Yes, that person – on the right! – in the featured image for this piece, copped from a cover of Mad Magazine, is Alfred E. Neuman, rumored to be on President-Elect Trump’s short list for Secretary of Defense. No, that’s not a typo. Alfred asked Mr. Trump if he could be in charge of the wall along our border with Mexico or “The Fence” as Alfred likes to call it and Mr. Trump misheard him. And the rest will be history.
So about that queasy feeling many of us have been experiencing since Election Day, the problem is that half the people voted for the guy on the left. Of that half, we’ll say half of those actually like his special brand of hucksterism, mesmerized by the boldness of his rhetoric without realizing the heartless stupidity of what he’s actually saying. The other half of the half that voted for him didn’t. Didn’t vote for him, that is. They voted for their frustration with a largely dysfunctional government that gets nothing done while spending us broke to do it. It’s a government of which, unfortunately, Hillary Clinton is a shining symbol, not to mention that she isn’t all that great a candidate and is a woman which is, regrettably, still a problem for many voters.
The real danger here – and it’s only a short-term problem – is that Donald Trump, in his heart of hearts, doesn’t realize that 75% – rough estimate – of the voters didn’t want him, per se, to be President. Unfortunately, that’s what’s happened and, if there was ever a candidate who would let a misdirected victory go to his head, it’s “The Donald.” He’s actually so delusional as to believe he has a mandate to do the things he proposed during the campaign, from the just mildly ridiculous, to the unconstitutional and outright scary.
“What, you’re worried?” as Alfred might ask. Are you suffering from instant buyer’s remorse? Waking up with flop sweat from some semi-conscious episode of night terrors that you can’t shake off? Has it just occurred to you that we really have elected Donald Trump President?
Well, man- or woman-up and get over it. Alfred E. Neuman isn’t worried. Neither should you be.
Sure, he’s intellectually, prejudicially and, yes, temperamentally unfit to be President. So what? Could he screw things up for years, maybe decades to come?Absolutely, but what’s the point of getting upset about it? The anti-Trump protestors will lose their fervor any day now. Mr. Trump is going to be President. Time to get over it and back to work. Practical considerations and political forces will dispatch with Mr. Trump soon enough and, in the end, he and his core minions will have done us all a huge favor.
You can de-stress and get a good night’s sleep now. Here’s how it’s going to go down…
Phase 1. After an unusually short honeymoon, President Trump and his motley crew will spend the next two years making a mess of Washington, our country and quite possibly the world. It will be a mess of biblical proportions, limited only by the extent to which some Democrats, Republicans, career government and military officials have the balls and good sense to stand up to President Trump and his henchmen. Issue-targeted protests might also be helpful.
Phase 2. The mess is so profound, the Republicans will lose the Senate and, quite possibly, the House in mid-term elections of profound rancor. The result is a Democratic wall that Mexico and other countries would gladly pay for if it weren’t metaphorical and Trump’s idiotic initiatives will be thwarted. There will be no forward progress, but then we won’t be moving backward either.
Phase 3. The next Presidential cycle will start early and will, thankfully, not include Donald Trump running for re-election. Thank goodness, he’s only a one-term President.
In the end, Mr. Trump will have done what he does best. He will have self-destructed, leaving in his wake a shattered Republican Party and a Democratic Party that will nominate the woman (?) who should have run this time.
Will we survive the next 4 years? Probably.
So what is there to worry about? Our most pressing concern will be Mr. Trump’s legacy. Will it be the mess he created and, like the workers who used to follow the elephants at the circus, will take us years to shovel up? Or will we have managed, somehow, to channel all the frustration and anger we’re feeling – all of us, albeit for many different reasons – into a new era of civility, cooperation and intelligent, long overdue reform?
In the meantime, I think we’re stuck with Alfred.