The world at large is, all at once, worried, amused, and baffled by the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency.
But, it’s hard to know the answer to that, since the billionaire businessman and current GOP primary frontrunner has never held public office before.
The Brookings Institution helpfully stepped in, and laid out three possible scenarios. These fictional accounts paint a picture of what the United States could look like at the end of “President Trump’s” first term, in 2020.
Scenario 1: Trump made America great again
In this scenario, Brookings proposes that all the claims that a Trump presidency would end America were overstated.
Trump leads Congress to build the “Great Southern Wall,” cutting down on low-skilled immigration. America’s sense of self is restored, “and that’s good news for ordinary working-class people of all races,” Brookings says.
Trump’s famed book, “The Art of the Deal” becomes the blueprint by which domestic policies are executed. That means Obamacare gives way to Trumpcare, and the tax code is revamped. Trump’s skilled finance honchos whip the economy into shape.
On foreign policy, a President Trump substitutes “epithets for drone strikes” with surprisingly not-catastrophic results, Brookings proposes, making Trump an equally formidable presence in his reelection campaign.
Scenario 2: Congress is great, but Trump’s presidency failed
Here, the Brookings Institution turns the so-far fictional President Trump into a complete flop. Trump’s many naysayers revel in schadenfreude “as Trump’s reelection bid is overshadowed by his impeachment trial.”
According to this Brookings account, “President Trump” overstepped too many boundaries, leading Congress to gird its loins to rein Trump in. Congress passes a bunch of laws to override his power, reducing Trump to “a wounded animal.”
He’ll join Andrew Johnson and John Tyler in the class of America’s worst presidents. Despite this, his antics have finally given new life to Congress, currently one of the most-hated US public institutions.
Scenario 3: Sad and frightening
America in 2020, after four years of a Trump presidency, now resembles a monarchy. The constitutional structure is destroyed. And Trump’s “overgrown FBI” combined with “legions of unhinged supporters” usher in America’s darkest days.
In this picture, Brookings posits that American optimism will ultimately prevail, but not before hopelessness settles in first.
Of course, these possibilities are all fictional, and there’s no way to know exactly how the general election will unfold — much less a potential Trump presidency. That part remains to be seen.
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