A Hideous Ending

The following dread scenario seems not only possible, but based on some of the unbelievable stuff we’ve already seen done during the first two years of Trump’s presidency, it may, God help us, even be “probable.” In short, if Trump loses the election—either by a narrow margin or by a landslide—he will refuse to vacate the White House.

For tactical reasons, his decision to remain in office won’t be announced in November, immediately following the election. Not wanting to give the opposition sufficient time to mobilize, he won’t tip his hand until sometime in mid-January of 2021, when everyone is getting ready for the inaugural. Only then will he drop this bombshell.

He will go on national television in prime time and announce somberly that, while it gives him no pleasure to have to say what he has to say, unfortunately, some “very serious election tampering” has been discovered. He will report this in the usual manner—doing his chin-jutting Mussolini number, attempting to appear as cartoonishly presidential as possible.

Trump will assert that until the proper agencies—including the CIA, FBI, and NSA—have had adequate time to sift through “what appears be some very disturbing, very incriminating evidence,” for reasons of national security, as well as his obligation to reinforce America’s fundamental belief in “fair play,” it is imperative that he remain in office. A transition at this time, with so many doubts, would be wrong.

With a straight face he will assure us that this is not something he wants to do, but, because the stakes are so incredibly high, it is nonetheless something he has to do.

The fact that no previous president had ever dared pull a stunt like this fits right in to the Trump playbook. With the entire world watching, he will bask like a blinking lizard in the media attention.

Moreover, virtually every person who voted for Trump will instantly agree with his decision. His supporters will applaud the move, particularly if he were to hint, ever so obliquely, without being required to offer any evidence, that it looks like Barack Obama and the Clintons may have been involved.

So how would we get him out of there? Obviously, because there is no clear-cut procedure in place (no “sore loser” protocol laid out in writing), we’d have to play it by ear. If it needed to go through the courts, it could take months. Longer than that if any trace of tampering, no matter how obscure, was found.

Could the Democrats send in the army to forcefully remove him? But who would give the order? And couldn’t Trump as de facto Commander in Chief countermand any such order? And what would they do with him after he’s been removed? Arrest him (on what charge), or simply turn him loose on the street like any other evicted person?

The preceding scenario isn’t farfetched. Anyone who thinks that Donald Trump, having lost the election, will leave office not only willingly but gracefully is deceiving themselves. This man is close to being unhinged. He will never allow himself to be publicly regarded as a “loser.”

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is How To Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows.  He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com