My last post expressed concern about how Donald Trump will behave after he has definitively lost his re-election bid and before his term expires on January 20. My concern has increased after seeing Trump’s unhinged briefing last night. The president lied so much and so outrageously that networks that usually broadcast his briefings in full cut away from the president and explained how what he was saying was untrue.
Last night’s briefing may have been a preview of the next few months. What will happen if Trump’s post-election actions appear to be those of a madman whose ego has been fatally threatened by failure? I will suggest a possible scenario.
If Trump’s actions become totally outrageous, a turn to the Twenty-Fifth Amendment becomes a reasonable step to rescue the country from chaos. This would require the co-operation of Republican leaders, of course, but one can hope that even Republican politicians can recognize that their party’s titular leader is ruining their brand. If Trump can be sidelined, allowing Mike Pence to assume presidential duties until January 20, the country will have a chance to achieve a normal and peaceful transfer of power without further damaging the Republic.
Am I putting too much faith in Mike Pence? I think not. Pence has been Trump’s lackey for the sake of his own career, but he is not stupid. If Trump loses, the vice president has little incentive to follow the president’s descent into madness. If Pence is accepting of the will of the people and actively assists in the transition to a Biden administration, he will earn the thanks of the nation and may even have a political future.