Two paths diverge

Donald Trump will not be the next President of our United States of America.

Yes, I know. I have heard all the pundits opine otherwise.

About how the Democrats are already blowing it with their reckless talk of impeachment and Medicare for all and open borders and gun control and yada, yada, yada (insert your own favorite leftist talking point here).

Because Democrats will trend too far left to win.

Because they’ll surely stray from the dead center middle of the road.

Because Trump will make certain that The Squad is the new face of the Democratic Party no matter who gets the nomination.

Because if Warren or Sanders or Harris or whoever gets the nomination instead of Biden or Gillibrand or (insert your own favorite white center of the roader) they will hand the election to Trump.

Because the American voter is as skittish as a cat on a hot tin roof when it comes to taking a chance on a socialistic America-hating radical.

I mean, people: Didn’t we learn anything from George McGovern? (You remember, the WWII war hero who lost to a crook).

But I say screw all that.

Listen, I’m a pundit too. I’m a dues paying nattering nabob of negativism. I was punditing when Ronnie Reagan invaded Grenada on a whim and the Army nearly ran out of suntan lotion.

I’m one of those storied sultans of swat who are reputed to ride down out of the hills after the battle is over to shoot the wounded.

Yeah, that guy.

And for what it’s worth, here is my prediction for the 2020 presidential election.

Donald Trump will not be the next president of our United States of America.

Won’t happen.

Because one of two things will happen.

Thing One:

I believe the American people, for all of their faults, are at heart too decent, ethical and moral to reelect a pathological liar, sexual predator, bigot, con man, sadist, Russian collaborator and all around pathetic excuse for a human being.

It’s like Abe said. Fool me once, hey it happens. Fool me twice, my bad.

But I may be wrong. In which case:

Thing Two:

The American people may in fact have descend so deeply into self-indulgence, self-gratification self-abasement, self-denial and general all around selfishness that just enough of them (under our bizarre electoral college math) will indeed pull the lever for The Donald.

But even so, Donald Trump will not be the next president of our United States of America.

Because if the electorate has become so debased, so decadent or so disinterested in their civic duty as to reelect arguably the worst excuse for a carbon-based life-form in the known universe, then – simply – this will no longer be our United States of America.

No, we will have instead become the Authoritarian Vassal States of Trumpistan.

And another notch in Putin’s gun.

And if that comes to pass the only thing to be said for certain is that we will have the president we so richly deserve.

I take no great solace in making this observation. But history is ever on the march.

Great nations are born. They grow and, hopefully, prosper. They make their contributions to the entirety of human civilization.

And then they tend to weaken, go astray and eventually die.

It happened to ancient Greece. It happened to Rome. To the Brits, the Ottomans, the (insert your favorite fallen empire here). And it must inevitably happen to our United States of America.

Call it the Immutable Law of National Entropy. The center cannot hold. Things fall apart. And then something else takes its place.

There is no glorious thousand year reich lurking behind Trump’s MAGA promises. He has already squandered our credibility and dependability so far as the rest of the world is concerned, so our passing will not be overly mourned.

Frankly, I hadn’t expected national entropy to occur in my lifetime. And I still hold out the hope that the American people – having teetered this close to the very edge of the abyss and peered over into its darkness – will choose to step back before it’s too late.

OMG, what have we done!

I have to believe that. Because I am born and raised American. I have been to war in the defense of my country. I have dutifully paid my taxes. I have voted at every opportunity. I believe deeply in the civic compact that has united us for more than two centuries.

We citizens of our United States of America are better than Donald Trump. Whether we still, collectively, believe in and are willing to fight for our American ideals remains to be seen.

In November 2020 two paths will diverge in the course of American affairs.

One path can lead to an American renewal.

We can choose to stand up in the face of the relentless march of history and say, with one voice: Not now. Not yet. Not on our watch.

The other path will surely lead to the death of the American dream.

But only if enough of us choose to stand by idly as the parade marches past.

Courage Americans.

Keep the faith and do the right thing.

If you – if we – do that then our United States of America will not perish from the face of this earth.

Author: floridavelocipede

A sometime journalist who used to string words together for a living before I retired to run a non-profit cycle touring organization that will henceforth go unnamed, as I have subsequently retired from that career as well. I write a bi-monthly column, theater reviews and an occasional magazine piece for my old newspaper. If I still had a business card it would read: Ron Cunningham: Trained Observer Of The Human Condition. Because like The Donald, you know, ego.

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