Greg Sargent at The Washington Post has a solid roundup of the mounting evidence that Trump’s next move after the election will be to build his own far-right, white nationalist media empire. The evidence includes Trump’s recent hiring of Breitbart’s Steve Bannon, his focus on large rallies over any genuine field operation, and his dire prognostications that the election result will be “rigged.”
Sargent writes that Trump is doing everything consistent with “staging his unique form of raucous WWE-style political entertainment, and building an audience that thrills to it, rather than winning a general election.”
But let’s stop for a moment and consider: These ideas aren’t truly exclusive from one another. Trump might indeed be looking beyond his likely loss in the current election—with a plan to tell his supporters that his campaign was undermined by both election fraud and a compliant media, of course. But if he goes on to establish a media empire, that means he will be a continued presence in the political arena for years to come, with a far-right media platform and a well-honed cult of personality as the voice of angry white people.
What if his next goal after all of that is to run for president again in 2020? And could the GOP stop him from winning if he tried?