Lying flat on my back watching the world rush by in opiated slow motion was a good way to witness one of the most tumultuous presidential races in American history. And no, this missive is not the confession of a fallen scribe, I had to be in the hospital for a while.
Some of that time was under heavy sedation that precluded doing anything but drooling over what was showing on TV. The forced isolation of the COVID-19 hospital reality — to include most human contact — forced me to immerse myself in the television news that ran 24 hours a day by reason of being too wasted to turn off the TV. I watched it all, even Fox, which I usually denigrate without observation. I was gratified to discover Fox is still Trump’s discordant talking machine.
By the final week of the 30-round October brawl I was just about weaned from the medications that facilitated understanding the subtlety and nuance of Trumpspeak. While they remained in control it seemed that poor, overmatched Donald Trump was gamely fighting off 74 million antagonistic voters expressing the misguided conscience and goodwill of the United States of America. I had never viewed him that way before.
About 27 days into the October fray that misconception finally passed. Trump metamorphosed into the floundering, whining sick pup he still is today. The unexpected tenderness I experienced for Trump during my recovery evaporated, replaced by my usual disgust and dismay there are even humans like him.
All his belligerence did was underscore what millions of Americans besides me already know: Trump didn’t have the chops to lead America and never did. Seeing President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris accept the honors of gaining the White House made it good to be home.
During Trump’s October battle, the rest of the creaking political apparatus that nominally runs our nation groaned on almost as an aside. From time to time I would surf the net, reading local news from states I rarely pay attention to. It remains gratifying to know that the political races among the 50 states had more in common than they had differences, especially in heated local contests for state office. Americans still share many more values than they shun.
Trump, however, was all about Trump and nobody else. What kind of politician doesn’t have time for the fresh dead, much less the departed from long ago? It once again proved he is more monster than man. Even more befuddling, Trump doesn’t seem to care who knows it. With him gone, hate will lose its grip if we let it.
“One death is a tragedy and a million is a statistic,” Soviet despot Josef Stalin is often credited with saying about mass starvation deaths in Ukraine. Trump felt even less burdened by the loss of more than 230,000 Americans.
“It is what it is,” is how Trump explains the death toll from coronavirus.
His callous displays had to cost him votes he couldn’t afford. I applauded every gaffe. At the same time I worried why Joe Biden wasn’t showing up. I doubted that my $5 a month contribution to his cause would encourage much. Biden has since proved he knew what he was doing. Trump never knew.
About 14 ladies on my hospital floor agreed that Biden’s soothing presentations were real nice alternatives to Trump’s strident bigotry and hatefulness. One lady said he was a favorite uncle explaining that everything would be all right.
Through it all, America’s president-under-siege pretended he was too busy fighting pandemics, securing our cities, and saving the police from dissolution to care that a thousand Americans a day were dying under his watch. Then it finally sunk in — duh! — Trump really didn’t care.
His allies were either fur’im or agin’ ‘im. Dead people don’t have a vote. There was no middle ground. That will cost him too. Stories are slowly bubbling to the surface about cells of Republican solons meeting in secret conclaves to quietly vilify Trump.
The stories remind me of the reborn Nazis and Communists in Europe at the end of World War II and the Cold War, that nobody ever knew a Nazi or even pretended to like a Communist. Pretty soon, the Republicans will be claiming they are the party of unity.
In the final analysis, the Trump campaign was the only battlefield worth watching. Even floating in the opaque haze of my pharmaceutical utopia I could feel the white hot rage of the final showdown. I watched 12 to 15 hours of cable news a day, mesmerized.
It was immediately clear that the Democrats and Republicans fighting for office were engaged in a relatively tame differences of opinion about local issues. The slathering fangs and bloody claws only came out when the discussion turned to the White House. Most of the local ads I viewed were poorly done affairs more about message than style.
Good ol’ Illinois certainly didn’t disappoint. Illinois is always a vicious arena, where slammed charges of crime and incompetence fall like rice at a wedding. As expected, there was nothing new about the various candidates. All of them were family loving, church going, incorruptible and virtuous — except when they were taking payoffs, having multiple affairs, soliciting bribes, and pardoning murderers and scallywags by the bushel.
Hopefully politics as usual will return to the White House as well now that Trump will soon be gone.