Trumpism is palingenetic, meaning its core myth is of a rebirth, of the redemption of an idealized nation of Real Americans from the decadence and corruption, cultural and political, of effete liberal elites and malevolent socialists. The Make America Great Again mantra perfectly captures the palingenetic nature of Trumpism, as does draining the swamp and other tropes of purification and renewal. Palingenetic myth is a central pillar of generic fascism.
Trumpism is a classic fascist cult of personality, complete with fervid rallies for the gobsmacked faithful, public bootlicking by obsequious lackeys and hagiographic creations of a Trump legend from the tawdry dross of his actual life. Largely devoid of substantive content and, as a result, unsuited to actual governing, Trumpism is sustained by political theater, whether in the form of flag-waving boat parades or manufactured crises like border invasions.
Trumpism is anti-democratic. Voter suppression is a strategic imperative for it, because, as Trump and Republican U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul have all recently said, a lot of folks voting is not good. “If Republicans don’t challenge and change the U.S. election system, there will never be another Republican president elected again,” is the way Graham put it.
Add to this the belief that any election Trump does not win is, ipso facto, rigged, as he maintained would be the case if he lost in 2016 and as he has insisted is the case since he lost in 2020. This belief explains his ongoing attempts to overturn the election results by increasingly desperate means that look very much like sedition, not to mention the calls from his most extreme followers for a declaration of martial law and new elections administered by the military in swing states Trump lost, calls to which Trump has listened and which he has weighed. These are the actions of an autocrat intent on an autogolpe, not of a man committed to democratic values.