OBITUARY

It’s by no means a certainty, but it’s beginning to look like Trump isn’t going to win a second term. Some people think he’s going to find some pretext not to step down, but I think they’re just awfulizing. He’s not going to add to his humiliation at the polls by having to be escorted from the White House. 

So America’s brief courtship with fascism will be over, a modicum of decorum will return to the Presidency, and though it may not be “God’s in His heaven and all’s well with the world!”, nor will the lion lie down with the lamb, life in America will go on, and maybe, just maybe, the country will venture one step closer to joining the rest of the First World in adopting single-payer health care. 

There won’t be a civil war. The MAGA hats will get stuffed to the back of the top shelf in the bedroom closet, and years from now, try as he might, grandpa won’t be able to remember what it was all about. Covid will miraculously disappear, but not until the day after inauguration, so Biden will get all the credit. The white supremacists, of which there never were any, not really, will shrug it all off now that even the white linebackers are taking a knee. And the religious right, having given up on overturning Roe v. Wade, will console themselves with a bo and a chaque a son gout, though of course they’ll think both are American expressions.

Will America recover from the damage Trump has done to its reputation abroad? I suspect not. Having taken the low ground, there’s no longer a City on the Hill to which Sisyphus can climb back up, even if he could. But it will be welcomed back into the community of nations, albeit now only as hewer of wood and drawer of water to its senior partners, China and the EU. And Americans will wonder, “How could we have fallen so low?” To which the answer is, because elections have consequences. 

Has Trump been the cause or a symptom of America’s fall from grace? Probably a bit of both. But no matter. Nature abhors a vacuum. I’m placing my bets on the island of St. Helena. Centrally located between East and West, between North and South. No history of imperialism, of famine, of war … In fact not much history at all. Hard to get to. Even harder to get from. Which is why Napoleon was exiled there. Not a bad final resting place for a deposed emperor. Trump could do worse.

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