Election Day is a little more than a month from now and given my lifelong infatuation with politics, I am, weirdly, not as nearly as anxious about the outcome as I was four years ago.
And I really don’t know why.
Of course, I hope and pray to Jesus every day that Donald Trump gets humiliated by a landslide victory for Joe Biden. On the other hand, if Trump is re-elected, as sickened as I will most assuredly be, I will otherwise be at peace with the knowledge that I was in no way complicit in the further horrors that will, without a doubt, be visited upon the American people by him for the extent of his rule, however long that may turn out to be.
A week or so after the 2016 election, I wrote a column in which I promised that from that day forward, I would refer to Trump as “president” because he was duly elected by a system that I believe in. I also promised that there would be no “I told you so” when he inevitably trashes the image of this great country and continues to prove himself to be the incompetent fool he showed himself to be during his campaign.
Well, I lied.
Mere days after his inauguration, it was obvious that Trump was unworthy of the title of “president” and, through some fluke in a system I used to believe in, we had elected a borderline illiterate and petulant baby-man, thereby committing an act of aggression against the U.S. Constitution and making one of the most embarrassing and dangerous mistakes this country has ever made.
So sorry, but I told you so.
Whatever the case, we are in a historically dark place in this country because of Trump. I put the blame squarely on the heads of all of the befuddled folk who thought that electing one of the most odious human beings in America to steer us into the uncharted waters of the future was a good idea.
Actually, what bothers me more than the thought of four more years of rule by Donald Trump and the gutless elected Republicans who have abandoned their principles for a mere pat on the head from his tiny hands, is how so many of his supporters seem to be OK with the thought of living under authoritarian rule in this country. They seem to be more inclined toward obedience and acquiescence to a wannabe dictator than they value freedom and independence.
I count as friends some of those supporters. And these past few years, I have been saddened, bewildered and embarrassed by these once strong individual’s continued endorsement of a man who has proven, time and again, to have only his own interests at heart and is a man who is fearful of anyone who actually thinks for themselves.
I truly just don’t get it.
For the most part, people of my generation were taught from a very early age that our country was one steeped in freedom. We learned that rugged individualism was an admirable trait and that speaking your mind and standing up for what you believe in was a sacred gift given to us by the thousands upon thousands of men and women who died for our right to do so.
Now we have a leader who openly mocks the service and sacrifice of those thousands upon thousands of unselfish souls, demands adulation and claims that your right to vote is valid only if it is a win for him. And, still, inexplicably, the support of his followers is a rock solid as it ever was.
Again, I just don’t get it.
I am under no illusions that my opinions mean anything at all to anyone other than myself. One of the more comforting assets of age, I believe, as weird as it may sound, is the acceptance of how small we all are compared with everything else under the sun; to realize, finally, that life will go on without us and that it’s OK not to carry the burden of worrying about what will happen when we’re gone.
However true that may be, there is no way in hell that I could ever again look my sons in the eye knowing I didn’t speak out against the tragedy that is the Trump administration, that I sat quietly by and allowed others to carry the weight of opposing what I truly believe to be a trend toward an Orwellian existence in this country without, at least, using whatever feeble voice I have to call attention to what I view to be one of the greatest assaults on the soul of America we have ever faced.
Comfort there lies in knowing I am absolutely on the right side of history in doing whatever small thing I can do to keep one man from burning down this great country.
I know for a fact that I will get a lot of negative feedback from Trump’s supporters for what I’ve written here. Oh, will I ever get a whole bunch of all-caps comments. But that’s OK, I asked for it.
It won’t last long, though. As with most people who are easily distracted by bright lights and bumper stickers, they will pretty quickly move on to another target.
This will be my last column about politics for the near future because, quite honestly, I’m pretty sick of it all right now.
I think I’ll go back to writing about squirrels or the misdeeds of the International Pumpkin Spice Syndicate. Or maybe I’ll write about my and Love-Weasel’s new puppy.
Puppies are something everybody can agree on.