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Things Fall Apart

U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he walks to board Air Force One to depart New York for Washington D.C. at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, New York, U.S., September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria – RC1B0E30F4C0

I’m creating this thread to discuss the following question: What happens if Donald Trump is president on January 21st, 2021? By “what happens” I mean what follows from that for you personally, both in terms of what political actions and personal life choices you may make.

I realize this is a disturbing and indeed horrifying prospect, but it’s one I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. It goes without saying that all of us will do our best to make sure it doesn’t come to that. But what if does? What then?

Of course a lot depends on how this should come to happen. An at least facially legitimate election is one thing, an apparently stolen one is another. And the possibility exists, even if it’s remote, that the results of the election won’t determine the outcome, and the political situation devolves into something like civil war. (A year ago I would have said the chances of that were so remote as not to be worth considering. I don’t think that’s the case any more).

The reason I’m asking this question is that at some point acceding to creeping fascism becomes collaboration. At what point does an authoritarian takeover become too obvious to be tolerable? At what point does resistance have to become something more than a slogan?

I don’t for a moment pretend there are easy answers to these questions, or that they won’t vary enormously for individuals, for all sorts of excellent reasons. Nor do I deny that there are enormous differences in the various levels of privilege that people have, in regard to what choices are available to them, in regard to options like deciding to leave the country altogether or what have you.

All that said, for some time now I’ve had a growing sense that we are moving toward something that must be stopped somehow. I of course agree with Scott that Trump will certainly not be removed by the impeachment process. The natural corollary to that is that he must be defeated at the polls if something resembling an America worth saving is to survive. But what if that doesn’t happen, for whatever reason?

I really want to hear what people are thinking regarding this question, assuming you’ve thought about it, or even if you haven’t.

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