So suppose Donald Trump were to become President. It would take quite a strange turn of events – half the country coming down with the flu on Election Day and millions of people who mostly don’t bother to vote, finding themselves walking by an open polling station. Stranger things have happened. Not in real life but in fantasy novels and bad political movies.
So let’s engage in a flight of fancy and suppose in January 2017 Donald Trump is inaugurated. Well, first, there is the chance that Obama would try to declare a state of emergency and extend his own Presidency. Not likely (or legal), but we are dreaming in technicolor, so why not? And, of course, the whole country might rise up and refuse to let the Donald enter the Oval office. Two and a half months is not a lot of time to organize a revolution but it could be done.
But let’s say Mr. Trump is allowed to take office, would he serve out an entire term?
The first obstacle is Mr. Trump himself. He hasn’t, in his marriages and his business ventures, shown a lot of stick-to-itiveness. He has had a number of marriages and a similar number of bankruptcies. And there is a sense that Donald is more interested in winning the presidency than in actually being president. It may be that all that time on The Apprentice has made winning the contest more important than getting the job. I sympathize with DT – I too have suffered from long term adult attention deficit disorder. Staying with something – even a good thing – can be a challenge for some of us.
So Trump might take office and then just stop coming down from the Lincoln bedroom to go to work. Let Paul do it, might become his slogan. (Yeah, I’m picking Paul Ryan for VP – he has experience, running at least). The Trump presidency might be a lot like the way he deals with real estate – as an absentee landlord.
But it is possible that Mr. Trump will feel inspired and actually try to do the things he says he will do. Round people up and deport them; close the borders to all Muslims – including presumably the Presidents of Turkey and Indonesia, two of America’s allies. And, of course, all other Indonesians would also be prohibited from visiting too. It, not countries in the Middle East, is the biggest Muslim country in the world.
The trouble is; some of these actions are unconstitutional, intruding on both states’ powers and the Bill of Rights. The courts – those pesky defenders of the common man – might well thwart him at every turn. And he can’t simply say to them – you’re fired. He doesn’t have that power; no legitimate president does. And if he tried to do it anyway, there is the army, which is sworn, more than anything else, to uphold the Constitution. Being Commander in Chief doesn’t change that (which is also why Obama couldn’t really extend his presidency). And let’s not even get into what would happen if he actually tried to nuke Daesh.
Donald might soon wind up in his own internment camps. See – even bad political movies can have happy endings.
And that’s ten minutes.