Farewell to Trump? Sadly, no.
Trump will have to leave the White House, but he won’t leave the public eye, not by a long shot. Reporters and comedians are premature in their sighs of relief that they won’t have to cover him anymore.
Trump will, regrettably, remain a constant public force, commanding headlines and steering the republican party just as forcefully out of power as he did within. I actually find it hard to believe that people assume that Trump will fade away and become a has-been.
If you want evidence, just look at recent headlines: Trump got 126 republican House members and 18 state AGs to back him in a total loser of a case which tried to overturn the results of a legal and secure election. Trump did this with a case that had zero chance of winning. Trump did this as a lame duck.
Lame ducks who are fading into obscurity don’t wield that kind of power within a party.
And Trump, as a malignant narcissist who is endlessly addicted to influence and recognition, will never give that up. Believe me, I wish that he would fade away. I hope that I am wrong here. But I am pretty sure that I am not.
There is a fair amount of talk that on Inauguration Day, Trump will not only fail to attend the ceremony, he will hold a competing event at the same time to announce his 2024 campaign—thus allowing him to continue to raise money and fleece his base. He just discovered that he can get hundreds of millions of dollars from them on his way out, no way he’s giving up on that revenue stream.
You have to remember, Trump’s power was never fully based in his office; for the most part, especially within the republican party, his power was with the party base. That’s how he got the 126 House members to violate the constitution: they were deathly afraid of being primaried out.
Trump commands the base. President or not, they adore him, love him, idolize him, and there is no one else in the republican party or elsewhere who can win that away from him.
Trump will continue to command the base as long as he is in the spotlight. And we all know how adept Trump is at maintaining public attention, even when the public clearly doesn’t want to pay attention to him.
So, what is he going to do?
First, he’s going to start his run for 2024. He will perhaps even try to use this as a further shield against prosecution (“Political witch hunt! They want to stop me from winning! They can’t sue or indict an active candidate for president!”). He will continue raising a war chest.
Second, he will persist in his insistence that he won the race and is the legitimate president, and that Biden is ruling illegally. He may set up Mar-A-Lago as a “White House in Exile,” issuing edicts and using the podium to declare credit for everything good that happens, and blaming Biden for everything bad. He will even attack his own party from within.
This will lead to the third element, one which he will use to maintain momentum which will create a cycle of power: make publicity, which riles up the base, which he uses to pressure republicans to act or respond, which he uses to make publicity, and so on.
All the while he will be campaigning, holding rallies, and polls will place him as the front-runner for the 2024 race, and news outllets, even mainstream ones, will not be able to ignore him. More publicity.
Remember, self-promotion is Trump’s ONLY true talent.
Why do people think that this will just turn off like a switch?