"Either this nation shall kill racism, or racism shall kill this nation." (S. Jonas, August, 2018)
Just starting within the last week or so there is a slowly rising tide of speculation that Trump may not run for a second term, as in: "Does Trump Want to Fight for a Second Term? His Self-Sabotage Worries Aides." Add to this an increasing amount of speculation about his true state of health. His "Speech at Tulsa" is sure to go down in history as one of the most famous Trump-rally-speeches. As is by now very well know, Trump actually spent 15 minutes of it discussing his slow descent, following his West Point speech, of a ramp that to most observers appeared not-too-steep. To that explanation (leather-soled shoes and all) he added one for his apparent difficulty in handling a glass of water, that is demonstrating that a) he did not need to hands for the glass and b) that he could throw a glass away (on the stage) after he finished drinking from it. Then of course, in raising questions about his state-of-health, there was his sudden trip to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center about six months ago that to this day remains not fully explained by the White House.
But knowing Trump, should he really not want to run this time around, the reason would not be some health problem that he could cover up if he could. After all, this is a man who has spent a lifetime covering up stuff. Only if he fully collapsed in public, could not get up un-aided and had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance, or openly had the uncontrollable (and un-concealable) tremor of Parkinson's Disease that some are speculating he has, or has un-concealable symptoms of Lou Gehrig's Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), that is gradual loss of muscle control with gradually increasing muscle weakness (which others are speculating he might have) Trump might, and I say might, declare it a day and step down, again for health reasons.
But, this man has blasted his way through so many other political, business, and personal obstacles over his lifetime that I wouldn't put it past him to engage in his classic denial, denial, denial, otherwise known as Trick #2 in his Bag of Six Magic Tricks, "Always Attack; Never Defend." He would be saying all the while "there's nothing to see here" when anyone but his loyal followers (the word "cult" is beginning to creep into that appellation) sees it very clearly. As I have written, before "Tulsa" it appeared that Trump is now running on two planks: racism and voter suppression. (At "Tulsa," making Roy Cohn everso happy, he added Red-baiting: see the attacks on AOC and Rep. Omar as well as Biden and the Dems. generally.) So, if Trump does quit, unless any health problems would be absolutely overwhelming and totally undeniable, it won't be, publicly at least, for reasons of health.
Appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, Trump is a lifetime loser. As illustrations, see the failed businesses, the bankruptcies, the failed marriages (including the present one --- they don't sleep in the same room in the White House, when she is there), the failed affairs, the 2016 election which he knows he would have lost were it not for the Russian collusion, a bunch of promises made during it that he has not been able to keep: the Wall all along the Southern border, bringing back the coal industry, "bringing jobs back" generally (particularly humorous given how many major U.S. corporations have major investments overseas where salaries are so much lower), a "massive infrastructure program," and so on and so forth. But at the beginning of this year, given the "strength of the economy," (not for everyone, of course, but the "Market," and the employment figures that were simply a continuation of what had happened in the Obama years, did look good, so on paper at least the economy looked good) he thought that this time around, his last hurrah (at least in politics) he might actually be able to finally have a real win.
Of course, during his term he has had some policy wins: tax cuts, "The Judges," the implementation of Steve Bannon's the Deconstruction of the Administrative State; as well as some negative wins: ditching the Paris Agreements and the Iran pact, as well as the reintroduction into the national dialogue, openly, of institutional racism (and this was before George Floyd). (Since the Black Lives Matter/anti-institutional-racism demonstrations/movement he has only doubled down on this one. But, as noted, those have mainly been on policy (except for the racism), something in which he is really not interested. As John Bolton, among many others, has said, virtually every decision he made was made in the light of whether it would benefit him politically, or not.
But then, suppose he were to lose the Presidency, either by an unchallengeable electoral vote margin, or in the Supreme Court (where, as I have said, John Roberts would become the single most powerful man in U.S. history, and one of the most powerful men in world history) and his family (and it would be his family) were able to persuade him not to defy it. Then on the afternoon of Jan. 20, 2021 he would become private citizen Trump. Oh the legal difficulties would be just beginning with the six major investigations at the Southern District of New York that Roy Cohn, oops, I mean Bill Barr tried (and failed) to get covered-up/dropped: 1. Rudy Giuliani and Lev Parnas; 2. Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew; 3. Deutsche Bank; 4. Turkish bank and Iran sanctions; 5. Irregularities at the 2017 Inauguration; 6. Russia (money laundering).
Then there's what the New York State Attorney General and the New York City District Attorney might be coming after him for, to say nothing of what will be found in his Federal income tax returns (which would be sure to be released by a Biden IRS) and in the unredacted version of the Mueller Report which would be released forthwith also (that is after Rep. Adam Schiff and his staff gave it a good going-over). To say nothing of the new and old/revived civil suits (sex, money, and other) to which he would be subjected. Oh my!! Lots and lots of trouble.
And so, talking about trouble, Trump doesn't read much of anything but he does read the polls. Right now, he is in electoral trouble, even with the prospect of Trumpublican© cheating, and he knows it. Thus, and admittedly it is a big "thus," if he becomes convinced, in his own mind, that he is going to lose, or even that the odds are that he is going to lose, regardless of claims of "voter fraud" which he and Roy Cohn (oops, I mean Bill Barr) are already ramping up, he has got to be thinking of the following scenario. (If he isn't he is even dumber than I and many others [remember former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who labelled Trump a "moron" and DHS Sec. John Kelly who called him an "idiot"] think he is).
Now, given everything else that has gone on for Trump in and with his life, at the base during the course of it there has been only one primary concern: his money. But, and it is a Big But, to that has now been added the risk to his freedom, that is should he lose the election. As for a second Presidential term if he were to get there, of course he would become Dictator at one level or another. But while of course from the beginning of his Presidential run he has made his authoritarian instincts clear, actually winning a second term and then becoming Dictator is only a recently firmly added goal. And for Trump, if the odds are strongly against his winning, even with massive cheating, the risk of the consequences of losing would become, one should think, overwhelming.
So, how best to protect himself, if he is absolutely convinced, by the polls that he reads for himself and any advice that he might trust (if any) that he is going to lose in the electoral college, by a reasonably substantial amount, and claims of "massive voter fraud" will get nowhere?
1. Pull out of the race, most likely by the end of the summer.
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