Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Presidency of Donald Trump: Five Scenarios

Shortly after the election, I went out on a limb, and predicted that Donald Trump will experience a breakdown within six months of taking office. Since I'm on this limb. I may as well pluck the other fruit that I see hanging here.

Here are five scenarios that briefly describe ways that Donald Trump's presidency could go, listed in what I believe to be the order of their likelihood, together with the reasons that I believe they might happen. Saying that these might happen does not mean that I want them to.

1. Donald Trump suffers a breakdown, and the 25th Amendment is invoked to replace him with Michael Pence. REASON: as detailed previously, he is a psychopath who fill not be able to function within the constraints of the office.

2. Donald Trump is impeached. REASON: His tweet in which he declares that anyone burning an American flag should either lose their citizenship or go to jail was just another installment in a series of statements that suggest Mr. Trump either does not know the Constitution, despises it, or both. In any case, his business dealings alone make it likely that at some point he will violate the Constitution in at least some small way; his overall conduct suggest that he may violate it in ways large enough for even a Republican Congress to day, "He's gotta go."

3. Donald Trump is assassinated. REASON: Within a week of the election, Trump began walking back on his campaign promises - for instance, to repeal and replace Obamacare, and to prosecute Hillary Clinton. As time goes on, it will become increasingly obvious that he will not bring manufacturing jobs back, because neither he nor anyone else can stop or reverse the wave of automation that is eliminating jobs. As Trump's promises fail, his supporters will become angry. And we've seen what they can be like when they get angry. And a lot of them have guns. Throw in the internet, smart phones and prepaid debit cards, and you have at least the beginnings of a possible plot among people who never even meet face-to-face.

4. America experiences its first military coup. REASON: again, Donald Trump's manifest ignorance of, and possible contempt for, the Constitution. When men and women take the oath that allows them to don the uniforms of America's military, they do not pledge to defend the country, or even their own families. They solemnly swear to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." What if some highly placed members of the military decide that Donald Trump is a domestic enemy of the Constitution?

5. Donald Trump completes four years as president. REASON: Well, anything is possible. But this is at the bottom because I find it harder to imagine that the four scenarios above. And as we move further into this transition period, it seems that every day something happens that makes it harder still. Four years of a president who can't be bothered with intel briefings but who is so bothered by satire that he can't stop himself from tweeting his disapproval? Four years of a president who names a climate change denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency? I simply have no answer to the question, "What else might he do?"

Worse yet, I have no answer to the question, "What wouldn't he do?" 
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