Trump perpetuates one of Washington’s fondest myths – that the federal government is not coercive unless the president or some agency boss formally announces their plans to brutally punish some group without cause. This is notion is avidly supported and propagated by many of the nation’s pundits and political scientists as a way to keep people paying and obeying.
A charismatic puppet leader can trick activists into following a path completely opposite of their foundational ideals. He can turn the movement into something they would have originally despised (like turning a limited government pro-sovereignty movement into a big government pro-state cult). He can also take actions which are self-destructive, thereby making the movement appear insane or foolhardy by proxy.