If nothing else, Donald Trump’s tax-audit troubles will likely soon be over, assuming they ever existed. The present IRS commissioner still has a couple of years left in his 5-year term. Once he departs, whether on schedule or sooner, he can be replaced by someone more congenial.
Trump’s income troubles may soon vanish, too. Kings, dictators, and other potentates may discover a sudden eagerness to license Trump-themed properties. Savvy foreign ministers might book rooms at the new Trump hotel on their visits to Washington.
Bill Clinton pioneered unprecedented methods of self-enrichment in the post-presidency. No president has ever dared test the potential for self-enrichment during a presidency. It is large.
There are checks and balances of course: congressional oversight; the courts; independent agencies. But that machinery of government is machinery by metaphor only. In reality, it is collective human action, and it only operates if those humans decide to make it work.
So it’s on Americans.
Through a career in the public eye dating back to the Carter administration—and over the course of a campaign defined by gutter abuse and brazen lying—Donald Trump has revealed his character. He accepts no limits on his appetite or his willfulness. He identifies with dictators; he despises dissent; he cannot tolerate criticism. He does not comply with law. He respects no institution or principle.