Donald Trump at the White House leaves the chaos legacy of the US president

Image source: AP

A security team patrols the White House as preparations continue ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, in Washington.

Donald Trump will leave the White House and board Marine One for the last time as President on Wednesday morning, leaving behind a legacy of chaos and turmoil and a bitterly divided nation.

Four years after taking the stage at his own inauguration and painting a disastrous picture of “American carnage,” Trump is leaving office twice impeached, with millions more out of work and 400,000 dead from the coronavirus. Republicans under his leadership lost the presidency and both houses of Congress. He will be remembered forever for the last major act of his presidency: inciting an insurgency on Capitol Hill that left five dead, including a Capitol police officer, and horrified the nation.

Trump will be the first president in modern history to boycott his successor’s nomination as he continues to mull over his loss and privately maintains that the election President-elect Joe Biden has rightly won has been stolen from him . Republican officials from several critical states, members of his own administration, and a wide range of judges, including those appointed by Trump, have dismissed these arguments.

Yet Trump has refused to participate in any of the symbolic traditions of the passing of the torch surrounding the peaceful transition of power, including inviting the Bidens on a visit to get to know each other.

By the time Biden is sworn in, Trump will have already landed at his private Mar-a-Lago club in West Palm Beach, Fla., To face an uncertain future – but not before he has given himself a big military start, with a red carpet, a military band and a 21-gun salute.

Guests have been invited, but it’s unclear how many will be in attendance. Even Vice President Mike Pence plans to skip the event, citing the logistical challenges of getting from the airbase to the dedication ceremonies. Washington has been transformed into a stronghold of security, with thousands of National Guard troops, fences and checkpoints in an attempt to avoid further violence.

Aides had urged Trump to spend his last days in power trying to save his legacy by highlighting his administration’s accomplishments – passing tax cuts, cutting federal regulations, normalizing Middle East relations. But Trump largely refused, making just one trip to the Texas border and posting a video in which he promised his supporters that “the movement we have started is just beginning.”

Trump will retire to Florida with a small group of former White House aides as he charts a political future that looks very different now than just two weeks ago.

Before the Capitol Riot, Trump was expected to remain the de facto leader of his party, wielding tremendous power as he served as kingmaker and pondered a 2024 presidential bid. But now , he seems more powerless than ever – rejected by so many in his party, twice indicted, denied the Twitter megaphone he intended to use as a weapon, and even faced with the prospect that, s’ he is sentenced during his trial in the Senate, he could be barred from running for a second term.

For now, Trump remains angry and embarrassed, consumed with rage and grievance. He spent the week after the election sinking deeper and deeper into a world of conspiracy, and those who spoke to him say he still believes he won in November. He continues to lash out at Republicans for perceived disloyalty and has threatened, both publicly and privately, to spend the next few years supporting major challenges against those he says betrayed him.

Some expect him to end up completely turning against the Republican Party, perhaps flirting with a candidacy as a third-party candidate as an act of revenge.

Despite all the chaos and drama and bending the world to his will, Trump ended his tenure the way he started: largely alone. The Republican Party he co-opted finally seemed to have had enough after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, looking for lawmakers who refused to join Trump’s unconstitutional efforts to overturn the results of ‘a democratic election.

But while Washington may have had enough, Trump retains his grip on the Republican base, with the support of millions of loyal voters, as well as allies who still lead the Republican National Committee and many state party organizations. .

The city he is leaving will not be missed. Trump has rarely left the premises of the White House, except to visit his own hotel. He and his wife have never had dinner once at another local restaurant; never ventured to shop in its stores or see the sites. When he left, it was almost always to one of his properties: his golf course in Virginia, his golf course in New Jersey, his private club, and a nearby golf course in Palm Beach, Florida.

The city overwhelmingly supported Biden, with 93% of the vote. Trump received only 5.4% of the vote – or less than 18,600 ballots – not enough to fill the Washington Capitals hockey arena.

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Kevin E. Boling

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