The only way Trump and his associates can prevent themselves from going to jail in 2021 is to remain in power, no matter the actual results of the election
In the Tom Cruise dystopian thriller Oblivion, a future earth is nearly uninhabited and clearly uninhabitable. Synopsizing an apocalyptic struggle against alien invaders, the protagonist Cruise says, in backstory laydown, “We won the war but lost the earth.” This would appear to be the intent of the Republican Party and the outcome their followers desperately seek – to bring on a war and lose the earth if necessary to achieve their ends. There is no other explanation, to my mind, that fits their strategy and actions.
Republicans seem hell-bent on killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Of course they do not understand that the engine of growth for the US has always been the relative freedom of its people. By deliberately driving a stake through the American dream, shutting off the engine of growth that is immigration, and reducing the commitment of average Americans to the national program, the right is increasingly throttling back that which has actually been positively exceptional about the US, and replacing it with the Animal Farm version. I give it two generations at this rate before total implosion, if the right doesn’t force an earlier apocalypse.
Trump himself is a major vector of the oblivion contagion, with his binary, win-lose deal view of the world. His previous experience has not prepared him in the slightest for the complexity of politics, international relations, or problems such as global warming. No one, least of all his own party, is trying to force him to raise the level of his game, so he simply collapses the complexity down to a cartoon version of the world, and enmeshes his followers in a simplistic, solipsistic worldview.