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The View from the Therapy Pool: Celebrate, but don’t gloat

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Shortly after the 2016 election, an evangelical Christian, fervent Trump supporter friend of mine was teaching me how to use Facebook. She had me call up a scene where a group of Clinton backers were sobbing uncontrollably. I looked back at my friend and, to my dismay, she was grinning ear to ear.

“What’s the matter with you?” I asked, “That’s not you. You’re one of the most loving people I’ve ever known. When my Cubs won the World Series, I celebrated their victory, but I didn’t gloat over the Indians’ defeat. They were our noble, vanquished foe. They fought like hell til the very end. They deserve respect.”

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I’ve never used Facebook since.

On election eve 2016, I heard it was gonna be close and I got scared. I hid out in my bedroom away from my TV and radio. The next day, I peered out my window. There, in the front yard, was my landlord, a staunch Democrat, stomping around and cussing a blue streak.

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“Ooh,” I said, “This can’t be good.”

Until this year, I’ve never voted for a major party presidential candidate in my life. I can’t believe I broke that tradition with a candidate like Joe Biden. I’ve had plenty of exposure to dementia living with my father until he died at 100 and working and being a resident at nursing homes. I see encroaching dementia in Biden.

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He’s a mainstream, Wall Street Democrat. I’ll believe he’ll address the climate crisis when he takes actions that hurt the fossil fuel industry. My only hope is he’ll fill his cabinet with the best and the brightest and hire competent advisors. Of course, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already said the Senate will only confirm “centrist” cabinet members. Progressives or, dare I say it, democratic socialists need not apply.

Without a doubt, Biden’s toughest job will be uniting this country that Trump has torn asunder. He says over and over he wants to do that. Is he up to it? We’ll see.

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I was very active in the antiwar protests of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. We were very divided then, but in later years I realized our side was just a noisy minority. Richard Nixon won in an enormous landslide in 1972. The authorities brushed us aside. 

Neither the Vietnam War era nor today’s America compares to the division this country experienced during the Civil War. Robert Redford’s 2010 film “The Conspirator” vividly captured the raw hatred the North and South had for each other. (   In the film, Lincoln’s Secretary of War Edwin Stanton hung a perfectly innocent boarding house owner named Mary Surrat to entice her son, who was a conspirator in Lincoln’s assassination, to turn himself in.

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Today’s noisy minority is on the right. The polls, if we can ever trust them again, say this is a very left-leaning country. On all the major issues, climate change, immigration, health care, income inequity, abortion, racial injustice, the progressives represent the prevalent view.

Despite growing evidence of Trump’s incompetence in his bungling of the coronavirus pandemic and obvious character flaws, 70 million voters voted for him and many of them are armed and dangerous. If there’s another civil war, the lefties have the numbers, but the righties have the guns. These right-wing militias will hafta be dealt with, probably with force. I’m confident our armed forces, whose leaders have become disaffected with Trump, will rise to the occasion.

What Biden can do is include Republicans in decision making. If nothing else, Biden’s a politician. He knows how to speak outta both sides of his mouth. When Abraham Lincoln was trying to sell the Emancipation Proclamation, he’d tell the pro-slavery Democrats one thing and the abolitionist Republicans another. Lincoln felt the goal was worth the deception.

I’m not deluded about the importance of this election. We dodged a bullet. Four more years of Trump would’ve led to either a fascist or corporatist dictatorship. On Halloween night, I Netflixed into what turned out to be a very scary movie – Cabaret. Watching those brownshirts kill and beat up everyone who opposed them foreshadowed what 2024 American would be like if Trump were reelected.

I was in favor of the House impeachment hearings earlier this year. Information came out the nation needed to know. But when the articles of impeachment were written, I wanted Speaker Nancy Pelosi to put them in her purse and keep them there. 

First, because there was no way Trump’s lap dogs in the Senate were gonna convict. Second, and most importantly, it’d accomplish nothing but to further divide the country. I wanted Trump booted out the right way; voted out in November, then removed from the protections of a sitting president, prosecuted and jailed for his many crimes in and outta office. 

Now that first part of that plan has been accomplished, I’m not sure I want the second. I’m really into this heal-the-wounds thing. A Trump trial would make it that much more difficult to unite the country. 

Trump won’t go away quietly. He adores the spotlight and he’ll do everything he can to stay in it. Two images I’ve grown weary of seeing are that white ball with the red protrusions coming outta it that’s supposed to represent the coronavirus and Trump’s butt-ugly mug. I wish the media would ignore Trump, but that won’t happen. Trump gets good ratings and that’s all the media cares about. Then there’s social media that Trump knows how to take full advantage of.

The turnout makes you proud to be an American. Sixty-seven percent is the best since 1900 and the first over 60% since 1960. We probably have Trump to thank for that. Voters either love him or hate him. It’s about time we started taking responsibility for our government. Sweden had a voter turnout of 87% in a recent national election.

As far as the length of time it took to get the results, I’m glad the poll workers took their time and got it right. I don’t understand why these states new to mail-in balloting didn’t do it the Colorado way and start counting the ballots as soon as they come in. Colorado always has to take the lead; mail-in balloting, good sense marijuana laws.

Trump’s claims of massive voter fraud should come as a surprise to no one. As soon as he was inaugurated in 2017, Trump created a commission to investigate undocumented immigrants voting to explain his three million vote loss in the popular vote. He was a sore loser who didn’t even lose. The commission found bupkis.   

Shortly before this year’s election, I got another visit from my Trumpster friend. She made the only negative statement about Trump I’ve ever heard her say.

“He is a little rough around the edges.”I wanted to explode. “Rough around the edges! He’s the antichrist, the Devil’s disciple, the epitome of evil!”

I restrained myself. This woman and I have been friends for many years because we love and respect each other and share many wonderful memories. We won’t let Trump divide us.

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