While I personally detest President Trump, I’ll give him some credit for what he achieved in his bid for power. It can’t be denied that he has shaken up American politics. Thanks to him, the electorate has become more engaged than at any time in my memory. President-elect Biden is the first candidate to have received over 80 million popular votes. But Trump himself actually holds the next record, beating out Obama’s previous one from 2008. He could actually be proud of this, instead of dwelling on the fact that he lost the 2020 election, especially since he sees Obama as his nemesis.
Trump also forced the Republican Party to confront the fact that its platform does not conform to the needs of the American people. He hijacked the party, and you could say he made it into his own cult, but he also energized a right-wing populism that is likely here to stay. If Trump had been a more competent leader, he might have entrenched that version of populism in power. Instead, he simply gave a pass to the Democrats to attempt a return to the Obama era.
The left-wing version of populism, spearheaded by Bernie Sanders, was not so successful. But now that Covid-19 has taken over daily life, Biden can’t simply turn back the clock to 2016. So by energizing and engaging the populace, and by bungling the pandemic, Trump has had a big impact, which could shake us out of our neoliberal dream and actually take us to a brighter future for all Americans.