Analysis & Comment

Opinion | From ‘Never Trump’ to ‘Forever Trump’?

To the Editor:

Re “We Will Never, Ever Be Rid of Trump,” by Frank Bruni (column, Sept. 11):

Mr. Bruni makes some very plausible predictions about how Donald Trump, as a former president, might continue to befoul the national — even global — consciousness with his megalomaniacal, media-grabbing antics, but he fails to consider one angle: What kind of ex-presidential bully pulpit would Mr. Trump be able to command from within the confines of a prison cell?

Joseph Mancini
Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.

To the Editor:

Frank Bruni must have been reading my mind or listening in on conversations I’ve had with friends about Life After Trump. In the event of an election defeat Donald Trump will never concede. He will tie up the government and hold it hostage for months with challenges and demands for a recount. Nor can I see him leaving the White House willingly. I picture him being led out, in handcuffs, by federal marshals.

Edward Sherman
New York

To the Editor:

Frank Bruni is correct that we will never be rid of Donald Trump, but not in the way he lays out. Post-President Donald Trump will continue to rant and disseminate lies and exaggerate to extremes, but the media and popular culture will gradually see him as a pathetic, asthenic caricature of himself, Elvis without the sequins.

Mr. Trump’s true ghost, however, will be much more sinister. It will be the shattered norms, the dangerous precedents he has set. Future presidents will feel empowered to accept the help of foreign governments to win elections; to ignore the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution; to divert congressionally approved funds for their pet projects; to legislate by executive order; to ignore congressional subpoenas.

This is just a partial list of how Donald Trump will have changed our political system forever. Mitch McConnell, take note: If a Democratic president follows Mr. Trump’s precedents, you have already bartered away your authority to object.

Shel Khipple
Wilmette, Ill.

To the Editor:

When President Trump loses the election, the media must not give him the exposure that he will demand. Not in newspapers or magazines, on TV or in digital media. That is the only way to treat this narcissist who has done so much damage to our country. Any media outlet that caters to his personality and lets him rant and rave, just for the sake of ratings, will lose all credibility.

Carol Ross
South Newfane, Vt.

To the Editor:

Frank Bruni is right that President Trump’s performance politics will not end with the next election. But the problem is even worse than our being subjected to ex-presidential kibitzing. There is every reason to fear that if he loses, he would run for president again in 2024. Nothing prevents it, and there is the precedent of Grover Cleveland.

Eugene R. Fidell
New Haven
The writer teaches at Yale Law School.

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