Trump is Going, Here Is What He Will Leave Behind

All eyes are now on 2024.

When push comes to shove, and it’s time to leave, Trump will walk peacefully. Many people would differ, but I truly believe the man isn’t an idiot. He’s conniving, cold-blooded, and narcissistic — but not stupid. He’s made moves in the last five years that, putting the racism and the fascism to one side, could be considered a political genius.

Besides, being escorted out of the White House by force isn’t a good look — especially for a “strong man.” My country had democratic dictators not only be ousted from office but sent into exile. They were, at one point, invincible. But they too knew when it was time to walk. Trump is no different. He knew that the second he saw Wisconsin and Michigan turn blue.

And now, he’s admitted it.

Whilst talking to the press, Trump has stated that he will leave the White House. However, there’s a minor caveat to that — if the electors vote for Joe Biden.

Although that can be construed as Trump not really throwing in the towel, the truth is he has. He admitted time wasn’t on his side. He’s agreed to move forward with the transition. Lawmakers are refusing to join his crusade to kill American democracy forever. The Federal Appeals Court has thrown out the lawsuit he originally filed in Pennsylvania. And reports are stating he’s now eyeing a run in 2024.

But most importantly of all — he knows he’s lying.

The question now is, where does this leave American democracy?

It’s tricky, to say the least. Even though he’s accepted the fact that he will have to leave, he still hasn't conceded. He’s still going to keep the “fraud” narrative alive. He’ll keep going to state legislators to appoint electors that will overturn the result. Not because he’s hopeful that he will get the job done, but because playing the martyr now is his best bet at winning in 2024 — if he doesn't go to jail, that is.

And that really is where America’s focus should be right now — on 2024. This election is over. Biden was voted in, and Trump is clearing the way for the will of the people to be carried out. American democracy received the lifeline it so desperately needed. But make no mistake — it’s not out of the woods yet.

When you’re battling dictators, you need to think long-term. Because even Trump going to prison isn't going to solve all your problems. America’s political scene has been infiltrated by fascism, racism, and blatant misinformation. That doesn't go away with the man who brought it. Think of it this way — just like other political ideologies; this is an ideology. And unlike the vast majority of them, it’s good enough to lure 73 million people to the polling booths.

And when you’ve got a base like that, politicians like Trump are going to keep coming. Why? Firstly, presidential candidates can’t ignore numbers like that. Secondly, when it takes the biggest vote received by a presidential candidate in the history of American democracy to beat those numbers, appealing to that base becomes an increasingly attractive proposition. And if you’re wondering whether politicians would kill their conscience to get the job done, then aren’t they already doing favours to special interests at the expense of your hopes and dreams?

Make no mistake — the only way you can stop them is by voting against them. Remember, the only reason “Trump-ism” is here to stay is because it has a vote-bank large enough to win. What America needs to do is weed it out — slowly. That’s the only way it’s going to happen. Why? Simply because politicians will require data from a few consecutive elections to realise that “Trump tactics” are no longer going to get them to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

And there's a reason I say “few” — the fascists are not going to care if they lost just this once. If Trump had lost resoundingly, it would’ve been a different story. But like this? When their vote bank goes up by 7 million? No — that, if anything, is a nod to the enemies of democracy to try again.

And that’s why you have to be ready for when they do. I wish I could sugar-coat this — but America is going to have to do it again. And again. You see, 2024 is crucial, yes, but 2028 is what’s going to hammer it home. Because the Trump base isn't going anywhere. If they wanted to vote him out, they had plenty of opportunities this time around. And it wasn't as if we’d only discovered what sort of a president he was after the election was over. That’s why America needs to prove again and again that, no matter how large those numbers get, the numbers voting the other way will always be greater.

It’s then and only then will politicians realise that no matter how large their base already is, America finds one way or another to say no. That is how America is going to weed out fascism. Remember this — dangerous ideologies never reach their most dangerous until and unless they have the votes ready to unleash them.

The next two elections are critical. But even beyond them, America needs to keep 2016, as painful as it was, fresh in its mind. It’s a lesson — a lesson not to take your democracy for granted.

Just because you’re choosing the dictator doesn’t make them any less of a dictator. Add to that you’re handing them the power of the state, and removing them from office could get tricky. The act of voting doesn’t magically render the choice you’re making to be the right one. Democracy doesn’t mean shooting yourself in the foot is okay as long as you’re doing it by choice. Nations became democratic because they no longer wanted to be ruled by tyrants.

Choosing them ourselves defeats the purpose.

And if Americans are to truly keep their democracy alive, they need to understand that democracies are vulnerable — always. The notion that the beacon of democracy is somehow “immune” to threats — that it’s only the Third World that’s full of broken democracies — is naive. Fascism is not something that only affects countries that are largely poor and uneducated. Europe was rich, the centre of the empire, and home to some of the world's most well-known thinkers. But that didn’t stop it from nearly being destroyed by fascism.

Where America differs is that it still has the chance to put the brakes on it before it festers. It all sounds apocalyptic, but the truth is Americans already know how to do it. I mean, they just did, didn’t they? The only thing that needs to change is for them to shift their perception of where the threat lies from Trump to “Trump-ism.” If they treat it like the threat to their democracy that it actually is, it won’t take much for America to rally itself at the next two elections.

And America must because Trump has left behind a roadmap for an America that’s built on his values. If Americans don't finish the job they've started, they're going to be seeing more and more politicians just like Trump. Because one election — one rejection of fascism — does not kill fascism. And nothing will make it easier for them to target Trump’s base than building on what Trump has left behind.

Is that an America you want to live in? A country being remodeled on hate, lies, and fear?

Or do you want an America that isn't governed by fascists? A country whose Head of State doesn't embarrass you when he goes abroad?

You have to make that choice come 2024. And then in 2028. You have to learn from the mistakes made in 2016. Because they will decide the road, not only American democracy but America as a country will go down.



Political opinion from a Law & Politics grad. Nuance over ideology. Twitter @SikanderH8.

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Sikander Hayat Khan

Political opinion from a Law & Politics grad. Nuance over ideology. Twitter @SikanderH8.