting the return-to-power narrative into Trump world. Lindell is the subject of a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit for demonstrable falsehoods he spread about the voting machines used in some states during the 2020 election.
Lindell’s rhetoric aside, the QAnon movement has also primed many Republicans for a Trump ‘restoration.’ A shockingly high number of Americans – 30 million – believe in the core tenets of the anti-establishment belief system, including the idea that a biblical-scale storm will soon sweep away the evil elites who control the levers of power in America and “restore the rightful leaders.”
This irrational delusion is a poison in the body politic, one that manifests itself through the Big Lie, the Capitol riot, and the coast-to-coast effort to make it more difficult to vote.
It’s clear that Democrats can’t persuade a GOP contingent that thinks they are pedophiles and devil worshippers, as is the consensus among QAnon diehards. So it falls upon the GOP to rid its base of ridiculous expectations and a penchant for conspiracy theories. Will they stand up to the rot in their own party? Will they abandon Trumpism and the falsehoods it has generated?
“Can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, during a television appearance last month.
That sentiment belies one of Graham’s observations during the 2016 presidential election, when Trumpism was first on the ascent. “If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed…….and we will deserve it.”