Democrats had hoped that four years of turmoil, attacks on norms and institutions and mendacity – plus a pandemic that cost 230,000 lives – would result in a quick, clean and overwhelming repudiation of the 45th president.
That would have been clarifying about the direction of the country, a warning to the Republican party that it must take its 2013 “autopsy” report off the shelf and reinvent itself.But on another miserable night for pollsters, it did not turn out that way. Trump proved resilient and increased his vote in Florida, Texas and other states. He found even more white working-class voters than last time and chipped away at Democratic support among Latinos. His cult-of-personality campaign rallies were as enthusiastic and rambunctious as ever.
His victory in 2016, it turns out, was no fluke attributable to Vladimir Putin or James Comey. In 2020 his sexism, racism and lie-telling have been legitimised and emboldened.
When some Americans protested “This is not who we are”, Trump voters replied: “This is exactly who we are – and we’re not going anywhere.”
“The so-called moral outrage around Trump’s presidency did not produce any substantive shift in his Republican support,” tweeted Eddie Glaude, a professor at Princeton University and author of Democracy in Black. “In fact, he expanded his base among white voters. Trump continues to flourish in the intersection of greed, selfishness and racism.”
Read more of David Smith’s analysis here: Regardless of the US presidential election outcome, Trumpism lives on