Domestically many are not just breathing a sigh of relief but screaming with happiness, and yet polls say 35% of the country believes he’s being ousted illegitimately. That illustrates just how polarising Trump has been here, and while many wonder if he’ll run for president in 2024 many others hope he is leaving public office permanently.
Trump seemed to combine Barack Obama’s skill in manipulating the media, George W. Bush’s readiness to provoke international hatred, Bill Clinton’s ability to disregard the truth and Ronald Reagan’s jingoism. He was routinely and credibly accused of conduct which degraded public service, of re-legitimising American White supremacy, of intentionally provoking societal rifts and much, much more.
Trump’s ascension provoked the greatest burst of political activity and independent journalism in the US in 50 years. Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, the importance of voting and other progressive movements seem to be in direct response to Trump’s regular use of sexism, racism, jingoism and elitism.
Internationally Trump took America’s post-9/11 “you’re either with us or against us” worldview to a new extreme. He illegally tore up international agreements, banned travel from seven mostly-Muslim countries and antagonised longtime US allies.
Trump, who switched his party affiliation five times, has successfully reshaped the Republican Party. He was the first 21st century mainstream politician to be openly anti-free trade, to voice opposition to America’s “endless wars”, to admit the national decline of the US since the Great Recession, to bring attention to the role of a “Deep State” in the US and to openly question the integrity of the nation’s corporate-dominated media.