Jim Crawford: What will post-Trump era be for GOP?

Published 6:33 pm Friday, August 7, 2020

Current polling provides reason to consider that, in November, there may be a change in the White House.

Will the Chaos President sulk in silence, claim victory on the face of what could be a massive defeat with an election tsunami or simply assist in the transition of power?

Most pundits think Donald Trump will cling to his White House pillow and blanket like a toddler having his thumb pulled from his sucking mouth and refuse to vacate the premises for the new president, Joe Biden.

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It is highly unlikely, given the public’s familiarity with Mr. Trump, that he sulks in silence. It is simply not his way of handling anything in a world where Tweeting is allowed. But there is considerable evidence that Trump would blame others for his failure to win re-election, for Trump never blames himself.

He would blame voters, the votes themselves, his enemies, the Deep State (an entirely fictional creation), and every single critic down to the six-year-old who wore a Biden cap on TV.

If there is anything, we know about President Trump, it is that he never accepts blame, never accepts responsibility and virtually never tells the truth. So sulking in silence will likely not come to pass with this president in leaving the White House in defeat. If Trump is defeated, others must take the blame and the facts be damned.

Will Trump simply assist in the orderly transition of power as every previous American has done, elevating our form of government above third-world nations, and honoring our Democratic foundations? Possibly, but would even Trump’s most ardent followers suggest he would do so? Probably not.

The more likely scenario would be a lame duck president determined to fully exercise the levers of power at his disposal until his final minutes in office. He may pardon himself of any and all crimes he may be charged with after leaving office. He may pardon his family members. Trump may fire anyone, close any agency, claim any executive power in his final acts of defiance. This lame duck president may pose a threat to the nation.

While the transition may well be a dangerous time in our government, we will need the lame duck Senate to step up and finally resist the excesses of Donald Trump. This is not a small request, it is a very difficult challenge as the Republicans will likely lose the Senate in November. They may lose their majority by 3-4 seats or by as many as 8-10 seats, should the election be a broad sweep against the Republican/Trump Party.

Those Republican senators leaving the Senate will have one last chance to stand up for the nation, to act in defense of America against what will almost certainly be an angry, reckless, selfish president whose concern, as always, will be more about himself than his country.

A Trump loss in November will likely throw the Republican Party into chaos. Will Trumpism, whatever that may mean in governing after Trump, remain the focus of a party fully out of power at the federal level? Or will Republicans rediscover their loyal opposition as advocates for fiscal conservatism, free trade and a strong military?

Following the continuing economic collapse, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic mismanagement by the Trump administration, the ethical and moral challenges that have earmarked this administration, will Republicans forget the Trump name entirely and return to their political roots? Or will they invite 30 years in the political wilderness by adhering to the policy-free Trumpian drift from American values?

The future of the Republican Party may well be determined by how effectively the Republican’s in the Senate, including their Lame Duck seats, fight to protect America during the presidential transition.

Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.