Project SyndicateProject Syndicate

For the love of Trump

By Ian Buruma

02 Aug 2023 · 4 min read

informed Summary

  1. Despite his legal troubles — criminal indictments in two federal cases, and another on charges brought by the state of New York —former US President Donald Trump's position as the leading contender for the next Republican presidential candidate seems secure.

It shouldn’t make sense. Donald Trump has just been indicted on four criminal charges, including defrauding the United States and conspiring to deprive Americans of their voting rights. Trump also faces 40 charges, including violations of the Espionage Act, in a Florida federal court and 34 felony counts in New York related to hushing up a sex scandal. Despite it all, Trump’s position as frontrunner to be the next Republican candidate for the presidency appears unassailable. According to one recent poll, he is 37 percentage points ahead of his closest rival, Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida.

That the former president might end up in prison doesn’t seem to bother his supporters at all. Zero percent of his hardcore supporters think he has done anything wrong, which is odd. Odder still is that 43% of Republicans apparently think “very favorably” of him.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content