According to a column from the Daily Beast's David Lurie, former president Donald Trump is increasingly living in fear of seeing his influence wane now that he is out of office and a new wave of GOP officeholders are appropriating his tactics in the hopes of moving up through the Republican ranks and assuming his mantle.
As Lurie points out, Trump has always couched his public statements in such a way that he doesn't alienate his followers going all the way back to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville where he referred to some of the rallygoers on the neo-Nazi side as "very fine people."
The longtime political observer claims "Trump's fear of alienating the wackos he invited under the GOP tent he slapped his logo on manifested itself in ways that are sometimes comical, but always dangerous," with Lurie making his point by adding, "Trump talks about the 'loving' mob on Jan. 6 that stormed the Capitol Building in hopes of lynching his vice president, it not only amounts to an endorsement of the insurrection, but also evinces his desperate obeisance to his followers, no matter how repugnant they might be."
"Trump's fear of his own base has, if anything, increased since he fled Washington before Biden's inauguration," he continued. "Trump–who had bragged about his purported role in 'coming up' with the vaccines–nonetheless got vaccinated in secret for fear of offending the anti-vaxxers in his base. With the Delta variant running wild now, he has emphasized the 'freedom' of Americans to refuse the jab."
According to Lurie, Republicans including Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) -- who he called an "outright buffoon" -- have adopted Trump's tactics which may, in the long run, be to their detriment and may damage the Republican Party irreparably.
"Just as Trump has prostrated himself before the extremists, bigots and conspiracists he welcomed into the Republican Party, the GOP's leadership has turned the party more fully into an appendage of Trump, even in the wake of his electoral defeat," he wrote before adding, "Even in the wake of Trump's loss, the GOP and its leaders chose to throw in their lot with the most odious and marginal political faction to have gained power in the nation since the Civil War. They may win some elections in the near term, but that will not change an inescapable fact: The GOP has chosen to place itself at direct odds with the majority of the citizens of its own country."
"That is how political parties ultimately die," he predicted.
You can read the whole piece here.