THE END OF THE ROAD IS NEAR. Assuming he is sworn in one week from now—and after this week’s revelation that he is, in fact, a compromised Russian intelligence asset, nothing but nothing would surprise me; today is Friday the 13th, after all—Donald J. Trump will be the oldest first-term president in our history.
His advanced age is one of many factors that make his successful completion of the four-year term unlikely. Below, I’ve provided the odds for various outcomes.
Les jeux sont faits. Please your bets, people. Remember, in gambling, the house always wins—unless the casino is owned by Donald J. Trump.
He is impeached.
His conflicts of interests are so egregious that Congress has cause to impeach him the second he’s sworn in. All it will take is sufficient political cover for enough Republicans (21 in the House, 18 in the Senate) to feel safe enough to join the Democrats in dropping the gavel. If his dealings with Putin and the Russians are deeper than we think—spoiler alert: they are; they also reek of urine—Trump may well be gone sooner than William Henry Harrison, our ninth president, who lasted all of 32 days in office.
Odds: 3 to 1
He resigns (in disgrace).
If impeached, would he fight? Unlikely, especially if the charges against him are really terrible. He has a history of settling in court and then spinning the outcome. More likely, he’d resign before it got that far. If, for example, Putin leaks the video of Trump at the orgy in Moscow that allegedly exists (even if the “golden shower” one does not), even the shameless Donald J. Trump would have to step down, n’est-ce pas? This way he can salvage “Celebrity Apprentice” from Ah-nold.
Odds: 3 to 1
He dies of natural causes.
Whatever his personal physician may have suggested about his robust health, Donald Trump is a 70-year-old man, 30 pounds overweight, who sleeps less than four hours a night and subsists on fast food, and whose tangerine pallor is perhaps more indicative of liver dysfunction than tanning-bed mishap. After an exhausting 18-month campaign, he is now about to embark on what is the most stressful job there is. Would anyone be that surprised if he keeled over of Herod’s Evil at some point between now and 2020?
Odds: 10 to 1
He is assassinated.
First, math: four of our forty-five presidents have been shot dead, and (at least) four others survived serious assassination attempts (Jackson, both Roosevelts, Reagan). Second, history: demagogues like DJT are notorious for being murdered by betrayed former fanboys; his staunchest supporters are armed to the teeth and have well-documented anger issues and a propensity for violence. Oh, and he’s picked a fight with the CIA, an organization which SPECIALIZES IN KILLING PEOPLE. And, to top it off, his use of private security puts him more at risk. To state the obvious: assassination is a horrible outcome, and I don’t wish it on Trump, or anyone else. But if I were the PEE-OTUS, I’d stay away from theaters, railway stations, exposition pavilions, and Dallas.
Odds: 10 to 1
He is incapacitated and thus removed.
Maybe Trump is a congenital liar…or maybe he’s actually delusional and has had a psychotic break. His father has Alzheimer’s…does he? Perhaps he’ll have a massive stroke while watching SNL, depriving him of the ability to speak. The 25th Amendment was passed for a reason. Maybe we should take it for a spin.
Odds: 20 to 1
He serves the full four years of his term.
Half of Florida will be underwater by then, there will be a pipeline through my backyard, and Russia will have annexed two of the three Baltic States. But hey, Vive la Trump.
Odds: 20 to 1
Something else happens that prevents him from serving four years as president.
He declares martial law and becomes a full-on dictator, nuclear war with North Korea renders this little game moot, our alien overlords reveal themselves at last to humans other than Alex Jones, we focus really really hard on our I Ching sticks and wake up in an alternate reality in which Hillary is the president, etc.
Odds: 300 to 1
Caveats: I’m not endorsing any of these outcomes, just sizing up the odds. Also, I do not gamble, nor do I run a gaming facility. These are presented, like so many of Trump’s tweets, for entertainment purposes only.