Donald Trump: What can stop the ex-president now?

Donald Trump is already celebrating his possible return to the White House. However, he does the math without judges and voters.

America rarely experiences a Donald Trump like this. He doesn’t shout, he doesn’t insult, and he hardly talks about himself. Instead, he praises the people who came on stage with him, here to Columbia, to the capital of South Carolina.

The 77-year-old even lets a former opponent take the microphone. State Senator Lindsey Graham was one of Trump’s loudest critics during the 2016 election campaign. His fans have never forgiven Graham for that – and are now booing him. Trump appears surprised. “No, no,” he says. He raises and lowers his right arm several times. Calm down, he orchestrates the crowd.

“I love him,” Trump then says. And: “I have never seen the Republican Party as united as it is at this moment.” Trump just won the primary in South Carolina with almost 60 percent of the vote, just as he has won all primaries so far. But this evening he doesn’t appear like the winner of an internal party elimination. He appears relaxed and conciliatory – as if he already had the presidency in his pocket.

It is almost certain that Trump will lead the Republicans as presidential candidate for the third time in a row after 2016 and 2020. And in almost all polls he is ahead of the incumbent Joe Biden. If the election were held today, there would actually be a good chance that the 47th President would be called the same as the 45th – Donald J. Trump.

It would be the biggest political comeback in recent history, and the world is already preparing for it. In the European capitals, people are working hectically on plans as to how they would get along without America as a protecting power. In Berlin people are looking for contact with republican circles. Russian President Vladimir Putin also sometimes seems as if he has the demagogue’s victory in mind so that he can then make a deal with him about Ukraine.

Donald Trump’s competitor: US President Joe Biden

© Collage: Sterm, Illustration: Lincoln Agnew; Photos: Getty Images

It’s possible that it will happen like that. However, it is also possible that Trump will end up like Richard Nixon. In the summer of 1960 he was mostly ahead in the polls. Then his opponent, a young senator from Massachusetts, caught up week after week, and in the end the president was John F. Kennedy.

Whether Trump makes it through or whether he ends up like Nixon – the trials against him will play an important role in the next eight months. It will also depend on the country’s collective memory. And about a woman who is currently being talked about as a loser.

Nikki Haley is Trump’s last remaining competitor, but even in her home state of South Carolina she had no chance against him. For Trump, she’s just the “sparrow brain” anyway. But here in South Carolina, Haley has changed her tactics – and that could be a problem for Trump.