Trump as a One-Term President Would Become DC's Nightmare

Even as the president's legal team continues to dispute election results in battleground states with large numbers of questionable mail-in ballots and election anomalies, Establishment Washington is pushing Donald Trump out the door. What it failed to accomplish through four years of Deep State sabotage and bipartisan efforts at thwarting the MAGA agenda, the D.C. Club may have finally succeeded through good old-fashioned vote fraud. The District of Corruption is salivating over the possibility of freeing itself from a foe who has singlehandedly damaged the Swamp forever.

No victory could be more pyrrhic.

Forcing Donald Trump from the presidency while half of all likely voters believe the election was stolen from him (including a stunning one-third of Democrats) would backfire on Washington spectacularly. Trump is too ferocious a competitor and too powerful a cultural force to ever disappear into a retirement not of his choosing. At least 75 million Americans voted for the president because, among other reasons, he is seen as an "outsider." Now Washington insists on making him a martyr, as well.

What will happen if President Trump leaves office in January? He will instantly become the most consequential and powerful ex-president Americans have seen. Making Donald Trump a one-term president will become Establishment Washington's biggest nightmare.

(1) Biden's Number One Critic

There's no way that Donald Trump follows in the footsteps of George Washington by quietly retreating from public life and leaving his successor to lead unscrutinized. Obama has been the most vocal ex-president to date, both questioning Donald Trump's judgment as president, as well as fanning the flames of the debunked Russia hoax. An ex-president Trump will make Obama look like a piker by comparison. 

Biden's commitment to re-enter the Paris Agreement and backtrack from America's hydrocarbon energy independence achieved under President Trump has the potential to take an American economy struggling to recover from a year of pandemic lockdowns and kill it overnight. Donald Trump will loudly blame his successor.

Biden has signaled his intent to breathe life into Obama's Iran Deal after the Trump administration has spent four years weakening Iran's influence in the Middle East. After helping to foster peace in the region by securing historic trade deals between Israel and many of her longtime adversaries, President Trump has a vested interest in making sure his efforts are not undone. Should Biden lift up a vulnerable Iran and harm Israel in the process, Donald Trump will loudly blame his successor.

President Trump has made cutting illegal immigration into the United States a priority. He's made renegotiating trade deals that have benefitted communist China at the expense of American workers a priority. He's made bringing troops home by ending "endless wars" a priority. He's made protecting Americans' First and Second Amendment rights important priorities.

Biden has promised to expand immigration and refugee resettlement, to end trade confrontations with China, and to leave foreign policy to the "experts." And in direct conflict with any oath of office, Biden has promised to confiscate Americans' guns while supporting the same Big Tech companies that have undertaken campaigns of outright censorship against conservatives' speech.

Donald Trump will loudly blame his successor for the resulting harm — in all its forms — to Americans. He and his supporters will amplify every misstep made by Joe Biden. "Monday morning quarterbacking" will become a seven-day priority for the former president.

(2) King of a Media Empire

Should Twitter and Facebook decide to censor citizen Trump, he might just build his own media empire and create the largest megaphone for his opinions in the country. Businessman Trump has always enjoyed building things from the ground up. Now that Fox News has chosen to chase conservatives away, a market demand for Trump's politics is waiting to be filled. Newsmax and One America News Network are expanding their audience shares, but a Trump News Network would dominate future conservative television. Social media and corporate news are now actively censoring conservative voices, and conservative voters would flock to whatever platforms Donald Trump constructs. It's only a matter of time before the president seizes upon those opportunities. 

If Establishment Washington believes "Trumpism" will soon recede once its eponymous leader heads south to Florida, the Swamp is sorely mistaken. After leaving office, Donald Trump's voice is only going to get bigger. Much, much bigger.

(3) De Facto Head of the Republican Party

If Establishment Republicans believe they can reclaim their party once President Trump leaves office, they are naive. Donald Trump just won more votes than any sitting president in history, shattering what Bush, McCain, and Romney were able to garner at the polls. Even before the 2020 election's outcome has been decisively concluded, recent polling shows that 54% of Republican voters are ready to back President Trump in 2024. Even more striking is this: nearly 70% of Republicans view the president as standing up for their beliefs, as opposed to only 20% who see congressional Republicans as doing the same. If Donald Trump decides he's running again in 2024, it will be his nomination to lose. If Trump family members or Trump administration veterans decide to run for office on their own, they will become instant frontrunners.

Donald Trump has shined a bright light on Establishment Washington's failures to secure America's borders and to protect America's blue-collar manufacturing workforce. That bright light is not going to fade, and any Republican who thinks the party can return to propping up free trade's twin mantras of endless immigration and overseas slave labor by proxy is denying reality. If "globalism" wasn't a dirty word before, President Trump has made it one now. And for the foreseeable future, any Republican seeking higher office will have to respect the new party Donald Trump has created or suffer the consequences at the polls. Certain NeverTrump Republicans may hate him, but they'll not survive without him.

(4) Potential Destroyer of Both Parties

For the first time since Lincoln's Republican Party supplanted the Whigs in political power, Donald Trump has built a strong enough coalition of voters cutting across traditional party lines that he could choose to take his voters and erect a new party from the ground up. No Republican has done better with minority voters in the last sixty years than Donald Trump, and no Republican since Reagan has succeeded so strongly with blue-collar workers. If the president decides to "walk away," he will take tens of millions of American voters disillusioned with both parties, too.

Traditional Democrats who resent their party's embrace of socialism and working class Republicans who resent their party's priority of Wall Street over Main Street would make natural allies in a new party. Kanye WestIce Cube, and Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson have all made it clear that they are not happy with the Democratic Party's direction, and Donald Trump is in a position to create a political home for those looking for something new. A new party that places a priority on protecting legal immigrants and American workers over foreign labor forces and that treats engagements in new wars as choices of last resort will attract a strong cross-section of American voters. As a master of branding, Donald Trump could choose to diminish permanently the parties as they now exist and build something else entirely from scratch.

Whatever else happens between now and January 20, Donald Trump is not going away. Washington insiders may finally succeed in removing him from office, but they will make him a formidable and powerful ex-president in the process. They may well regret what they've accomplished. It's certain that they have no idea what they've created.

Image: Gage Skidmore via FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0.