By Sharon M. Kennedy
Author’s Note: This was the last “Opinion” I wrote for the Bay Mills News, a monthly newspaper in Brimley, MI that ran my opinion pieces for years. When I submitted this a couple of weeks prior to the 2020 election, I told the editor I simply didn’t know what to say after the bizarre four years of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Well, it’s almost over. The endless campaigns are coming to a close and what the country will look like on November 4, 2020 is something nobody can predict. Will there be a smooth transfer of power in the weeks prior to the inauguration or will there simply be a continuation of the Trump dynasty? I’m writing this on October 8. By the time you read it, the president might be in complete COVID-19 recovery or on his way to a morgue.
Meeting an “Opinion” deadline is not like reacting to the news of a minute ago. Whatever I write will be outdated by the time it’s published so I’m not making any predictions about anything. I’ve had my fill of that. I’ve said Joe Biden is an old, outdated, washed-up grandpa who should be playing with his grandkids instead of fiddling with the idea of becoming president of our country. I’ve said he’s a lame-horse candidate who doesn’t have a ghost of a chance of crossing the finish line first. However, when I listened to his bulldog performance during the first debate, I changed my mind. I have to admit, Old Dobbin still has plenty of kick left in him.
I’ve said Donald Trump is a shyster, an imposter, a liar, and a nuisance. He’s a gross imitation of a statesman. He’s a fraud, a jerk, and a poor incarnation of George Wallace. I’ve said he’ll win another four years and cause more division among friends, family, co-workers, and peers. His base will rejoice and become bolder as they march our streets and attempt to overthrow any semblance of democracy. Billionaires will rejoice as their bank accounts fatten. Poor people will despair as their wallets flatten.
I didn’t know much about Donald Trump when he decided to run for office in 2016. The little I did know was gleaned from newspaper headlines and his daily incoherent rants when he spoke to cable network commentators. Each week he called in and talked about himself. He boasted he could run our country better than anyone. After all, he said, his credentials were impeccable because he was a master of the “art of the deal.” He said the very fact that he wasn’t a politician qualified him for the job because he knew how to get things done. He said he was financing his run and didn’t owe allegiance to anyone. He would be a free man, unfettered by generous donors and K Street lobbyists. His smear campaign against his opponent made him look like a hero.
He was outspoken about everything that was wrong with the Democratic Party especially President Obama and Hillary Clinton. He made no attempt to be anything other than what he was—a womanizer, a loudmouth, a bully, a bankrupt, and a borderline fascist who loved Putin. He probably didn’t even know what the word “fascist” meant or the power it held until he took office. Nobody, not even Trump, considered him a serious candidate. He was a novelty, an oddity in a stodgy race. He used colorful language heard only in locker rooms and made no apology for offending the ears of Christians who adored him.
Although his dress and grooming were meticulous and gave him an air of dignity, his speech and antics were deplorable. Each day it became more obvious he didn’t have the temperament the job demanded. His lack of experience and interest in learning his duties and responsibilities was appalling. His firing of anyone who opposed him worked well on “The Apprentice” but not in the Oval Office. He wouldn’t listen to advice from experts or read daily briefs that bored him, and he took his cue from Fox News commentators.
The election is only days away. The victorious candidate will give us four more years of angst or four years of what used to be called “normalcy.” Think long and hard before you put your X beside your choice. It will decide our country’s future.