Make no mistake: the Trump loyalist or “Trump base” will always be that whether Mr. Trump remains president or not; whether he suddenly quits to play golf in Scotland; whether he secretly flies to Moscow to take sanctuary from the legal guns about to charge him with money laundering, bank fraud, embezzlement or treason; or whether he is kidnapped by space aliens, all of whom will be characterized by the “alt-Right” and select Fox News extremists as Godless liberals, secularists and the violent left.

The Trump loyalist, in his absence, will seek and demand another in his stead. And the “movement,” to which money and reputations are intimately linked, will supply one.

It is altogether clear that the dilemma now crystallized and embodied in the figure of Donald J. Trump is actually one within the very lifeblood of the American electorate — in numbers from one-third to almost one-half of them. Such zeal. Such iconoclastic passions. Such preference for lawlessness and immorality, yet justified with religious overtones. One might call the whole legion a “Fifth Column,” which is exactly what those who undermine government, legality, and democratic institutions are called.

There is one catch in Mr. Trump’s jagged, mercurial, half-diminished mind that bears watching and it might be the very thing that collapses everything from within: he might make a big mistake. By mistake I don’t mean shooting someone on Fifth Avenue, starting a nuclear exchange or provoking a confused loon to blow-up CNN (those acts he’ll escape from).

To illustrate: How many “on the fence” Trump-Republicans have now doubted their loyalty after he embarrassed the Office of the President through continued open hostility to Sen. John McCain (on the deathbed)? But this was only one daily mistake. But one each day equates to thousands in time and with each falls away another Trump supporter. There will be no mad rush out of Trump’s ensnaring vineyard of delusions. That’s a pipe-dream (another delusion). But drain the swamp he will — of his own kind through misadventure, high-stakes gambling, and delusions of invincibility of such fervor the patient gods of destiny will finally answer back with almighty karma. And if for some reason he gets away with all of it — if for some reason — there is always St. Peter waiting on the other side of the veil.

Through and through, piece by piece, section by section, Mr. Trump has prevailed in eliminating opposition (so thinks he) until the time will arrive when only his “base” remains. Then … God help him if he accidentally slips. What if he — through inadvertence or a sudden psychotic break — insults, belittles, verbally assaults, humiliates or threatens one or more in the “base”? Talks trash on Mike Pence’s Rapture? Such are big mistakes that result from taking risks larger than the last to appease a narcissistic and commanding ego. Self-delusions of invincibility always keep raising the bar until proven utterly fraudulent.

No, dead or alive, impeached or exonerated, Mr. Trump will remain the chosen one to his God-fearing evangelicals and the one man who fooled almost all Republicans almost all of the time.

The GOP-Trump gambit was to elicit support from the most authoritarian portions of the populace. From the large pool of Republican-leaning church goers who listen more to the pulpit than their own pulse, he secured votes to accelerate the decimation of the safety nets; turn the New Testament on its head by dividing bread instead of multiplying it; suffered the “little children” in concentration camps; erected tables for money changers to bull-drive markets; convinced the elderly to support candidates who would vote away the security of government health care from not only themselves, but also from their children and grandchildren. Trump is permitted to throw the first stones because he is “God’s Will” for America, say the faithful.

For workers-at-large — unaided by education in their historic role in fighting and gaining employee rights and a living wage — a decades-long inculcation by Republican leaders, media demagogues, and Christian-right evangelicals reached fruition in the Trump era. By reverse engineering the proletariat revolutions of the last century, this one didn’t seek to overturn the Czar and the forces of oppression in order to build a “worker’s paradise,” but to convince the workers to overturn themselves and side with their historic nemesis. They believed their defenders were the “bosses.” Did they think they would share in unbridled profiteering now accruing to the wealthiest? Did they believe to gain by the plundering of worker protections earned over the last 100 years through the blood, sweat and tears of their working grandparents and great-grandparents? Did they think they and their families would be immune to climate-change and polluted air and water enabled through Mr. Trump’s deregulations and eliminations of environmental protections? Or were they motivated by pure unadulterated hate instilled in them by these same agents for the sole benefit of same?

History will unravel the threads that led here and the ones that will lead away. But Mr. Trump is not the problem; he is a symptom of it.

Whatever political changes result from the mid-term elections, the battles will continue (more fiercely) for the simple reason that each opponent — the Trump base and the opposition — are more emboldened today than before.

Such a play as this has several more acts to divulge before we can cross the turbulent waters safely; before we can read from the same page; before we can weigh what is lost against what is gained. Any assessment is best after the fact, not before. We can’t see the whole film now because we are in one of its frames.

Nearing the end will come a time to collectively answer what now is being collectively asked: Who are we? What is America? What are American values? What does America stand for? Because I have shown partisanship in this writing, I am not one to supply these answers, but others exist who can help lead the way to those answers.

All roads point to this ending because this battle began there. And having begun there it will end only when collective agreement is reached. And despite the pain, conflict and losses incurred throughout the travel, America will have grown.

This I believe.

Michael T. Bucci, Damariscotta