Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Going Down



In the autumn of 1973, as young as I was (all of fifteen), it was evident to anyone paying attention that Dick Nixon was unraveling. I was paying attention - even then. You could see it in every press conference and at every public event the man attended. You certainly could see it the day he spun around his beleaguered press secretary, Ron Ziegler, and shoved him as hard as he could. It was captured by a 16mm film camera and the entire nation saw it. Ziegler was hardly a sympathetic figure - Heaven knows being a propagandist for somebody as supremely foul as Nixon was bound not to get him a treasured spot in the history books - but even I felt bad for him on that day. Ziegler passed away almost seventeen years ago. Nearly every one of his obituaries mentioned the incident. It was a perfectly vile thing for The Trickster to do.

Donald Trump doesn't have a Ron Ziegler to kick around forty-six years later. When Sarah Huckabee Sanders quit her job a few months ago, The Donald never really bothered to replace her. Press briefings these days are about as rare as a candle burning in a blizzard. And that's probably just as well. The news has been universally bad for this appalling administration since January 20, 2017. Why bother disseminating information to the so-called "fake news"? The only thing that's similar to 1973 is the very undeniable truth that Donald Trump, like Dick Nixon then, is coming apart at the seams.

One can't help but marvel at Trump's luck - or lack thereof. After all, he was never supposed to win this thing. That's why everyone up on stage on Election Night 2016 looked so stunned; his wife and kids in particular. They were probably not in denial over the fact that dear-old-Dad was not psychologically fit for a job as demanding as president of the United States of America. Three years later (it seems like three decades) their glum faces on that night have proven prescient. Donald Trump has become about twice as unhinged as he was on the night he won the election.

His original plan, I'm almost certain, was to "up his brand". As a former presidential candidate, his speaking fees would likely skyrocket - as would his salary for hosting The Apprentice. He could write his own ticket from there on; everything would be easy sailing. But that damned electoral college - and the heartbreaking ignorance of so many Americans - thwarted his plans. Now he needs to win reelection. There's an awful lot over covering up to be done and he needs the power of the presidency to keep him and his sons and daughter out of Leavenworth. That is the reason he and his underlings need to do everything possible - legality be damned - to be ensure that he is reelected in less than a year. In the meantime we can expect this disgusting chief executive to continue to lash out at any and all who may earn his wrath. It really is an interesting thing to be a witness to.

The next eleven months are going to be quite weird.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

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