You almost pulled it off: subverting American democracy and the destruction of its institutions. But for a little luck, another fateful term was in reach of your stubby little digits and with it the certain demise of the American republic.
All along, you were a conjurer of the first-degree with a deft political sleight-of-hand to make people doubt the truth. You led them into your fun house of lies because you understood that to many people in this country, the truth was irrelevant and what mattered most was preserving their Rockwellian vision of the nation regardless of the facts. Reason and rational thinking are not the primary weapons of your followers’ cognitive arsenal; emotions and anger are.
An opportunist you were, too. In 2016, you looked around and saw an America fraying at the edges and splitting apart at the middle. You said, “This is good.” With the help of advisors who understood that America was ripe for a demagogue, you sold a glorified return to American 1950’s social and political hegemony. Those on the right who felt politically disenfranchised and abandoned by the American dream, drank the cool-aid, after all, entitlement is an equal-opportunity resentment. Empowered by the internet, everyone now had a voice in the cultural free-for-all in which America tumbled downhill. As the nation’s leading troll, you looked around at your burgeoning troop of internet-armed acolytes, and said, “This is good.”
You quickly created an administration built on a foundation of lies, meant to divide the nation, and your followers gladly consumed them like an addict does his/her drug of choice. The result was a country more polarized than a new battery. And to the bitter end you continued to deceive, fleecing them of their money as you raised millions in the name of your spurious law suits contesting the 2020 presidential election, much of which went directly into your pockets. And the disgraceful events of January 6 proved what we knew along, you will destroy that which you cannot control.
A bit of advice in your new life: may you never be poor. If you were to become an inner-city indigent and display such delusional thinking, you would be placed under heavy medication. But as president with enormous power, you collected sycophants and followers in increasing numbers creating a “Trumpist” movement who proselytized your lies till they became gospel. If enough people believe something, however outrageous, it becomes religion. Your cult proved that.
As the captain of chaos, another four-year term would have cemented you as arsonist and fire department; burglar and police; the denominator of a country ripe for cleaving in order to advance your stranglehold on the constitution and our institutions.
I will give you this, you were a fighter. You never missed an opportunity to go for the knock-out punch with an opponent (subtlety and nuance of verbal sparring were as foreign to you as humility and self-deprecation). No amount of honor, prestige, and reputation were too high for your low blows, even if it was someone who served his or her country admirably and with courage as Senator John McCain and Ambassador Marie Yavanovich.
Leading up to the January 20 inauguration of president-elect Joseph Biden, many Republicans quoted Abraham Lincoln in a disingenuous appeal for unity (I’m sure they forgot there can be no unity without justice).
But I will bid you good riddance with a more appropriate and enduring bit of wisdom from the 16th President of the United States. “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”
May your stain be quickly erased from the moral fabric of this good nation.