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Immediately after the November 2022 U.S. midterm elections, the idea that Americans had “voted for democracy” was being celebrated. The New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote that it felt good to be brought back to reality after being taken in by the Republicans’ fantasy — and her own dread — about the red wave that was supposedly imminent. Many Republicans blamed former President Donald Trump for the party’s lackluster performance in the midterms; Trump’s star seemed to be fading quickly, and the buzz about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as the GOP’s future was ubiquitous.
Fast forward to today. Trump has not vanished and the movement he crystallized is more alive than ever, and moving under its own power. Media pundits and Republican strategists were writing Trump’s political obituary in the aftermath of the midterms, but the fever has not broken. Trump is the front-runner for the Republican nomination and could even return to the presidency in 2025. Not only among MAGA devotees in the U.S. House of Representatives but also in the Ottawa County Commission in rural Michigan, right-wing rage shows no signs of calming down.