“Our Most Vulnerable Election”

Pam Karlan in NYRB:

But a huge danger lies ahead even if the upcoming election goes smoothly, or smoothly enough to satisfy the Election Official’s Prayer—“Dear Lord, let this election not be close.” I am less optimistic than Douglas that a “decisive defeat” for Trump would avoid a crisis. If Trump leaves the White House on January 20, 2020, he will not go gentle into that good night. Addicted as he is to Twitter and the limelight, he is likely to continue attacking his successor, stirring up his base, and suggesting that the election was stolen, thereby continuing to undermine the legitimacy of the democratic system. Douglas imagines the former president setting up with Sean Hannity at the Trump International Hotel just a half-mile from the White House, where he can launch his long-planned cable network, rally his die-hard supporters, and “remain a force of chaos for years to come. Indeed, having lost in 2020, he could run again in 2024.” So whatever happens in November, the answer to the question “Will he go?” may unfortunately be: “Not for a long, long time.”

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