Donald Trump is the 44th president of the United States. The ‘tactics’ employed by the 70-year-old during his election campaign earned him several labels. However, a dilettante like Trump running for president betrays a much more intrinsic nature: he is a chronic narcissist. Being the most powerful man on the planet garners a person a considerable amount of attention, and in this regard Trump must surely be satisfied. However, the shock of his election victory has all but faded. People are, slowly, coming to terms with their new leader and the man himself must now be realising that being president actually entails doing a job. The only thing worse for the president-elect than not being the centre of the known universe, is being that centre, and then witnessing the spotlight begin to fade. It is probable then, that he is already planning his next stunt, the question is, what will it be?
‘A second term? No thanks!’
The first option the president-elect may be considering is to suffer through one term as president of America and then leave. Although, in truth, it would be the electorate who suffer as Trump spends four years complaining about the state of the country and how much work he is having to do to fix it after the ‘terrible mess’ in which Barack Obama left things. This would simultaneously strengthen his position as the figurehead of the anti-establishment movement, while also laying the groundwork for possible excuses he may have for failing to initiate any improvements. After those four years he could, in theory, leave office and once again become the focal point of the world’s attention — exiting the White House with the line: ‘I’ve done my bit — you guys take it from here’. Having only spent one term in office he would have little accountability should the situation go south in that time. He would also largely be free from scrutiny, while no doubt making a return to the business world under the pretence of ‘making America great again’, this time from a position of financial rather than political strength.
‘This president gig isn’t for me!’
Alternatively, the Queens’ native could choose to be more extreme and leave after two years. No president has ever had the ‘guts’ to do that before, and wouldn’t it be fantastic for Trump’s profile if he could be the first to shake up the presidential status quo in such a way. Essentially, this would have the same implications as option one, only further exaggerated. Halfway into his first term he could make the argument that, having experienced the inner workings of government first-hand, no progress towards restoring America’s prosperity can be achieved through conventional, political means. What a mandate Trump would then have to further pursue this goal through ‘unconventional means’. Leaving the ‘nitty-gritty’ to Mike Pence, he could still maintain political influence through acting as an occasional adjudicator and arbiter, without having to do any of the boring day-to-day work.
‘Donald Trump: out!’
However, if these possibilities have occurred to Trump, then surely he has considered a third, and all together more chilling option: resigning the day after his inauguration. Nothing would set tongues wagging in such a way than immediately ‘dropping the mic’. Potentially this could be his dream situation — occasionally swanning into the White House to ensure Pence and the boys are ‘keeping faith’ while being free from the shackles of the actual work itself. Who’s to say he could not still be the most powerful politician on Earth? If he needs script lines, then he can flick through Nigel Farage’s playbook. Somehow the former UKIP leader managed to land himself as the most influential man in the UK without having an office. Why not Trump? America would have its own version of the Queen!
These are, of course, fairly far-fetched outcomes — even for the president-elect. However, if there is one thing that we should have learned from the past 12 months, it is that anything can happen. Over the next four years we should expect the unexpected, only time will tell how far Trump will go to remain the talk of the town.