“That is the President of the United States. That is the most powerful person in the world, and we see him as an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun, realizing his time is over. But he just hasn’t accepted it and he wants to take everybody down with him, including this country…” Anderson Cooper
The above description of President Donald Trump by Anderson Cooper couldn’t have been put better. As the world continues to make recriminations between the centrists and progressives of where the chips fall in American politics, it is imperative to take a moment and breathe a huge sigh of relief and appreciate the fact that, after four-jaw clenching and punishing years, Donald Trump has finally been put in his place and been defeated.
The fact that the 2020 American election came down to the wire, where a great number of Americans reflected on the last four disastrous years of the Trump presidency and chose for more of ‘the same’ is a worrying sign for America.
Honestly, the pliability of American democracy has been sorely tested by Trump’s first term. Four more years would have been unbearable. It was an administration rampant with corruption, celebrations of violence, gross negligence with the public’s health, inconsideration, division, and incompetent statecraft. Trump stands without any real rivals as the worst American president in modern history!
But despite the obvious hold that Trump has on a large base of the American electorate, one should not be distracted from the colossal triumph of ending Trump’s cancerous presidency; a malignant leadership that affected every corner of the globe negatively. The fact that Trump was defeated after a single term in office is also a testament to how terrible his reign was because it is only the fifth time it happened in the last 100 years.
President Trump is a man unworthy of the office he holds and the enormity and variety of his misdeeds can feel crushing. He is a man with no integrity, who has constantly dishonoured his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the country he presided over.
His ruinous tenure has not only damaged America internally, it has had negative ramifications around the world. As a President, he abused the power of his office and denied the legitimacy of his political opponents. He included the public interest in the success of his business and political interests and littered the corridors of power with his spawn.
As a leader presiding over an increasingly diverse country, Trump was a real disaster; he is a racist, a hypocrite, a xenophobe, a bully, a bigot, an Islamaphobe, a misogynist, a liar, an isolationist, and a narcissist, among other colorful descriptions. And he brought all these characteristics to factor in the way he governed America.
Spewing divisive rhetoric and launching malicious attacks on the Americans he was meant to lead was a norm for him. Using social media, Trump bullied opponents and pitted Americans against each other using deception, propaganda, and lies.
He has weakened the confidence of the American people in their government as a medium for arbitrating differences and reaching compromise. He insists on unconditional allegiance from government officials disregarding what is in the public interest.
Trump publicly flouted the law by ordering members of his administration not to testify before Congress or to provide documents such as his tax returns.
Once the dust settles and Trump is finally wrestled from the power he so questionably hoarded in the last four years, the American authorities will have a field day investigating his nefarious activities while he was in power.
The authorities would have to look at how Trump corruptly utilized government resources for the purpose of his re-election and how he appended his name on stimulus checks in an effort to make them appear as if the money came from him. The next government would have to delve into the matter of his possible Tax evasion.
Then who can forget the scandal when Trump tried to gather the power of his office against his opponent by pressuring the Ukrainian government to defame Biden and influencing his allies in Congress to open up phoney inquiries? All these are serious criminal cases with the potential of putting Donald Trump behind bars, should he be found guilty of them.
Trump is crying foul as far as the integrity of the 2020 American election goes but if there is anyone who tried to manipulate the election, it was he. He was the one who appointed one of his minions to head the Postal Service who, in turn, slowed down mail delivery considering the fact that a disproportionate number of Democrats were relying on mail-in ballots. It was also Trump who packed the courts with judges who would likely rule his way if his margin in the swing states were close enough to challenge.
With his present actions, Trump has confirmed people’s worst fears that he is ready to undermine the democratic process and try to drag his country down with him. We always knew that a Trump defeat would be a challenging time for America because the President always refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power by suggesting that his victory was the only legitimate outcome and that if he did not win, he is would be ready to contest the judgment of the American people in the courts or even on the streets.
Trump’s provocative oratory and the stance he has decided to take underlines the extraordinary peril America now faces from an angry and unhinged executive who still has 75 days left in office. President Trump could wreck more havoc with last-day acts, from firing capable senior officials in the intelligence and national security communities to issuing pardons to his criminal associates and perhaps himself.
During this Lame-duck period, there are actions Trump can take as president that will make a life for an incoming President Joe Biden more difficult and tumultuous. One can expect a slew of executive orders, executive actions, and pardons for Trump himself, his family, staff, cabinet, and other officials facing possible charges of corruption and malfeasance.
He will probably give a number of marching orders to many career scientists overseeing the handling of the coronavirus, including Dr Anthony Fauci. He will most likely also fire intelligence professionals who he feels are not presently being loyal to him personally or his nefarious claim to power. But, perhaps, worst of all, as his tug of war ensues, Trump will likely attend rallies where he will reiterate his list of grievances and foment more hatred and division in America.
If Trump refuses to leave the White House at the expiration of his tenure, it will be interesting to see the constitutional limits Trump would face in disputing his dismissal from the Oval Office. It seems unlikely that Trump would be open to having cooler heads prevail in the interest of the peaceful transfer of power.
The US constitution makes no mention of how a president should be removed if they lose an election and refuse to hand over power to their opponent, it would put law enforcement in an awkward position and, at some point, the issue would become whose orders law enforcement obeys.
From the involvement of the congress, the Republican party, the FBI, navy seals, and whatever law enforcement agency, it will certainly be a constitutional crisis if President Trump refuses to walk away from power when his time is fully done come January 2021.
While America will have to find a way to process the harm brought about by the poisonous leadership of President Trump and a sore loser gung-ho on convincing a sizeable part of the country that their loss is illegitimate, for now, a mammoth hazard to American democracy and global harmony has been extinguished.
The next couple of weeks in America will be engaging, because, unless President Trump morphs into the anti-thesis of what we know him to be or has a total character transplant, the World, but America especially, needs to brace itself because the tremors likely to emanate from him is likely to be anything but smooth. May God help us all!