As startling and unprecedented as it may be, there’s a good chance Donald Trump won’t finish out one term as president. Yes, Richard Nixon resigned from office, so technically, there was a “precedent,” but Nixon’s case was different. Nixon resigned in disgrace to avoid being impeached—to avoid being exposed as the Machiavellian felon and borderline neurotic he was. Trump won’t face impeachment. He’ll just quit.
Here are four reasons:
1. The job will simply prove to be too much of a grind. Even priding himself on being an accomplished delegator, the amount of work required of a sitting president—much of it tedious and enervating—will overwhelm him. He can delegate all he likes, but he’s still going to be president when he wakes up in the morning, and the demands of the job are going to put the zap on his head. They will crush him.
The fact that Trump himself has said he was “surprised” to have won (not nearly as surprised as the rest of us, Donald) indicates that running for president was, for him, just one more splashy opportunity to assert his ego and bask in the limelight. As for hard-boiled political commitment, there was never the barest trace of it.
People will argue that Ronald Reagan, who served two full terms, was a notorious, often distracted, delegator, and that’s true. But Reagan was not only governor of California, he was a seasoned political animal with a consistent and well-oiled three-pronged mantra: deregulation, low taxes, anti-communism. Trump has no such mantra, and no bedrock ideology to sustain him. Go back and look at what Trump has said. He’s been all over the map.
Once he settles into the job, and the novelty and luster wears off, he will not only grow restless and bored, he will realize that being president isn’t what he thought it was. Being U.S. president is not so much like being Emperor as is it like being Head Bureaucrat. And one thing Trump ain’t is a bureaucrat.
2. The economy will tank and he will get blamed. To paraphrase Alan Greenspan, circa 2007, the stock market is “irrationally high.” The Dow-Jones is now close to 20,000. Let us not forget that when Obama took office it was less than 6,600. Cycles being cycles, the market will fall, fortunes will be lost, new religions will be formed, and Trump, rightly or wrongly, will get blamed. And we already know how thin-skinned he is.
3. The media have a prodigious memory and are vindictive bastards. They will ravage him. After all the shoot-from-the-hip insults and nasty, juvenile remarks Trump leveled at the media during the campaign, there will be a veritable shit-storm of payback. These people don’t forget.
As gutless and co-opted by the Establishment as the MSM is, even presidents who are somewhat liked and respected occasionally get nipped up. And once the honeymoon is over, Trump will realize that he is neither liked nor respected. As a consequence he will remain squarely in the media’s crosshairs. It will be open season, a feeding frenzy.
4. He’s a quitter. Look at his history. Trump is a real estate tycoon, a mogul, an opportunist who buys when it’s low and sells when it’s high. Yet, even adhering to that practice, Trump has filed for bankruptcy protection four times and walked away from numerous ventures. He has no staying power and no interest in the long haul. He will quit. Mike Pence will become president. And how weird will that be?