If we learn nothing else from the mistake we made with the 2016 election, the main lesson should be that we can’t take government for granted, especially the federal government. The damage that has been done by two of the previous three presidents has been hard to quantify, with the current “president pretend” being the most damaging; far more than most people could ever have imagined. Note that I said “most people.” There were a lot of us who knew going in just how bad he could be, and he has not shocked us at all.
The biggest problem is, he got through three years of his term without any major fuck-ups. President Obama’s Administration was mostly competent, and they set things up so that even Trump could occupy the White House, as long as there were no major crises. Unfortunately for all of us, 2020 was seemingly set up to test any president, and there was no way he was prepared for any of it.
I know how fans hate when people mention it, but there was no way we were going to survive the coronavirus intact, especially with the current regime in the White House. The current administration meets the criteria of “incompetent” to a greater degree than any previous federal administration in the 244-year history of this country.
This is easily the most ignorant person to ever occupy high office in this country. Worse, however, he is a narcissist with absolutely no ability to ask questions of people smarter than him because he doesn’t think anyone is smarter than him. He acts like a petulant child. Some claim he’s a middle-schooler, but there are many times when he seems much younger, intellectually. As I write this, Trump is bragging on his 74th birthday, and it is often hard to believe his brain continued to develop after age 10.
This is a president who has no obvious sense of curiosity for anything other than his own name. He is obsessive about making sure people say nothing bad about him, although he is also quick to retaliate with in-turn childish insults when they do. However, as embarrassing as that is, the worst aspect of his incurious nature is that he doesn’t really care to know about anything, even though he is quick to posit himself as an expert on everything.
Consider his lame and incompetent reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. Early on, after the first few cases hit the country, he contradicted medical experts to declare that the 14 cases at the time would son be zero and the virus would go away when the weather turned warm, apparently because, you know, it was just like the flu and that’s how the flu acts, right? If you wonder why the government completely fucked up the COVID-19 response, well, that’s it.
See, Trump already knows everything, even though he also believes any opinion that sounds favorable to him politically. His lack of curiosity and the way he won his only election have led to a simplistic and ultimately stupid view of politics. Look at the lies and obfuscations he has adopted about his first election. He lost the popular vote by a considerable margin, and he stole the electoral college by winning in several swing states by less than half of one percent, but to listen to him, you would think he won a stunning landslide. His decision-making is the type one would expect by someone like Ronald Reagan, who won both the popular vote and an electoral victory, both in an overwhelming landslide. Trump seems to think the surprise of his win gives him an astounding mandate, when most politicians know that his extremely narrow margin — less than 80,000 votes in four key states — makes him exceptionally vulnerable in his reelection bid.
This inability to understand politics, along with hillock of curiosity about facts is the only thing that should give us hope that November 3, 2020 will be a Republican bloodbath. However, we still have to get there, and then we have to survive the 3 1/2 months after that, until President Biden is inaugurated at noon, January 20, 2021, with this bozo as “president pretend.” If you think he’s been scary to date, the concept of a “lame duck president pretend” should give us nightmares. On the other hand, we don’t have time for fear and loathing; we have to ramp up our comeback and really, actually, make America great again.
This is the only mandate at this time, except to make sure we remember this forever and act accordingly. All of the following will be true for the rest of the life of this democracy:
- Apathy is no longer an option.
- We have to all vote and encourage others to vote.
- We can never again accept low turnout elections.
- We can never again waste our votes on candidates with zero chance of winning, just to “send a message.”
- We can never again we pure idealists. We have to accept that democracy is a responsibility and that responsibility entails a rational choice.
- We also have to understand that our vote is not a cudgel, which we can use to beat up everyone else who isn’t “pure enough.”
Those are all for later, though. Right now, we have to deal with what we have. Despite Trump’s obvious infirmity and inability to perform the job of president, there still seem to be people – on both the right and left – who expect him to pivot and at least pretend to care about the job. These people worry me. I mean, how many years does he have to do the same things before everyone realizes, this is who he is. He is not capable of more. That much is clear, based on his record as a businessman. He’s probably not a billionaire, and if he is, his worth is probably about $1-2 billion, the ten times that he brags about. And given that he was handed an estimated $400 million in assets to start with 21 years ago, that’s not exactly a stellar record; he could’ve made more by placing the entire $400 million into CDs and accumulating money through a modest interest rate.
This is part of his M.O., people. He’s a grifter; a con man who is used to convincing himself that people buy his bullshit because he thinks he is thoroughly convincing. The Washington Post has compiled a list of lies told by the “president” since his inauguration – starting with his claims of a huge inauguration crowd – and as of June 1, 2020, he has told 19,127 documented lies. (Source) That’s because he has to say whatever he thinks makes him look good, even though he has no idea what that is.
The current “president” is stupid. Ignorance can be excused to a certain point, but when ignorance is willful, it becomes stupidity. The coronavirus virus is not the first pandemic the world has ever faced, and Trump has access to the brightest minds in the country and they can obtain any document he needs in order to learn about the problem. The problem is, he doesn’t want to know anything more than he already knows because he thinks it’s all he needs to know.
Donald Trump is BY FAR the worst politician (and the worst person) ever elected, especially to the key office in his branch of the federal government.
Lord Donny’s take on the coronavirus is what everyone should expect because it mirrors his approach to everything he’s done all of his life. He speculated that the virus would go away quickly and on its own because most other such epidemics either didn’t make it to this country or died out quickly. What he failed to understand, however, is that most such potential pandemics didn’t become a big deal BECAUSE previous administrations worked hard to make sure the diseases never reached our shores. The reason the current “lockdown and stay home” regimen we have been going through has been so unnerving is because it is unprecedented.
How many times in the past half-century or so has the press warned us that a pandemic may come to America, only to find out that the threat was over-played? Remember the planned Swine Flu pandemic in 1975, which should have killed hundreds of thousands, but made no splash in healthcare circles? In fact, it actually made little more than a half-dead ripple? What about ebola? The first few cases caused a bit of a panic, so the Obama Administration instead took the step of working to keep the outbreak confined to Western Africa.In both cases, steps were taken to hold off the diseases before it could become a problem.
On the other hand, with the coronavirus, we are being plagued (pun intended) by an Administration who doesn’t do anything, but brags about how great it is. Trump promised easy and cheap testing early on, but here we are, damn near four months later, and testing is still hard to find most places. He has also tried to lay blame on the states for the lack of testing, even though most states were told early on that the federal government would make testing available.
The current “president” has no idea what his job entails. He’s happy to issue “executive orders” because it sounds cool. When he was an executive at the Trump Organization, he would issue and order and everyone in the company would bend over backward to comply with that order because they feared losing their jobs. However in 3 1/2 years, the Trump Administration can point to almost no legislative initiatives because they can be opposed. Surely you’ve noticed that Trump can’t handle opposition of any kind. Even on Twitter, if anyone disagrees with him, he attacks them rhetorically, with his finest childish insults. He has childish nicknames for everyone who doesn’t agree with him 100 percent, and he is quick to call any Republican who doesn’t agree with him 100 percent a “traitor” or something similar. He sees anyone who disagrees with his point of view as “the enemy” and he treats them that way.
We cannot allow this to happen ever again. Every president from here on out must be an adult, capable of doing adult things and making adult-level decisions. And everyone else we elect, at every level, must understand that s/he works for us, not the other way around. And also, s/he must understand that everyone is entitled to equal rights under the law, including people they don’t like.
From this day forward, all voters, including those with college degrees who think they’re smarter than everyone else, must vote in every election, for every seat at every level. They must also forget this ridiculous concept of “sending a message.” If the person you vote for has no chance of winning, you have wasted your vote. You are not “sending a message” when you vote for someone who can’t possibly win. It’s really that simple. Everyone knows which candidate in each race is “viable” and those are the only candidates you need to consider. It’s really that simple.
And one last thing…
When the choice is something like “Trump vs. Hillary Clinton,” and you can’t see an advantage to voting for Clinton and against Trump, you’re a political deadweight and you should really shut up about politics for a while. This year, it will be the competent-but-not-perfect Joe Biden vs. the proven incompetent Donald Trump. If you think your job is to belittle Biden and “make sure people know” about everything Biden has done wrong, you’re mistaken. The only tool you have available is your vote. Use it to make sure the best possible candidate is elected or to make sure the worst possible candidate is NOT elected. Both are good causes to champion. No candidate is ever perfect – not even Bernie – so holding out for that is just silly.
We have to make sure Trump loses by a landslide and we have to make sure the GOP loses everywhere this year. And then, we have to make sure no one else with no redeeming qualities is ever again elected to any office. We need massive turnout and to put practical democracy ahead of rank idealism in every election and every level of government from this point to the end of time.
Trump will never be able to fix the messes he’s made and it’s unreal to expect him to do so. We made a mistake; we took the politics for granted in 2016 and that can never happen again. Ever.
Also published on Medium.