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Exactly How Powerful Is Trump?

Exactly How Powerful Is Trump?

If you follow any of the leftwing media, you will come to believe that President Trump has some sort of hypnotic charismatic grip on the entire Republican Party – excluding those who jumped ship at the onset of his presidency. 

They say the entire GOP is not even a political party, but rather a “cult of personality” – devoted to the whims of one man.  According to media personalities like Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s “morning Joe, we Republicans are evil … evil.  Her word.  Folks like the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson says the GOP must be “whipped out …. crushed” in the next elections. His words.

They create the narrative that we Republicans are evil people –mindless knuckle-dragging cultists who want to bring down the American Republic to ensconce Trump as our leader-for-life.

Central to the left’s outrageous and totally untrue assertion is the core claim. It is that Trump controls the Republican Party with a steel grip.  If that is not true, then the entire Democrat campaign strategy for 2022 collapses completely.

I voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020 because I thought the philosophic choice was clear in the General Elections.  I have to admit that in the 2016 primaries – of the 16 Republicans running, Trump was my 17th choice.  It was easier to vote for him in 2020 because I was pleasantly surprised by his mostly conservative policies and appointments. And Biden and the Democrats were an even a worse choice for any conservative who votes on issues. 

It was not just about Clinton and Biden themselves, but the people they would bring into office and empower. I have remained a critic of Trump’s pugnacious personality. But I am also a constant critic of the dishonesty of the Democrats and corruption of the so-called news media.

What drives my writings and votes is how a candidate stands up to my own conservative litmus test.  I am not devoted to any politician, but only the issues they represent.  There for I am not a mindless cultist – nor are my many conservative friends.

So, what about the narrative that Trump is a cult leader with a tight grip on the Republican Party and millions of Republican voters?  Frankly, I do not believe that any of that is true.

For sure Trump has a dedicated base of loyal supporters who wish he was still in office – and want him to run again.  Some presidents have exceptional loyalty.  The one that comes to mind is President Obama.  His personal base is as loving and loyal to him as any Republican is to Trump.  But in neither case does it represent the entire party.

Trump has a loyal base of approximately 30 percent of Republican voters.  That means that 70 percent of us are not obedient to his every whim and wish.  In 2016, Trump never showed power in the primaries until he defeated his opponents in the early primaries and gained momentum.  He did that because his 20 to 30 percent of the vote was a winning plurality against those 16 Republicans who divided the vote.  In primaries where there are lots of candidates, the person with the largest base – even just 20 to 30 percent –often wins – even though 70 to 80 percent preferred a different candidate.

I am not sure if Trump will run again.  And I am also not sure if I will vote for him in the Florida primary if he did. And virtually all of my Republican friends who voted twice for Trump are not committed to him in a future election.  We have to see how things unfold.

It will be interesting to see who enters the primaries to oppose Trump if he runs.  If the field is not too large, I believe that Trump would lose the nomination in 2024.  I am betting that he will not run for a number of reasons.  I think it is more likely that he would step aside for one of his children – son or daughter – or endorse another candidate.

The left is attempting a two-punch strategy to head off a disaster in the 2022 midterm election.  More than anyone, the left is selling Trump as a charismatic figure who is in absolute control of the GOP – and that he is dangerous and evil as are all his supporters – which in their narrative includes the entire Republican Party.

I believe the strategy will fail because the Democrats and the media have gone too far in demonizing Trump and the Republican Party.  It is a brush too broad.

People know better and there will be a push back.  Even Republicans who do not like Trump will be voting for GOP candidates up and down the ballot.  Whether you believe Trump won the 2020 election or not, it is still true that the down ticket candidates performed better than the top of the ticket.

As a former President, Trump has influence in his Party – but he does not own it.  Most Republican voters will weigh the options when the time comes.  There is no cult-of-personality.

What I believe Democrats and the media will learn is that Republican voters are intelligent good people.  We are not cultists or evil people.  And we are not so easily fooled by preposterous statements and mendacious narratives. 

Trump will have very little impact on our vote in the 2022 midterm election.  We know that the mission is to take control of the House and maybe the Senate in order to stop the insane big-government, big-spending agenda of Biden administration.

It is very possible that the Democrats’ demonization strategy will blow up in the face.  We do not like to be called cultists and evil.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Dan Tyree

    We will see how powerful Trump is when the red wave hits next year. I doubt if Trump will run for president again but his mark on America is here to stay. So Ben had better get used to the cult

    • Captain America

      Quite simple actually.
      Who’s economy was better for you?
      Do you enjoy safety or lawlessness?
      Do you think a secure border makes America stronger?
      The logical choice is TRUMP.

    • Captain America

      BIDEN for socialist communism

  2. TLC

    Not sure why you never post my comments. But I will make one anyway. I think Ivanka may run for congress in 2022. If she wins, and if the GOP win the majority back, they will elect her speaker of the house and she will be her father’s and the GOP’s mouthpiece. By the way, I agree with your article. I am an independent voter and thinker. I did not vote for Trump in 2020 because I was just too sick of his personality.

    • Tom Weir

      I am so sick of hearing about his personality. I am a small business owner who has several employees. What I care about is our economy, employment, foreign policy, energy independence, etc. What does his personality have to do with it, he got things done, things built, and most important, he almost did everything he said he would do. Nothing was easy, he had the democratic party and even some republicans fighting him on any and every issue. He still managed to do what he said he would do. So you voted for Basement Biden, what did you see in him. Did you just like his personality?

      • MBurkett

        First of all, please remember that Republican Primaries are normally open to all, allowing democraps to skew actual results. MAGA was so refreshing after Professional, Career ‘burned-out ambulance-chasing Lawyers’ politicians of both parties have been selling out the US citizen for as long as I can remember. Trump’s pugnacious personality is exactly what is needed to defeat the ‘fat-boy’ bureaucracy and deep-state that no longer recognizes their Constitutional duties to protect America and her US citizens. Opposed to the DNC ‘high-school popularity’ primaries, the Republican primaries are forcused on issues. Trump’s Cult? Maybe to the unitiated dolt not used to a POTUS’s ‘Promises made, Promises kept’ methodology giving the RNC a backbone and exposing John McCain (see Keating-Five), Liz Chaney (so much fluff), Mitch McConnell (see turtle afraid of political damage inflicted by democraps), and Mike Pence (see simple ‘Returning States Electors’ could have saved us from the Chinese/Iranian/German-elected President – Absolute, Scientific proof of November 2020 election hack.

        • larry Horist

          MBurkett … your first sentence is totally wrong. All Republican primaries are not open to all. Most a are limited to registered Republicans only. What you describe may be the situation in your state, but not common in others — and they vary from state to state. I am all for disrupting the authoritarian establishment in Washington. But I do believe that Trump undermined and limited his successes with his personality. He arguably strengthened the old guard in DC. I believe it was the reason he did not win the popular vote in 2016 when the GOP was on an unprecedented power wave. We took over the House … then the Senate … and a Republican presidential victory was practically assured. After the Senate win, there were pundits wonder whether the Democratic Party could even continue as a national force. Trump road that wave to victory, but he most certainly reduced the margin. The GOP lost the House in 2018. And I attribute that to the Dems successfully making Trump’s personality the issue. And now we have the Dems in charge. If it were not for Trump’s personality, I do not think there would be any controversy over the 2020 election. He should have … and could have … floated to victory. I have been very critical of Cheney and McCain .. her for her recent actions and him for a lifetime or apostasy to conservative principles. But to throw McConnell and Pence under the bus is wrong. They have remained consistent in the conservative work. I find Trump throwing them under the bus just another flaw in his personality. McConnell had the spine to deliver three Supreme Court nominations to Trump. He has blocked some of the worst Dem legislation and got the Senate to confirm record numbers of federal judges. That alone puts him in the conservative hall of fame. Pence has no constitutional authority to stop any of the certification votes. If Trump is the nominee again in 2024, I will vote for him again … but he may not get my vote in a primary. Have to wait and see how things unfold. I have come across a number of people who voted for Trump in 2016 but not in 2020 — because of his flamboyant, erratic and pugnacious personality. That personality has taken away from his important accomplishments.

    • MBurkett

      Did it ever occur to you that his personality was required to deal with the ‘fat-boy’ bureaucracy and deep-state and originally came from dealing with democrap unions in constructing some of the most beautiful buildings in this world. Please remember, Trump is not a Professional, Career Politician preening for political office, he actually got things done in the private sector (normally unseen in the halls of Congress).

  3. Ben

    I love that the first comment on this article is about how powerful trump is and how he will leave his mark on the Nation.
    I can’t disagree with Dan in this situation. However, the mark he is leaving will be judged harshly by history.
    To see how much of a cult figure trump is, and I can’t believe you glossed over this, is how many life long conservative icons he got his cult members to turn on. John McCain, Liz Chaney, Mitch McConnell, and Mike Pence to name a few. Your readers have even accused you of being a liberal lap dog. I mean, trump wouldn’t be in the position he is without the aforementioned Republican stalwarts and he had his cultists cast them aside like they were Nancy Pelosi’ shame puppets.
    I guess that’s the problem with you Larry, if you, your family, or friends don’t see it, or aren’t impacted by it, it’s not an issue. That’s pretty much true of all republicans, but you have admitted it several times over the last months that I have been reading your propaganda.
    Anyways, you may not be a trump cultist, but that doesn’t mean that trump isn’t the head of a cult.

    • Dan Tyree

      Ben you’re just pissed because that your crowd is eating their own. We have a better cult and are training our children to carry it on

      • MBurkett

        Dan, nice comment truly deserved by every bed-wetting libtard calling themselves American. My optimism for America’s ‘Turning’ back to American values hinges on the (rarely-seen on LSM) PTAs across the country standing up and demanding better education for their children. DeSantis now allows students to record all classes and the teacher unions mislike the new accountability thrust upon them.

    • Anonymous

      Dumb ass!

    • larry Horist

      Ben … I wish you would stop lying. Several times you have quoted things some readers said about me but they never seem to be real. I never found them .. and you neve cited them. You have often said that I said things I never said. More lies. Even now, you say I “glossed over” conservative icons. Actually, I recently wrote positive commentaries about McConnell and Pence — saying Trump is wrong to attack them. I have written about Cheney’s excellent history, but her current going over to Pelosi is reprehensible. And I knew McCain personally and never liked him. I have written commentaries critical of him for years. So, why should I defend him now? I can excuse people saying wrong things out of ignorance — and you do a lot of that. But you fabric and prevaricate too much. And you wonder I do not respond to you very often … as you have begged me to do. I can see that you are obsessed with being my counterpoint one very issue, but I wish you would do it with more integrity. Honest dialogue can be very beneficial, but I have no time or patience for bullcrap.

  4. Franh stetson

    Yeah, Larry, and most Germans were good folk in -945 too. Ya know, they didn’t like the personality, but boy could he get things done and wow, what an economy!

    After eight years of not standing up, in for a peck, in for a pound. You voted for kid separation at the border, 600,000 COVID dead with little defense of the nation, huge recession and unemployment on his watch, no infrastructure, no health, no climate, no international standing, friends with Turkey, Brazil, North Korea, and Russia, the rich got richer and the rest got a shitty tax break.

    Trump did not even touch his promises and if Supremes hadn’t vacated, MCConnell jammed the judges, Trump would have less. Nothing but scandals and crooks. How many indictments, how many convictions, fake pardons, and we are just getting started.

    Hoover says thanks Don, you took my place at the bottom. History will judge him on the numbers as a failure, on his programs as a fraud.

    Larry, I do think you are a true conservative and thank you for that. But you did not stand up except to pretend offense at character. In for a peck, in for a pound. Let the war crimes tribunal continue!

  5. Mike

    While I hope that your comments are accurate Larry, I fear that they are not. You need only look at the treatment of “true” conservatives such as Liz Chaney and Adam Kinzinger to doubt what you say is true. These people (and others) are true conservatives, but seem to be paying a severe price for going against the fearful leader. These two realized that Trump was not qualified to be President (though I am sure that they liked many of the things that were done during the Trump era), and tried to ensure that he would never be President again. Both appear to be ostracized by the Republican Party (or should I say the party of Trump) because of that. As is so often the case with your writing, you state as fact things the way you want it to be, rather than the way it actually is. In this case (as in many others), the media appears to be correct and you are wrong….

    • mburkett

      Unqualified to be President – 1) best economy in the history of the United States with lowest across-racial unemployment numbers, 2) defending the US worker from foreign-labor corruption and union intimidation, 3) Energy-independence of America, 4) Stopped UN/Antifa/BLM investigation into America’s supposed ‘Systematic Racism’ (see Biden’s recent invitation further stripping America Soveirgnty), 6) Got America out of Nafta, Paris Peace accords designed to punish American capitalism 30 years before impacting other offending countries and, WHO (see Chinese COVID coverup), 7) Put Muslim terrorist in their place (see Biden’s kosher grocery shooting in Colorado and DC Parking-lot booth destruction by Farrakhan’s muslim follower). What POTUS qualifications do you refer?

      • larry Horist

        Mburkett … now you are talking about the reasons I twice voted for Trump. I am a critic of his personality, but when given the choice I vote issues over personality.

    • larry Horist

      Ah .. more from Mike the anti-Semite. That fact that you did not play off my name with an icon Jewish name you consider a pejorative insult maybe it is a sign that you are evolving. I wonder how a leftwing bigot like you got the authority to determine who are true conservatives. True, Cheney had a great conservative record in Congress, but her latest actions are reprehensible. She is now operating as an asset of Nancy Pelosi. And Kinzinger was never high up on the list of true conservatives and he too is joined the Democratic Party in fact if not in name.

  6. frank stetson

    Socialist Communism — wow, wonder how that differs from Communism. Or Socialism for that matter.

    Trump bails out farmers with socialist program.

    Are Republicans against our largest socialist programs: Medicare, Social Security, and our Public Schools, all socialist,

    Trump passes CARES Act, a very large socialist handout

    Trump propping up of coal industry is another socialist handout to failing businesses

    Trump’s tax code redistributes wealth to the already wealthy, bizarre socialism picking winners and losers.

    How many socialists and communists has Trump sided with?

    Until Biden, the largest government spender was Trump and his Republicans; they may dislike his character, but they voted for Socialist spending. Of course, a larger government went hand-in-hand with this spending.

    Get over it, we are all semi-socialists; it’s just what socialist programs you pick as winners and losers.

    • larry Horist

      I have heard this argument for years from the left — especially the far left. To give it any validity, you must assume that ANYTHING government does at any level is socialism. If you follow that line of thinking, we would only have two options — totalitarian socialism (communism) or anarchy.

      To be sure there is a grey area in between limited government conservatism and and big government socialism (communism). But there still are distinctions. America has been drifting to the leftwing socialism since FDR. Yes Social Security is socialist, but it is also the worst investment Americans have been forced to make. Older people support it because that check is better than nothing — much the same as those trapped in our inner cities on generational welfare dependency. In both cases, it is not a survivable income. The money folks take out of SS is far less valuable than what they put in.

      I current have a losing stock. I may have to sell it just to take out what little value is left. That is how it is with SS. Part of the distinction between free-market conservatism also depends on which government is in charge. Conservatism is reflected in the 10th Amendment that says all powers not SPECIFICALLY granted to the federal government belong to the states and the people. The foundation of socialism is a BIG, strong, regulatory central government run by an elite class farther removed from the influence of the people. — authoritarianism by definition. Someday … as a conservative … I can only hope that the Supreme Courts will one day wake up and discover that there is a 10th Amendment.

  7. frank stetson

    Of course the fact that anything the government does, federal, state or local is socialism, glad you get it. But your lament about hearing it for years is what I say too, except against conservatives who say anything the government does is evil socialism, accent on the evil part. Because of what we both believe about government and socialism, to say “only have two options — totalitarian socialism (communism) or anarchy” sure seems unfounded to me since we are neither, and I don’t see it coming. I did see a push for totalitarianism over the last eight years :>)

    Tenth amendment, great stuff, and rather than play the game of why is it tenth if so important, or we couldn’t have a country if we didn’t cede to the antifederalists. I just cede the field to state’s rights and enjoy the unending debate between the federalism and state’s rights.

    Like I have said before, I believe in state’s rights, and more importantly, that anything that makes law difficult to enact is a good thing, so the tenth helps that.

    But Larry: big government socialism is not communism. If it were, then conservatives are communists too. Yes, Social Security a form of socialism, but not exactly nationalizing private property, it instead is a tax, plain and simple. And the value does increase, albeit slowly, each year via the COLA, up 55% from 2000 but still behind inflation. It’s a safety net, not a pension, never has been advertised as more. So if you are looking for a survivable from this, you fooled yourself, not that you are alone. It’s a tax Larry, no one supports paying a tax, really. Worst investment, prove it.

    Social Security investments in America get a guaranteed rate of return and special rules, by law, from the USofA; the safest place that most of the world’s countries invest in. Usually pays over 2%; dedicated investors might make 3% after fees but the normal shmoo, probably less. Besides, we are supposed to diversity, so think of SS as your low-return safe harbor, but it does have a return Larry. It is not less than you put in, it’s around equal, but more importantly it’s insurance. And like all insurance, live long and prosper – as in take out MUCH MORE than you put in, or die young, stay pretty, and thank you very much for your contribution to the cause.

    Speaking of the cause: other SS benefits:
    – funds close to 15% of our national debt, we are the singe largest investor in our debt, without ss funding, we would be begging foreign countries like China for cash
    – over $10B per year contributed by illegal aliens who can never get it back, that should please you.
    – 63 million people get the checks, many need them
    – 1.5M kids not in poverty because of SS
    – Hard to pinpoint but between 20% and 40% of all SS recipients have no other income. You may have a better number, but the point is: given how many folks have no other income, do you think getting them to invest SS dollars across their life would change that? Chances are they still would have no income, and no SS either.

    Maybe you need a SS post — you can start by pushing back and we can take it from there.

    Meanwhile, yes, all government programs are a form of socialism. Both parties do it, and Trump does it bigger, not better, than most. except, it’s looking like, Biden. But Trump crushes Obama and his predecessors when it comes to socialist programs. That’s his power and the faithful are buying it. The constant and classic struggle in federalism is a good thing, but an artifact on how the Foundling Fathers were forced to construct the game. Clearly there are more things we should do on a national level than defense. Clearly there are things that trying 50 different experiments on just don’t make sense. I think the pandemic proves that point in spades. FEMA is another, sorry Rand Paul but u b just wrong on that one. Using the tenth, having the pendulum swing might be healthy, but labeling Democrats as socialists or dumber yet, communists just does not make sense when conservatives have launched the largest socialist programs to date.