And Then?

Donald Trump is not gonna quit.

Donald Trump is not gonna get impeached, tried, convicted and removed from office.

Donald Trump is not gonna be indicted, probably.

Stop fantasizing about these scenarios.

Donald Trump will be president until 2020.* No matter what happens with Russia, no matter what happens with Congress. We have him for two more years, and we just have to handle that. You know why?

Because any other scenario leads to a truly horrifying amount of violence for the marginalized communities already under attack. Think about it.

Trump resigns. (This presumes a sense of shame he and his advisors don’t have and can’t develop. He’s not going to go quietly and build a presidential library somewhere. I don’t care how long the pee tape is or what he looks like in it. He can’t stop, because if he could stop he’d have done it already.)

Trump gets impeached and tried in the Senate. (The circus that was the Clinton impeachment would look like a parking lot carnival. Hearings would be disrupted constantly, the cable news complex might just actually explode, and it would be impossible to get a word in edgewise in any medium whatsoever. The wrangling alone over the timing and disposition of the trial, the testimony, the amount of witness tampering that’s possible when your entire administration is in hock to the Russian mob? By the time we get around to day one it’ll be 2045.)

EITHER of those come true, and the current culture war dunks itself in lighter fluid and runs through a fireworks tent. Democrats are already DEMONCRAPS and a threat to our democracy, liberals are for threatening and doxxing and attempting to rape, people are screaming about brown-people voter fraud in elections the Republicans WIN.

Trump gets kicked out and/or convinced to quit because of scandal, and remember that whackjob who showed up at the pizza joint? His mini-mes will be in every post office by the following weekend. It’s ALREADY not safe for Hillary to appear in public without a bulletproof vest, you think anybody with an “I’m With Her” hat is gonna be safe?

Trump dying in office is actually worse than either of those scenarios. The man is elderly and obese and not, shall we say, in a good mental place right now, and was not healthy even when he was young. The presidential schedule is punishing even for a guy as lazy as he is, with all the air travel and such. So let’s say he dies of what are declared natural causes, which to the sane among us would be a reasonable pronouncement for a septuagenarian who thinks exercise is a scam.

What do you think happens next?

The investigations on Timmy’s YouTube Amateur Fest, otherwise known as Fox and Friends. That’s what happens next. The theories about poison and secret garrotings and who the White House doctors REALLY ARE, those are what will make it onto Fox News. On 4chan and the MRA subreddits there won’t be theories, just conspiracies, about how someone killed THEIR LORD. His embodiment of their resentment is all that’s keeping them from swatting every girl who was mean to them in high school. Remove that, and there’s just no damn telling.

If God forbid he is assassinated all fucking hell breaks loose. This is actually our worst nightmare. There are people in this country who think they are fighting a race war and they’re not on the fringes anymore. All it would take was one whisper on the wind that a black or brown or Muslim person killed Trump (no matter WHO it actually was) and nobody would be safe.

Every fucking day I hear somebody fantasizing about one of the above scenarios without thinking about who’s going to get hurt once we witness Trump getting his ass beat thoroughly in an election or a courtroom or by his own arteries. I just want us to understand that while there may be rejoicing in liberal blogistan the hatred he’s unleashed is going to be vented on people who already have more to lose and we have to figure out how to keep them safe.

Whenever someone wishes Trump would get indicted or otherwise split town, I have to ask them what they think happens next. And what happens after that, and after that, and after that. We have to start planning for more than just stockpiling champagne.


*Would LOVE to be wrong about any of this and will cheerfully accept the ribbing that will come with my wrongness.

24 thoughts on “And Then?

  1. So while Trump destroys the country, we’re essentially being held hostage by his crazed followers. What should we do about it? There has to be a way out.

  2. I have to agree with Hantschel. 2018 has brought the chaos and instability that Trump couldn’t quite get started in 2017 (aside from the turmoil within his White House and the white nationalist invasion of Charlottesville VA). But now he is entrenched, strongly supported, and about to get away with the biggest political conspiracy in world history. Think about it: Russia, Israel and the UAE (and probably also Saudi Arabia and Turkey) assisted in whatever way they could to get their preferred candidate into the White House. Aside from Russia, all of those nations didn’t stand to lose anything with Clinton. But with Trump, they stand to get more than Clinton was willing to give (such as an embassy in Jerusalem). They got greedy and preferred Trump because they probbaly had a hunch that Trump likes oppressive regimes, and dislikes the EU. Mueller will release a report that will detail how Trump is the head of a criminal enterprise, involved with money laundering, selling access to the Oval Office, and partnering with forign agents during the 2016 campaign without anyone reporting it. But he won’t be removed. He won’t be indicted (although his children might). And Trump will survive. And considering that his approval rating with Republicans and Mormons is on the increase, there’s a very good chance he will be re-elected in 2020. I’d say it is a high chance. He will run a nasty campaign and motivate 60 Million people to vote fro him. The Democrats will have a tough time getting 60 Million votes, especially if they run a conservative candidate like Mark Warner or Eric Holder.

  3. Wow, this is such a disturbing piece and, sadly, I agree with every one of the possible scenarios you describe. I too fantasize about Chump being assassinated or dropping dead of a heart attack (as I don’t for one minute believe Congress or the Senate would ever impeach him), but the ensuing chaos and violence that would be unleashed by his cult followers would be cataclysmic. We’re truly fucked.

  4. Well, if a bunch of whiny crybabies who post things on the internet in ALL CAPS are going to be upset, possibly violently, should Trump go the way of Antonin Scalia, then I guess there’s nothing we can or should do. Sad, because I really liked the United States the way it used to be, with the Constitution and the rights for everyone. But now we all have to sit down, shut up, and by all means not upset a bunch of assholes because of what they might do. Oh well.

  5. The only thing is, all of these objections are a problem no matter what happens. If Trump loses in 2020, all of the nutjobs you’re alluding to, Ms. Hantschel, will claim the election was stolen from him. I don’t even trust them not to have some kind of crazed objections or not to resort to violence in 2024 if he wins re-election (gods help us) and serves eight full years.

    No matter how this plays out, we’re going to face the lunatic fringe before this is all over and we’re going to have deal with them the way we dealt with them in the Clinton and Obama years: bravely and with the expectation that they will engage in acts of terrorism again as they have in the past, and hoping that their children or grandchildren will have more sense and bigger hearts than they do. But we can’t be afraid of them.

    I believe there are grounds for impeachment and suspect more may be found. That said, I don’t believe you take on the king and miss, and I don’t think it’s enough that we have a majority in the House; there also has to be the prospect of a fair (and successful) trial in the Senate, which seems remote to the point of impossibility at the moment. One also suspects that if matters reached the point where Trump was facing the prospect of removal in that manner, that the bipartisan front against Trump would be so strong that Trump, like Nixon, would be pressured to resign. I cannot emphasize how unlikely these prospects appear to me, but I’m typing them out to make the point that if the opportunity came to impeach and remove Trump or to successfully demand his resignation, the country cannot afford to pass those opportunities by simply because of the hell a large, violent, unhinged minority will unleash. If we are so scared of these people that we will let them keep us from having a governable republic, we might as well go on and give up, and I’m not ready to give them my country.

    1. I’m afraid we have already given a lot of bad people our country. Think about how we have to be nice to the billionaires, and not dare tax them their fair share. Think of the cities “bidding” to host an Amazon corporate office building, and are offering to give up hundreds of millions in cash and services. Add to that how we have to be nice to corporations in general. If we call them out for polluting, or paying terrible wages, they might take their ball and go elsewhere to exploit poorer people. And now we have to be nice to the white nationalists and militant anti-muslim gun collectors. We know it before 2016, but the rules that apply to corporations also apply to fascists. We have to be nice and give them our nation.

    2. I totally agree about a no-win situation. Even if Trump wins two terms and doesn’t die in office, who would be surprised if he half-jokingly (or seriously) refused to step down in January 2025? It could be inauguration morning, and he could still be in the White House Residence, tweeting away.

  6. Not even a little bit worried about internet tough guy Steve Trevino and his 82nd Chairborne pose. Every single one of these emotionally retarded keyboard warriors is about as tough as a wet paper sack. Just worry about getting the apathetic unreliables off the couch and down to the voting booth in November. That’s the real challenge, that and maybe mobilizing some effective boycotts against the well-heeled sociopaths that bankroll the cornpone fascism we’re currently experiencing.

  7. Never tell a veteran whose enemies fired Russian made rifles and Chicom mortors his president colluded with a foreign power to attain high office.

    But hey, thats just me.

    1. Never tell a vet who had to learn to maintain her ’16 and ’60 in Louisiana field conditions such a collaborator’s a legit President, either. That’s just me, tho.

    by Rudyard Kipling

    It was not part of their blood,
    It came to them very late,
    With long arrears to make good,
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    They were not easily moved,
    They were icy — willing to wait
    Till every count should be proved,
    Ere the Saxon began to hate.

    Their voices were even and low.
    Their eyes were level and straight.
    There was neither sign nor show
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    It was not preached to the crowd.
    It was not taught by the state.
    No man spoke it aloud
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    It was not suddently bred.
    It will not swiftly abate.
    Through the chilled years ahead,
    When Time shall count from the date
    That the Saxon began to hate.

  9. I agree that Trump won’t get impeached. I think indictment is possible if Democrats control congress.
    However I think this is a case where we have to pull the bandage off as quickly as possible. Living in fear of reaction from…reactionaries is not the way forward. In many ways this is like the antebellum slavery debate, one side wanted the world and the other just compromised.
    We can’t allow ourselves the luxury of waiting for the other guy to come around.

  10. No. No. No. What makes you think that we, the vulnerable, won’t be attacked anyway. Silence ensures that more marginalized people WILL be attacked. Being too frightened to act makes our oppression that much easier.

    If armed thugs, fire hoses, vicious dogs, and the lynching noose can be faced down, then so can the keyboard irregulars.

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