“What will Trump do after he loses?”

TU/e professor and America expert Ruth Oldenziel is certain. Donald Trump will lose the presidential election today, no doubt about it. Oldenziel: “The real question should be: ‘What happens next?’. Trump will certainly contest the results. It’s already happening, in court rooms and in the streets.” She says the following about four years of Trump: “I can’t single out one highlight. There was something to be surprised about every day.”

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The main difference compared to four years ago, professor Ruth Oldenziel says, is the fact that back then, Hillary Clinton was truly hated by large groups of Americans. “That hardly plays a role with Joe Biden. He has had a stable lead in the polls for two months, despite all the efforts by Trump and his campaign team to discredit him. The American people have grown tired of the big show that politics turned into under Trump. They don’t want that any longer, instead they now long for a boring, predictable president.”

Oldenziel is definitely worried about the constant threats Trump has been making over the last few weeks. “He’s been making claims for weeks now of voter fraud and the legal proceedings he’ll start in order to remain in office. You need to take that question seriously: will he peacefully hand over his power? A growing number of republicans - many of whom are prominent party members - are calling on people to vote for Biden. That’s a healthy development, because after four years the party has turned into an organization centered entirely around Trump.”

Loss margin

A loss by a small margin should be seen as a personal beating for Trump, according to Oldenziel. “A somewhat wider margin wouldn’t just reflect on him personally, but also on the politics he carried out during the last four years. And a victory for the Democrats in a blue landslide (blue is the color of the Democratic Party, ed.) would force the Republicans to rebuild their party from scratch.”

Oldenziel says that it’s not certain at this point if the winner will be announced on Wednesday evening. “That depends on whether or not we know by then which extra states went to Biden, apart from the traditional so-called ‘swing states’ like Michigan and Wisconsin. I’m referring to Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Arizona. And should it turn into a neck-and-neck race after all and should the state of Pennsylvania turn out to be crucial, we might have to wait until Friday for clarity. Or longer, if Trump decides to take the fight all the way to court.”

What does Oldenziel think should be Biden’s first step in order to bring the parties somewhat closer together again? “He already said that he wants to create a bipartisan commission that will study how to reshape the judiciary system.” And what will Trump do after he has left the White House? “He’ll probably start his own tv show and profit from his name and image in an attempt to continue to exercise power. Because unlike former-presidents before him, I don’t expect Trump do disappear from the political stage any time soon.”

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