Exacerbating our predicament is that Trump supporters are not going away after the 2020 election, even if their leader is no longer President. Trump’s base is the Tea Party on steroids, and Trump potentially could remain their leader. The Tea Party, the earlier far-right caucus, for the most part emerged on their own and without the use of a public figure (other than being anti-President Obama) who had ready access to nationwide news coverage.
I am certain that I am not the only one thinking this way. I am convinced that many current Republican office holders are not just concerned about 2020, but they are planning beyond this upcoming election and are factoring in Trump’s base going forward. The Republican Senators who are not up for re-election in 2020 seem as frightened as those who are, and I understand why. For Democrats to attack moderate Republicans who toe the line with the President could prove costly for the country. Why? If doing what is right for the country causes moderates to lose a Republican primary in places where electing a Democrat in the general election is highly unlikely, we may find ourselves in an even worse situation in the United States Senate.
In her recent book, Governor/Ambassador Nikki Haley (former moderate for sure), whether intended or not, basically documented this reality. She wants a future in public service, understandably so, and I suspect she knows that the current Trump voter base is going to continue to play a role in Republican primaries. In her book, it is very clear she has some very strong differences with the President, but she also makes it clear she defends him on impeachment and supports him on many issues—issues that I suspect she would have evaluated differently before the time of Trump. She's even started to walk back some of the very positions that gave her some appeal as a moderate voice among her Republican colleagues. And the political calculations she's clearly making should serve as a warning that, even after 2020, much work will remain in order to truly remove "the Trump effect" from our politics.
This is not a cheery message for sure. But I believe that anytime someone, or in this case a country, deals with huge challenges, having a realistic and honest look at reality is where one must start. Young people give me hope. And let us all remember, this is not the first time America has had its back to the wall.