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If Trump wins, what then?

March 7, 2016

There is little doubt that Donald Trump is the inevitable result of the Obama presidency.

After eight years of an administration that so clearly dislikes the America it won the chance to govern,  the likelihood that a hyper-nationalistic backlash would emerge was a given.

From President Obama’s infamous apology tour forward, each public display of disdain for the country and a good share of the people within it solidified and hardened the growing resistance.

All the opposition needed was a voice, and when Donald Trump came along, it was game on.

Given that every action does provoke an equal and opposite reaction, this election was sure to be a forum for the far right aided by a lot of normally politically disinterested and basically apathetic citizens.

One claim that Mr. Trump makes is absolutely true. He is bringing people to the polls that would normally be more interested in watching grass grow. They aren’t coming for free doughnuts.

The farther left Hillary Clinton runs, the more support Trump receives.

With that in mind, the GOP’s  attempt to shut him down only intensifies a resolve that the party itself may still fail to understand.

There’s a good chance that Mr. Trump will either win the nomination outright, or, if he is displaced at a brokered convention, open the door for a formal third-party movement.

At this point in the game the only person who can strip away Trump supporters without triggering a nasty skirmish is Trump.

He may have inadvertently done that already.

Until recently, people who were inclined toward Trump but unwilling to fully commit to him were hoping that his controversial rhetoric was simply the sign of a political neophyte.

After the February 29 debate in which he stated that he would not hesitate to order the military to violate both national and international law,  a position he then had to walk back, a lot of those undecided folks backed away.

Until that brief moment, when he defended his comments about how he would use the military  with the “They’ll do what I tell them to do” line, he was selling his message pretty well.

It was at that moment that he showed that he fully and completely understands the power of the office, but not its boundaries.

Up to now, in his own politically unsophisticated way, Trump has managed to make people feel he only cared about undoing the damage of the last decade or so.

In that fleeting moment some people realized that there are real consequences to electing another radical President.  Not just for Al Qaeda or ISIS, but for their own sons and daughters as well.

That leaves a lot of people searching for the best alternative at the very last possible moment. If not Trump, who? Many of them may still stay with their first choice for lack of an alternative.

Trump  and his supporters are as far to the right as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are to the left.

If he manages to again outperform his odds and win the grand prize, what then?

Faced with another radical reformer, the legislative branch of government could find itself in exactly the same position as it has been for the last eight years.

After spending eight years trying to keep a lid on Barack Obama, Congress could find itself forced to do the same with a President Trump. That will surely rip the GOP and possibly the country apart at the seams.

With Donald Trump, exactly as with Barack Obama, it’s a case of be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it.

From → op-ed

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