Our president Donald Trump loves to talk about Making America Great Again. It was his campaign slogan. It was his message. It became not just the core of his brand but of his being. When he came to Washington he had a cornucopia of options that would let him live up to this calling. He could have charted his own centrist way forward, taking the most appropriate solutions from either side. He could have taken from the Reagan playbook and let a think tank game plan for him. I think his best path would have been to let speaker Ryan run wild with his Better Way agenda instead of interfering constantly. He only has one option left now though. PRESIDENT TRUMP IF YOU WANT TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN YOU MUST RESIGN.
There is so much political calculus here it is hard to even properly digest it all. The issues to analyze and pull apart here are going to shake American culture to its foundations for much longer than any of us can assume right now. No change in personnel, administration, or party can possibly fix this now. There is no way to know now what the solutions to the fall out are going to be. We can and should at least start talking now about what that fall out will be.
I think the first and most immediately whatever little social capital our institutions have left is going to vanish in less than the blink of an eye. The MAGA crowd is going to go berserk. For all the outrage about their own norm breaking behavior, and its a real thing, we haven’t seen anything yet. The “antifa” are going to get run out of everywhere. Establishment types wouldn’t be crazy if they started supplementing whatever they us or have for security. There will be protests and they will turn in to riots, not all of them but enough of them.
The Trump brand isn’t about to go away. There were rumors before the election that The Donald was looking at starting a television network. If such a thing were to roll out in the aftermath, I could see it as a running loss. It’d have a rabid cult like following with numbers to match that description. It would serve his ego exclusively, and probably peddle garbage but that won’t stop it from drawing massive ratings at first. As Louise Mensch and groups like the Palmer Report have proven there is perpetually a market for fever dream outrage. I’m not sure it’d stop at TV either maybe even sprawling into magazine and radio before it blows up in a debt riddled mess.
Where does the Democratic Party go from here? It would be instinctive to say that this would result in a Democratic turn and sweep of the house and then the presidency. I think that this however would be putting the cart far and away ahead of the wagon. The state governments have been locked down by the Republican party and this was happening long before Trump. It started even before the tea party but that when it really took off. So there might modest gains, even the house and presidency flipping but this couldn’t possibly be the dawning of a new golden progressive age. If the Democrats want to keep moving it that way then they need to move immediately back to the center-left and peel off as many disaffected MAGAs and alt-right types as they can. The progressives after all aren’t as far removed from the alt-right as everyone wants to think and act.
Where will the Republican party go in the after math of this political bloodbath? They certainly will not have the political capital to finish the agenda. IF they survive the 2018 midterms and it is a huge IF then they might be able to slow walk the most popular parts of their agenda, like tax reform for instance. If they get washed in the 2018 midterms than they can’t do anything but try to hang on until 2020. Then they just white-knuckle and pray that their near universal state level mandate continues to translate to federal government. The MAGA types are going to flee the party in droves. I’m not opposed to this but it will certainly put a huge damper at least short term on their voter registrations and turn outs.
Foreign policy and reputation, where can we even begin? Trump’s resignation won’t be some death tolls for the American benign hegemony. The size of our economy is incomprehensible and our military can’t even begin to be rivaled no matter what people might try to imply. However especially in this age where we have done so much to foster coalition building for everything, I wouldn’t imagine we will have much credibility as a thought leader for the foreseeable future.
We all brought these questions and troubles upon ourselves. Trump must resign, but we are nationally liable for him. Everyone played some role in the election. We are all going to pay the piper. It’s time, Trump must go and we must begin our penance now before it is too late.