The Decline and Fall of Donald Trump

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MATTHEW WALTHER — The story of Donald Trump’s last days in the White House will never be written. Those in possession of the necessary facts, and those to whom they are likely to be disclosed, will not rise to the duty of literature. The best we are entitled to hope for is that the raw material — scraps of conversation, private correspondence, the great Rolls Series of his Twitter feed — out of which a future Gibbon might construct his masterpiece will be preserved. Until then a sketch must suffice…

It is difficult to say exactly when it became clear that, in the face of adversity, Trump no longer possessed the will to govern. (I for one would suggest his Rose Garden address on March 16.) But many will fix the date on Nov. 20, 2020, when Rudy Giuliani’s hair dye flowed like tears of vinegar down his face and Sidney Powell laid the blame for Trump’s failure at the unguessed feet of the late Hugo Chavez…

This, at any rate, is when it became clear that Trump had become the pet of a coterie. These strange creatures — the fakirs and eunuchs of his decadent court — rose in his esteem precisely because they offered solutions that did not require exertion on his part: mandalas and magic circles, by means of which they could discover the ley-lines connecting him to his immutable destiny at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…

In the weeks that followed Nov. 3, he would retreat into a private world of imagination and resentment, one in which he had not only been re-elected but anointed. Thus ensconced, all opposition disappeared. Before his eyes there arose the fortifications whose construction he had long foretold; unimpeachable arithmetic heralded the unrivaled prosperity of the citizenry; invisible armies retreated before his banner; sages and philosophers of all nations marveled at his wisdom; and the factions that opposed him perished. His rule devolved into a fantastical senescence, aloof from the rapine and poverty into which the country had fallen…

In the early hours of Thursday morning, Trump was denounced by the indignant senators of both parties as a tyrant. This is almost certainly the legacy that awaits him…

The original op-ed…

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