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Opinion

Trump May Be Gone, However, His Influence Will Stick Around

Donald Trump has finally left the building. The White House, actually. The 45th President of the United States ended his 4-year term on January 20th, as his successor Joe Biden sworn-in as the new President of the United States, aiming to unite a very polarized nation, combat the coronavirus pandemic, fix the US economy and, more specifically, restore the United States as the leading figure in global affairs. The United States’ position in international affairs took a big hit under the Donald Trump administration, from being perceived as frolicking with known adversaries to damaging alliances that have been around for decades from the Paris Climate Accords to the World Health Organisation.

It does feel like a sigh of relief than Trump is now gone from the daily headlines. However, it will be foolish for anyone to think that he will just stay quiet.

Trump has redefined American politics and has amassed a large following that has changed the image of the Republican Party. Despite the opposition of some within the party against Trump for his very volatile behaviour, the party itself backed him, helped enact his policies and defended him for various scandals, and impeachment attempts. The Capitol Hill riots on January 6th will be the legacy of Trump’s time in the office, with the US House of Representatives impeaching him for a second time on January 13th with a potential conviction in the Senate barring him from running for office again. However, it is still unclear whether the Senate will convict him as only 10 Republicans in the House voting for impeachment and 17 Republicans in the Senate will have to vote for conviction.

Trump is part of a wave of far-right political figures that have assumed office around the world over the past five to seven years, who have challenged the established political order from multilateralism to democracy itself. Trump-like figures have started to appear in the Republican Party and there is speculation of his children running for office in the future.

As for Trump, he may have left office as one of the most unpopular presidents but he is still the most popular Republican and has a cult following that politicians would die for. Some have run for public office; some want to replicate Trump with minimal success and Trumpism itself is growing, whether Trump runs again or not, not just in the United States but around the world.

He has finally left the helm of power but his influence will live on in the next few years, maybe even decades.

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