Hopefully, we can start to understand why Trump did so well. Like a plant that thrives with a little cow shit as fertilizer, Trump is fertilized by attention. And that attention was handed to him in a ready made form by Fox news, the primary arbiter of what is republican, far more so than the republican party is. So how will he fall? Nothing last forever, but only a fool tries to predict the future. Let’s be foolish and see where it leads us.
The first possibility is that his political career ends like almost all other presidents. He will lose the next election and he will step down, or he will win again, and step down in 2024. This is entirely possible. As crazy as his coverage has been, we don’t actually know how much he differs from other presidents. True, coming into power with a massive conglomeration of interests guarantees a certain amount of conflict, but in order for that shorten his political career we would need to prove how that harms the US. I don’t see that happening. For all I know, his presidency only differs slightly from his predecessors, and if that’s the case then it will probably end the same way they all did.
The next possibility is that he is forced out of power. He could be impeached, his cabinet could force him out, or there could be health related issues. I refuse to believe a 70 year old man with a wildly stressful job and health habits that an irresponsible 20 year old would consider dangerous can expect to set any records for lifespan. Or he could be shot by someone crazy. Based on what we know about him, which is more likely?
Let’s go back to our original metaphor. Trump rose because he found himself in an environment custom tailored to his skills. Specifically, an environment where the person best suited to getting people to look at him will probably do the best. If he was a flower, attention would be his cowshit. But too much fertilizer will kill the very thing that otherwise helps grow. This is what we’re seeing now.
I’ve written before how an administration is different than a campaign because everything is scrutinized at a level unheard of anywhere else. Normally, that would be great, but no one can stand up to the level of scrutiny aimed at a presidential administration. Mistakes and minor indiscretions become nightmares for the people in power. We’re seeing that now. As president, you lose some of your ability to control the story about you, if for no other reason than there are so many competing voices. If Trump is a competent executive than he would be able to stand up to the extra scrutiny and turn it towards his own ends. He may still do that, but his behavior so far isn’t giving me a whole lot of reasons to think that.
So how will he fall? It’s so hard to say. As long as the republicans have control over the House and Senate I don’t think he’ll be forced out. But if the level of scrutiny continues, and his reactions don’t get a lot more competent, then he will be a neutered president. Unable to get any plans enacted and constantly having to fight off legal and political battles that will largely amount to wasting his time. His reputation as a loser, a “cuck” in the parlance of our time, will grow. He will lose the election, maybe even the republican primary. And before that, he will fail in nearly everything he tries. It’s hard for me to say it, but I’m beginning to pity Trump.