What will Donald Trump say in his farewell address? - opinion

Trump is a historic figure. Like the Bourbons, he has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Goodyear, Arizona, US, October 28, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST)
US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Goodyear, Arizona, US, October 28, 2020
Before he boards Air Force One for the last time and slinks off to his Florida golf resort, Donald Trump may give a farewell address to the nation. He will want to recount for all the world why he considers himself the “greatest of all presidents,” and take credit for his successes, real and imagined. Then he will launch into his usual whiny litany of bitter grievances peppered with lies and threats.
Ordinarily that would be ordinary. He was a sore winner in 2016 and now he is an even sorer loser. He will grouse for the rest of his life about how he was robbed of a second term.
Trump is a historic figure. Like the Bourbons, he has learned nothing and forgotten nothing. More than 81 million Americans told him “you’re fired,” yet he refuses to accept reality. He lost a job he never liked and largely ignored, but he hates losing its power, pomp and perks.
That’s why after last week’s violent assault on the US Capitol that resulted in his record second impeachment, his decision not to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration may be more than peevish.
The thousands of far-right extremists he incited to deadly insurrection with calls to “fight” are planning to return to Washington and to 50 state capitals in coming days, in larger numbers and angrier. And armed, the FBI has warned.
Will Trump be leaving town early just to avoid being the loser watching the man who defeated him get sworn in, or is he also sending a message to his followers, “I’m outta here, I don’t care what you do now.”?
As many as 15,000 National Guard members – more than currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined – are reportedly to be sent here next week for the inauguration, along with thousands of law enforcement personnel, and there will be more around the country.
The House will almost certainly vote impeachment this week for “willfully inciting violence” that saw Trump’s “mob” of followers brutally attack and trash the US Capitol. They had planted bombs (later defused) at Republican and Democratic headquarters. Some were shouting that they wanted to hang Vice President Mike Pence, whom the president had just attacked for disobeying his president’s urging to violate the Constitution. There was also talk of “citizens arrests” of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers and their aides. Many were armed with guns, knives and other weapons. One Capitol Police officer was killed, and another badly injured in the terrorist attack.
Among the predominantly if not exclusively white Trump terrorists, white supremacists and neo-Nazis was the familiar ugly stain of antisemitism. It could be seen on shirts and signs with offensive slogans like “Camp Auschwitz” and “6MWE” (Six Million Wasn’t Enough). There were Holocaust-deniers, even an anti-circumcision crusader. There were white supremacist signs, a noose and Confederate flags.
In an unprecedented move, the ADL called for Trump’s removal, the first major American Jewish organization to take such a stand, according to the Forward. Even AIPAC condemned the president’s “incitement.” In contrast, the extremist ZOA echoed baseless far-right charges that the FBI is investigating whether the terrorists were actually elements of the leftist Antifa.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, who grew up in post-war Austria, called the attack on the Capitol the American Kristallnacht, the 1933 Nazi destruction of Jewish-owned businesses and institutions. He called his fellow Republicans “spineless” for not standing up to “the worst president ever.”
The terrorists also had supporters inside the Capitol. Texas Republican Rep. Pete Sessions tweeted that he met with the terrorists, and “I encouraged them to keep fighting.”
Several Capitol Police officers were suspended for cooperating with the terrorists and about 15 others are under investigation. In the ranks of the marauders were active-duty military personnel and law-enforcement officers from other areas, according to police and the Pentagon.
The demonstrators are planning to return for a “Million Militia March” next week. On-line organizers are encouraging followers to “come armed.” The logo for the event is crossed assault rifles, and the stated goal is to prevent “the treasonous domestic enemy Joe Biden” from entering the White House.
Republican anger at Trump’s behavior has been growing since he lost the election and even more so in recent days, but most GOP officials and office holders have been too timid to say anything publicly, knowing how vindictive and vicious he can be. Even though he lost the weapon they fear most, his Twitter account, they’re frightened he’ll find other ways to eviscerate and threaten those who displease him – except for Vladimir Putin.
Few really expect him to run for a second term in 2024, but not many really thought he’d ever run for president in the first place. Instead, most see him spending the next four years plotting revenge and basking in the adulation of an ever-more-extreme political base.
One painful place the GOP is being hit by Trump’s behavior is in the pocketbook. Several large corporate donors have announced they will halt or curtail their political contributions, and others are considering similar action. Some are talking about pointedly targeting the 147 Republicans in the House and Senate who voted against what one big donor called “the peaceful transition of power.”
On that list are two high-profile senators who announced their plans to lead the opposition to certifying Biden’s election by sending fund-raising letters to thousands of supporters. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri felt a quick backlash. Leading newspapers in both states condemned the cynical ploy and called on them to resign.
Cruz’s 2016 campaign chair “denounced” the senator for having “aided and abetted” Trump’s “relentless assault” on democracy, Newsweek reported.
The Kansas City Star said Hawley had “blood on his hands” following the Capitol “coup attempt,” and his publisher, Simon & Schuster, canceled plans to publish his book.
Cruz and Hawley graduated Harvard and Yale law schools, respectively, and knew what they were trying to do was unconstitutional and doomed to fail. But they cynically put ambition first because they want to run for president in 2024, and felt sucking up to Trump would appeal to his loyal voter base.
Sen. Angus King, the Maine independent, called their stunt “profoundly unpatriotic.” Steve Schmidt, former Republican strategist, called them “demagogic sociopaths” whose conduct “eclipses anything that Joe McCarthy ever did.”
But in Donald Trump’s eyes they are heroes. For the moment. After all, tomorrow is another day.