Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Thank You, Now Please Leave

December is the month to look back and ask, what just happened. Now that he is packing his toothbrush it may be time to list all the accomplishments of the Trump regime. I thought this would be a good way to preserve the pristine blank page but there are some benefits when I thought about it.

First is the extent to which he has concentrated our attention in the way a terminal diagnoses focuses one’s mind. My deaf daughter’s vocabulary seems to have doubled as she emails me in well-rounded sentences with anger and dread in equal parts. 

It has been a four-year bonanza for comedians. What will Randy Rainbow and Sarah Cooper do without Donald to parody? We thought Dubya was a gift to late-night talk-shows but Trump makes Bush look like Stephen Hawking.

I can think of no person in recorded history who suffers by comparison. Perhaps Peter and Catherine were called Great coming after Ivan the Terrible and Vlad the Impaler. So, too, Andrew Johnson and Warren Harding now seem like benign incompetents next to Donald J. Trump.

It has been a negative lesson in Civics. America had an opportunity to see the function of government by its very absence. The vacuity and dysfunction demonstrated the noble role which the federal government could have played in saving lives and preserving our environment.

We have been witness to a certifiably failed human being. It’s a rare moment in history that mindlessness is on full display. Reckless and feckless acts combined with ignorance and arrogance have never been so nakedly revealed in public office.

There have been more than 16,000 books written about Abraham Lincoln. I expect the subject of Trump to become a growth industry topping that figure. I can see a creative burst coming in print and performance art trying to make sense of these past four years. CRISPR scientists will ponder what genetic defect accounted for his behavior.

Out of this darkness we might gain a new appreciation of our democracy along with an assessment of its defects. Eventually he will become less of an exclamation point and more of an asterisk in the grand chronicle.