Traditionally once a candidate has won his election he or she puts away the trapping of the campaign circus — all that nutty attention getting nonsense that seems to be required to win office in this country — and gets down to the serious business of either governance or running some governmental department, whatever the job requires.

But what happens when a winning office seeker has never overseen, directed or managed anything in his entire life, not even supposedly his own company. According Donald Trump’s niece, Mary L. Trump Ph. D, a clinically trained psychologist, says that her uncle has lived in an “essentially controlled environment in which Donald’s material needs have always been taken care of” … “in which the work was done by others and Donald never needed to acquire expertise in order to attain power (which partly explains his distain for the expertise of others).

In other words the most he would do, would be to suggest a few things and leave it up to others to try and figure out what it was that he wanted and how it might be accomplished. And since his suggests were haphazard and often at odds, one with the other, the results were mostly chaos and failure. Indeed, contrary to popular belief, he had no real business or executive experience what so ever prior to walking into the White House.

What the Donald has actually been doing his entire adult life is the only thing he has ever cared about, promoting and selling himself to the world as master of all things — especially being a lady’s man and a super wheeler and dealer of money. Actually he wasn’t very good at any of it. Without his father’s fortune and lot of foolish bank money behind him, he was just so much hot air, a BS con to be sure.

And so right from the get go as president, Trump has been doing the only thing he knows how to do: he just keeps promoting himself, which in politics means campaigning. While Republican pols and While House staffers have tried desperately to patch together something resembling a governing strategy in his name, Trump’s erratic, nonsensical tweeting has routinely blow their efforts completely apart.

Moreover, just when his White House team and Republicans on capitol hill thought that they had got his intensions figured out and things under control, he would take off on one of his ego binging, MAGA hat rallies and contradict all the agreed talking points.

And here in lies the heart of the problem. Since Trump has zero executive ability, he has spent the entirety of his first term as president in clownish campaign mode. And of course since many of Trump’s most ardent supporters don’t know the difference between campaigning and governing, they thought he must be doing a great job.

Meanwhile, as Trump continued in campaign mode out among the unwashed MAGA masses, he was lashing the Republican base ever tighter to himself, and thus lots of Republican office holders believed that they in turn must lash themselves ever tighter to the Donald.

But, now, as Trump’s bungling of the COVID pandemic becomes apparent to all but the most rabid Trump supporters, his political kiss-ups find it impossible to escape the Trump web. If they try they know the spider will eat them for lunch. What to do, what to do?

Although the poor boy trapped in the White House is all campaigned out, he hasn’t the sense to know it; and as the rest of GOP knows it, it is powerless to escape its predicament of dead men walking — what a shame.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!