by Ashley Rindsberg
Wednesday, 9
November 2022
Reaction
18:10

The ‘Dump Trump’ movement has officially begun

Republicans are growing sick of their former leader
by Ashley Rindsberg
Will he go for a third run? Credit: Getty

Going into the midterm elections yesterday, Republicans were hoping for, and expecting, a red wave. Now, it has turned into a red ripple. With skyrocketing inflation, crime, an energy crunch, and a historically unpopular president, this, as Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen aptly put it, is a “searing indictment of the Republican Party.”

In reality, though, it’s an indictment of Donald Trump’s failure to do anything more than fire up the MAGA base — at the expense of alienating broad swathes of the electorate. This phenomenon, the political equivalent of running a massive debt and calling it prosperity, is now being fully recognised for what it is by the mainstream of the G.O.P. In response, the party has set in motion a ‘Dump Trump’ movement to purge itself of what is now seen as a toxic element.

Numerous G.O.P. politicians, operatives and commentators have said in the last 24 hours that Trump is now the problem. His relentless self-obsession, once a manageable nuisance, has now become a weakening influence on the party. Consider Ben Shapiro’s response to Trump’s decision to trash Ron DeSantis on the eve of the election. There is today no more powerful voice in conservative media and politics than Shapiro’s. And there are few who are more staunchly born-and-sworn to the Republican Party. Yet in the video (viewed nearly 200,000 times) Shapiro did not mince words:

When you are two days away from an election, you shouldn’t have the former president of the United States emerging to start internecine warfare for his own peculiar interests against a sitting governor of Florida in a reelection race.
- Ben Shapiro

The word that stands out there is “peculiar.” For example, the G.O.P.’s fire and brimstone stance on abortion — at a time when most Americans are seeking nothing so much as a return to the economic, political and cultural status quo ante — comes across as peculiar. Why, Americans asked, were Republicans choosing to focus on that when grocery bills and petrol were soaring?

Trump has, in the past, equivocated on abortion, even though it was his Supreme Court pick who tipped the scale in favour of repealing Roe v. Wade. But much more to the point, it was the spirit of zealotry that Trump breathed into the Republican Party — a take-no-prisoners attitude that just as often turned its sights on Republicans who dared to question the former president (Trump’s pre-election “Ron DeSanctimonious” comments being the latest example) — that birthed, so to speak, this zero-sum approach to the most divisive social issue in America today.

On the eve of the midterm elections, a new poll found that a record number of Republicans were now more likely to identify with the party over Trump. Last night’s results provided fresh testimony to that finding, with most Trump acolytes under-performing across the country. Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, won Florida by a huge margin, which goes to show that G.O.P. supporters are ready to support their party — just not with Trump at the helm.

The disappointing performance at this week’s midterms should be cause for introspection in the Republican party. It is clear that Trump now needs to go and allow space for a new leader to shape the future of the party — and possibly the country. It’s time to retire MAGA and replace it with Make America Governable Again.

Join the discussion


To join the discussion, get the free daily email and read more articles like this, sign up.

It's simple, quick and free.

Sign me up
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
38 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
J Bryant
J Bryant
24 days ago

I totally agree. Trump’s moment has passed. He is being treated abysmally by the Dems and their apparatchiks in government, FBI, msm, etc, but it’s time he stood back from politics or get behind new Republican leaders such as DeSantis.
Crime, inflation, progressivism, these are the issues moderate Americans care about, and they’re the issues the Republicans can win on, if they’re willing to embrace them.
In an earlier Unherd article, Joel Kotkin suggested the Republicans probably have to lose the midterms, maybe even 2024, before they are sufficiently motivated to adopt a more moderate platform with wide support. I hope that realignment has begun. I would dearly love to see the Dems banished to the wilderness.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
24 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

How is Trump being treated “abysmally”? His criminal behaviour has gone unpunished – so far….

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
24 days ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Usually, behaviour is judged to be criminal AFTER you are found guilty and sentenced by the court.

One of the idiosyncrasies of the idiot left, where US citizens with “incorrect” political opinions or 19 year old males in college are presumed guilty until proven innocent….whereas the opposite holds true for illegal immigrants jumping the border, often committing a far higher rate of crimes but are always to be assumed to be model future US citizens by default.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
24 days ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Highly amusing coming from the “lock her up” crowd!
Trump’s criminality is not in doubt. The only question is whether the establishment have the guts to pursue his trial and subsequent sentencing.
I’m not sure what the rest of your gibberish is referring to and I will give it the attention it deserves – none.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
24 days ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

“Trump’s criminality is not in doubt”
That is what we call an opinion.

Just like “most popular US leader ever (allegedly) is a cabbage” is an opinion.

Except that the latter statement has much more evidence backing it.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
24 days ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Must be tough to know that your hero lost in a landslide to “cabbage”?
You got an opinion on that?

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
24 days ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

The dead outnumber.the living, sadly.

Dominic A
Dominic A
23 days ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Good effort Graeme – in the case of discussions of Trump on Unherd, you can take the downticks as a positive. Deluded people feel very threatened by accurate challenges of their delusions, and they believe their feelings to be the measure of all things. They display increasingly pathetic reactions as the edifice crumbles – repression, regression, projection, denial. Like their puppeteer, their struggle is not for the country, but for their own esteem/psychological survival. When you give evidence, they do not counter challenge, just downtick, when you don’t present evidence, they demand to see it – this is a circular process. They know all about the mistakes and malfeasance of the other side, and nothing of their own – and are laughingly confident in the position of the pot calling kettle black. They don’t read the MSM, but profess to know all about it; likewise they disdain elites – hypocritically blind to the facts that those they support and follow are in and from established elites, and when and where it really counts – medical intervention to save a life, lawyers to keep them from jail, security services to keep them safe from invaders – they suddenly do a reverse ferret on their ‘elite disdain’.

Last edited 23 days ago by Dominic A
Will Crozier
Will Crozier
23 days ago
Reply to  Dominic A

I think the downticks are more because the comments are childish than because they criticise Trump. I’m no fan of the man but the level of hatred levelled at him has always seemed excessive and I suspect it radicalises both him and his followers. It’s probably wiser to ignore him at this point.
Edit: I just read a comment below from Graeme and it demonstrates the childishness I speak of quite well…

Last edited 23 days ago by will_crozier
Dominic A
Dominic A
23 days ago
Reply to  Will Crozier

It’s true that some of Graeme’s comments are facetious – no more so than his detractors however. I’ve seen, several times, proTrump/anti Dem/pro Brexit/anti-remainer rhetoric being wildly upticked, and straightforward, demonstrably true challenges being as wildly downticked – no engagement with the points given, even when repeatedly asked for. Despite the overall tone and location of Unherd in the centre ground, it is attracting a herd from the right, the mirror opposite of the herd left they decry.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
20 days ago
Reply to  Dominic A

What the American system, from which Britain and the rest of the world must learn is that the superb quality of the likes of The Fed, The Treasury and The Defense Department , means that even childish illiterates, Trump, and senile incompetents, Biden, can only do limited damage to and in their own countries!

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
23 days ago
Reply to  Dominic A

I personally don’t like the downtick app at Unheard and rather have somebody comment underneath, if they disagree. But your analysis that others are deluded and threatened by “accurate” challenges, is a bit of a stretch. What is “accurate” in your humble opinion.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
20 days ago
Reply to  Dominic A

The hilarious bit about Democrats and “progressives” – and the reason why the political divide is impossible to bridge – is that they view their political opponents the way they themselves are.

Just read that long paragraph, and think how self proclaimed “liberals” and “progressives” themselves behave, the kind of policies and politicians they support….
It genuinely is scary in terms of how accurate is the self reflection and just how delusional it is

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
18 days ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Samir – firstly as we were once brought up to believe, two wrongs don’t make a right. Secondly, the fact that the Republicans aren’t romping away with US elections despite the undoubted huge excesses of the progressives is telling in itself. Don’t bang on about banning abortion, might be a good start! Some people however on the Right have made the huge (and self-defeating) error of letting their hatred of the progressives unhinge them of all judgment, thereby strengthening the very political forces they despise. The Democrats are generally much more clever, for example by actively supporting very extreme pro-Trump candidates whom they can more easily beat.
Trump himself is laughably unfitted to be a hero for his own side, he will betray any supporter, however loyal they have been, as soon as they move the slightest inch from praising him and treating him as some sort of icon.

Last edited 18 days ago by Andrew Fisher
David Yetter
David Yetter
24 days ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

The FBI induced FaceBook and Twitter to censor a true news story (the content of Hunter Biden’s laptop) that would likely have sunk Biden had it had gone viral on the false plea that it was “Russian disinformation”. Trump was hounded relentlessly by both the security apparatus and Congress on the basis of the false “Russian collusion” narrative that was based on fake documentation created at the behest of the Clinton campaign. He is now being investigated by the FBI for the mishandling of classified documents, violations of a statute that Hillary Clinton plainly violated by having classified State Department material routed to an ill-secured private server, but was allowed to skate on by the FBI.
That’s how.
Nonetheless, it’s time for him to go.

Last edited 24 days ago by David Yetter
Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
24 days ago
Reply to  David Yetter

You don’t still believe the laptop fairytale do you? That’s so cute!

Rob N
Rob N
24 days ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

How can you call it fairytale? Even NYT and WP have confirmed it is Hunter’s laptop and emails etc originals.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
24 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Utter fantasy.

cat g
cat g
24 days ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Time to awaken from your Slumber it seems.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
18 days ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

I agree with much of what you say above Graeme, but there is no real doubt that the Hunter Biden laptop story WAS covered up by mainstream media in the run-up to the 2020 election, so desperate were they to see Biden elected. But none of that means that Trump is not now a huge liability to the Republicans.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
24 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I think we would all feel a lot more clingy towards the orange bull in a China shop, if not for DeSantis. He is a more refined, more commited, smarter, and more genuinely conservative leader.

Trump had his utility, amongst others being his ability to expose the swamp and drive the liberals to hate filled drooling and jibbering. But in terms of delivering 2024, DiSantis has a much better chance

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
23 days ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Especially given the quality of Democratic candidates in recent years. The Dems are going to have to get rid of Biden and Harris and find someone new.

Dominic A
Dominic A
23 days ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Few politicians have better exemplified the swamp and drivel than Trump. DeSantis helps you to feel less “Clingy” to Trump? There’s a Freudian slip if ever there was one.

“the quality of Democratic candidates in recent years”

Oh, and the Republican candidates are of such quality.

Surreal.

Paul O'Neill
Paul O'Neill
23 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Treated abysmally? How are decent people supposed to treat someone who very clearly lost an election, fomented a calculated and violent attempt to overthrow the US government, and still denies reality to this day?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
22 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Amen to that.

Johnny Julius Johnson
Johnny Julius Johnson
24 days ago

Shit can orange man

leculdesac suburbia
leculdesac suburbia
23 days ago

The majority of Americans abhor identity politics, especially sexualizing of children and invasion of female spaces by trans-identified males. The thousands of stories of how trans”women” assault females are suppressed, but they’re out there. They also see through the hypocrisy of the 2020 riots and the silly Reichstag fire nonsense about “J-6.”
This isn’t a “MAGA” position or “Trump” position. Plenty of D’s are leaving in droves because of the mid-wit, corporatist, id-pol behavior of the DNC ruling class. We loathe Trump.
Trump’s around because he’s a malignant narcissist who has brainwashed a bunch of “flying monkeys” who want to believe they have the approval of the empty faux alpha male. Trump doesn’t believe in anything except where he’s going to get his next five minutes of self-image validation.
The majority of Americans support the position your author this morning described as that of DeSantis, but we loathe Trump as a human being. But the DNC LOVES having Trump around as the only safeguard threat to keep them in power, and some ill-informed R’s and Incel types think misogynistic pigs like Trump have “power.”

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
24 days ago

This article makes an incorrect equation between Trump’s focus on the 2020 election and the GOP’s (alleged) focus on abortion.
J.D. Vance leaned hard into so-called “culture war” issues: immigration, trans children, drag queen story hour, and abortion (although less so). He secured Trump’s endorsement, but he didn’t campaign on 2020 election results; he campaigned (and won) by talking about the issues Ohio families cared about. And those issues include whether babies get a chance to live and their daughters are going to come home from school convinced their boys.
Blake Masters and Kari Lake in Arizona were both endorsed by Trump, and they campaigned hard (particularly Lake) on the idea that the 2020 election was stolen. Immigration was a topic too, but Lake in particular came back to the 2020 election regularly. It didn’t work. Both lost.
Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania managed to secure Trump’s endorsement, but given lots of opportunities to plant his flag in the culture wars, he never did. You would think a medical doctor (even a quack like Oz) would be uniquely willing to wage war over cross-sex hormones for kids, for example. He refused to talk about it. He also didn’t talk much about the 2020 election. Basicaly, he ran an establishment GOP campaign: tax cuts, deregulation, cops, etc… and he lost. He lost to a brain damaged stroke victim who can’t string 3 coherent sentenced together!
Finally, Governor DeSantis, the man Trump hates most in the world, turned Florida fire-engine red by driving the knife to the hilt on culture issues. He took away Disney’s tax exemption when they came out in favor of trans surgeries for kids. He flew illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities around the country to “share the burden”. There’s no one in America who leaned harder into culture war than Ron DeSantis. And he bested Trump’s vote share in every single county in Florida.
The takeaway is more nebulous than many are saying this morning. Does the GOP have a Trump problem (or rather, does Trump have a problem)… likely yes. But do we get a Senator Vance without Donald Trump? I doubt it. No Trump and Vance never makes it past the primary and Ohio gets some milquetoast, establishment, blue blood, who never met a corporate tax cut he didn’t like. So Trump cuts both ways. The idea that Republicans need to stop talking about culture war issues is demonstrably false though. DeSantis won big, and Democrats have been kind enough to make themselves the party of slicing the private parts of little girls. Apart from the moral reality that such behavior is downrigiht evil, purely on political grounds, we would be fools to pass up that opportunity.

Last edited 24 days ago by Brian Villanueva
Martin Smith
Martin Smith
23 days ago

Trump’s rampant narcissism will engender a furious rage if the Republicans move against him. This could, Samson-like, bring the whole edifice down, De Santis included. Perhaps the solution lies in the January 6 hearings… to quote a phrase “lock him up”!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
23 days ago

It is a truly frightening reflection of levels of education and knowledge ( no different in UK) that Trump, considered an embarrasing and stupid? demi illiterate joke by the majority of intelligent people the world over, is actually taken seriously in the US, let alone as a president?

Dominic A
Dominic A
23 days ago

no different in UK”
Not quite right – Let me tell you my tooth story. A Brit who has spent decades in North America, I was used to Americans joking about British teeth – for a long time, looking at my own, healthy but not straight, vs their perfection, I could only agree. But then I left the city, explored the beyond, and I saw plenty of….no teeth – i.e. deprivation on a scale unknow to Europeans. So my position now is, ‘well yes we Brits don’t always have the best teeth, but at least we all have teeth’. It probably averages out to the same point.

Educationally it’s the same – brilliant minds – formally or informally educated – are conspicuous and abundant in the States….but dig a little and you’ll find this is also true in the opposite. My guess is that Europe’s more socialist system. it’s longer history, and settled culture all play a part in this standardised healthiness.

ralph kramden
ralph kramden
23 days ago

Please Mr. Trump just go away. The fact remains you have lost your appeal and your famous bombastic way has separated Americans. You are living in some kind of strange world thinking your endorsement makes a difference. Go home and spend your money.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
20 days ago

A big ego is expected in a politician but Trump’s has grown to grotesque size. He is the Sun and all the rest of us are mites whose role is to raptly admire his effulgence. I voted for him twice but never again. That threatening sneer he sent DeSantis’s way, saying he knows more about him than his wife, was the final straw for me. It is time for this rottting whale to look for a gutter big enough to wash him to sea.

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
22 days ago

Yes, the anti-Trump opportunists are arguing that the Midterms reflect poorly on Trump, notwithstanding the fact that votes for Republican candidates for seats in the House of Representatives outpaced votes for Democratic candidates by more than 5 points (6 million votes). By modern standards, the Republicans crushed the Democrats in the popular vote. Interesting.
I would suggest that it is not obvious that we can either credit or discredit Trump with anything. That said, we can all see that there is a fight brewing over 2024. We all know that Trump had already started taking very Trumpy (un-statesmanlike) jabs at his most likely rival for a presidential nomination (DeSantis).
My own sense is that a better analysis of the election outcomes would concentrate on the mechanics, state-by-state, of the election. Certain states have made it much easier, under the cover of COVID, to vote by mail. The evidence indicates that mail-in voting taps into the vast reserve of low-propensity voters–voters who literally comprise the pink-haired share of the electorate.
The Midterm Elections X-Factor: Industrialized Mail-in Voting
A revelation that the youngest voters heavily favor Democrats is not a revelation. But, making it effortless post-COVID for these low-propensity voters to vote has made a difference.

Last edited 22 days ago by Chauncey Gardiner
David Kingsworthy
David Kingsworthy
23 days ago

But most Republicans didn’t even reference abortion in their campaigns! For example Tudor Dixon here in Michigan, she confirmed her Christian beliefs but said she would honor any decision by the electorate. Zeldin hardly mentioned it, Oz was essentially non-committal…
The “peculiar” interests that were apparently fatal to R’s related to election denials, conspiracy theories and Trump of course…. not abortion.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
20 days ago

every time I have a dump, I look in the water, and there I see Trump…

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
20 days ago

My vote for president would be a lady named Brandi Love….

robert douglas
robert douglas
20 days ago

Trump was an important transitional leader and should be admired for speaking the truth and putting up with their attacks but his ego is too great to inspire the country out of the privileged world because he shares some of their traits. His ego was paramount when he followed the direction of the CDC and Fauci because he thought it would get him re-elected President by being the savior that brought us out of covid-19