all the ex

As 2022 winds down, the 2024 election begins. Soon we will have primaries and town hall debates and in the saddest state of affairs, many of the same tired old names will reappear to take on the title of President of the United States. If I make it sound like a WWE WrestleMania event, it is because that’s what it has become. With so many story lines, including “will President Joe Biden run again?” to the ever popular, “will former President Donald Trump jump into the race from prison?” The storylines are comical at best and tragic at worst. Recently, Trump finds himself in so many legal troubles that he appears to be using them to his advantage now, with Trump just a few percentage points behind Biden, according to Five Thirty Eight. His recent Mar-a-LargoGate scandal could see a possible indictment, which now has turned him into the self-professed martyr, and this has turned his loyal followers even more cult-like, creating even scarier outcomes ahead.

Recently on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, Trump was asked about the possibility of indictment, and his cryptic response hinted at another Jan. 6-type riot.

“I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it,” Trump added. “And as you know, if a thing like that happened, I would have no prohibition against running. You know that.” He went on to say that there would be big “problems” if he was indicted, even causing the conservative host to ask if he means violence. Trump skirted around the question, just repeating the above talking points.

ABC News reported that the former president has gone even deeper into right wing conspiracy theories.

“After winking at QAnon for years, Donald Trump is overtly embracing the baseless conspiracy theory, even as the number of frightening real-world events linked to it grows. On Tuesday, using his Truth Social platform, the Republican former president reposted an image of himself wearing a Q lapel pin overlaid with the words “The Storm is Coming.” In QAnon lore, the “storm” refers to Trump’s final victory, when supposedly he will regain power and his opponents will be tried, and potentially executed, on live television.” [“Trump openly embraces, amplifies QAnon conspiracy theories,” David Klepper and Ali Swenson, Sept. 16, 2022.]

I once heard a famous comic say to me, “I don’t need everyone to love me. I just need one million people to like me to have a career.” This can also be applied to Trump. He just needs to maintain his base to stay relevant. ABC News goes on to report that when “pressed on QAnon theories that Trump allegedly is saving the nation from a satanic cult of child sex traffickers, he claimed ignorance but asked, ‘Is that supposed to be a bad thing?’”

Mia Bloom, a professor at Georgia State University who has studied QAnon, explains that this type of rhetoric generates cult-like followers.

“These are people who have elevated Trump to messiah-like status, where only he can stop this cabal,” Bloom told the AP. “That’s why you see so many images (in online QAnon spaces) of Trump as Jesus.”

In 2015, we all laughed at Trump running for office. Seven years later, he remains the head of the GOP, forcing many common-sense conservatives out, and requiring President Joe Biden to call out his MAGA followers. This strategy isn’t the most efficient, creating greater divides between the party and more paranoia amongst the red hat-wearing followers of Trump.

As the 2024 election begins to create the cast of kooky characters running, from potential leftwing nutjobs to the conservative usual suspects of Ron DeSantis and Ted Cruz, the future looks bleak and grim. Biden is obviously too old to keep running, and his recent infrastructure bill and student loan forgiveness plan will take many shapes and forms before seeing any real results, whereas Trump’s martyr syndrome will create more problems and even angrier results as he gets deeper into this classified document scandal.

The idea of a man running for president while being indicted is a horrifying thought. This isn’t a movie, folks, where the irony only adds to the enjoyment of the anti-hero. This man is a criminal, and he’s brainwashed well-meaning people into thinking a government coup is an actual plan in case they all don’t get their way. Our only hope is that the evidence is so overwhelming, he’ll go down disgraced like Richard Nixon and not like the third world dictator he’s pretending to be.

Purple is the New Party