Trump 2024? Ain’t Gonna Happen

Those still clinging to hope that Donald J. Trump will return to the presidency might want to do a reality check after this week’s developments. While his political influence continues to erode due in large part to his endless whining about falsely losing the last election, his legal and business problems continue to grow almost exponentially. Like a Greek tragedy, his seminal faults, from hubris to his utter inability to tell the truth, are bringing on his inescapable downfall.

The revelations of the House committee investigating Trump’s attempted January 6 coup was the lead story in last week’s ever-growing tale of his self-inflicted woes. But it was far from the only significant contribution to the sad tale of his continuing fall from the once-lofty position at the top of our nation’s political ladder. His bully pulpit has become a soapbox — and the crowd willing to listen to his con-man hucksterism continues to thin perceptibly.

It would be the rare individual who watched the J6 committee’s proceedings and still found reason to doubt what happened during the failed coup attempt — and who was responsible. The committee tied together the testimony of so many witnesses from across the political spectrum and far too much irrefutable documentation for anyone to doubt that the events of January 6th were anything but a pre-meditated attempt to disrupt Congress, do physical harm to targeted individuals, and violently prevent the peaceful transfer of power upon which our nation has relied for 246 years.

The result of the avalanche of damning evidence culminated in a unanimous vote by the committee to subpoena Trump himself. Not that they expect any truth from him, but to hold him personally accountable before all Americans so they can know the truth — that he swore to abide by the laws of the nation and uphold its Constitution and did neither.

Nor, as it turns out, has he been any more truthful about his real estate and financial dealings. In fact, last week New York’s Attorney General filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to freeze Trump’s assets in the state’s $250 million civil fraud lawsuit against him, his company, and his children, saying: “There is every reason to believe that the Defendants will continue to engage in similar fraudulent conduct right up to trial unless checked by order of this Court.”

The U.S. Supreme Court also appears to have enough of his fraudulent claims and stalling tactics and refused to allow his emergency appeal to intervene in the on-going Department of Justice and National Archives actions to recover top-secret documents he illegally took and stored insecurely at his Mar-a-Lago resort. In fact, there is now suspicion he may have illegally moved more documents to his golf course in New Jersey. Bolstering those concerns was the testimony from one of his employees that he had directed “boxes to be moved” at Mar-a-Lago after the FBI’s subpoena for the materials had been filed.

Even Republican stalwarts such as former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are now stating what seems undeniably obvious regarding Trump’s political future — or rather, lack thereof. Ryan just posted a video saying: “I think Trump’s unelectability will be palpable by then. We all know he will lose. We all know he is so much more likely to lose the White House than anybody else running for president on our side of the aisle, so why would we want to go with that?”

Ryan’s right — as are many other Republicans and the majority of American voters. Trump’s time, horrendous as it has been, is done. And Trump 2024? It ain’t gonna happen.


George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared.