Roger Marolt: Hoping for Trump to pull off his biggest surprise yet
Now the fun begins. Wouldn’t you know it started with Donald Trump fans having their way with the pollsters, again. Actually, shame on the pollsters for inhaling the smoke screen one more time. If I could, I’d give Trump an extra half an electoral vote for pulling it off.
As it is, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, as we used to say on the playground, and obviously not in pandemics, impeachments or divisive elections. We have a new president and it might be a hair-raising ride to the Inauguration Ball.
It’s as if the election season is that long, slow, clinking and jerky crawl in the roller coaster that eventually pulls us to the crest. Then the bottom falls out as our stomaches lurch for daylight shining through our mouths wide open before the back and forth slamming from side to side jostles the rib cages as we swing wildly one bend to the next. It’s not a place for a person faint of heart or with long, coiffed bangs.
I hope Trump ends up embodying his professed love for this country, and that he spends his remaining time in office trying to prove for posterity that he is leaving the joint better than he found it. I hope he’s busy the next couple of months tidying up the shelves of his accomplishments and shining the best light he can on them for historians to judge whether he made America great again. If he believes that he made a positive difference, why not spend this remaining time in office bolstering a legacy? There is plenty of time to golf later.
If past performance is an indicator of future results, though, then this is the period when we, the south paws of politics, the left-leaning towers of reason, will find out if we were right about Trump. A lame duck president may not have a lot of power, but he does have a lot of latitude to wreak havoc.
He can pardon the crooks who helped the cause, but who cares about that? We know that’s part of the deal. These enablers were so deep in the muck that the swamp had to be drained just to find them and get them on the payroll. Whatever they did, they did for money and what a better time to do that than after a generous tax cut.
But, that’s kid stuff when it comes to politics. Lots of administrations have littered the streets in this manner on their ways out The White House back door and into their new lives as best selling authors and high priced speakers. This doesn’t work if you don’t have anything in your gut to spill. Confessions sell as well as anything. As for us, we need last minute Christmas gifts and reading material to go to bed with, so we go along with this.
What might be different this time is that the exiting president may just not have it in him to stay on the rails. The screw that connects the coupling that was the possibility of a second term wiggled loose and fell to the cinders. The Trump train may become a runaway. I’m not so worried about the passengers. It was a good ride. They had their say. We are all wearied of ourselves. It’s the conductor I’m concerned with.
As Alfred E. Neuman rhetorically asked, “What, me worry?” This might make for a good comic book, if the stakes weren’t so high. Trump is a high pressure system blowing harder and hotter than ever. He’s making threats. He savors punishing the double-crossers and disagreers. He seems the vindictive type. It might be all talk. I hope so. Now we find out.
The thing is, when you make a scorched earth exit, you can’t only destroy the part of the country blue people live in, because we all occupy the same space and catastrophe is colorblind. You can try peppering in a little chaos here and there, but chaos is a volatile element to be experimenting with. Once you light the fuse, you might see that it’s running up your pant leg.
If I could advise Trump, becoming the first person ever to accomplish that, I would beg him to chill out and see what happens. And then I would appeal to his ego. Don’t let the other guys be right. Pull the biggest surprise of your term. Leave like a gentleman. It will drive everyone nuts.
Roger Marolt hopes there is nothing to see here so we can all just keep moving. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the last 35 years I’ve been covering what we call the “salmon wars” in the Pacific Northwest, writing so many stories about salmon heading toward extinction that I’ve lost count.
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