What the Next Four Years Might Look Like if Trump Somehow Wins

trump2-1I have been as on record as anyone in America, even as recently as yesterday, predicting that Donald Trump is not going to be President of the United States. However, in light of the recent poll-tightening and the very controversial letter to Congress by the FBI Director, it is now plausible that such a shocking development could theoretically happen. With that in mind, it might have value to project how that outcome would likely play out over the next four years from the perspective of the country and the conservative movement.

So, if Trump somehow wins…

There will be immediate astonishment and fear not just here, but around the entire world. Global financial markets will tank, if not crash, at least in the short run, as everyone comes to grips with the extreme uncertainty of an unqualified conman having taken over the most important position in the world. He is far more of one than even Barack Obama was when the news media got him elected in 2008.

There will be enormous teeth-gnashing in the news media about whether the American experiment is officially over and whether we are still the country we thought we were. Panicked minority groups will surely protest the results and may even break into nationwide riots.

Trump’s win will be blamed on the FBI Director’s letter and, especially if that inquiry turns out to have been based on nothing significant, his election will be seen as inherently illegitimate. Our already severe political divisions will be greatly exacerbated. America’s standing in the global community will be instantaneously diminished.

Then, after taking office as the most hated and least respected president in the modern era, Trump’s first order of business will be filling Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court seat. After running with a promise to nominate a true-blue conservative from a pre-approved list, Trump will be shocked to find out that Democrats are unwilling to rubber stamp his first nominee. With around 50 votes in the Senate, they will easily filibuster that person with no fear of a highly unpopular president whose mere election has set off civil unrest.

Trump will then have two choices. He can follow his normal instincts of negotiation and concede to his liberal sensibilities by nominating someone whom conservatives (other than maybe Sean Hannity) will see as a clear betrayal. Or, he will be forced to allow the court to remain in 4-4 split with his most important campaign promise to an already highly skeptical conservative base remaining unfulfilled indefinitely. Either way, Democrats, with the news media blowing the wind at their back, will, to mix a metaphor, have Trump by the balls.

Unable to please the sane portion of his base on the Supreme Court, Trump would likely turn to his more nutty supporters with a half-hearted attempt to build his big beautiful wall on our southern border. However, with the GOP congressional majority in the House weakened and politically splintered, there is no way for Paul Ryan, against whom Trump ran his campaign for several weeks, to get the votes to pass exactly what Trump wants. Again, Trump either caves or gets nothing done.

Used to running his companies, reality TV shows, and his presidential campaign as a dictatorship, Trump will surely meltdown when faced with the reality of having to govern within a democratic republic and will likely end up quickly fighting (via 3 am Twitterstorms?) with Republicans in an effort to force them to cede to his will. That will not end well.

Similarly, his promises of repealing and fixing Obamacare are stymied when he realizes that he has neither the votes to repeal the law, nor a clue of how to actually fix it, especially since he has previously voiced strong support for a government-funded solution to the healthcare mess. As with the Court and the wall, nothing productive will get accomplished here.

His tax plan, which might have had a shot if not for the diminished Republican numbers in both houses of Congress and the poor start to his presidency destroying any “honeymoon” period, also goes nowhere. This will further increase Trump’s frustration and further his inevitable emotional meltdown.

Similarly, when Trump goes to “renegotiate” all of our trade deals with China, he will be stunned to realize that he has no leverage with which to do so. Unlike an individual who owns so much money to the banks that they keep him afloat in hopes of getting some of their money back (a circumstance Trump knows all too well), Trump is stunned at the reality that he can’t threaten to default on our debt without catastrophic consequences around the world. At best, he is convinced to quietly let the issue die. At worst, he provokes an international financial crisis.

On the positive side, I do think that it is possible that foreign aggressions (other than by Russia) may be curtailed in the short run as the “bad guys” around the world try to access how much of a deranged cowboy Donald “I’ll Bomb the Shit Out of the Them” Trump really is. However, his “secret plan” to destroy ISIS will turn out to be so stealthy that no one ever finds out what is in it.

Similarly, it will be nice to see a president take on the corrupt news media directly (though not as much when the person attacking them is mostly having the truth told about them) and not kowtow to political correctness. However, conservatives will likely be surprised/confused at how media-friendly and PC Trump turns out to be when he is finally at the top of the heap.

With no accomplishments in his first year, his second year will be bogged down by a stagnant economy, record low approval ratings, and the realities of an election year. He will become angry and bored by his lack of real power and he begin starting fights out of a desire for ego gratification. Since he loves glowing media coverage, he realizes the only way to do that is to attack Republicans in Congress for not giving him what he demanded, even though they don’t have the votes to do so.

All of this infighting takes what should be an excellent off-year election (where Republicans traditionally do very well, especially when an “official” Democrat is in the White House) with a very favorable Senate map, and transforms it into a near total disaster for the GOP. Each GOP member of Congress is effectively forced to pledge loyalty to their highly unpopular president, or suffer the wrath of a Trump’s angry mob. Neither choice is a viable one for Republicans in competitive races, and the Democrats likely take control of both houses of Congress.

With this embarrassment, and with his power to get anything done reduced even more, Trump’s downward spiral will continue. Even Sean Hannity and will begin to finally turn on him as their audience fades away (though Alex Jones sticks with him).

The focus will then immediately be on whether Trump will run for re-election. Weirdly, depending on how unpopular he gets, it could actually be better for the conservative cause for him to run and be defeated in an inevitable primary challenge than if he decided to just take his ball and go back to Trump Tower to manage what is left of his business empire (while still having huge negative influence over who could replace him on the GOP ticket). Regardless, in either scenario, assuming the Democrats can finally find a proper heir to the Obama throne as a liberal media darling, the GOP will surely be completely out of power in 2020.

From there, demographic shifts and the carnage from the Trump earthquake on the conservative political foundation will, at best, ensure the long-term demise of the Republican Party as a national governing force. The country will, at best, get nothing productive done and our problems will be four years older and that much more difficult to even remotely solve. Our politics will be wounded beyond repair as, thanks to Trump, money, celebrity, and an energized mob will forever completely overtake competence, character, and the ability to appeal to moderates as assets in major political campaigns.

To be clear, a Hillary Clinton presidency will also be a failure. But at the end of it, I see far more scenarios where both the country and the conservative cause are in better shape at the end of 2020 than if Trump somehow wins this election. Trump’s many fans seem to be looking at this “game” as checkers, but if you see it as chess the outlook is much different. Sometimes in life it is good to lose pieces in the short run in order to survive in the long term. That is the essence of why I have always been and will always be “Never Trump.”

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John Ziegler, who has worked as a pollster, is a nationally-syndicated radio talk show host and documentary filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZigManFreud or email him at

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This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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