President Donald Trump’s attempted coup and insurrection’s political effects are set to continue in the future because the enabling conditions have deep historical roots, its support reaches far into the U.S. state, broad sections of the Republican Party and electorate, military, and law enforcement. It will have national and global implications. There is a feeling that the imperial homeland is on the brink of a descent into the abyss. Although the U.S. political system appears to have squeaked through a major stress test, the political reverberations of Trumpism will remain for some time to come. There is no ‘return to normalcy’ the country craves for, without reforms to a system that advantages the politics of extremism in the Republican Party. President Biden has the challenge and opportunity to extirpate Trumpism and white supremacy from the U.S. body politic –but does he have the political will?
The American political elite’s legitimacy crisis is demonstrated by Trump’s rise by challenging Wall Street, both main parties’ leadership, and limited government. His challenge overlapped with Leftist Bernie Sanders’ who also focused on deep inequalities in the U.S. The crisis is rooted in the neoliberal political-economic model adopted in the 1970s to shore up American elite power but which generated major crises at home and challenges abroad. Such challenges demand a new ‘grand bargain’ that is unlikely to emerge without prolonged domestic political strife and resistance to American global power.