Semantron 23 Summer 2023

Trump and Trumpism

election had been ‘stolen’ from him. This arguably resulted in the January 6 th riot and invasion of the US Capitol. While many expected Trump to lose support as a result of this, his hold over the Republican Party remains today, based on the continuing support of the grassroots support. This is reminiscent of the total control Hitler managed to secure over the Nazi Party (Evans, 2004) and subsequently Germany, with those serving him desperate for his favour. A similar dynamic was arguably in play within the Trump administration (Woodward and Costa, 2021). It is a further commonality between the two men, which should force people to question how Trump retains his hold over the Republican Party and is considered a strong contender for the 2024 election. Donald Trump was successful in the 2016 presidential election and spent four turbulent years in the White House. He was then voted out, yet remains, as previously mentioned, a likely candidate – with a real chance of success – in 2024. This essay has highlighted a number of similarities with the rise of the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler in Weimar Germany not in order to suggest Trump is in some way as depraved and evil as Hitler. Instead, it serves to highlight the flawed nature of the United States’ democracy, often held up as a beacon of light to the rest of the world (although this idea is increasingly questioned both domestically and abroad): if Trump, despite his 2020 loss, remains so politically potent despite these similarities, the state of American democracy cannot be a healthy one. Umbach (2016) put it best, when discussing the aforementioned sentimen t of being on the ‘losing side’ that many Americans are feeling before his 2016 victory, saying: ‘Trump has not been the first demagogue to capitalize on such sentiments, and he will not be the last. If elected, we will not see a resurgence of National Socialism. Trump is, nevertheless, a symptom of a fundamental problem with our democratic system, which we seem utterly unable to fix.’


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