The truth will set you free

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32, NIV)

If it has passed you by all these years, let me be clear: I choose to deal with truth, common sense, and reality. I named this column The Nonfiction Section as a way of expressing that this is not the place for distortions, fantasies, and blatant lies. You can find that in plenty of other politically-focused newspaper columns, and I encourage you to get your bellyful of that garbage from those authors. Here, we deal with the facts.

Now you may disagree, and that’s fine. You have every right to form your opinions from the information you trust. But if your information is the kind of craziness that is the foundation of conspiracy theories and prejudice-driven fairy tales, I have better things to occupy my time.

This month, we will deal with this absolute fact: President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election and will be leaving office on January 20, 2021. (Or sooner, as we will discuss.) If you can’t understand that simple truth, that’s your problem.

Unfortunately, the soon-to-be-former president is also incapable of understanding that fact.

Trump: the 3D president

President Trump has spent the days since November 3rd completely refusing to accept the one thing the entire world can see: he lost. The guy is deranged, delusional, and devoid of any ounce of ethics or morality. He has spent his entire life verbally abusing anyone who dared to cross his path, even those who gave him the electoral support he demanded. 

Case in point: Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. A Republican who had previously been strongly supported by Trump, Raffensperger has fallen out of favor as his state’s voters decided to reject the president and instead give the state to Joe Biden, a result that was certified after a meticulous recount. Raffensperger has been unfairly targeted by the president and his cult followers in the wake of the election, with threats against the Secretary, his wife, and his family too vile to print here. 

A decent human being would call for a halt of that nonsense, using his position of authority to step up and insist that his fan base immediately stop the abuse and accept the results. But Donald Trump is not a decent human being, as he has demonstrated practically on a daily basis. He has encouraged horrible behavior from his most devout followers, the kind that prove to be just as profane and obnoxious as their Dear Leader. 

And now they want us to give them time to deal with that loss, to be granted space to breathe and find a way to deal with their emotions. These are the same people who gleefully wore t-shirts and displayed signs & flags with the phrase, “F*¢k your feelings,” and they want me to grant them compassion?

Second place is the first loser

President Trump lost the election. That is a fact. Over 80 million votes were cast for his opponent. No other president has ever been so soundly rejected by so many Americans. But still, he continues to fabricate tales of a rigged election, of fraudulent voting practices, and a system conspiring to defeat him from all sides.

The Trump team of attorneys and legal advisors, led by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, nevertheless plows forward with one lunatic concept after another, embarrassing themselves every step of the way. Giuliani may have held some respect in the days immediately following the terrorist attack of 9/11, but the man today is barely a shadow of himself. From holding press conferences across the street from an adult book store to allowing his dripping hair dye to give the appearance that he was melting in front of the cameras, Giuliani has been the driving force of a clown car filled with wackos, each of whom doing the best they can to make their client look even more foolish.

Trump always said he only hires the best people. I’d say his definition of ‘best’ isn’t anything like the one we find in Webster’s dictionary.

The end is in sight

Donald Trump lost the election. You may not be happy with that result, but that’s the truth. He could face that fact like a man, or continue his cowardly denial of the facts. 

I predicted many months ago that Trump would not finish his term, resigning in order to elevate VP Pence to the Oval Office in order to get a presidential pardon. It might be a tightly-orchestrated move with Pence taking the reins just a few minutes before Joe Biden takes the oath of office, but it will only take Pence a few seconds to sign the document. January 20th is going to be a whirlwind kind of day, folks. 

The one thing I most look forward to is the tick of the clock when Trump’s time in office comes to its Constitutional end, whether by way of the end of his term after four years or that moment when his early resignation becomes official. And if he chooses the latter as his exit strategy in order to get that blanket pardon from Temporary President Pence, that’s fine with me. At that moment, we all can and should cease to pay attention to anything he has to say. Unfollow him on Twitter and Facebook (or Parler, if you’re one of the desperate souls over there), change the channel to avoid watching his interviews and, most important of all, refuse to waste a penny on whatever memoir his ghostwriters spit out onto book store shelves.

That’s not to say that I won’t keep a close eye on his future mischief. I’m sure he’ll be making news quite often in the future, just not the way he would like. There’s going to be plenty of state Attorneys General interested in pursuing justice in a way that neither Congress nor the federal law enforcement system were willing and able to do. Watching them do their thing will be more entertaining than any cheap ‘reality’ TV show.

(Originally published in the December 3, 2020 edition of the Morrisons Cove Herald.)

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