With less than 24 hours until Election Day, it finally seems possible to look ahead to what will happen after the votes are counted. One nominee will begin their journey to the White House, while the other will… not. Where will Donald Trump go after Election Day? That all depends on how the election shakes out, of course, but one thing is certain: Whether he wins the presidency or not, Trump — and the effect he’s had on American politics — isn’t going away any time soon.
If Trump wins the election (gulp), he will deliver a victory speech to the American people, and then the president-elect will prepare for his inauguration on January 20. In that transitional period, he will set up his White House staff, select members for the cabinet, and establish the agenda for his presidency. After being inaugurated, Trump will be given access to the @POTUS Twitter account (can you even imagine?), and then he’ll set out attempting to enact the policies he outlined during his campaign, such as his promise to build a wall between the United States and Mexico and ban Muslims from entering the country.
“Just think about what we could accomplish in the first 100 days,” Trump said at a recent Ohio rally. He has promised to repeal Obamacare immediately upon assuming office. NBC News reports that, at a Pennsylvania rally, Trump made a number of promises about what he would do during his first day in office. He said, among other things, that he would renegotiate or withdraw the United States from NAFTA, nominate a (presumably conservative) judge for the Supreme Court, remove “two million criminal illegal immigrants” from the United States, and “suspend immigration from terror-prone regions” and impose “extreme vetting” on people coming into the United States. Oh, and he’s also threatened to sue the women who have accused him of sexual assault.
If Trump loses, however, it’ll be a different story. He has already suggested that he may challenge such results. (At an Ohio rally, he promised, “I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election — if I win.”) I think we can assume, if nothing else, that there will be some fairly epic tweeting on his end (provided he can wrestle his Twitter account back from his team). In the longer term, there have been suggestions that Trump may be gearing up to launch a conservative media outlet. Fortune described the potential platform as “a cross between Fox News and the website Breitbart News.” NBC News suggests that "Trump TV" could be set to launch within only three to four months, though Trump himself has denied that he is starting a media outlet.
It has yet to be seen if Trump will continue to pursue a career in politics if he loses the presidential election. He has clearly shown, if nothing else, that he has the ability to drum up significant support from voters. However, he has repeatedly alienated members of his own party, leading many members of the GOP to reject him outright. It’s not clear, then, whether he would be welcomed by the Republican Party in future elections (though he’s never been one to seem to worry about pleasing the party, so who knows what will happen?).
Whether he wins the election or not, it’s undeniable that Trump’s influence will be continue to be felt in America for a long time. If you care about what shape that influence will take — about whether Trump's next platform will be a TV network and volatile Twitter account or the Oval Office — you know what to do: Get to the polls on Tuesday and vote.