Last week saw the carnival known as the Trump presidency hit a new low. The chief clown embarrassed himself, again. This time it was at a campaign event masked as a press conference to discuss sanctions on China for its recent outrages in Hong Kong. Somewhere between the White House door and the Rose Garden Trump forgot this and proceeded to excoriate Joe Biden and other Democrats. He also added to his mountain of lies.
In a telling action, CNN and MSNBC both cut-away from coverage in the middle of the event. It wasn’t the first time this has happened, but their stomachs apparently could take no more. They shifted back to “fake news,” things such as the death toll from the coronavirus and the latest polls documenting that the Trump base has now pretty much shrunken to non-college educated white males living in rural areas. One must wonder why he doesn’t quit now given that he hates losing. Why not let Pence take the November shellacking and then go on TV to condemn him for blowing it?
It is, of course, too early to count chickens regarding the outcome of elections still more than three months away and utterly naïve to expect Trump to do the right thing and simply walk away from the disaster he helped create. So anxious are some of us to be rid of him that we’d guarantee him a pardon from his many felonies if he would just quit. Donald, take my word for it, that would be the deal of the century.
Between now and January 20, 2021, Trump will have many opportunities to do more damage. He could start a war, for example, or disband the CDC and NIH. He could give Alaska to Putin in exchange for the right to build a Trump Tower in Red Square. You get the idea.
And not that it matters, he will have very few opportunities to rehabilitate himself. The economy is headed for a painful recession. Pundits suggest that Trump’s touted stock market “wins” will be history by November, once the reality of the economic tsunami that accompanied the pandemic fully blossoms. The poor souls who incredibly tell us we are fortunate to have a “businessman” as President will realize that the emperor has no clothes. He may very well be run out of DC on a rail by some of his own former supporters. Yes, even reality-denying zealots have a breaking point.
Looking forward to the next three months of our national nightmare, you can expect the following:
No progress on healing the racial divide that continues to simmer. In fact, given the unfortunate inevitability of another tragic triggering event, more civil unrest may be inevitable.
Growing recognition that Trump’s failed leadership has resulted in a pandemic that will still be with us in the fall. Odds are better than 50-50 that the virus will be worse on election day than it is now.
A severe recession. How much stimulus can the Treasury afford? Eventually, as we already are seeing, many small businesses will call it quits. There will also be a realization that some industries, such as airlines and cruise ships may never return to normal.
More scandal. Does anyone expect Trump to turn over his tax returns to New York authorities before election day? Does anyone not expect more Trump administration officials to get caught, or at least be credibly accused, of serious misconduct?
Trump will resort to new lows in his attempt to discredit Joe Biden and Democrats generally. Remember when Trump suggested that Senator Ted Cruz’s father was involved with the assassination of JFK? Remember Trump’s leadership on the “birther issue” that he used to gain national prominence? You ain’t seen nothing yet. By the time Trump is done with Biden, Al Capone will look like a saint by comparison. Remember, truth is not an obstacle to the man described as a sociopath by his own niece.
Trump needs to go and, fortunately, appears to be Biden’s best weapon. The Orange Menace has imploded, but only a fool would assume that the end of his presidency is inevitable. People got to vote. We better take nothing for granted because even though we expect the worst from Trump, he keeps surprising us. America, vote. Do whatever you can to encourage your friends and neighbors to vote. Our future depends on it.
J.E. Dean of Oxford is a retired attorney and public affairs consultant. For more than 30 years, he advised clients on federal education and social service policy.