Donald Trump will not go quietly into the good night. In fact, he seems determined to leave the office with as little dignity as possible. This is adding a great deal of uncertainty to the transfer of power. It’s entirely plausible that America will wake up on Inauguration Day with Trump still contesting his ouster.
What happens then? At that point, anything is possible! Cockburn has concocted a list of potential January 20 endgame scenarios, ranked from least to most likely:
1. The normal ending
President Trump mounts some flimsy legal challenges, makes a bunch of angry tweets, but ultimately backs down and leaves office normally. He soon goes back to claiming the election was stolen, but is quickly banned from Twitter. He founds Trump TV, but it fails after one year amid allegations that Steve Bannon and Brad Parscale embezzled all the money.
As the most boring possibility, it is a virtual certainty that this is not what will happen.
2. The First Woman President ending
Having outwoked her rivals into the Vice President’s office, Kamala Harris is doubtless already planning her Oval Office decor in anticipation of her coming promotion. Nobody expects Joe Biden to last more than a few months as the real president. Inevitably, he will be pushed aside, so that Harris can be enthroned as the First Woman President. It’s a moment millions of pantsuit enthusiasts have looked forward to for years, if not decades.
That is, until President Trump ruins everything.
On the eve of the inauguration, the moment will finally be ripe for Donald Trump to reveal his deepest secret to the world: she identifies as a woman, Donna Trump. America’s first woman president was right in front of us all along. Harris’s big moment will be denied her and for all time the first woman elected president will be a Republican. The Washington Post and other outlets are stuck touting Kamala Harris as America’s First Menstruating President. That in itself generates a heated debate about transphobia in the media.
3. The QAnon ending
Losing the election was all part of Donald Trump’s plan all along. Feeling smug after his triumph, Joe Biden colludes with Hillary Clinton and John Podesta to transport Jeffrey Epstein’s victims into the Satanic ritual abuse dungeon buried beneath the White House the night before the inauguration. But this only lures them into the Donald’s trap. Trump emerges from the shadows, flanked by Robert Mueller and Jeff Sessions (who were both in on the plan all along) and orders the arrest of Biden, Clinton and the other leaders of the Satanic pedophile cabal.
Having brought down the hidden powers that have run the US government for years, Trump has no trouble getting the Electoral College to reelect him by acclamation. But having accomplished his mission, Trump doesn’t need to stick around. Instead, he hands off power to John F. Kennedy Jr, who is revealed to have faked his death 21 years ago.
4. The Mad Max ending
All year, Democrats have fantasized about Donald Trump refusing to leave the White House and having to be dragged out by the Secret Service or a detachment of Marines, ranting and raving like a cartoon villain.
But Donald Trump has had four years to prepare for this moment. He has no plans to be taken quietly, or at all. When the Secret Service approaches the Oval Office to remove Trump, they are unable to find the President at all. Suddenly, the White House explodes, and from the inferno the President’s motorcade rides out. Every vehicle in it is armed to the teeth and manned by fanatical Trump supporters recruited at the President’s rallies. The motorcade bursts out onto the Ellipse, blasts its way across the Mall using bootstrapped weapons systems, and escapes the city…just as several thermonuclear weapons detonate over the US Capitol.
For the next four years, Donald Trump prowls the highways of a post-apocalyptic United States. His enemies still call him ‘President Trump’, but he soon discards that name. He is now ‘God Emperor of the Road War’ and he imposes his writ wherever his mighty war vehicles roam. The goofy Twitter Trump of 2020 is long forgotten. In the grim future of 2024, Twitter is long gone, and the God Emperor rules through fear alone.
5. The ‘return home’ ending
Seeing no chance of holding his office another four years, Donald Trump decides that his time on Earth has come to an end. As he enters Trump Tower, he turns to address the press:
‘I came to this planet to teach humans that good borders make for good neighbors. Sadly, I now see that my efforts were in vain. Perhaps in another thousand years Earth will be worthy.’
At that moment, mighty rocket boosters ignite beneath Trump Tower. The skyscraper blasts off into the stars and returns to Donald Trump’s homeworld somewhere near the star Vega. Trump is never seen again, but astronomers observe that the president’s home planet is, fittingly, the yugest in the Milky Way.