Donald Trump is creating a political dynasty. The question is who will lead next

The Kennedys. The Bushs. The Clintons and their dashed hopes.

Americans are no strangers to political dynasties, and some pundits are predicting the next one will be the Trumps.

The Republican National Convention kicked off on Tuesday and there will not be a day that a Trump family member does not appear.

And the four-day convention comes at a critical juncture for Mr Trump.

He trails Biden in opinion polls during a pandemic that has killed more than 176,000 Americans, erased millions of jobs and eroded the US President’s standing with voters.

One of the earliest events was a passionate speech from the President’s eldest son, and current frontrunner among his children to be his political heir, Donald Trump Jr.

A far-right fighter, conservatives love him because he can electrify a room while opponents warn he may be more dangerous than his dad.

Eric, Don Jr and Ivanka are all vying to be Donald Trump’s successor. Photo: Getty

“Biden has promised to take that money back out of your pocket and keep it in the swamp,” Don Jr told the RNC.

“That makes sense, considering Joe Biden is basically the Loch Ness Monster of the Swamp. For the past half-century, he’s been lurking around in there.”

It sounds familiar, right?

Don Jr talks to the base, promising a vote for his father is a vote for a bright America while being treated like a rock star on the campaign trail.

Sportsman, big-game hunter and arch-conservative, Don Jr has emerged as the most likely to be his father’s political acolyte.

“He’s preparing for the Presidency,” said Dr David Smith, a lecturer in American Politics and Foreign Policy at the University of Sydney.

It is all part of Mr Trump’s plan to create a dynasty, he said.

“There will definitely be an attempt to establish a dynasty. Trump himself has been focused on it,” Dr Smith said.

Donald Trump Jr is a crowd favourite with young far-right voters. Photo: Getty

But Don Jr’s chances hinge on what happens with his father – and this election is pivotal, Dr Smith said.

“I think if Trump loses by a small margin, it’ll be his party for the next four years,” he said.

“If he loses by a big margin, maybe then some Republicans will try and move the party away from him. And of course, if Trump wins, it is absolutely Trump’s party for the next four years.

“And that would set Don Jr up for a run in 2024.”

Since his father took the Presidency, Trump Jr has peddled culture wars online and come under intense scrutiny from special counsel Robert Mueller for arranging a meeting with Russian lawyers in 2016.

He has made his intentions clear.

In 2016, Don Jr said he would consider running for politics when his children were older, and that he would love to do it “as a patriot”.

A challenger from within

But he may find a challenger from within his family even as the President and his children have laboured to project constant unity.

But there are reports of old rivalries and grievances over who will take over from their father.

“There’s quite a lot of competition between who is favoured and who is seen as the heir,” said RMIT research fellow in global studies Dr Emma Shortis.

Inside the family, a feud is being fought between Don Jr, who represents the far-right side, and Ivanka Trump, who sees herself more as a New York moderate, she said.

Ivanka Trump

His sister Ivanka is Don Jr’s biggest challenger. Photo: Getty

“They are two different figures, Ivanka and Don Jr,” Dr Shortis said.

“Ivanka and Jared have been historically more aligned with the Democrat side of politics and have moved in liberal New York circles.

“But Trump Jr has fashioned himself as a typical conservative right.”

And between them is a huge fight for influence over their father, she said.

“They’re fighting amongst themselves over who is Daddy’s favourite.”

For now, Don Jr has been touted to follow his father into the White House, she said.

“They wheel him out at rallies, and he has an eye on the Presidency. He is emulating his father,” Dr Shortis said.

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