Saturday, April 21, 2018

Life In A Post-Trump America


Joe Scarborough thinks Donald Trump won't run in 2020. Progressives want their candidates to commit to impeaching him if Dems take back the House this year. Political pundits are speculating when, not if, Rod Rosenstein and / or Robert Mueller will be fired. And meanwhile, in New York's Southern District, Trump's own attorney might end up taking him down.

But here's the thing that everyone is missing. Whether Trump gets impeached, or he chooses not to run for reelection, or he's defeated in 2020, this country will have one helluva time putting the pieces back together after he's gone. Whoever the next president is - be it a Democrat or Republican - he or she will spend a considerable portion of their term cleaning up the mess Trump will leave behind. You can count on that.

I recently asked a friend who's a Trump supporter one simple question. What would you call a person who believes the entire government is somehow conspiring against this president? That everyone is out to get him and only he and his supporters know the truth? I can tell you what I and many people like me would call that person: paranoid. But for approximately 35 percent of the country - perhaps more - this is their reality. The deep state is out to get Trump: the media, the FBI, the courts, the entire intelligence community, everyone. If you think his rallies are over the top, just imagine what these people would do if he were to be removed from office. Carnage doesn't begin to describe it.

But it isn't just his supporters who are living in an alternate universe. At least one third of House Republicans think that the real investigation should be about Hillary Clinton and her damned emails. On Fox News, some commentators have even called for her impeachment. I swear I'm not making that up; apparently these dim bulbs don't know she isn't the president. Trump, himself, has tweeted about how the Justice Department should be indicting his political enemies.

And just in case you think this madness is confined to the lunatics on the Right, it isn't. Some on the Left have been equally afflicted. When I wrote recently that Democrats needed to reach out to Trump voters, I was taken to task by someone who, in no uncertain terms, said "screw" them. He wasn't alone. Most of the posts I've read on Facebook from progressives are not just decidedly anti Trump; they're decidedly anti Trump voter. Because nothing screams we'd like to retake the White House better than telling one third of the country to go fuck itself.

What's going on in this country would confound Freud himself. It's more than just pathological; it borders on neurosis. So divided are we as a people that regardless of what happens with the Russia investigation, a good chunk of us will simply choose not to believe it. On one side you have conspiracy nuts who believe the government is out to get them; on the other you have people who are consumed by their rage. And over in Russia you have Vladimir Putin saying, "Mission accomplished."

Think about it: the country that defeated imperial England to win its independence, the country that survived a bloody civil war, not to mention two costly world wars and a cold war that almost resulted in nuclear Armageddon, looks more like the set of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest than the greatest nation on earth.

Friendships have ended and families have stopped talking to each other because of this man. The damage he has done will take years to repair, assuming that it's even repairable. And that's just the population. Institutions like the State Department may well take over a decade to fully recover. As for our standing among nations, well some wounds may never heal. Already Angela Merkel is being heralded as the leader of the free world. The Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves.

After he pardoned Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford announced to a weary nation that America's long national nightmare was finally over. Many Trump haters have taken that as their mantra of hope for 2020. But let me be clear here. If Trump does in fact get defeated in 2020, or if he's impeached before that, it won't be the end of our long national nightmare. It'll be the beginning of the biggest reclamation project this republic has ever witnessed or endured, and that includes the Reconstruction era.

Get your shovels and brooms ready, people. Because the shit's gonna be knee deep.

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