Thursday, November 7, 2019

What if Trump won't go?


The Archangel Michael Defeating Satan by Lucas Kilian (Metropolitan Museum)

     It is still too early to even dream about defeating Donald Trump in 2020. Yes, flipping the Virginia state House and Senate from red to blue and winning the governor's office is a good sign. Yes, it is encouraging that Trump came out swinging for Matt Bevin, the Republican governor of Kentucky, and then he lost. Yes, there could be signs that the GOP might discover, to their shock, that welding their party to a liar, bully, fraud and traitor runs the risk of alienating voters. Even Southern voters.
     So yes, the news this week is good. But relief is premature. Any president has a built-in advantage, even one as toxic and unfit as Donald Trump. 

     Good signs, but only that. And if they lull loyal Americans into a false sense of security that the fight for the soul of this country might be won quickly, easily, or at all, then it does more harm than good. Trump could win, and history flow in his direction for years and years and years. And the winners write history.
     Still, there is one worry that can be put to rest now. I've heard several friends speculate about what happens if "Trump refuses to go" after his, please God, defeat in 2020. I don't know if they mean clings to the desk, weeping and wetting himself, or tries to lead some kind of coup d'etat after his electoral defeat.
     I reply that we are still a nation of laws and that, at 12 noon, EST on Jan. 20, 2021, if Trump loses he will stop being president and White House security will find some way to flush him out.
     Maybe my faith in America is blinding me. But I can't see Trump leading a military overthrow. He lacks the guile. Which might sound odd about such an inveterate liar, but Trump's falsehoods are ad hoc, spur of the moment, say-any-words-that-sound-good type of lies. Plotting an overthrow of the government is, I think, beyond him. He would tweet about it and give away the game. ("Big coop tomorrow! Very hush-hush. Which sounds better? Dictator or caesar?")

    Yes, he has fans in the Armed Forces. But look at the faces of those generals during the staged photo-op in the situation room last month. Are they going to violate their oaths, turn their backs on everything they believe in, and commit undeniable treason, all out of loyalty for a man who has no loyalty to anyone?  It's one thing for Bevin to refuse to concede defeat after the Kentucky secretary of state called the race for Democrat Andy Behsear. That's just being a poor loser. It's another thing entirely to try to negate the outcome.
    There is another way to spin the possibility of Trump clinging to power. Let's say it happens. Trump loses the election, but somehow remains—denying its legitimacy, military overthrow, whatever. Fox News declares him king. His base bows down. 
     Can that work? And if it does, we deserve it. Really. Because if that is how the United States of American ends, if that is how our nation derails, crumpling at a few taps from an erratic, ignorant buffoon like Donald Trump, then how real, how solid, how precious a structure could we have had in the first place? If that can happen, if there is even a chance of that succeeding, then it all was an illusion anyway, and we might as well join all the other nightmare totalitarian dictatorships that so clot the world, because our freedom was never real, and our vaunted laws were a sham. It was all a dream. I don't believe it possible. But that doesn't mean I won't be on the watch for it, and ready to fight against it with all my might. We all have to. The man is capable of anything. Anything. There is no bottom, no low beyond which he will not sink, if we let him. Never forget that.

17 comments:

  1. Certainly the Secret Service would escort him out. It's their job to protect the president, and he would be a private citizen, not president. He could be perceived as a danger to the new president?

    Unfortunately, even if he leaves, he'll never shut up. He'll continue to bloviate about everything, and the media will continue to cover him. It took them years to stop treating Sarah Palin likes she was somebody; it'll take even longer to ignore Trump. He'll be with us forever, unless by some miracle he winds up in the cell next to Michael Cohen.

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  2. You got it right about the generals. They all know he's a moron & it's probable they're disgusted with the abandonment of the Kurds, which has damaged our relations with our allies around the world.
    One thing I've learned about most high ranking military, especially those who've been in combat, is that they will do everything possible to avoid a war. Trump, being a draft dodger has no idea of what war really is, he's just watched old movies & thinks everything is just hunky-dory, no matter how many die, because we won WWII.
    I'll bet he watches the new Midway movie & twitters out it's the best, no matter how good or bad it it, plus it's just a rehash of a couple of other movies about the Battle of Midway!

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  3. If trump does lose the election, and given his instability, is there anything in place that would prevent him from starting a nuclear war?

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  4. Mr. S., I think the first scenario is more likely and I do have faith in the system.

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  5. Of course, if Trump could swing it, he would get himself elected "President for Life." But as a man in his 70s to a man in his 70s, it ain't worth it. But more likely would be a bad faith concession with an unveiled appeal to his base to shake things up. The Trumpists have been talking revolt for a long time and to turn from reviling the left to shooting them down in the street wouldn't take much encouragement. I can see it now: Trump gives a speech telling the world and his apostles that he's been treated unfairly and somebody, everybody who contributed to his defeat as well as those who didn't contribute enough to secure his triumph should be punished. And next day, commence daily bombings and shootings and SUVs running over downtown crowds and the inevitable retaliation until we arrive at Trump's totalitarian state by the back door.

    john

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    1. It's a serious mistake to believe that the Trumpistas have all the guns, and that the left will not defend themselves. If he wins, his thugs and crazies become the pro-government militias hunting down Socialist rebels. If he loses, they are nothing more than outlaw insurrectionists--and the new administration can then eradicate them like the vermin they are.

      Either nightmarish scenario, if realized, means escalating violence and daily carnage from both sides. Northern Ireland on steroids. If the new Democratic POTUS is forced to declare a national state of emergency, it would end eventually, once the wingnut forces have been "neutralized.". If a victorious Trump is the one issuing such a decree, there would be no light at the end of the tunnel...just more tunnel. A tunnel leading to the end of America as we know it. A tunnel that spirals downward, to a hell of our own making, a den of "Untied Snakes"--with horrors beyond imagining.

      We brought this mess on ourselves. We pulled our own tails, and got the Cowardly Lyin'..and we are all to blame. As Royko said after MLK died, we are pointing our own gun at our own head, and it is our own finger on our own trigger.

      Not only do Nixon, Reagan, and Bush 43 look better and better, so do Costa Rica and Canada. These "what-if" stories are getting louder and more widespread every day. Their message is not merely "Anybody Else in '20" but more and more along the lines of "Do we flee or do we fight in '21?" For me, that question is moot. Too old and too broke to flee, but not yet too old to fight.

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  6. I'm sure we are all ready and willing to fight against Trump refusing to relinquish power if he is defeated in the coming election and attempts to remain in office. With all our might. So long as we don't jeopardize our comfortable lives.
    You have recently demonstrated the power of the press by getting the local swamp drained.
    We on the other hand can post comments here and on FB.

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  7. It's what keeps me awake at night. If I hadn't started taking Zoloft and a small dose of Melatonin at bedtime, I be a major mess now.

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  8. Bill Savage here: I think it's worse: one scenario you don't ponder: Trump loses (by narrow or wide margin, doesn't matter) and refuses to concede, claims widespread voter fraud (in '16 he said he would not concede if he lost, because of course it'd be rigged/fraud); Republican election officials in states he lost narrowly refuse to certify the results (easy to imagine for Wisconsin or Michigan, much less Florida or NC) and it goes to court, where he wins with his packed Supremes. No harder to imagine than Bush v. Gore.

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  9. Should he lose the election but prove obdurate in vacating the White House we might nationalize his properties world wide. One might find herself teeing off on links curated by the General Services Administration. With a slight change of signage the edifice overlooking the Chicago river that bears his name could become "Never Again Trump Tower"

    Tom

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  10. Im hoping the Bernie faction has realized that no matter who gets the Dem candidacy, they have to vote for him/her. Instead of sitting on their thumbs like they did in '16, then having the balls to post "You should have voted for Bernie. You got what you deserved" Their refusal to vote against Trump, even if not "for" Clinton, put them in the wingnut jar for me forever. I now expect the whole progressive party, if elected, would be as insane as Trump. They lost my respect entirely.

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  11. Also, some of his followers attack other Dems. ,if the Dem prefers another Dem. candidate. I've seen it on twitter and other social media sites.

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  12. What I love about your writing is that you publically say what so many Americans are thinking. Love that you start your blog showing the Archangel Michael defeating Satan. When I saw that I immediately thought of the Movie Michael with John Travolta. He played a tough, unorthodox type of Archangel in the film and I would love a sequel where he comes back to earth to strategically take down Trump!

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    1. Sorry Janet, no heavenly entity is coming to rescue us. We are on our own. If a god sent pillars of fire to protect Israel from Pharaoh, why didn't he repeat the process at the railhead at Auschwitz? Everyone get off your knees and get on your feet! I liked the movie also, but my guess is Travolta, the Scientologist is more likely a Trump supporter.

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  13. Without saying directly, Neil has explained what Trump has really done.
    He’s exposed the faults of our nation. Racism is as prevalent now as it was the day the slaves were freed. Corruption and bribery is the way we do business. The President can do irrational things and no one can do anything about it. Too many Americans don’t want to be bothered with the truth. As Gore once said, it’s inconvenient.

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  14. Sorry I'm late to this party but when this post dropped I was at the VA for a colonoscopy. We have a big problem. We are a democracy with a two party system and one party doesn't believe in democracy. Gerrymandering, voter purging, and other dirty tricks skew the system. They've empowered the billionaires with Citizens United while fighting to break Union campaign participation. And while any of us would be jailed if we called for violence against the Cowardly Liar, he can allude to civil war by his minions, should he be driven from office. Despite proof from their own Senate leaders that Russia attacked our electoral process, the Trump administration has done nothing to prevent a repeat. And Republicans still wonder why actual Patriots want him impeached and convicted. Beware a political party that twice before has reached out to foreign entities for electoral advantage. Nixon to Thieu in '68 and Reagan to the Ayatollah in '80. They are silent about the third episode and seem willing to allow a fourth if it retains their personal power. That Trump is not in a cell today for his dereliction of duty should motivate all good people to come to the aid of our country and flood the voting booths next November.

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  15. Yes, of course you are right — my thoughts of the archangel coming for Trump would have to be a parody on SNL. I had forgotten Travolta is a follower of RLH. Sad to compare the pillars of fire to the nothingness at Auschwitz. Some religions have that covered by telling their followers, “that is one of God’s mysteries” or “we don’t question God’s motives” or some other response meant to justify whatever did or didn’t happen. We just know that Auschwiitz is very real to us while the pillars of fire not so much.

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