On Tuesday last week, it became clear that Donald Trump threw the Republican Senate under the bus.

On Wednesday, he threw his loyalist supporters under the same bus.

On Thursday, he did what an American president has never before had to do: He tried (under extreme duress, one suspects) to reassure the nation there would be a peaceful transfer of power.

Talk about jumping the shark. Right now, there’s not much left for him to come back to. What about those who once supported him?

Like victims of trauma, many of those most tormented by Trump cannot believe he will really go away. Time is probably the only balm for that. For some, the mere mention of his name may trigger panic for years.

But we are resilient and, as with the eponymous movement founded by a Camden native after George W. Bush’s election in 2000, we will "move on."

With 11 days left in his administration, I’m already preparing for a life that doesn’t involve thinking about Trump. Will he be impeached? Possibly, but the procedures involved in that followed by a Senate trial seem an awful lot to squeeze into such a short time, and to what effect?

Immediate removal by the 25th Amendment might be quicker if Mike Pence is on board, but I doubt he is. The best option for Trump is resignation, since he then can be pardoned.

Somehow, he’s managed to work around the Twitter ban to announce he’s not attending Biden’s inauguration, so the only business he has left at this stage consists of securing his retreat, possibly throwing up one or two smaller-scale distractions for cover. Everything he does until his exit from 1600 will be self-serving, but given the mess he’s just made, he’d be wise to throw an esteem-able act or two into the mix.

How America deals with Trump is less important than how those now in charge deal with the not insignificant percentage of the country that has supported him (half of whom probably still do). Just as the country’s been increasingly divided for at least four years, today we face the very real threat of disenfranchisement of up to a third of Americans. These compatriots, now leaderless, are already hardening in their belief they’re being targeted for revenge.

Are they?

A couple weeks ago, I used a term in a column basically unknown in America: “lustration.” Commenting on the piece, a former Iraqi ambassador to the UN offered a clearer definition than I had: “debarment from public service after a regime change from dictatorial to democratic governance, for those who were part of the machinery of terror of the old regime.”

OK, so that covers hacks and means they can never again work in government. Ordinary supporters, who in a normal democracy would weave back into society after an election in which their candidate lost, are most stigmatized. They gave the most and got the least.

Whoever struck (and ultimately killed) a Capitol Police officer with a fire hydrant, the Florida man who brazenly stole the speaker’s podium, other looters and everyone’s favorite shaman buffalo man will all be charged with crimes, one expects. Some, like the fellow who reportedly tasered himself to death while trying to steal a portrait of former Speaker Tip O’Neill, require no further punishment.

As far as I’m concerned, the person most responsible is the one who whipped these poor souls into a frenzy and false sense of permission.

On Thursday and Friday, a seemingly organized campaign to get people to "unfriend" Trump supporters gathered new steam. While I understand the relative sense of powerlessness a regular citizen must feel now, and the sense that taking a righteous stand (even if it evokes the primitive practice of ostracism) may be reassuring, I beg those who are tempted to "cleanse" their friends list to think very carefully. Doing so will only fuel the resentment on which Trump once rose.

Trump did an excellent job of discrediting himself to his own base last week. Just about every effort to kill the king misfired over the last several years and ended up hitting someone else.

By tossing the Senate majority that acquitted him last year into the dumpster, he left scorched earth for one-time political allies. By leading from behind during the assault on Capitol Hill, he lost support of many of the ordinary men and women he once inspired.

Some might say leave it there, others might insist crimes must be prosecuted. Frankly, I’m agnostic on that.

But now is the moment to engage, not shun, those with whom one may not have agreed politically before. It may help them do what once came naturally in American society, and heal quickly after a loss. Try to remember the rage and frustration you felt for the last four years and ask yourself one question: Do you believe it’s their turn now?

Sam Patten is a recovering political consultant who was raised in Knox County and worked for Maine’s last three Republican senators.