If Trump resigns, this is likely why and how…
People have been speculating that Trump will just walk away.
He won’t for the reasons most people state.
First, it would be a huge blow to his ego which alone makes it unlikely, but add that to the fact that he has likely state charges waiting for him on the other side of the presidency (referencing him as Individual 1) and unlikely becomes impossible.
There was a way in which he could have earlier in his presidency before the legal issues came up and we hit this multi-faceted crisis. I could see him resigning if he could declare victory and claim he turned everything around so he was going to turn the rest over the Pence.
He cannot do that now.
He won’t just give up though. His ego and the very real threat of prison make that impossible so then what would it take and how might it happen?
I think we have a clue as to how he handled the bankruptcies when his back was similarly up against the wall. What did he do?
He told the banks he would take them down if they did they took him down.
So we know that this is how he reacts in these situations.
What might he do in this current situation?
I think that there are two possible scenarios: one in which he creates a crisis and one in which a huge crisis emerges and his failure to act could be devastating. They have some similarities but each will be discussed separately.
Scenario 1: He creates a crisis.
I can not even speculate on what the crisis could be but with the power his position affords the possibilities are endless. I also recognize, having dealt with people like Trump, that my mind can not comprehend doing things that he would consider without hesitation as is the case with someone who has no moral or ethical boundaries.
That said the crisis would have to shock the conscience of people in both size and level of damage. It would also have to be something he could do legally as President.
This would force a deal to be made and it would require Democratic and Republican support because the only way I think he will leave voluntarily is if all charges (state and federal) are dropped and investigations terminated. To get this agreement would require a crisis of epic size and time would need to be of the essence.
That said, and this is the importance of anticipation, IF it comes to this, the people involved should set additional conditions. These conditions need to be baked into the process from the beginning and they need to include at least the following:
- That he and anyone protected by the agreement must leave this country and never return. If possible, he and anyone protected should be required to give up their US Citizenship.
- That all US assets be forfeited. (If one condition needs to go, this could be the one but he would need to liquidate all assets within a year or they would be forfeited.)
- That while they are abroad, they must refrain from interfering or discussing anything going on with US politics.
- That all statute of limitations will be suspended in their absence and anyone who violates terms of the agreement would be subjected to investigation and prosecution regardless of how long ago the incidents happened.
I readily admit some of these terms may be difficult to enforce but, frankly, the entire agreement could be questioned because it was made in duress.
Scenario 2: There is an outside crisis and Trump is either unwilling or unable to respond effectively. The consequences of it would be catastrophic.
This is essentially the same as Scenario 1 but Trump will not create the crisis from whole cloth.
In this case, I think that the outside crisis could be the threat of economic collapse as a result of how he has handled the virus. If the economy tanks like it did in 2008 (and, frankly, I don’t see how it won’t), then it will require a strong, competent, FAST response by the Federal Government.
I saw this first hand in 2008. I was fortunate to have a job in which I was getting economic updates before things tanked, when the markets were tanking and as they recovered. In September in one of our meetings with world-leading economists, I asked what they were watching for after they said repeatedly that they were not sure what would happen but were watching things carefully. The lead economist said he was watching credit markets. He said that if credit markets slowed down, we were heading for trouble, and if they froze, it would get really bad.
Flash forward to October. Local news started to report that lines of credit were suddenly being canceled on people who were current in their payments. This absolutely killed contractors because they were unable to finish jobs or get payments from customers. Other businesses were also hurt badly and suddenly they were cutting back on employees and even closing their doors permanently. Companies could no longer finance receivables, customers could no longer pay. It was fast. It was harsh. And the consequences were often not easily reversible.
That is why the Bush administration dumped money into the system. To free up credit again and most importantly to avoid having the credit markets freeze up completely.
If Bush had not taken those actions late in 2008 and if we tried to wait until 2009, we would likely still be digging out from the rubble because, as things were, it took years for us to undo the damage done in those early months.
If we were to face a similar situation with Trump’s level of incompetence and unwillingness to act (or his unique instinct to do exactly the wrong thing), we would not be able to wait until November or January — depending on when it happens. He would absolutely need to be removed so that Pence, hopefully, would take the needed actions to keep the economy from totally collapsing.
And, yes, the likelihood of this depends on the economy collapsing. I am not an economist but based on my limited knowledge, I don’t know how we can escape a huge economic downturn of the 2008 variety or worse if the handling of COVID does not improve. (If anyone has ideas, please share them. I want to know. It is never comfortable to be in a situation in which the leading theory is based on the lack of other possible outcomes.)
There could, of course, be another outside threat that requires fast, competent action that could push the parties to come to a similar agreement to get him to leave.
And if it comes to something like this, it is absolutely critical that he be removed from the US and that he and his kids (if they are similarly protected and removed) are forbidden from participating in US politics for the rest of their lives. We can not risk him creating further division and his kids are cut from the same mold (in case you have not been paying attention).
These seem to be the most likely scenarios that would lead to him resigning. Many of the other ideas I have seen do not consider the legal threats he faces as an ex-President and his past actions when his back was similarly up against the wall.
Now that this has been laid out, we need to get back the business of making him a one-term President and focus on free and fair elections.
Let’s hope that none of this happens and we can have a peaceful transfer of power should Biden win.