The Reason Donald Trump Might Quit
Category: Op/EdBy: john-russell • one week ago • 24 comments
The basis for this article is not something I concluded on my own , although I think if I thought in this direction I would have reached the same conclusion Joe Scarborough and Donny Deutch did on Morning Joe this morning.
People wonder, would Donald Trump just quit the election and announce he is not going to stand for a second term? On one level it sounds crazy, but on another , the prospect makes a lot of sense.
Trump will do what is best for Trump , and the Trump brand, that is a given. So what is best for Trump, going into the next 10 years of his life as a big loser, crushed by Sleepy Joe in the November election , humiliated by massive rejection of him personally? His legacy shredded by ignominious defeat? Or is Trump's future , AND THE FUTURE OF HIS BRAND, AND HIS CHILDREN'S BRAND, better served by Trump telling the American people that he and the country had three "incredible" years of victories that will last forever and it was only an uncontrollable pandemic that ended that run and that he is stepping down to allow the country to reset.
If he does it by Labor Day he would give his party enough time to choose another candidate and mount a relatively normal campaign for that person, so Trump couldn't be accused of abandoning the country to Biden. He could say that the new candidate should rise or fall on their own merit.
At this point Trump has to be worrying about his brand if he loses. Not just loses but loses in a big rout. And not only his brand, his own self-image will be at stake. He will live the rest of his life as the man who lost badly to Sleepy Joe. If Trump declines to run he can set himself up as the televangelist of Trumpism, start his new cable news channel , and tour the country having rallies where he would criticize whatever he wants and recount how great he was as president. He would have a continuing movement and maintain "power" over his fans. If he gets his clock cleaned in the election his value as a crusader for Trumpism would largely evaporate.
There is also the matter of his vulnerability to criminal prosecution to consider though. How afraid is Trump that a Democratic led Department of Justice will seek retribution on him for his behavior toward that institution and indict him for his multiple crimes? I'm not so sure he's that worried. He has been embroiled in court his whole life and has been a crook his whole life, and it has always worked out for him before. And he knows it's unlikely that any court will send an ex-president to prison.
I don't think Trump will quit the race, but I bet the thought occurs to him more regularly lately. It has to sound appealing on some level.