Going into the final weeks and days of the 2020 Presidential campaigns, the picture is coming into focus of who will ultimately take the White House come January. Between polling numbers showing Biden with double digit leads, to the dueling Town Halls that viewers favored watching Joe Biden over Donald Trump, to Trump’s gestures to win voters (court nominees, Platinum Plan, religion cohorts, etc.), to the fact that President Trump is apparently contemplating life after the White House (as per his Georgia rally October 16, 2020) — all signs point to a Joe Biden and Democratic victory in the November election. While Trump’s increased agitation, negative/defensive posturing, and commentary that he may leave the country if he loses could be a ploy to reach his voting base and ignite support, it also points to a sense of desperation on a campaign and Presidential term that is long overdue to end.
With that in mind, some may wonder what will happen to Donald Trump, “Trumpism”, and our country after this election. Three possible scenarios:
The November 2020 election is indeed a landslide victory for Joe Biden; the Democratic competitors also defeat many of the Republican Senators up for re-election. Due to the nearly nationwide sweep, Republicans are forced to resign the election despite Trump’s feeble attempts to claim the Democrats rigged the election so obviously because of how one-sided it was.
Understanding their future after defeat, most of the Republican Senators and members of the House are unwilling to substantiate his claims. The baseless claims quickly die out and Trump’s frustration turns to his own party — decrying leaders from both chambers of Congress on both sides of the aisle. His orders become dictatorial with most being utterly ignored by those who truly pull the levers of government.
Enraged and unhinged, Trump resigns his position as President early and leaves the White House for his home in Florida leaving a fight between a bewildered Mike Pence and the soon to be Democrat controlled Congress on whether Pence is inaugurated or if Biden is installed earlier than initially planned. A bipartisan coalition comes together to denounce Trump’s behavior and to concede the Presidency to Biden’s administration early in exchange for an assurance that the Democrats will not “pack the court”.
As the months pass, Trump becomes increasingly hostile toward the new Administration as Biden and the blue Congress enacts changes to promote their agenda and rails against his former allies in government as they distance themselves from Trump. It is revealed various government agencies have outstanding cases against the former President due to his business dealings, tax records, and international relationships. In a shock move, Trump flees the country to seek refuge in a country historically opposed to American government and values. He ultimately returns to the US, claiming he had been on a business trip and faces trial. After a private settlement outside court, Trump’s public image implodes as his assets are liquidated and health deteriorates.
Despite all this, Trump loyalists maintain their devotion and form a far-right extremist group that terrorizes the US for months and years to come with law enforcement and politicians from both sides eventually stamping out most violent remnants of his ardent supporters. While most historians initially refrained from placing President Trump as the worst president in United States history, the negative lasting effects tipped the scale on a near unanimous level.
Most of the Republicans who failed to condemn Trump were voted out of office in the following decade with the Republican party eventually remaking itself as climate change believing, minority supporting platform while still maintaining the importance of personal freedoms. During this time, the Democratic party undoes many of the systemic reasons that kept the GOP in control (voter suppression, gerrymandering, partisan courts, Electoral College, etc.). After years of enjoying wide ranging and near constant two chamber Congressional majority, the Republicans eventually come back to provide a true alternative to the Democratic party.
The 2020 Presidential election ends with a narrow Biden victory. The integrity of the election is called into question with lawsuits targeting mail-in ballots used specifically in Democratically governed states with Democrat victories. The debate continues into 2021 with discussions held at all levels and an impending Supreme Court decision looming.
Before the case makes it to the Supreme Court, President Trump concedes defeat and exits the White House without a formal transfer of power leaving Mike Pence to become the shortest tenured President in U. S. history. Trump reasons that the radical left wing media would fabricate a story so the Democratically held Congress could remove him from office — or if they didn’t, the Democrats would stall him on every front because they hate America — so losing the election was actually a good thing.
With Trump no longer in the White House, Twitter increases its censorship on him. Trump eventually becomes too frustrated and leaves the platform only to launch his own media business. With near instant readership, Trump Media becomes a major player in the nation’s politics and the biggest directional force within the Republican party. Trump’s endorsements continue to prove vital to the stability of Republican politician’s careers and establishment Republicans rush to appease Trump Media and demand press access along with all other major networks.
Biden’s first term is spent largely in the courts as he and the Democrats defend their healthcare plan, pro-choice politics, and other gender based discrimination laws. The Supreme Court nominees from the Trump administration prove vital in reversing previous Democratic initiatives and stalling any future moves they attempt to make. A Democrat revival of “packing the court” is proven political suicide through a targeted media effort financed by Trump Media and its many donors.
With his presidency marred by legal conflicts and his health deteriorating, President Biden renounces his bid for reelection and instead endorses Kamala Harris in her bid to be the first female President of the United States. With his base still intact and Americans frustrated with the lack of progress in government, Trump reasserts himself in the 2024 Presidential race with a refined approach and corporate backing catalyzing a red wave. With control of both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House, the Republican party led by Donald Trump establishes generational control that makes challenges by the Democrats nearly impossible.
The problem with both of the above scenarios is that neither have the best interest of America in mind — they both favor their own parties’ power and control. And ultimately, until both sides see the counter productivity of that division, we cannot truly move forward as a nation. Considering the once-in-a-generation events that have transpired over the past year (pandemic, race riots, economic collapse, etc.), its important to look at what’s truly best for the United States to pull themselves out of this era.
For America to move forward, we have to let go of the past — right now, our current President is the past. The election, in and of itself, has the potential now to rip our country apart due directly to Trump’s rhetoric. In order to avoid court battles and further election integrity disputes, Trump needs to lose by a large enough margin that most Trump supporters accept the results. This is the best-case scenario for America and the world (considering the reality we’re in):
President Trump loses the election with only a few core states in the south remaining red — but Biden performs well even in those Trump states to suppress doubt. The Republican Senators and members of the House acknowledge defeat while Trump fumes and creates rhetorical dissent of the election, Democrats and now even Republicans. He tosses accusations of treason against the administrators of the election for failing to acknowledge how much he’s done for the country.
With his days officially numbered, he attempts to tighten his grip on power and produce favors for friends through an uncooperative Congress and then through his own executive orders. Democrats threaten to remove him over mental stability with Republicans quickly distancing themselves from the former party autocrat. With nationwide and global alarm growing, Congress forces Trump out setting up Mike Pence to become the nation’s Forty-Sixth President and he presides over the uneventful final days.
President Biden is inaugurated and immediately gets to work restoring relationships with allies, apologizing to disenfranchised federal workers and easing civil tensions. Trump loyalists maintain their allegiance to Trump who still holds influence over conservative segments through Twitter outreach and rallies that he continues to stage.
Trump’s rhetoric maintains division but, as in many nightmares, increases in directives for supporters to fight back against the Democratic government, its supporters, and even suggests finding foreign allies to aid his efforts. Government officials, citizens, and former Trump supporters speak out against his actions and behavior as his support dwindles to an extremist core. Fearing civil war, Trump aligning his inside knowledge with foreign governments, and citing treason, Trump is arrested and charged with crimes against his country.
The case is heard by the Supreme Court and unanimously found guilty with life imprisonment. Republicans apologize for their blind spots and thank Democrats for their efforts. A bipartisan task force is put in place to stamp out all violent factions of Trumpers. The Democrats state their gratitude for a unified response and express desire to move past this together.
The political discourse reaches a level of not yet before seen bi-partisanship, congeniality, and collaboration. Politicians and media outlets are able to focus on issues rather than an individual’s abhorrent behavior and a new age of productivity sweeps the nation. Widely agreed upon initiatives are passed with ease while more highly contested aspects are not pushed but argued with professional composure. Due to the variety of belief systems, both the Democratic and Republican parties split into more nuanced sub-parties creating a field of five distinct parties (including Independents) that make up the country’s elected officials.
The American economy continues to grow with ally treaties back in force, humanitarian efforts (and pressure on violators) reaching all time highs, and international collaboration resuming where Trump stopped it. The next Presidential elections come and go with only brief mentions of Trump for the purpose of positive comparison and pride for how our country has matured. The forty-fifth President and his style of politics are remembered but only to serve the purpose of lessons learned. In later years, Trump’s administration is seen as having the key foresight of establishing the Space Force and unintentionally uniting the nation allowing for growth before unforeseen.
Regardless of what the election results are, Trump will not go away and neither will the loyal supporters he’s connected with. There’s a deeper issue festering deep within the US populace that goes far beyond Donald Trump. The fact that he came to power, and the manner in which he presides over his presidency, all point to a fact not talked about that he was able to use to tap into the psychology of a segment of the population that feels abandoned and betrayed by the “traditional government”.
While this can easily be ignored, wished away, or over powered with opposing politics, the fact of the matter is that it will not solve itself. Another approach is to fight fire with fire — that doesn’t mean adopt Trump’s style of politics. But rather, do what he’s done and connect with individuals that feel Trump is their only hope. Right now, he is there only hope and will remain so until they have their issues heard, they are educated to a new point of view, or their concerns are properly addressed. What other possibilities are there for these loyal supporters to “give up” their savior? What other possibilities are there for these loyal supporters to refrain from passing down Trumpism? What other option is there for our country to truly unite?