(What precisely do I think of Trump?: don’t want to think of him. Am afraid, though, more of the future than Trump or anyone else. Afraid of the crime and anomie to come.)
In the Republican view, Mr. Trump will surely be gone in four years, and they’ll need to be able to continue to function as a party. They may well conclude that dumping Mr. Trump is the only way
Trump might simply resign. At the age of 70+, no one is going to ask too many questions if he resigns for “health reasons.” Trump might be pressured to resign; or may resign due to boredom, anger, petulance. Afterwards, Pence as president would seem as a breath of fresh air.
If impeachment proceedings were to be in the air, likely Trump would quit the presidency quickly—perhaps immediately. Trump is proud, yes; however he also does not care what anyone thinks of him. He considers himself a sovereign individual, used to having his own way, and may announce at the slightest hint of impeachment talk that he is throwing in the towel:
“Take this job and shove it,”
Trump could announce on national television and radio,
“I don’t need the $400,000 a year.”
Trump has nothing to lose. If he were to resign the presidency at some point, he’d still be the most famous celebrity in the US, and possibly in the world. Must add, though, that it is not so much fascism (Orwell said “a fascist is someone you don’t like”) but rather celebrity culture combined with oligarchy. (Think Schwarzenegger—the precursor to Trump.)
Let’s not conflate fascism with oligarchy: fascism is when labor and trade unions are wiped out.. which does not appear to be in the cards. All the same, if one wants to think of Trumpism as fascism lite, such is entirely permissible. I just do not want to underestimate Trump as I did Reagan, who was considered a ‘B’ Hollywood actor who would fail.
Today Reagan is practically worshipped as a deity by the Right in America.
Not to be a Trump apologist or write with confidence re the near future. Celebrity culture is empty; celebrity culture combined with oligarchy is revolting, and yes: it is ominous. But fear, desperation, rage and panic wont help. Plus, you ought to admit the Democrats could have run a much better candidate than Hillary. Three years from now, they surely wont make the same mistake. We are stuck with our 1789 political system: we have to make the best of it.