Just over 4 years ago I was sitting with my wife on our sofa in our home in Texas. I was in consoling mode as she was in floods of tears, absolutely horrified and shattered at the election outcome. I wasn’t doing much better but was riding on a wave of Oban. I do vividly remember something I said back then. Clutching at straws I suppose, but I remember saying “what if he turns out to be really good at this?”. Oh how we laugh about that now.
Last night Biden & Harris led a brief memorial event at the Lincoln monument, honouring the now 400,000 Americans that have died during the pandemic. Sadly one of those souls was my dear father in law back in August. With no funeral or family gathering possible in all that time it felt like a little bit of closure, and it was also a signal of some hope for a more compassionate way forward. We moved to Ireland last July and, family aside, have felt very distant from our lives over there. Ironically, our latest binge on TV has been ‘Aerial America’ on the Smithsonian channel (check it out it’s wonderful). I love America, I really do. It gave me 20 years of great joy and happiness. I love the people and the places, it’s where I met my wife and our son was born. I’m so hopeful of better times ahead. I wonder how long the stench of Trump will last? Can Biden do enough in the next 4 years that will make him seem like just a horrible distant memory?
So, what happens next?
As bad as the pandemic is over there, and how badly it’s been managed, the new administration will get to ride a wave of hope and optimism over the next few months. International relations will be mended, the economy will continue to boom. But what about Trump? He may try to run for office again. He’s been talking about setting up a media empire, even starting a new political party. Is he heading for the courts as soon as he leaves the White House? Will he just slowly fade into obscurity? I think he might. If he has any hope of running again he’s going to need to find the resources to do it. I can’t see his cult forking out $10 or $20 to attend one of his rallies. He won’t have the GOP to prop him up. Media empires require huge investment before you start seeing any reward. Politically, I don’t think he has anywhere to go. He’ll rant and rave and still have his followers but I think he may become a footnote in U.S. politics sooner than people think.