It takes in-depth legal training to try to predict the civil and criminal future of former President Trump, but regardless of how the half dozen indictments that have been brought against him or will be brought before him in the near future end up, there is a fact. incontrovertible: at the beginning of January 2024, the citizens of Iowa will go to schools and civic centers to participate in the so-called caucuses, the citizens' assemblies to choose the presidential candidate of the two great American parties, which constitutes the first real appointment with the polls in a process that will culminate on November 5 of next year.
Although it is much to be feared that this is not the case, the first consideration in the minds of Republican voters when appointing their standard bearer should be how president Trump was in the four years he held office, since 12 noon. from January 20, 2017 to the same time, day and month in 2021. And the truth is that any impartial observer should conclude that this period was rather bland and highly conditioned by the covid tragedy, which struck the United States in the spring of 2020 and that will end up causing more than a million deaths in the world's leading economic power.
Would Trump have been re-elected if this tragedy had not been mediated? Quite possibly, after all, the incumbent president is traditionally a favorite for re-election and one had to go back to 1992 to find a precedent –George Bush Sr.– of not re-election. Until the outbreak of the pandemic, the US economy had been doped by the tax reform approved in the fall of 2017, very beneficial for large companies and, in fact, the only great legislative achievement of the Trump administration, whose Republican party would lose the control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections the following year.
In foreign policy, not much: the rather ridiculous attempts to reach an entente with the North Korean dictatorship, the trade war with China and to a lesser extent with the European Union, the pact with the Taliban for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. botched execution by his successor in August 2021 – and slavish respect for Vladimir Putin's Russia. In fact, the transparent threats to the Ukrainian president Volodimir Zelenski so that he dumped garbage on the son of Joe Biden led to the first prosecution (impeachment) against Trump. A separate paragraph deserves the withdrawal of the Paris Agreement in relation to climate change and the challenge of the Iran denuclearization agreement, all within a framework of marking distances with the traditional allies of the United States.
But without the slightest doubt, the main legacy of Trump's first term was due to a biological fact, the disappearance of three members of the Supreme Court of moderate or progressive ideology and their replacement by three ultra-conservative ideology robes appointed by Trump, with life character. The disappearance of the federal regulation of cases of termination of pregnancy or the end of affirmative action – the advantages granted to ethnic minorities in access to higher education – represent, among many other rulings, a radical and historical sociocultural change.
It is not unreasonable to suspect that Iowa voters, and their Republican co-religionists who still support Trump, will be much more motivated by these reasons than by the rather meager government work of their idol. The great irony is that Trump himself seems especially confident that the composition of that High Court before which he will end up appealing all his probable convictions in other judicial instances will be what, in the end, will prevent him from finding his bones in the jail. The other option is that they elect him president again and he forgives himself. Unlikely, but not impossible...