I doubt if Donald Trump will see it that way, though. History suggests he will stubbornly try to hold on to his rancid reign in any way possible — convincing himself, and as much of the public as he can, that he is still president. For example:
He’ll spend two hours a day collecting $1 bills, crossing out the signature of the secretary of the treasury, signing his own name with a Sharpie, writing in “President of the United States” and putting them back in circulation.
He’ll hire a posse of grim-looking men in short haircuts and dark suits to accompany him everywhere. They will have snaky coiled earpieces and will be instructed to periodically whisper into their lapels.
He’ll decorate his master bathroom with presidential seals. That way he will really think he is president for four to five hours a day.
He’ll reorganize the Mar-a-Lago staff under new designations. Housekeeping will be the Department of Interior. The guard booth out front will be the Department of Homeland Security. Head of the kitchen will be secretary of steak.
He’ll host elaborate dinner parties at which everyone else gets one scoop of ice cream but he gets two.
Three carts in front of his golf cart, three behind, sirens blaring.
He’ll get a bunker dug out beneath Mar-a-Lago, and he’ll be hurried down there by tight-lipped men in suits every time there’s a thunderstorm.
He’ll address his staff each morning by shouting at them over the roar of a helicopter positioned behind him.
Everyone must call him “sir,” or they are fired. Including Melania.
Whenever he signs anything — even a monthly check to a utility company — he holds it up and pivots in 45-degree increments in front of photographers.
He’ll engage in a relentless “opposites day” assault on the legitimacy of the Biden presidency. On the same day Biden pardons the turkey, for example, Trump holds a turkey slaughter.
On the first of every year, he declares that he is donating his presidential salary to charity.
To illustrate his continuing presidential commitment to space travel, he’ll change the name of Mar-a-Lago to Mars-a-Lago.
For gravitas, and to remain a figure of controversy, he’ll add at the end of every tweet: “This claim is disputed.”
He’ll routinely call in to “Fox & Friends” promising some incendiary, idiot observation (say, a secret top-level disclosure about Area 51) but refuse to say anything — just heavy breathing — until they call him “Mr. Current President.”
He’ll rename the Trump Organization, calling it “The Ultimate Success,” so his title can still be POTUS.
Thanks to: Eric Murphy, Stephen Litterst, Francesca Huemer Kelly, Kathleen Delano, Robert Schechter, Steve Strobridge, Jean MacKay Jackson and Tom Logan. Email Gene Weingarten at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find chats and updates at wapo.st/magazine.
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