Assume for a moment that Donald Trump survives the Russia investigation.
Assume first that he doesn’t fire Robert Mueller. Assume then, as seems increasingly likely, that Mueller discovers a web of financial entanglements between Trump and Russia, that he can show how Russia thought they had leverage over Trump and used every weapon in their cyber arsenal to get him elected.
But also assume that Mueller was unable to find any smoking gun evidence that Trump, his family or his campaign coordinated with the Kremlin beyond the Donald Jr. meeting we now know took place.
Will this benefit or harm the President politically as he moves toward reelection in 2020?
After Donald Trump won the White House in November, we had a spate of editorial commentaries purporting to explain the role that gender played in Hillary Clinton’s defeat. For some pundits, the answer was obvious: this country is as irredeemably sexist as it is racist.
There are many in this country who are shell-shocked, angry, aghast, and, yes, afraid of what the future holds in this moment. This nation stands on the precipice of great, unknown challenges, and the specter of the impending Trump presidency looms over all of us.
But as I watch in disappointment and pain and anger as a man I find to be impossibly unqualified for president sweeps the electoral map, I have steeled myself to this commitment:
I shall not be afraid of this man. I shall endure.
We mere citizens of the world who once upon a time looked to the President of the United States to be both a strong leader and a bold representative of important moral principles sit aghast at the horror of #USElections2016. Still, it may soon be over, or not as the case may be.
I was afraid the October surprise was going to be an act of terrorism on U.S. soil. I thought that ISIS, like Putin, calculated that hothead Trump would better serve its interests than cucumber Clinton. I imagined that her response to an attack would be more like George W. Bush’s bullhorn words (“I can hear you! … And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”), and Trump’s more like Gen. Curtis LeMay’s (“[W]e’re going to bomb them back to the Stone Age”). At a moment like that, fury can trump steely; rage, I feared, would carry him to the White House.