So, here’s my theory.
Soc. med. is awash in grief these days. It started early in the summer when, presumably, the body count had reached some tipping point or another. People started shaking their metaphorical fists at the year 2016, saying it was unbelievable how many great and wonderful souls were keeling over and dying during this particular annum.
The topper seems to be the death on consecutive days of Carrie Fisher and her mom, Debbie Reynolds. Everybody is agog over their demises even though Fisher ravaged her body with cocaine a few decades ago — and who knows how many years that shaved off her life — and her mother was 84, which is an age at which death knocking at the door should be no shocker.
Of course, with two and a half more days left in ’16, who knows who all else is f’inta cash in her or his chips. Hell, even L’il Duce could conceivably drop dead within the next 60 or so hours and no one really should be dumbstruck by the event, especially after taking into account his most-assuredly hyper-fattened-goose-liver-clogged arteries and his malignant soul.
We’ll all be watching with bated breath for the next headline featuring only a celebrity’s name followed by YOB and YOD.
A Terse Finality
I get the feeling folks — at least some of them — are astonished that their contemporaries are dying. And they shouldn’t be, considering in the entirety of history, every single member of Homo Sapiens sapiens has checked out, save those seven billion or so lucky ones still flitting around the planet these days. Experience tells us they’ll slip into rales sooner rather than later as well. I commented about this very thing on soc. med. a few months ago and was trolled by one guy — he called me every name in the book and went on to wish I die a painful death myself. People are really bugged when confronted with the fact that their membership in the club of the living has an expiration date.
Still, there’s the continuing train of thought that 2016 is our deadliest spin around the sun yet. And now for the gist of my theory. The ascension and subsequent election of L’il Duce has put a lot of us in the frame of mind that things are coming to an end. If not just “freedom” and “democracy” then perhaps the whole of human existence should he and and his brother demagogue in Russia decide to show the rest of us who has the bigger junk.
Recall, I mentioned the tipping point came in the summer when it became obvious that not only was L’il Duce going to be the Republican nominee but he actually had a shot at winning. Something, we sensed, was dying.
Right now, we — especially those of us sickened by the election — are a Death Watch culture.
Donald J. Trump Is My President
That said, I’ve been hearing the refrain “He’s not my president” time and again since Nov. 9th. I get the feeling I may lose a friend or two for saying this but…, well, lemme explain myself.
Since I first voted in a presidential election in 1976, I have been shocked to the core by the triumphs of first Ronald Reagan and then George W. Bush. Reagan was the bug-eyed reactionary Right Winger who, in 1970, purportedly called for a “bloodbath” to put a stop to campus disturbances, a decidedly tyrannical remedy. Whether he actually said it or not the line most assuredly reflected something he wouldn’t have been unhappy to see. Generally, guys who hope to become president aren’t so Joe Goebbels-y. And Bush, the dunderheaded son of privilege trying to upend the party of one of the most popular presidents in history, a C-in-C who oversaw an almost unprecedented period of peace and prosperity, by all rights ought to have been envious of the proverbial snowball in hell. Yet both men won.
And both times, I anguished for this holy land. Go back a bit further, to 1968 when I was 12 and talk show monologue joke Richard Nixon somehow eked out a triumph that November. That was my baptism in the political fire. The improbable — and the very, very scary — has occurred time and again
Let me put it a touch stronger. The impending reigns of Nixon, Reagan, and Bush were unbelievable. Almost as unbelievable as the rise and ultimate success of he who I’m loath to name, L’il Duce.
It’s funny, despite the fact that every morning since November 9th, I wake up, remember who our president-elect is, and say to myself, “It can’t be true, can it?”, the more I realize we’ve been through this before. Richard Nixon, the president? A joke! Ronald Reagan? C’mon! George W. Bush? Puh-leaze.
Sure, L’il Duce is the most outlandish of them all. But he’s nothing new. All that’s new is the degree of his outlandishness. If you remained loyal and in thrall to the America of your dreams through the Nixon, Reagan, and Bush eras, why would you now say, “This is not my country any longer! And Donald Trump is not my president!”
Hell, even I stooped to language to that effect in the immediate aftermath of his impossible, irrational victory. But now that the immediate pain has subsided, I’ve come to accept the fact that Donald J. Trump will be President of the United States.
Yeah, that’s right. My tax money pays his salary and those of all his advisors, coat holders, enablers, and henchmen (I know, I know, he’s foregoing his paychecks, but you get the point). I’ve paid for whatever missiles he opts to launch. The body politic of which I’m a part selected him to curtail our liberties. And should a person in Sweden, the Gambia, Bangladesh, or Suriname have a reason to refer to me, they’ll say the leader of my land is Donald J. Trump. The election I participated in and expended thousands of words upon was held and, by the rules of that game, he won.
I don’t get to say I’ll only accept the results if my gal wins. I’ve voted in 11 presidential elections. I’ve exulted after five of them and felt crestfallen after six. I was as much an American when Jimmy Carter was president as I was when the first George Bush held the office. The second Bush, too. I’m still an American today. And I will be after Friday, January 20th, 2017.
As such, my president will be Donald J. Trump.
I will not go the route of the bigots who said after Barack Obama was elected, “He’s not my president.”
He most assuredly was. And while he was, the lot of them gathered in public squares, phone-banked each other, stuffed envelopes, rallied the troops, demonstrated, waved banners, hoisted placards, swapped lies, filled statehouses and Congress with their allies, and solidified the opposition to him. The result? They now have a president.
So do I. And believe me, I’m going to seek out others who’ll gather in public squares, phone-bank each other, stuff envelopes, rally the troops, demonstrate, wave banners, hoist placards, and fill statehouses and Congress with our allies. The only thing I’ll eschew is the swapping of lies. With the likes of Donald J. Trump as my president, I won’t need to stoop that low.