What If He Goes Down?

I believe that once the investigations are over, the indictments are handed down, and the smoke clears, Trump will come out of this victorious.

I don't believe he is innocent.  The man is a corrupt grifter drunk on his own power (or his perceptions of his own power). I am sure he is guilty of everything he is accused of and more.  I am saying I am a realist.  Trump has been playing the game for decades.  He knows how to evade the law, which he has always believed himself to be above.  He won't suffer the consequences of his political actions any more than he will suffer the consequences of his bad business practices.  I also believe he has what it takes to fix the elections in 2020.

I fear the consequences of what will happen if he remains in office.  I don't know if he will lead us into war, or bankrupt the economy, or disenfranchise more voters, or ruin the environment.  Nothing good will come of a continued Trump presidency.

I am more afraid of what will happen if he is removed from office.

There is a common myth that Trump's strongest supporters are the white working class, even though the working class is racially diverse and did not vote for Trump in the largest numbers.  I would prefer to divide his base into a few broad categories.

The first group is the super-rich.  This mostly white demographic benefits the most from traditional top-down Republican economic policies.  Their goal is to maintain their own economic power and use their influence to turn the rage of the middle and working classes against the poorest in society, so they don't have to answer for their own greed.

The second category is white conservatives across all economic classes (mostly working class and middle class to upper middle class) who hold fast to the traditional conservative belief that any failure of the economy is due to poor people asking for handouts and taking tax money from hard-working Americans.  They are mostly white and most of them espouse views that many not be openly racist, but are on the racism spectrum

The last group is the one that sees Trump as a defender of the faith, even if they know he doesn't personally share their values, even if they know he doesn't practice their lifestyle.  He knows how to speak their language and promises to protect their values.  They believe him.  They want their power back as the rightful leaders and dominant religion.  I don't think I need to add they are also mostly white.

Across all categories is a select, but vocal, group of Americans that is angry.  They are angry for various reasons.  They are angry because they feel left behind by the government. They are angry because they feel other groups have more privilege than they do.  They are angry because no matter how hard they work, they can't get ahead.  They are angry because Fox News told them poor people, minorities, or illegal immigrants have taken away something that is rightfully theirs.  They are angry because they feel powerless.

Behind that anger is fear.  They fear a continued loss of power.  They fear what will happen if their race and their religion becomes a minority group. They fear crime and the people whom they believe are most likely to commit crime.  They fear poverty and illness.  They would never admit to being afraid, but they are afraid and they are looking for someone to blame for it.

To Americans who are living in anger and fear, Donald Trump is like a savior.  He is the man on the white horse riding into town victorious.  They believe Trump's lack of experience as a politician is an asset and not a liability.  They see the history of the United States as a movie and Trump is the anti-hero, the bad guy with a secret heart of gold, who will swoop in and save the day.  They don't see or understand Trump's business failures and bankruptcies.  They just see a man who is rich.  He is ostentatious is his wealth displays reminding the world how rich he is.  For those who are looking for a hero, he comes across as someone who can't fail.  He is someone who will be successful at anything he does.  Any past sins of white collar crime are seen as harmless bending of the rules and doing what it takes to get ahead (and it is seen as an asset to cheat our meddling government anyway).   They refuse to see Trump's presidency as an ego boost or power grab.  They have the blind faith that he is doing this because he loves his country more than his own wealth.

There is already some grumbling among poorer Trump supporters that things aren't what they seem and that Trump isn't magically turning around their situation.  Poor and disenfranchised Trump voters remain poor and disenfranchised.  There are even middle-class conservatives who realize Trump is not a magic pill to cure what ails the country.  Whites have not regained their rightful dominance in the culture.  Christianity is still losing its ability to prove itself as the prevailing moral force in the country.  I suppose some of them will learn their lesson, move on, and rely on leaders with more realistic vision and fewer false promises.  Maybe some of them will find the strength and resolve to get involved to actively work on solutions to poverty and inequality.  Many will remain faithful to Trump, waiting for him to fix the country and fix their lives.  They want nothing to get in their way.

All of us have seen what this anger and fear is doing to certain groups of people.  There are white supremacists marching in the street chanting openly racist slogans.  They kill bystanders with no remorse.  They go on murder sprees, targeting ethnic and religious minorities.  They send bombs to prominent political figures.  Every day one can go on the internet and read any number of political blogs, or the comments section on news or political websites, or the comments on social media posts, and see so much hate and anger.

I am not sure if I should be afraid of the online postings and comments or not.  Some of the stuff I read comes from people I once thought were reasonable and rational.  I have seen men and women who were once anti-political become raging Trump fiends, contemptuous and hateful of anyone who disagrees with them.  The people whom I once thought considered themselves above politics, who seemed far too intelligent to fall for a con man, seem to have bought into the Trump con the hardest.  The most skeptical people I know seem to be willing to believe whatever Trump tells them.  I believe some of them are trolling.  There are many Americans out there who love how the anonymity of the internet gives them a platform to say outrageous and attention-grabbing statements without consequence.  They love to post things just to get a rise out of people.  I tell myself this to comfort myself.  For every violent crime there are many more empty threats.  I can't deal with the idea that any of these people are serious.  It scares me.

If Trump goes down, if he is convicted, if he is impeached, or even if he isn't re-elected, his devoted followers are not going to blame Trump.  They will blame the government that failed them.  They will blame the press.  They will blame liberals.  They will blame immigrants and Muslims (or people who look like immigrants or Muslims) and Jews. They are terrified the perfect, white, "great", world will be destroyed by Trump's enemies.  What then?  Whom will they turn their anger on?  Who will be the targets?  Trump himself once said the people will revolt if he is removed from office.  I admit I agree with him.  The situation could become ugly.

I even worry for myself.  Hardly anyone reads this blog.  I have friends and family who drop by here now and then when they remember to do so.  (Now that I'm not on Facebook, I don't have a way to let my friends know when blogs are posted, so they forget this blog is here.)  I have friends who don't agree with what I write.  I know they are reasonable people who might read a post, feel some anger, and then move on.  What happens if in casual conversation they mention to a friend who is a little less reasonable and that friend comes here and reads a post and is even angrier?  Then that person shares this post with someone who is unhinged, angry, and ready to commit acts of violence in what he believes.  Should I fear for my life?  Conservatives might tell me to carry a gun if I'm that afraid, but I assume anyone intent on killing me will make sure he shoots (or stabs or whatever his method) without waiting for me to pull my gun out of my purse or retrieve it from the locked storage case in my home.

As long as Trump is in office, his supporters will continue to believe his lies and wait for him to make good on his promises.  If he is forced or voted out, they will lose hope.  It doesn't matter if Trump fails to provide the drastic changes in the country they seek.  They need to keep feeling that hope.  Trump will never be able to provide national prosperity or international prestige and power to the United States and its people, but he can provide some people with the belief that it can and will happen.  Without Trump and his promises, I fear his followers will fall into despair and that despair will bring violence

Is civil war inevitable?  Will the United States be able to exist as one country in the future?

The only solution is to let Donald Trump stay.  This means those of us who oppose him will have to work harder to make sure his power stays limited.  We need to keep electing lawmakers at every level who will work against him.  This means making sure we are at the polls for ever local election and every congressional election as well as presidential elections.  Let Donald Trump do what he does best. He can tour the country giving rallies and making grandiose speeches to his true believers.  They will continue to take comfort from his words and empty promises.  In the mean time, the rest of us, and the officials we elect, will do the real work of running the country.  Don't take him down - he will only retaliate and his believers will retaliate as well - cripple him so he can't do any further damage.  Eventually true "deplorables" will realize the truth about Trump and be willing to move away from his influence (or so I would like to believe).

I know Trump is leading this country down a dark and dangerous path, but we have to consider without him, the path may be even more dangerous.  We must be careful about how we handle the end of this presidency.  The wrong approach could make life in our great country even darker and more dangerous.


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