He has grown while in office. That is, at least, if one is to believe the report from his official doctor. According to the doctor, Donald Trump is 1.9 meters tall (approximately 6 feet 2 inches), three centimeters (approximately 1 inch) more than stated on his driver’s license. All speculation that the real estate mogul and reality TV star would mature in office, on the other hand, has shattered after a year. To lose all hope of improvement, one need only recall the past days: the self-description as a “stable genius,” the fiascos about “shithole nations” and the awarding of a fictional “fake news” award. Trump is an ignorant narcissist. The man became a billionaire with shady deals and trash shows. He continues to be the same way in the Oval Office.
As a moral authority or even as a leader of the Western world, Trump is a total failure. He lies, resorts to nasty resentment, courts autocrats and pursues his private economic interests. Trump would explode any form of political satire. But he is the president of the U.S. and will remain so for a long while.
The anniversary of his inauguration is a good opportunity to face two unpleasant truths. Even if the chaotic sequence of glitches, intrigues and affairs convey the impression of a telenovela, this head of government is real. He emerged from a democratic election and continues to be tirelessly supported by his followers. They voted for him because they no longer expect anything from politics and his performance serves their pent-up frustration.
From this follows the second truth: The notion that Trump will be chased out of the White House in the near future is tempting, but rather unrealistic. There is a lack – up until now – of troops and leverage. Of course, the 71-year-old often behaves strangely. But it would be difficult to prove that he is mentally incompetent and must be removed from office under the provisions of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As a result, a regular impeachment process is more likely to be initiated.
One conceivable cause to begin impeachment proceedings would be if Special Counsel Robert Mueller actually proves treasonous collusion between Trump and Russian officials or the involvement of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in money laundering. But it has not yet gone that far. And even it does, the process could only be initiated with the consent of the Republicans, who until now have stood overwhelmingly behind Trump.
Fated Alliance Threatened with Rifts
That will not change as long as the president guarantees political success. The midterm elections in November, through which the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate will be elected, are therefore the paramount event in Trump’s second year in office. He will hardly be able to see major legislation through. That theoretically opens up room for profiling of the Democrats. If the opposition party can finally get over the fixation on itself, it could reverse the majority in the House of Representatives.
A few months ago, such a scenario was considered utopian. After the surprising congressional election results in Virginia and Alabama, however, many observers see a real chance. If the Democrats take over Congress, the fated alliance between the Republicans and the president might develop serious rifts. Passing legislation could become even more difficult for Trump. Perhaps the erratic self-promoter would lose interest. In any case, the halo he wears for his base might erode. Through his own lack of success, the populist dazzler could be effectively debunked.
Stated differently, Trump must become smaller. Only then can America eventually become great again.