By Jason Moscovitz
While the world watched the impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald J. Trump, you had to wonder if Mad magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman had it right when he’d say, through that sizable gap in his front teeth, “What, me worry?”
I can imagine Trump’s face on Mad having the same impact as Alfred E. Neuman. The look is the same. A satirical idiot is still an idiot and, guess what, Trump has graced the front cover of recent editions of Mad. Actually I had no idea Mad was still around until I Googled it.
How could baby boomers know one day that someone just like Alfred E. Neuman would be occupying the Oval Office? For me, that’s the tragedy. I grew up never believing it possible that such a flawed individual would be the most powerful person in the world.
There are those who like Trump’s “America first” politics, his support of Israel, and there is no denying how employment and American stock exchange numbers have improved since he became president. But, as Shakespeare wrote, it still smells “rotten in the state of Denmark,” no matter how you cut it.
Trump’s behaviour led to the impeachment process – even though the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate would never vote to remove Trump from office. While Democrats argued impeachment was about protecting the constitution, Republicans maintained it was about protecting the presidency from unhinged partisanship, and so went the straight-laced politics.
While experts and pollsters will sway back and forth on who won the impeachment bunfight, the impeachment cannons on both sides are loaded and ready to fire with the primaries, the nominating conventions, and the presidential election now just days, weeks and months away.
The key question for many is whether Trump can win again. For many outsiders around the world, like us looking in, it is hard to imagine Trump winning again. However, hold on, anything is possible in America.
The Democratic candidates for president who are still standing represent a political party in disarray as the Democrats seem to sorely lack the necessary policy cohesion and discipline to move forward. The candidates offering to go to war against Trump in November appear weak, or at least, no one has yet been able to stand up and lead from a position of strength.
I’ve nothing against old people – I’m one of them – but former vice-president Joe Biden is past his best-before date. Senator Elizabeth Warren may have had it, but then blew it when she couldn’t gravitate to the centre. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is an intelligent, interesting newcomer, but the question remains, is a gay president even possible in today’s United States of America? Senator Bernie Sanders is further left than Warren. Senator Amy Klobuchar shines in that crowd, but can she shine throughout the country in sufficient numbers to win the presidency?
Democratic Party candidates are just not impressive and it makes you wonder how Hillary Clinton must feel about that. What a story it would be, if, because they couldn’t do better, Democrats drafted Hillary Clinton or dragged her into another battle with the same Trump she was once friends with until he savagely nicknamed her “Crooked Hillary” and then went on to beat her in the states that counted the most in the 2016 election.
What a rematch that would be, another battle of titans Trump and Clinton. It would be electrifying entertainment, but it would also do something positive and concrete. Somehow it would be good to know if Trump was a fluke in 2016 because a whole bunch of bad things happened to poor Clinton – when bad luck, bad judgement, and a bad campaign cost her the presidency.
Trump beat her in the Electoral College. He did it by belittling his opponent. When Trump threw dirt all over Clinton, he proved how far his killer instinct could bring him in politics. History will remember that Trump bullied his way to the presidency in 2016.
Post-impeachment, Trump appears to be ready to bully some other Democrat this year. We now know this man, this president, stops at nothing. There is a scary side to Trump that goes beyond him.
And what is actually scarier than Trump are the thousands of crazed, angry Americans who egg him on at his rallies.