Whether he knows it or not – and all the evidence suggests he knows nothing worth knowing – Trump’s legacy is the toxic politics of lies: a permanent campaign of fabrications and falsehoods.
No matter that he clearly lost the 2020 election by landslide margins in the electoral college and the popular vote. What matters is the never-ending sense of grievance that someone or something, somewhere – liberals, minorities, judges, reporters – have conspired to wrong Trump and oppress his long-suffering fans.
This is the narrative of the fascist story forever: you are not to blame for your suffering because it was contrived by others – immigrants and outsiders, wielding wealth and power in the shadows.
Trump did not invent this story and likely has no idea where it came from, other than his own obvious genius. He did not invent the notion that brazen lies can buy you a delusional base. He wasn’t the first to put the bull in the bully pulpit of the presidency.
But he was the first to run a White House like a Joe McCarthy witch hunt, unleashing social media to cower an entire party into a posture of pure cowardice.
Trump’s Republicans will be with us long after the soon-to-be-ex-president succumbs to the overdue tax bills of the IRS, the calling-in of his massive property debts, and the long-brewing fraud cases of New York state’s prosecutors.
These Trumpist Republicans are his legacy, as much as a supreme court stacked against the popular vote, science and all good sense.