The robustness of an organisation is its ability to recover from a bad leader, and the same applies to political systems. The American republic is made of stern stuff, but there’s little doubt that former President Donald Trump - and in particular his relationship with the truth - has shaken it deeply.
Was Trump a catastrophic leader? It depends how you measure it; 75 million Americans clearly didn’t think so. Trump won plaudits at least for his economic policies, and before the pandemic many commentators expected him to win the 2020 election.
He badly mishandled the pandemic and lost that election, but he did energise his base, and advanced a takeover of the Republican Party that may yet prove in the coming months and years to have been successful.