There are so many ironies involved in American life right now that it surpasses even what Thomas Pynchon could have written. I don’t know if there is a “Creator,” or and Executive Producer of this show, but the constant drama, the continual twists and turns, some of which are foretold and some of which are totally surprising, would never have been accepted in even the most surreal novel or Avengers comic book.
We have reached what could actually be the end for Trump. Perhaps? Despite everything he did, the lies, the insults, the international assassinations, the children in cages, extortions, contortions, intimidations, and the whining, it seemed as if he was untouchable. There must have been a thousand times when all the pundits said that he wouldn’t be able to escape, but he just told a bigger lie or created a bigger crisis, and everything moved on.
But Trump couldn’t do it. He didn’t know how to quit when he was ahead. He could have mumbled his views about being cheated, taken the $260 million, and stayed down at the place in Florida and he would have gotten away unscathed. But his anger at all those who would not support him ravaged his mind. He returned to Washington. He revved up the crowd. The Capitol was breached. Five people have died. He never mentioned them.
Three days before the insurrection, since I haven’t been vaccinated yet, I settled in front of the fireplace and opened up Obama’s new book. Trump has spent over five years attacking Obama and trying to undo as much as he could of everything that Obama achieved, and now he is being replaced by Obama’s vice president. About eighty percent of Biden’s appointees are people who worked for Obama. The Deep State is back, big time.
By the fourth page, it becomes clear why Trump was so obsessed with destroying Obama. Obama is everything Trump is not. The first thing that becomes apparent is that Obama writes in sentences and paragraphs. He never capitalizes all the letters in the same word. The pages are full of ambivalence about the decisions he made. The pros and cons of issues and strategies and discussed in lengthy chapters. They are nuanced and complex. They discuss the issues from several points of view. He admits faults and mistakes. He gives credit to hundreds of people who helped him, picked him up, and pointed him in the right direction.
Trump of course does not have the capacity to do any of that. He is never wrong. He takes credit for everything good and blames someone else for everything bad. He does everything himself, except he really does nothing at all. To Trump, Obamacare was terrible, and everyone hated it. He never said why. He did say he would replace it with something much better. He said that often. He never had any idea what he was talking about or the slightest intention of drafting any legislation.
Not to be overlooked, is that Trump is a racist and Obama is Black. In the book, Obama says part of why he ran was to show Black children that they can achieve anything. Trump ran to show those same kids that if they speak up they might get killed. It was the people in Trump’s camp who agreed with that who stormed the Capitol.
Obama was an idealist. He admits that he ran for president partly as a personal challenge and that he didn’t mind the glory, but he gave himself permission to run because he was an idealist. He wanted to try to correct many things that were obviously wrong with America.
Trump ran because he was selfish and wanted the glory. He wanted the attention and hoped it would be good for his brand. He thought it might help him get out of debt. He ran because Obama was Black, and that made him unacceptable. Also, Obama had insulted him with a joke at a press dinner.
Trump has flamed out. He might still believe that he has a chance at returning to become president again, but he really has a better chance of going to jail. He has destroyed the Republican Party, and many of them won’t forgive him for that. His loyal followers might soon find him on some right-wing media network raving that he was cheated, but he will be spending a lot of his time fighting for his fortune and his life in court. It will be interesting to see how well he can hold his audience when he has no power to help them and Biden is giving them money.
Biden will be president. Even Trump admits that now. Biden says he is not Obama lite. Will the sequel be better than the original? How long will the series run? Right now it doesn’t look as if Josh Hawley or Ted Cruz will be able to lead Trumpism back into power in two or four years, but we are still living in strange times.
As I read Obama’s book, I find myself thinking that it would have been better for the country and the world if Obama had been more like Trump. Trump rose to great heights because he is one of the world’s greatest salesmen. He connects well with his customers. He tells them exactly what they want to hear, and he convinces them he can deliver it. In his mind, everyone is a sucker, and if he lies big enough, long enough, and loud enough, enough of them will believe it, and they did.
Obama overestimated his audience. He thought they understood what was best for them. He was not a great salesman. He also was a Constitutional scholar and he followed all the rules. If Trump had nominated someone to the Supreme Court and the Senate wouldn’t vote on it, Trump would have installed them anyway, as an “acting” Supreme Court Justice.
Biden is not Obama. He is much more of a politician. He has a better sense of what his voters understand and what they want. He knows how to run a government. He knows how to compose and negotiate legislation. Also, he is White. Those things make me very hopeful, for America, for democracy, and for all of us. He’s got a lot to do to get this country cleaned up and straightened out. I wish him well, good health, and good luck. He will need all he can get.
I am sure he will get some advice, consultation, and direction from Obama. I find that reassuring.