Opinion | Why the Fear of Trump May Be Overblown

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But there’s another way to look at it. Is this nighmare scenario really a function of Trump’s power and his dominance over his party? Or do the extra-Constitutional methods Trump might adopt as we enter the 2024 election penumbra reflect his essential weakness, and the continued decay of Republican power? Are we looking at a player holding a set of superior cards or as a weak-hand bluff artist threatening to blow up the casino unless he wins the pot? It's hard to know, and the political establishment—media included—has done an embarrassingly bad job of gaming it out in the past. As Kagan notes, we deserved Trump because we underestimated him the first time around. But going into 2024, does it make sense to compensate by overestimating him? If Trump were the Election Day colossus that Kagan and other observers believe he is, wouldn’t the better strategy for 2024 be to run more like he did in 2016—a slightly feral Republican—and less like he did in 2020, as a crac
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