Home National OPINION: Trump’s lame-duck period has arrived, and it’s already madness

OPINION: Trump’s lame-duck period has arrived, and it’s already madness

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Justin Thompson, a senior studying journalism, argues that President Trump will try to change as many things as he can in his favor before he leaves office.

Please note that these views and opinions do not reflect those of The New Political.

America, buckle your seatbelt. The Trump lame-duck era is upon us. 

Trump will undoubtedly spend many of his remaining days in office contesting the results of the election. His legal team — fresh off of a headline-making press conference at the glitzy Four Seasons (Total Landscaping, that is) in Philadelphia — has filed election fraud lawsuits in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Michigan, among other battleground states. 

The Trump administration also set up a hotline where citizens could report instances of voter fraud; it was forced to close after a prank call trend overwhelmed the service. Instead of collecting evidence, analyzing it and mounting lawsuits based on the findings, Trump’s team has opted to file flimsy lawsuits and then attempt to crowdsource its hunt for evidence.

His lawyers have claimed that a lack of transparency at vote-counting centers, extended mail-in ballot deadlines and even a debunked claim about ballots written in Sharpie are all grounds for a nationwide recount. But election experts across the political spectrum agree that Trump’s last-ditch efforts to undermine the election are groundless and, ultimately, futile. 

On another front, there is still plenty of damage Trump can do before he officially leaves office. In late October, he signed an executive order that established a new category of federal employee, known as “Schedule F” workers. 

Employees now classified as “Schedule F” include government scientists, economists and other vital workers and researchers. The order makes it easier for the president to fire these kinds of workers, which effectively makes non-partisan employees subject to partisan inclinations. 

The curious timing of the order depicts an outgoing president gearing up for a large-scale purge of employees he does not agree with.

Last Monday, Trump’s ax found its most notable post-election victim. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and four other prominent Pentagon officials either resigned or were fired in the wake of Biden’s victory. 

In June, Esper publicly defied Trump by opposing the use of military force to quell civil unrest. In his place, Trump appointed longtime Pentagon official Christopher Miller, who will most likely be Trump’s third and final secretary of defense. 

Trump’s motive for the Pentagon personnel shakeup is unknown, but it is logical to think that Trump believes Miller to be more loyal to him than Esper was.

Similar firings and hirings could be in store for other federal employees.

Trump only has so much time to write his final chapter as president, but recent developments point toward a contentious transition of power and a push to replace objective employees with Trump loyalists. No longer having to answer to voters, Trump is at risk of becoming completely unhinged.

How much madness can he fit into two months? We are about to find out.

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