Giggles, Observations And Fears

I was initially going to split this article into three groups as outlined in the title. Then I realized that in many cases my observations led to my attempts at sarcastic humor and it was almost impossible to separate them. I sincerely hope none of the fears I outline today materialize; perhaps that is why they are fears. However they are not outside the realm of possibility with Donald Trump at the helm in Washington. With all that in mind let’s explore.

Late last week it was announced that Trump is nominating Eugene Scalia as the next Secretary of Labor. Scalia has spent his entire career fighting worker safety regulations. It’s a good thing that reincarnation isn’t something within Trump’s powers. If it were Christopher Wray would be out as the head of the FBI and Al Capone would be replacing him.

Speaking of Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Trump said, “She’s lucky to be where she is.” He was referring to Congress. Perhaps Trump had the same number line teachers as former Speaker Paul Ryan because they both appear to be arithmetically challenged. Omar won her 2018 election with 78% of the vote. Trump lost the 2016 popular vote by about three million votes which means he didn’t even crack 50%. Maybe he should have consulted Ivanka before he uttered that one; he claims she is good with numbers.

The situation is far from funny and I hesitate to make light of it but here I go. I’ve been around a long time and when I heard of the threatened ICE raids I couldn’t help think of the old play, then movie, The Iceman Cometh. In this case: the Iceman cometh or maybe not.

We know Trump loves the WWE. Perhaps because, like him, it is all hype and fake. I’m thinking that he may envision his Attorney General as a masked villain. Bill “The Enforcer” Barr? I’m guessing here, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if in time we find that Barr has squelched many investigations, including the Mueller probe, in an effort to protect Trump.

Wednesday in North Carolina Trump proved he was not the equal of either John McCain or even Ronald Reagan. During the heat of the 2008 presidential campaign McCain was confronted with a supporter at a town hall style event who was spewing untruths about his opponent. McCain, the skilled politicians that he was, politely regained the microphone and corrected her on the spot. It probably cost him votes and I’m certain he was aware of that but, unlike Trump; McCain (who I often disagreed with on policy) was a man of integrity. Ronald Reagan famously quipped, “I’m paying for this microphone”. Trump was paying for the microphone on Wednesday in Greenville and never lost it. Among his post event lies was that he tried to stop the chant by talking very quickly. Unfortunately for him the event was taped and it was a full 13 seconds while he surveyed the adoring crowd before he resumed speaking. I guess even Trump won’t use the “The teleprompter malfunctioned” excuse twice in such rapid succession.

Then I have one from the no punchline required category. Saturday morning’s Washington Post included an article by Colby Itkowitz entitled. A Yazidi woman from Iraq told Trump that ISIS killed her family. ‘Where are they now?’ he asked. The meeting took place on Wednesday in the Oval Office. I suggest you read the article; the headline isn’t the only headscratcher or lie.  

One of my fears is that Trump will create a crisis closer to Election Day to enhance his chances by increasing base turnout. Like all close elections – and this one will be closer than many think – 2020 will be a turnout election. The strange thing is that his incompetence is such that a crisis may well arise without manipulation. That crisis could be a war or economic or both.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we will see record foreign interference in the 2020 election on multiple fronts. Instead of trying to prevent it Trump is welcoming it. My biggest fear is strategically placed power outages on Election Day. American electoral systems are dependent on electricity. Even on a regular day a brief power outage causes chaos. All areas within a state are not politically homogeneous. Many swing states could be stolen if you just suppressed the vote in a few key areas. (In North Carolina outages in Charlotte, Durham and Raleigh would solidify the state and its 15 electoral votes for Trump. Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes, has long been politically known as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between.) As an individual the best way to combat that threat is to vote early if your state allows it.

Come to think of it; laughs and nightmares, is the much difference under Trump? In any event regardless of how it happens I think Trump will get what he desperately wants – enduring fame. His name will live in American history – as a punchline.

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