As you read this, sipping your morning coffee, be assured that Donald J. Trump is still president of the United States. What I can't say with any certainty is that he will still be president after Jan. 20, 2021. Polls and pundits give Joe Biden a 90% chance of winning the election and most likely, he will be taking the oath of office on that Wednesday in January. But then, Hillary Clinton was given an 88% chance to win, and she lost by 77,744 votes scattered about in Michigan (47.6% to 47.4%), Wisconsin (47.8% to 47.0%), and Pennsylvania (48.6% to 47.9%). We are told that the 2020 pollsters learned from the 2016 election and have adjusted their analytics to account for "shy" Trump supporters. Sounds like a sure-fire way to jinx the election to me!
I remember waking up on that morning after the 2016 election. It took a minute for the realization that Trump had won to bubble up to my consciousness. It was just too bizarre to believe. We elected someone with no political experience, two divorces, and who voiced racist and sexist views. He claimed to be a successful businessman but refused to divulge his tax returns. He told it like it was, in language we would not use with our grandparents, and we praised him for it. He told us only he could fix the problems we faced. He gave us a tax cut, which we really didn't need, and said it would stimulate the economy to heights never seen. The reality was that the increase in gross domestic product rose only slightly more than that seen in the Obama years. Now, with so many unemployed and many businesses shut down or slowed by the pandemic, those lost tax revenues could have been applied to the government stimulus programs. Instead, we increased our deficits by several trillion dollars.
But you know all this. You've lived through it. This election shouldn't even be close but 42% of Americans still support this reality TV star who considers himself the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln. No president in history has had so many of his own political party turn against him. No presidency has endured the high degree of turnover in White House and administrative personnel more than Trump's. No long-term plans, no consistent policy-making, and sacrificing truth and objectivity for loyalty to a man who adores dictators. Four years of President Trump will provide volumes of historical research as to how and why an incompetent like Trump got elected to the highest office in the land.
I hope I woke up this morning to a clear-cut win for Joe Biden. I hope it was a decisive landslide win so we can avoid the recounts, lawsuits, and angst of wondering what happened to our political process. Most likely, though, the election will not be decided by Wednesday morning. The record-breaking number of mailed-in ballots will take some time to count, and we will just have to wait for the final tally before we start cheering or gnashing our teeth.
I will toss this nugget out, though. Regardless of which candidate is declared the winner, I seriously doubt he will finish out the full four years. Trump will most likely be impeached again, and if the Democrats took the Senate, he may actually be convicted and removed from office. The GOP leadership may decide to make Trump resign if he becomes even more unhinged. They already have what they most wanted with three Supreme Court nominees appointed, so Trump's usefulness has ended for them. Biden, if elected, will probably have a decision to make after the 2022 mid-term elections. If the Dems do not lose too many congressional seats in 2022, Biden may seriously consider resigning from office. If he does stay on, odds are he will not run for re-election in 2024.
In another four years, we do this all over again. Isn't that a cheery thought?
-- Devin Houston is the president/CEO of Houston Enzymes. Send comments or questions to [email protected] The opinions expressed are those of the author.