If Trump wasn’t for real, this whole electoral charade would be a magnificent, devastating, masterclass artistic performance. Lose or win, on November 8th, he could’ve given a speech for the ages along the lines of: “Behold how close an unscrupulous buffoon like me can come to running this country. There! Scary? You’re welcome,” and recede from public view never to be seen again. This simple move would secure him the kind of recognition, in the annals of history, that he so desperately seeks – a statesman of the troubled Republic, a bloodletting nurse to the feverish GOP.
It’s unfortunate that he won’t. While a performer by inclination and trade he lacks the artistic message. With Trump there’s no purpose to the show, just the show itself. Even if he wins, he acknowledged that his VP Pence will be running the country. So it’s not like he even wants to do the job; it’s not like he wants to tell us something with this performance. He simply wants to be known as someone who was able to get the job, who ‘won.’ Like in WWE, he doesn’t want to land a devastating punch, he wants to be seen landing a devastating punch.
Which, perhaps, is all there is to him. So with Trump’s presidency we’ll essentially be getting Mike Pence’s presidency, as Trump views his task as solely to #MAGA. That is the scary part. Trump’s various policy ‘whisperers’ who have to tip-toe around his ego to sell him standard GOP policies, can never be sure whether he ‘got’ their drift or not. With Pence there will be no such doubt. We’ll get the Ryan budget, the Scalia-like SCOTUS nominee, we’ll have Larry Kudlow as Treasury secretary and perma-giggling Stephen Moore of The Heritage foundation (I never saw him NOT smiling while discussing his right-wing economics on TV. Wonder why) as his chief economist.
But with an egomaniac like Trump, I doubt we’ll get the repeat of a Bush/Cheney presidential dynamic. While Pence and Co. will want to quietly do their thing, Trump will keep fucking things up that will inadvertently sabotage the smooth running of the GOP fleece machine. With such a short fuse and thin skin he will overstep his executive authority in a matter of months of not days; the matter will end up in the Supreme Court which will rule against him; he will refuse to comply, triggering the constitutional crisis. And at that point, seriously, who the fuck will care about ‘growth’ and tax cuts?
While I’m growing concerned with the tight race I still think it won’t come to this, barring a late-October force-majeur. I canvassed for Hillary in Easter PA with a couple of comrades last Saturday and found this rust-belt area surprisingly anti-Trump. Without PA Trump can’t win. But still what a sad commentary on the state of the republic that has no defense mechanism in place to prevent another dangerous demagogue from winning, if not now then a few years down the road. I guess we’re gonna have to get used to holding our collective breath every four years.