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A Road To Nowhere – The Future Of Trump, Western Democracy And The United States

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Throughout his tenure, Trump incessantly tested the limits of what he, as the US president, could get away with. He sawed off Robert Mueller’s testimony, survived impeachment and now with the latest debacle of Trump encouraging his supporters to storm the Congress in an effort to balk Joe Biden’s election triumph, the brazen Republican has hit his lowest point yet. Until January 20, Trump will still hold control over everything from the nuclear missile codes to foreign relations. Albeit the shortness of his remaining time in office, it raises the pertinent question about what Trump could still do to extract more benefits for himself. The question about how much damage has already been done to the future of the United States during Trump’s term is also far from obsolete.

Trump, who has made it clear that he won’t accept defeat, as he continues to make claims of widespread fraud committed by Joe Biden in the 2020 elections, had obviously hoped for another term in the Oval Office. Now it seems that he will have another go at it in the next elections in 2024. One main reason for Trump remaining the Republicans’ “Trump card” and frontman is the loud, bold and brazen enigma that shrouds him. Being one of the most vocal Republicans and a television celebrity gives him a very strong chance to hop aboard the election run in 2024 again and to make life difficult for the other Republicans hoping to run as the party’s next candidate. Among these is also Vice President Mike Pence. The US Constitution allows presidents to be elected twice and the two terms don’t have to be consecutive. Despite his happy go lucky demeanor on Twitter, Trump is still a shrewd politician as seen when he formed a political action committee that would allow him to raise money and exert influence in the party after he leaves office, whether he becomes a Presidential candidate again or not. Regardless, the committee would definitely help his political run again in 2024.

Trump’s desire to retain his political influence is also evident in his endorsement of his close ally Ronna McDaniel recently for another term as the Republican National Committee chairwoman. Trump also has strong and close ties with Fox News – evident, in the most recent instance, in the news channel announcing the Arizonian election results before the vote count was confirmed. Trump can also easily collaborate with existing conservative cable networks, like One America News Network and Newsmax, which both focus heavily on portraying Trump in positive lights.

Still, in order to be able to run for the presidency again, Trump has first to deal with a mountain of legal and financial battles before 2024.  According to Forbes, Trump’s net worth dropped by 600 million US dollars, while 420 million more are promised to be paid for his companies’ debts. Moreover, Trump has to deal with a plethora of legal lawsuits, such as alleged sexual assaults, claims of income tax evasions and tax frauds. A few of the lawsuits against Trump have also been filed by his own family members. This coupled with the investigations of him sabotaging the 2016 elections and the current incident at Capitol Hill will probably see Trump’s future in dire straits.

As for the future of the United States and western democracy, their prospects seem pretty bleak for now. Many world leaders, such as the Iranian president, have expressed their remorse claiming that the chaos unleashed on the US Capitol by US President Donald Trump’s supporters exposed the fragility of western democracy. The United States is certainly fertile for many populists who believe it is alright to storm a building that has over 200 years’ worth of heritage for the country. These populists make us question the entire ideology of United States’ capitalism, for which they have waged wars and propaganda over many decades now. If this is the state of capitalism and democracy in the country, then the chinks in the armor of the US are beginning to show up.

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, many stock market prognosticators have severely been affected. The market might get another drastic hit in case of gridlock in Capitol Hill. Even if the country finds an effective vaccine for Covid-19 sometime in 2021, if the United States doesn’t pass another large stimulus bill, the probability of an economic recession in the US is as high as fifty percent. And such a bill seems unlikely, as Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has a history of rejecting and thwarting any Democratic bill that comes to his office. Democratic leaders, including Biden, will therefore have a very hard time keeping up with the Republican who is nicknamed “Grim Reaper” exactly because of this. With more Republicans than Democrats holding office, Joe Biden is going to have a very hard time. According to the most recent economic outlook issued by the Federal Reserve, it shows that the country’s GDP will slowly decline over the course of the next three years, dropping down to 2.4 percent in 2023. Many economists now believe that it will take around three years for USA to get back on track but one must not forget that the country hasn’t yet completely recovered from the 2008 recession. Even as of right now, the country is 9.8 million jobs below the pre-pandemic level. With no viable cure for COVID 19, jobs will surely decrease in the coming few months. Nearly 4 million people have joined the ranks of the long-term unemployed – meaning they’ve been idle more than six months – the most since 2013, and about 100,000 small businesses have since been closed.

The end of 2021 will provide the first indication of the strength of the economy after the pandemic. If large groups of unemployed workers are not able to find work for new companies or in different industries, then the economic scars of the pandemic are likely to limit potential economic activity, going well into 2022.

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Naya Daur