There seems to be more talk these days about how Donald Trump is going to leave town than there is about how Joe Biden will arrive.
Joe Biden, it is said, will take the same train he took almost every day to his job in the U.S. Senate, beginning when he was tragically widowed and lost his daughter in a car accident. He commuted so he could raise his boys. Wilmington is where he is working now, and the travelling press will no doubt be in the cars in front and back, along with the Secret Service, to make sure his journey ends safely.
Trump, if rumors are to be believed, will also leave the way he came, with as much noise, attention and fanfare as a traditionally quiet departure can muster: Marine One, honor guards, salutes – who knows. And a final middle finger to the bureaucrats who keep insisting he not use the White House for partisan purposes.
There will a be a traveling pool of reporters with him for no other reason than they always have to be there in case he dies. But the rest of the press – say, more that 98% – and the eyes of the world will be thousands of miles away participating in what is the most sacred moment of a democracy: the peaceful transfer of power.
We are used to seeing grace in this minute. We are used to seeing the outgoing president wishing his successor well and meaning it, because these are men who love their country above all, and women who understand that their husbands’ sacrifice will weigh on them. And yet they shine, with love of country and the unbelievable good fortune that has bestowed on them the charge to guide our destiny. How much we need them.
Trump and Miss America [Melania Trump certainly has a future as a pageant judge or a coach in faking it on reality TV] will be bounding up the stairs at a half-full hangar somewhere, with cops in masks and MAGA-hat wearers without masks, with tough cowboys who think themselves no match for a virus that will shut down their organs, all loudly cheering his condemnation of democracy.
Not unless a former president spouting what could just as well be communist propaganda is news. What Trump said as president [mostly on Twitter] was barely worth paying attention to, but now? Now it’s just garbage. Every loser immediately puts out word about running again. It’s the best way to hold on to your team in the short run.
But it very rarely works. You can recover from losing in the primary – convince people they made the wrong choice – but why nominate someone who has already shown that no amount of money could win him an election against a 77-year-old Democrat and his Black female running mate? Trump rushed to collect money for his phony fight because it is going to be harder and harder to do so when he controls nothing but his mouth and his Twitter account, which will almost surely be enough to sink him.
In the meantime, everything he says is not news and not even worth discussing. It’s blither-blather, soon to end.