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    Trump Ever After: Live from TribFest

    en-usSeptember 25, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Discussion on Trump's potential third term or children running for himTrump's influence on the GOP is not going away anytime soon, regardless of election outcome

      Despite the numerous scandals and controversies surrounding Donald Trump, he continues to lead in the Republican polls for the 2024 presidential nomination. The Republican Party seems to have given up on being a serious governing party and is instead embracing Trumpism. The panelists discussed the possibility of Trump running for a third term, or his children running in his place. However, they also suggested that the outcome of the current election could determine whether Trumpism continues to dominate the Republican Party or if it will be wished away. Despite the wishful thinking, the reality is that Trump's influence on the GOP is not going away anytime soon.

    • Ron DeSantis' Negative Campaigning and Trump-Style Politics Hindering His 2024 ChancesDeSantis' negative campaigning and imitation of Trump's style may resonate with some Republicans, but the current political climate's focus on celebrity, fear mongering, and bigotry could hinder his chances in the 2024 presidential race.

      The Republican Party's current focus on Trump-style politics may have hindered Ron DeSantis' chances in the 2024 presidential race. DeSantis' negative and angry campaign approach, coupled with his attempt to mimic Trump and exclude the press, seemed to resonate with his audience but also worked against him. The Republican Party's current state, characterized by celebrity, fear mongering, and bigotry, is a departure from its best traditions and may lead to negative consequences for the country. The future of the Republican Party beyond Trump may involve a return to innovation and a departure from idiocy, but the current trend of clownishness and sinister behavior may continue to dominate.

    • Republican Party's shift towards shamelessness started with Trump's attack on McCain's military serviceThe GOP's embrace of shamelessness, exemplified by figures like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Trump, has led to polarization, gridlock, and potential government shutdowns.

      The Republican Party's embrace of shamelessness, exemplified by figures like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Donald Trump, began with Trump's attack on John McCain's military service in 2015. This shift towards shamelessness became a virtue, allowing politicians to disregard condemnation from the "polite people" and resonate with supporters who admire their unapologetic behavior. The current political climate, marked by polarization and a disregard for conventional norms, has led to gridlock and the potential for government shutdowns. Speaker Kevin McCarthy's struggle to navigate this environment is emblematic of the challenges faced by political leaders in the current climate.

    • New Reality in Politics: Outrageous Behavior and Attention-Seeking Lead to SuccessIn the new political landscape, outrageous behavior and attention-seeking can lead to success, as seen in Kevin McCarthy's rise to power despite association with extremist elements. Criticism is viewed as persecution, and politicians resist accountability, fueled by a victimization narrative and perception of media bias.

      The political landscape has shifted significantly in recent years, and the old norms of politics may not return. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy's rise to power, despite his association with extremist elements, is a reflection of this new reality. The idea that outrageous behavior and attention-seeking will lead to success is a significant trend that has emerged, and it's not limited to one party. Scandals that would have ended careers in the past no longer have the same impact. Politicians, especially Republicans, increasingly view criticism as persecution and resist accountability. The victimization narrative, fueled by a perception of media bias, is a powerful tool that can help maintain support. However, it remains to be seen whether this approach will continue to be effective and if it can work for both parties.

    • Trump's Challenges to Political Norms PersistDespite criminal investigations and trials, Trump's supporters remain unphased, raising concerns about the state of American governance and the acceptance of disgraceful behavior from political leaders.

      The political landscape, particularly in the Republican Party, is facing a significant challenge to the established norms and values, with former President Trump leading the charge. The shamelessness and impunity displayed by Trump, who faces multiple criminal investigations and trials, have not seemed to deter his supporters or negatively impact his polling numbers. This situation raises concerns about the state of American governance and the regime as a whole, as Trump's actions challenge the political propriety and institutions. Despite the misgivings and criticisms, some individuals within the Republican Party and Trump's base remain unphased by his indiscretions, viewing it as a continuation of his unconventional approach to politics. The ongoing indictments and trials may not change the situation significantly, as there appears to be a faction of the Republican base that remains unwavering in their support for Trump. The broader issue at hand is the sustained assault on the American regime, which includes the questioning of elections and institutions, and the acceptance of disgraceful behavior from political leaders.

    • Perception of political motivation fuels doubts about Trump indictmentsDespite unique circumstances of each indictment, disregard for rule of law by Trump and supporters poses threat to democratic institutions

      The political climate surrounding former President Donald Trump's indictments has led to a perception among his supporters that the legal proceedings against him are politically motivated. This perception, fueled by past experiences like impeachments and campaign finance violations, has resulted in a belief among many that the charges against Trump are not valid. Despite this, it's important to acknowledge that each indictment is unique and carries its own weight. The use of campaign funds for hush money payments is an unprecedented situation, and it's unclear if another candidate would have faced the same consequences. However, the pattern of criminal behavior and disregard for the rule of law displayed by Trump and his supporters poses a significant threat to democratic institutions. It's crucial to address these underlying issues and hold individuals accountable for their actions, regardless of political affiliations.

    • The Republican Party's shift from liberal values to Trump's exclusionary conservatismThe GOP's transformation from upholding individual rights and equality to embracing exclusion and xenophobia under Trump is a departure from its core conservative principles.

      The Republican Party's embrace of Donald Trump is not a logical outcome of conservatism, but rather a debasement of its core liberal values. Conservatism, at its best, aims to preserve a liberal order based on unalienable rights and equality. However, there has always been a lower level conservatism that promotes exclusion and xenophobia. Trump's ascendancy marked a turning point where this primordial version became the ascendant one, pushing out more honorable conservatives. The future of the Republican Party is uncertain, but it's clear that the party is not turning back to its previous form. Whether it will be led by figures like Vivek Ramaswamy or continue down its current path depends on the outcome of the ongoing election and the choices made by its members.

    • Republican Party Shifting to Entertainment-Driven PoliticsThe Republican Party is moving towards prioritizing political entertainment over policy expertise, with figures like Trump, Ramaswamy, and Boebert leading the charge. This trend may make it challenging for traditional political leaders to regain prominence.

      The Republican Party is shifting towards an entertainment-driven politics, with figures like Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Lauren Boebert appealing to the desire for both political leadership and entertainment. This trend, which was evident before Trump's presidency with media personalities like Glenn Beck and Mark Levin, has accelerated and may make it difficult for more traditional political leaders to regain prominence. The future of the party could see less emphasis on policy wonks and more focus on media stars. The conversation also touched on the influence of Fox News and the role of Michelle Bachmann in shifting the power dynamics within the party.

    • Media's Role in Shaping Public FiguresMedia attention, whether positive or negative, significantly impacts public figures' careers. Controversial behavior towards the military by figures like Trump raises ethical questions about media's role in shaping public discourse.

      The media economy plays a significant role in shaping public figures, as seen with Michelle Bachmann and others. Attention from news outlets, whether positive or negative, can make or break a public figure's career. However, there is a fine line between giving attention to important issues and creating a sensational news cycle. The recent Atlantic article about General Mark Milley's concerns regarding Donald Trump's treatment of veterans is just one example of Trump's controversial behavior towards the military. Despite this, Trump continues to garner support and remains tied in the polls with Joe Biden. This raises questions about the public's tolerance for controversial figures and the impact of media coverage on their opinions. Ultimately, it's important to consider the ethical implications of the media's role in shaping public discourse and the potential consequences of giving undue attention to certain figures.

    • Underestimating Trump's ThreatThe Democratic Party risks losing in 2024 by focusing on mocking Trump instead of addressing voter concerns and governance issues like inflation and border control.

      The Democratic Party risks underestimating the threat of Donald Trump if they continue to focus on mocking and deriding him instead of addressing the governance crisis in the United States. The party's dismissive attitude towards Trump and his supporters, as well as their failure to address issues like inflation and border control, could give Trump an argument with the American people and increase his chances of winning in 2024. It's crucial for the Democratic Party to engage in thoughtful criticism and take seriously the concerns of voters, rather than expressing contempt and dismissing them. Ignoring issues like inflation or Trump's age will not make them go away, and it's essential to have a serious conversation about these topics to strengthen the party and address the needs of the American people.

    • Two Leading Figures Dominate Political Landscape, Creating Challenges for Other CandidatesTwo leading figures, Joe Biden and Donald Trump, overshadow other Republican candidates due to their perceived instability and age. Candidates like Nikki Haley struggle to define their stance and gain media attention. To succeed, candidates must boldly challenge Trump instead of appeasing his supporters.

      The political landscape is dominated by two prominent figures, Joe Biden and Donald Trump, who are perceived as elderly and unstable, respectively. This dynamic creates a challenge for other Republican candidates, particularly those considered "normie" or mainstream, to gain attention and make their voices heard. The media plays a role in this, as they often focus on the more sensational stories, leaving less room for coverage of other candidates. Nikki Haley, for instance, is seen as having struggled to define her stance on Trump and has had a hard time gaining traction in the media. Other Republican candidates face similar challenges, as they are overshadowed by Trump's dominance in the political sphere. The solution, it seems, is for candidates to take a bold stance and actively try to challenge Trump rather than trying to appease his supporters while also supporting him. However, many candidates are hesitant to do so, fearing backlash or losing support from Trump's base. Ultimately, the lack of clear opposition to Trump leaves the field wide open for him, making it difficult for other candidates to gain momentum and win the presidency.

    • Republican Party must address Trump's influenceThe GOP needs to critically evaluate Trump's impact and work towards a future beyond Trumpism

      The Republican Party needs to address the influence of Donald Trump and Trumpism in order to secure a viable future. Chris Christie's critique of Trump's damaging impact on the party is an important message, but Christie himself may not be the most effective messenger. Money plays a significant role in politics, and while Trump has been successful in raising grassroots funds through his entertainment value and media attention, the power of super PACs may be waning. To move past Trump and Trumpism, the Republican Party must critically assess and challenge Trump's influence, rather than ignoring him or hoping he goes away. Trump's continued presence in the political landscape, despite criminal indictments and ongoing investigations, underscores the importance of this issue. The party can choose to bury its head in the sand or engage in a critical assessment of Trump's impact and what it means for the future of the Republican Party.

    • Media landscape has changedThe obsession with money and cable news is outdated, power of small donors in politics, media's challenge with Trump's disinformation, and importance of investigative reporting in reaching factual information to 55% of Americans

      The obsession with money and cable news in determining the news cycle is outdated, as most people now have a personalized media consumption approach through the internet. The power of money in politics has shifted from large donors to small donors, and the media's approach to covering Donald Trump remains a challenge, with the continued platforming of his disinformation contributing to the problem. Despite the importance of investigative reporting, the media's inability to penetrate alternative realities and reach 45% of Americans with factual information remains a significant hurdle. In essence, the media landscape has changed, and understanding these shifts is crucial to navigating the current news environment.

    • Complexity and loss of trust in institutions and leadership in conservative movementTo restore trust, institutions, including media, should focus on facts and nuance instead of adjectives, and there's a need for collective effort from elites and public to address deep divisions in American society.

      The current state of the conservative movement in America is complex and multifaceted, and there seems to be a profound loss of trust in institutions and leadership across the board. This issue is not unique to the Republican Party, but it is particularly evident there. The dominance of certain figures like Matt Gaetz and the junior senators in Republican-led states over more established voices is a symptom of this trend. To address this issue, it's important for institutions, including the media, to reflect on their own mistakes and take steps to regain trust. For example, reducing the use of adjectives to describe political figures and focusing on facts and nuance could help restore trust in news coverage. Ultimately, it will take a collective effort from the elites and the public to address this systemic problem and work towards healing the deep divisions in American society.

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