Wednesday, January 18, 2017 12:08 AM
I think I’m getting a handle on this thing—I’m pretty sure that by the inauguration, I’ll avoid my head exploding. But it’s a big adjustment—losing that reasonable, measured presence at the head of the nation. I had gotten used to the luxury of having the ‘final authority’ be a better man than I am. I had forgotten the patience I acquired while Bush Jr. chuckled his way through his self-actualized shit-storm.
My concern with Bush-43—I doubted he saw the longer game, the problem taken out beyond the short term, or seen in a wider context—I didn’t expect wisdom from Bush, but I expected a modicum of caution and restraint—as a person might show, when responsible for the fate of the world. And indeed it took him the full eight years to cause all the damage of his administration.
The thought of Trump in the same position made me panic because, in Trump’s case, never mind the longer game—he doesn’t appear to see the short game—or the nose on his face, in many respects. He compounds his ignorance with an unstable personality—which could light up the whole ball of wax, in myriad scenarios and in shockingly brief time periods. Once sworn in, I wouldn’t be surprised if he could outdo Bush’s mistakes by an order of magnitude, and in a mere eight months.
I haven’t decided which scenario frightens me more—the transforming of ourselves into neo-Nazi nationalists—or the various forms that World War III could assume. The irony is that now, when the Tea-Partiers have won through, I agree with them—no legislation should be passed for the next four years—Congress should do nothing until they have completed the ethics reviews of Trump’s cabinet appointees (that should take most of four years, anyway, if they do a good job of it).
I’m curious about how the Republicans are going to spin things, now that they have both Houses, and the Administrative branch, and their pick of Supremes—if the employment rate doesn’t rise, if wages don’t rise, if health care and health insurance costs keep rising—who are they going to blame then? I would consider the possibility of their success—if they had offered any clear vision of their version of things.
They’ve been knocking the Dems for so long, so fixedly, that I have to wonder if they’re capable of switching gears, of getting anything useful done. Their present focus seems to be on undoing the Affordable Care Act—most sensible people would want to have a clear model of a replacement first, but everybody has their own style, right?
And it’s all coming back to me now. That was Jon Stewart’s big explosion as a satirist—when Bush was President, if we didn’t laugh, we would have had to cry—and this is certainly still a temptation. But I’ve become so serious about all of this that I hardly see the clownish side of the Republicans anymore.
Plus, we are always tainted by the enemies we fight—in this case, Trump has absolutely no sense of humor—he thinks insults are humor, because he enjoys insulting people—he doesn’t realize that insult-comedy has to be clever to work. And we really can’t expect an appreciation for satire from a man who seems born to be its target.
And so, during this death-march of an election, I slowly but surely lost my own sense of humor. It wasn’t just Trump and his team—the news media as well became a vacuum of humor. When the Trump spinnerets tried to pass off his Pussy-Grabbing comment as ‘locker room talk’, no one behind a news-desk had the dignity or grace to laugh in their faces. And as I watched what should have been farcical, treated with leaden gravity, I lost my sense of humor along with my sense of sanity.
But I’m getting it back now slowly but surely—as people are wont to do when they pass through what they used to see as an upper-limit on crazy. I voted. I blogged. I argued with friends. In my tiny way, I did what I could. But it’s over now—and if I didn’t win my case, I have won the right to sit back and watch my warnings come to fruition. People have a thing about saying I told you so—but I’m fine with it. If you refused to listen and went ahead and cut yourself, I’m gonna go ahead and say I told you so. And, yes, I’m gonna laugh, too.
Trump has lied and connived himself into a position he has no business holding—and I’m going to ridicule him until he leaves that position. If he can make a joke out of this country, I can certainly make a joke out of him. Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it, Donald.