Let’s Be Honest

The 45th President of the United States of America is a horrible person. He’s a boor. As put in a recently popular description of why he’s unliked in the United Kingdom, “Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.” 

Since his inauguration as President in January 2017, rampant public and private speculation about his psychological makeup has posited him as a narcissist, a psychotic, and sociopath; as an adderall-addicted, incurious, unread sexual deviant sliding into, even thoroughly immersed in dementia. 

Some are convinced he is a racist supporter of white supremacy bent on enabling a fascist dictatorship in the United States, determined to undo 244 years of an imperfect union cobbled haphazardly together on the hopes and dreams of a wildly diverse people constantly refreshed by the influx of others from all corners of the globe.

He has un-debatably used the office to profit personally in ways and to a degree unprecedented among previous Presidents. Similarly, he has staffed his administration and appointed to the Judicial branch of the federal government more people less qualified and inappropriate than did any Chief Executive before him. The negative effects of his having been chosen by the Electoral College in 2016 will be borne by the long-suffering citizens of this country for generations.

A small number of citizens, however, will suffer few of the obvious ill effects of this man’s tenure, regardless how long or short it may be. They, the wealthiest among us, will continue to enjoy the fruits of his tax policies and his administration’s refusal to use the regulatory authority of self-government to check the amassing and hoarding of wealth those policies enable.

So, yes, let’s be honest: supporters of the Current Occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. are either themselves psychologically suspect, fascistic-inclined, or just in it for the money. A few may be excused as merely uninformed or laughably gullible but the vast majority of those who keep – and wish to keep – the man in power know exactly what they are doing.

And yet, for 244 years, on a quadrennial basis, we have come together as a People to assess our leaders and decide whether or not their policies and choices and actions please us; whether we shall permit the current crop additional time to hold their offices or choose alternative leadership.

In the preponderance of cases, leaders whose effects have been perceived as generally good have been allowed eight years to govern, save for that unique period in the first half of the 20th century when that one particularly steady and foresighted man was gifted with 12 years to guide the country through some of its darkest days.

Thus, here we are, election year 2020 and, as this is being written, a most horrible man is presiding over a rapidly proliferating global pandemic, a sharply declining stock market, and a potentially devastating economic collapse. A disinterested third-party observer might rightly conclude it’s time for a change.

Somewhat sadly, from this writer’s perspective, the country has organized itself in the past 244 years largely along the lines of a two-party system. Almost never, at the federal level, and rarely at state or local levels, have factional coalitions convened to assemble governing bodies, nearly always making it necessary for people to choose – despite the many possible gradations of importance they might assign to one set of problems or another – the red pill or the blue pill.

In this particular moment, given the stakes of what it would mean to allow the status quo to persist, I am shocked and crestfallen that Joe Biden appears to be the blue pill on offer.

That he is not and will not ever be remotely as horrible a person or President as the man in office today is little comfort. Joe Biden has a long track record as a public servant in dogged support of the insurance and financial services industries; as a rabid cheerleader for the United State’s self-aggrandized role as a lone superpower and global cop; as a self-unaware mansplainer dismissive and diminishing of the interests and concerns of women and girls in our society; as a steady tender of the slow-burning embers of the status quo.

He said it himself, that if elected, “nothing will fundamentally change.”

So, yes, let’s be honest: no matter how good or bad many of us might perceive things to be, the preponderance of voters among us are not interested in anything more than incremental, cosmetic change. And the non-voters among us appear to be uninterested in doing anything to change that.


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