Are our checks and balances strong enough to stop a Trumpocalypse?

If Donald J. Trump defies all the odds, gets the Republican Party’s nomination, and wins the General Election in November, we are all going to die.

Well, we’re all going to die anyway (spoiler alert!) but if you listen certain voices in America’s left-wing political sphere you will get the distinct impression that a vote for Trump is a vote for the end of the world. I’ve certainly mined Trump’s bombast and not very well hidden Islamaphobia and xenophobia to great comedic effect this past year, but is Trump really Hitler 2.0, American Edition? Would it really be possible for Trump — or any president — to bring down the United States of America from within, single handed?

“LOL” and “No” are the first answers that spring to mind, and here’s why: checks and balances.

Let me be as clear as I can be here — I am not advocating a Trump presidency here. I’m simply trying to cut through the panic and paranoia and get down to the actual facts of the matter. And truthfully, I can’t figure out why anyone who wasn’t in a medically-induced coma from the years 2009 to the present would presume that any one person can truly control the government or push through any old thing he or she wants to, even with the full weight of the office of the President of the United States of America behind them.

President Barack Obama had a congress that was controlled by his own party when he came into office, and he still had to capitulate to the right-wing to get Obamacare passed. Or at least, he thought he did, and thus the single payer option was zapped from existence. But the Affordable Care Act aside, it’s not like Obama’s presidency isn’t littered on all sides by the refuse of obstruction.

Remember how Obama was going to close Gitmo? Why didn’t that happen again? Oh right, obstructionism. The presidency isn’t a monarchy after all, is it? Remember all those jobs bills that the president kept asking for? Do you remember how Obama wanted expanded background checks and magazine capacity limits after Sandy Hook? None of that happened.

It didn’t happen because even though the Democrats had the majority, they didn’t have a filibuster-proof majority. As much as we modern liberals were pissed about it, Republican obstruction during Obama’s tenure is exactly what our system was designed to do. It kept the minority from having to acquiesce to the majority, simply because they were the majority. Now, you and I might argue they obstructed progress and are dickheads for doing so, but that doesn’t mean anything they did was illegal or unconstitutional, and I propose that those of us who know what a shit show Trump’s presidency would be will be quite grateful for the Democrats’ ability to obstruct the bewigged bastard.


While it’s true that quite a few Republicans who have up to this point not supported Trump will fall in line to keep their party in power, I have to think that a good many of them will not. Even if they don’t, Trump’s impact down ballot could be devastating for their control of Congress, and even barring a down ballot catastrophe for the Republicans, the Dems will still have more than enough votes in the Senate to block the most derptastic and inane ideas Trump comes up with.

If you thought Republicans obstructed with zeal, just wait until you see Democrats blocking President Trump’s agenda.

None of this is an endorsement of Donald Trump. I just get the sense that a whole lot of people are terrified of what will happen if he ends up in office, and are therefore getting ready to hold their noses and vote for someone who — perhaps — doesn’t match the stated goals of the Democratic Party as much as another candidate does for fear of accidentally electing Donald Trump. I’m mentioning this for my fellow Bernie or Busters to maybe, just maybe get a bit of slack from Democrats who are raking them over the coals for the principled decision, especially if they live in a state that won’t swing in November.

I’m ultimately bringing this all up because I don’t like to many decisions based on fear, particularly not irrational fear, and particularly not decisions revolving around who should be the so-called “Leader of the Free World.” I want to vote with a clean conscience and a clear-headed perspective. Of course Trump as president is a nightmare none of us want to live through, but I honestly can’t see how one man, no matter how vile, can bring down the entire country unless his opposition rolls over, and as much as I think the Democrats are spineless in a lot of ways, even my cynical ass can’t see them all tucking their tales and running away, so I will continue to vote my conscience, and I expect everyone else will do the exact same.

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About James Schlarmann 1431 Articles
Comedian, writer, founding contributor of The Political Garbage Chute, holder of zero world records or lifetime achievement awards.
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