Bye, Trump!

(This is a repost from Facebook – why did I post it there instead of here? I do not know. But it belongs here, so here it is. It’s also a faintly ironic read, considering that after I posted it, Trump has continued to protest his electoral loss.)

Bye, Trump!

It is with an almost palpable joy that I read that President Trump started the transition to Joe Biden.

I think in many ways my fear was that he’d declare himself the winner by fiat, even now, despite not really thinking he’d go that far.

I guess that’s why I’m glad to see him gone, even though I cannot really admire his replacement or Joe Biden: I don’t trust Donald Trump. He’s not been as tragic a President as many have painted him – there’ve been good things for many people, and that’s how it usually goes for every President – but with Trump there’s always been a lurking fear that the lizard-person hiding within the bloated shell would emerge and show us the values he’s always told us he had.

A transition means the Trump term in office is finally at a close. Finally.

Now the hope is that his age and experience in office overwhelm his pride somehow – and he goes away, politically, to fade into memory. My greatest fear is that Trump will return in 2024, or inspire politicians of any persuasion by his methods.

That last isn’t really a fear; it’s an existential dread. And worse than that: it’s not just politicians. You see evidence of Trump’s mindset in the rank and file of every party; read Facebook and you’ll see it on any post dealing with politics. What’s terrible and tragic is that the evidence of Trump’s mindset isn’t an indicator of political party; you see it just as much in “blue” as you do in “red.”

Hint, people: we’re not “blue” or “red.” We’re human. As soon as you decide you cannot associate with someone else because of their politics or skin color or what invisible being they believe in – or don’t – you’re saying “blue” or “red” is more important. It’s not. Maybe you just decided you can’t associate with me. C’est la vie. Good luck out there!

I imagine Biden will surprise me much as Trump has; I can imagine so many realistic scenarios for his term that most results would fall under the “I thought that might happen” heading, starting with “The House begins efforts to remove him from office in February 2021” to “He turns out to be the first successful isolationist President of the century.” (Let it be the last, please!)

I mostly hope that Biden is a weak President. Let Congress resume its actual power and responsibility, not as opposition to the Executive branch but as the representatives of the people; let Congress govern instead of restrain.

That’s been Congress’ great failure under Trump, actually, and where Trump was strongest. Trump drew clear lines. They were not good lines, but clear ones.

He even asked Congress straight up to fix those lines: when he said he’d refuse to extend DACA, he said rather clearly that he wanted Congress to make DACA into law. He said he’d sign it as soon as it hit his desk… and Congress punted, being consumed with its own version of “Orange Man Bad” and trying to get rid of someone whose primary function in office seemed to be to beg for Congress to limit that office and the damage it could do.

Way to go, Congress.

I will not miss Trump, I hope. I really hope we don’t look at a President Harris in early 2022 and think “hey, Trump’s version of zero tolerance was better.” (Trump’s “zero tolerance” crap … I … no.) I really hope we don’t see Trump mess with political weathervanes in the future; my desperate hope is that he retreats to his golf courses and limits his influence to mulligans on every rough. Let him start his own cable news network, if he likes, and let all four thousand viewers stew in his particular miasma if they like.

I am willing to let him have his own private island, just like I am willing to accept a Biden/Harris ticket to make him go away.

But please, let it end there: let Trump and the division he inspired and could not heal pass away. Let us unite behind an American President and stop yowling at each other over who we did, or didn’t, vote for. Let us see each other as members of the human tribe, despite our failures and flaws, and together we can actually grow.

Let us grow.

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