Let’s assume that Truth, Justice, and the American Way triumph on Tuesday and Donald Trump is overthrown in a landslide. He’ll fight it, of course, but, again, let’s assume that his defeat is assured. What happens next?
Do you really think that Mr. Trump will accept defeat? Of course not! When somebody hurts him, he hurts them back. If America, in his opinion, betrays him, then he’s going to hurt America.
He’ll begin with Presidential pardons. He’ll pardon everybody who ever said anything nice about him. He’ll pardon every Republican politician ever convicted of any sort of crime. He’ll pardon every big-money white collar criminal. He’ll pardon anybody who ever said anything mean about any Democrat.
Then he’ll go wild with executive orders. No longer constrained by electoral considerations, he’ll issue executive orders even more radical than anything he’s done before. For example, just a few days ago he signed an executive order giving him the freedom to fire civil service employees on a whim. It’s obvious that he intends to fire every federal employee who refuses to pledge eternal loyalty to him. A short while ago, he installed a new director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who immediately fired the chief scientist there and replaced him with a climate-change-denying idiot. It’s obvious that Mr. Trump will fire dozens if not hundreds of civil servants.
But he may not stop there. In pursuit of revenge, he may well expand his purge with the deliberate goal of crippling the entire government. The State Department has already lost scores of employees who cannot stomach the idiocies imposed upon them; Mr. Trump will probably fire many more just to cripple the State Department for years to come. The same is likely for the Environmental Protection Agency. After all, if you can’t change the laws, then fire the employees to execute the laws! He’ll gut the enforcement division of the Securities and Exchange Commission; that will give corporations lots of leeway to get away with grand financial crimes. There’s a good change he’ll take out big swathes of the Department of Justice; after all, if the new Administration has to spend all its time rebuilding the DoJ, they’ll have fewer resources to investigate Mr. Trump’s crimes.
While he’s at it, he might as well take out big hunks of the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Labor Department; they don’t do anything worthwhile, in his view. He can also wipe out the IRS so as to cripple any investigations into his taxes.
Sure, it will all be reversed when Mr. Biden enters office, and indeed these orders will probably be blocked by court injunctions, but in the meantime, the government will be crippled and chaos will reign.
I admit that it’s unlikely that Mr. Trump will carry out all these attacks on the country, but do you really think that he’ll depart from office graciously, wishing all Americans health and prosperity?