Tuesday, May 18

An end of reign that looks like an off-road for Donald Trump

According to his daily agenda, Donald Trump would not have a minute of his own as his presidential term officially ends next Wednesday.

Since the return of the holidays, the document indeed indicates, every day, that “President Trump will work from early in the morning to late at night. He will make a lot of calls and have a lot of appointments ”, without however giving more detail, contrary to custom. A strangely laconic entry for an end of reign just as strange and which for several weeks testifies above all to another reality. That of a president in total loss of control, far from being well installed in the chair of his oval office to fine-tune the final files of his presidency, prepare for the transition and thereby heal his exit.

“It is without a doubt the worst end of a presidency in the history of the United States,” summarizes in an interview Kenneth Lachlan, director of the communications department at the University of Connecticut. Since the election, Donald Trump has finally shown very little interest in governing. He only used his post to try to undermine public confidence in the election results. He instigated an armed uprising. And when he had the opportunity to call for calm, he decided instead to remain silent ”.

“The way Donald Trump is negotiating his departure will be damaging not only for the country, but also for him,” adds the specialist in image and crisis communication, Josh Bentley, professor at Texas Christian University, joined at Dallas by The duty this week. By refusing to be elegant in defeat, he thus ensures that no one remembers him fondly ”.

On November 7, Donald Trump set the tone for his last 60 days as president by staying on the golf course of one of his clubs in Sterling, Virginia, while Joe Biden’s victory was officially recognized by the authorities American election. He returned there the next day, fleeing the reality of a defeat he passionately denied, before being forced to admit it, last week, after the Capitol uprising he had. himself induced by inflammatory remarks about the supposed theft of the elections of November 3, and by an unequivocal call for a show of force by his troops, against the American legislative power.

In one of his rare video messages written in advance, the 45e President of the United States has indeed, for the first time since the results of the vote, admitted defeat, announcing his departure and promising an orderly transfer of power.

Too little, too late and without any real conviction, moreover: a week later, he described as “totally appropriate” his statements which led to the bloody attack on the Cathedral of American Democracy, thus preferring, once again , comment on his own existence, rather than that of thousands of Americans devastated by the coronavirus, which he never really publicly admitted to exist.

A noticeable absence

For several weeks, Donald Trump has not taken part in any official meeting on the management of one of the most important health crises that his country is going through or demonstrated a real commitment to this war, while the epidemic is sinking. is dramatically packaged in several states. The country is on the verge of crossing the symbolic barrier of 400,000 deaths from the disease, in the displayed indifference of a president who has withdrawn into the White House from where he watches television, dividing his time between the private dining room of the Oval Office and the residential floor he lives in.

“Donald Trump is the victim of his own pride, of his deep sense of injustice and of his narcissism,” explains the Duty W. Joseph Campbell, professor of communication at American University in Washington, DC, while comparing the output of this president to that, inglorious, of Richard Nixon in 1974, in the wake of Watergate, or even more sinister by James Buchanan in the middle of the 19e century. “By the time he left office in March 1861, no less than seven southern states had seceded,” he says. The country was literally collapsing. “

“After losing the election, President Trump had the opportunity to leave the White House with his head held high, celebrating achievements such as the COVID-19 vaccine, geopolitical progress in the Middle East and dynamism pre-pandemic economy fueled by its tax reform, ”said Republican Michael Steel, former assistant to former House Speaker John Boehner, quoted by The Associated Press. “But instead, he chose to wallow in illusion and bitterness, leaving as the defining images of his presidency that of a murderous mob attacking the United States Capitol. “

This tragedy, carefully erected, piece by piece, by its pronounced taste for confrontation, by its vengeful spirit, by a boundless cult of lies and by a radical promotion of alternative realities, since the beginning of his mandate, goes elsewhere. make him go down in the history books as the only US president to face two impeachment proceedings to date. And this, in just one mandate.

The act of this second accusation, which evokes incitement to insurrection by a president in office, was adopted this week by the House of Representatives. Ten elected Republicans voted in favor. The impeachment trial is due to continue in the Senate from next week.

A horrible ruler

“The events of the last few days have crossed the line, including for Donald Trump”, who has continued since the start of his presidency to go beyond the legal, political, social limits linked to his function, summarizes Larry Mullen , professor in the School of Public Policy and Leadership at the University of Nevada, attached in Las Vegas. “He will have had a lack of empathy for others until the end of his mandate. He is a horrible leader who will have had regard only for himself and who will have refused to admit the responsible for his acts, including the most terrible. He leaves office in shame, although this should mostly be handcuffed. “

In shame, but also in calling for a void around him, judging by the growing list of resignations from his government and his cabinet. Initiated in the first days of the year 2021, they were accentuated in the aftermath of the riots in Washington which resulted in five people being killed. About ten people left their posts prematurely before January 20, including the Secretaries of Transport, Elaine Chao, and of Education, Betsy DeVos. “The events of the past few days have troubled me to such an extent that I cannot put them aside,” said the first. “The effect of your rhetoric on the riots is beyond question,” the other wrote to the president, “and it is, for me, an inflection point. “

The former chief of staff of Donald Trump Mick Mulvaney, representative of the United States in Northern Ireland, also resigned, affirming that he could no longer represent this government, after the riots fueled by the resentment of the president.

This week, the shockwave hit the business of self-proclaimed billionaire Deutsche Bank, a staunch lender of Donald Trump’s businesses, having announced that it will distance itself from the economic empire of the future ex-president. New York City also severed its business ties with the Trump Organization, as the Professional Golfers’Association (PGA) called off a championship event on one of the land owned by the tycoon. real estate in New Jersey, in 2022, in protest.

Nonetheless, despite this collapse, Donald Trump is considering a spectacular departure from the White House on Wednesday, with a presidential plane and helicopter that will take him to Florida where he should move both his person and his bitterness. Red carpet and salute of guns to greet his departure would be on the program of the farewell ceremony he ordered.

A final in perfect harmony with the four years of his presidency. “Trump believes he’s loved because he’s a fighter who always fights back on attacks,” Bentley said. He must maintain this image, never giving up, even if he is wrong. And that’s what he does ”, keeping himself like this, as he always has, at the center of attention, even when the ground slips under his feet.


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