President Trump is seen in silhouette holding an umbrella as he talks to members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House on Dec. 10, 2019. (Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House)
**FILE** President Trump is seen in silhouette holding an umbrella as he talks to members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House on Dec. 10, 2019. (Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House)

Despite Donald J. Trump’s sad-sack walk of shame back to the White House Saturday night, after his humiliating Tulsa campaign rally before a BOK Center audience just one-third the capacity of the arena, let me warn those taking glee at his demise: don’t count him out just yet.

He reminds me of a lyric by Oscar Brown Jr., the brilliant poet and troubadour who hailed from Chicago. Brown is famous for immortalizing songs like: “40 Acres and a Mule,” “The Signifying Monkey,” and “Bid ‘Em In.” But his song that fits the downtrodden Mr. COVID-45 is about a beggar, trying to convince someone that even their meager gift will help put him over the top. “I’m a dime away from a hot dog, $2 dollars short of a room.”

What that means, is that despite his woeful appearance, all he needs is a dime, 10 cents, to get a meal (a hot dog), and just $2 away from enough money for a room for the night. Of course, this harkens to the days before there were shelters providing accommodations for the homeless at the public expense, but you get the idea of his optimism.

What would amount to a tiny contribution from a donor would make a big difference to the beggar. And so it is with The Donald. All he needs is just one seemingly inconsequential lucky break anytime in late September or October, and the electoral tide would turn in his favor, and he’d be “legally” able to remain in office for another term. And for him, staying in office is all that matters to him.

I’m convinced that even if he loses the election “fair and square” he will manufacture a scheme to manipulate the outcome so that he can hold on to power. At least 35 percent of the U.S. population would be perfectly happy with him staying in, by hook or by crook. That’s not because they see him as some saint, or knight in shining armor, but because he hates the same things they hate.

His strategy is to continually remind these “deplorable,” race-hating, xenophobic people of the things and the people they hate. He’s against godless socialists and flag-burners, just like they are, and as long as he’s around, those monsters will never be able to come and take their guns and force their children to engage in same-sex relationships, or even worse, miscegenate with Black and Brown people.

Never mind that as of June 1, 2020, he’s told more than 19,000 lies since he’s been in office, according to The Washington Post. Never mind that he’s a philandering cheat who’d rather play golf every Sunday rather than ever go to church. Never mind that. After having peaceful, law-abiding protestors in Lafayette Square cleared away with tear gas and rubber bullets, he marched right over to St. John’s Episcopal Church on June 1, and stood there holding a Bible, which he never, ever, ever reads.

All the deplorables will see is their champion, standing in the breach, holding up the Good Book. That’s good enough for them. “Four more years,” they chant.

I’m convinced that even if the popular vote goes against him again, and even if the Electoral College is poised to declare his defeat, he will find a way to manipulate the system so that he can legally steal the election. And then, if that fails, he’ll just refuse to leave office, and no one can force him out because Commander Bone Spurs is the head of the military and Secret Service, so, four more years it will be, and four more years after that, as he has promised on numerous occasions, even though the Constitution limits the president to only two terms in office.

The only rule guiding this guy is what he sees as being good for him.

His allies, even those fighting to remain in office are stacking the electoral deck already. In Tennessee, for example, where there were 3,700 voting locations last election, there will only be 200 this time, because of concern about not spreading COVID-19, they say. That maneuver keeps his chief legislative enabler, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in office, and with a GOP majority in the Senate, they will stack the courts with like-minded judges.

The only thing is there are unintended consequences and unforeseen developments — like the teenage TikTok brigade that sabotaged his Tulsa rally — and when the situation they face is not in the Trump Gambler’s Manifesto, they won’t know how to handle the situation.

Meanwhile, all he needs, like the pitiful beggar, is a dime to get himself another hot dog, another term in office. Beware.

Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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