Less than a year into living outside the U.S, I couldn’t remember the name of the current vice president when asked by a person on the street. Since I was not keeping a daily news habit, or discussing the latest political controversy, those figures had already started to fade away. Something analogous may happen on January 20, 2021 after president-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated and takes over from his predecessor.
Our memory of the man who will soon be known as the former president, may not quickly fade, but his relevance to current public discussions will abruptly diminish. As the former occupant of the White House, it’s unlikely he will be forgotten. What awaits him may irk him more than the prospect of future criminal indictment: He may simply be ignored.
As the days count down to this transition of power, this promotor of conspiracy theories has ramped up his bullying tactics, firings by Twitter and sewing discord and distrust in our electoral system. As he attacks the news media and spins a narrative of the powerful, yet unseen forces that have besmirched his brand identity, it’s clear he wields his political bully-pulpit like a sword, with a mix of relish and fear.
Rest assured, this real estate developer will find ways to continue to push himself into the spotlight. Known for his bluster, bankruptcies and business failures, the man married to Melania thrives on controversy and being the center of attention. But what happens when this former reality TV show host starts sliding into irrelevance? As the most recent leader of the GOP, he has demonstrated an insatiable desire for attention. Imagine what it will feel like to be the former commander-in-chief with nuclear codes always near your side and then suddenly people not only stop talking about you, they cannot even remember your name?