Spoiler Alert; Something to know about Santa and trump

I think we made it.  I know, I know, it’s early.  It’s January 17, 2021 as I write this, and there are still 3 days, 4 hours, and 52 minutes before Joe Biden is sworn in as the most welcome changing of the guard since Nelson Mandela replaced F. W. de Klerk in 1994.  Lots can (and I presume, will) happen in the next 3 days, 4 hours, and 49 minutes that could sully my euphoria that trump is finally going to be gone.  Nothing should come as a shock to us in the waning days of the darkest 4 years in our country’s history since the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.  Already we have had an arrest near the US Capitol of a man with a fake ID and enough weaponry and ammunition to ruin a lot of people’s lives.

As those events unfolded yesterday, I had a chance to think about what life in this country post-trump will look like.  I realize a number of pundits have already speculated on what trump will do once he leaves the White House, while many others have projected what President Biden will do in his first 100 days to undo as much of trump’s legacy as possible.  I am more interested in what trump’s supporters will be doing. 

In a rather convoluted set of circumstances, a Japanese newspaper has been interviewing me about my experiences teaching in northern Michigan during the trump presidency.  Somehow they caught wind of how angry Trumpistanians came after me when I tweeted that Inauguration Day in 2017 was the darkest day in American history.  When spineless administrators refused to protect my First Amendment rights, they appeased the hysterical Trumpistanians by firing me from my coaching position.   Funny how when those same spineless administrators watched our Capitol under siege on January 6th, none of them picked up the phone, or dropped me an email, to acknowledge the veracity of my 2017 claim.  

But I digress.

During the course of several interviews over the past couple of months, the reporter and I got to thinking about all the people who blindly supported trump, believing that he offered them something they weren’t getting from a government that had chugged along for hundreds of years creating the largest economy in world history, presenting opportunities for many (including for the ancestors of almost 100% of trump supporters when they emigrated here), and providing an arena for a wide range of political discourse and activity. They were apparently disenchanted that people of color were being taken seriously (for the most part), that immigrants were taking the jobs they themselves were unwilling to do, and something about emails.  So they went all in on a documented con-man who couldn’t care less about them, their lives, or their families.  They turned over their common sense, their integrity, and their moral compass to a guy who has none of those things.

And for four years, it’s been a pretty good ride.  Women’s health care rights have been curtailed, black people are still being shot dead in the streets, immigrant children are still in cages and separated from parents, white supremacists walk the streets, armed and dangerous.  LGBTQ protections have been rolled back.  Environmental protections have been slashed.  Our national parks are being opened for resource exploitation.  America is truly great again, if by great you mean an international embarrassment swirling in a black hole of moral degeneration.

But in 3 days, 4 hours, and 24 minutes, these Trumpistanians will no longer have permission, nay…encouragement from the White House to live their racist hate-filled lives right out in the open.  The guy they were sure would finish what he started has been unceremoniously sent to the sidelines.  He’s been impeached a second time, and faces a realistic chance that he’ll be arrested for sedition sometime after January 20, 2021.  He’s been abandoned by most of his advisors (except the My Pillow guy who was at the White House urging trump to declare martial law to overturn the election.  That’s right.  The MyPillow guy is trump’s last friend.  You can’t make this shit up.)

I know a lot of people who had declared their unwavering support for trump through all his missteps, misdeeds, and miscreant behavior have finally had enough.  Some Republicans even voted for his impeachment, and indications are that several GOP Senators will vote to convict.  If disenchantment is happening at the highest level, it’s certainly happening among across his base.  Polls released this week show trump’s approval rating as the lowest in American history, and his disapproval rating at the highest ever. 

As the evidence of trump’s complicity in the insurrection piles up, and it should now clear to his base that the dude has been lying for 4 years about everything, what’s a guy with 17 different styles of MAGA hats to do?  The cognitive dissonance that is bouncing around the brains of trump’s supporters must be audible if you stand close enough to one of them.  (But don’t…there’s still COVID and they’re probably not wearing a mask…cuz you know, it’s all fake.)

I am genuinely curious how these duped, vanquished, and abandoned Trumpistanians are going to cope.  It occurred to me that all the faith they put into trump, which was not rewarded in the long run is causing the same stress a child must feel when they’re finally told there’s no Santa Claus.  All those years of essentially being lied to by your parents, teachers, and every commercial starting in September each year comes crashing down in a single moment of agonizing disbelief.  Lots of people can remember where they were when Pearl Harbor was attacked, when Kennedy was shot, when MLK was shot, when 9/11 happened, etc.  But everyone can remember that moment when they realized Santa Claus was just a myth.  Every drop of childhood innocence spilled to the ground carried by the tears of truth.  I don’t think kids are so shocked that there really isn’t a giant elf sliding down their chimney.  I think they’re shocked that since before they could remember anything, everyone has been lying to them. 

It’s that same childish faith in Santa Claus that drove people to trump.  In spite of all the evidence that reindeer don’t fly, that a fat dude can’t get down your chimney that you don’t even have, that visiting billions of houses in a single night is a logistics impossibility, kids still want to believe.  In the same way, despite all the evidence that trump was a failure at everything he ever tried, a draft dodger, a rapist, a conman, a liar, a mocker of the disabled, a pussy grabber, and more, Trumpistanians still believed.  But now the country has told them that trump can’t Make American White Again.  He was trounced in the election.  He incited an insurrection against the very country he promised to protect.  In 3 days, 3 hours, and 56 minutes he will be subject to arrest and prosecution for multiple felonies (not counting all the other crimes prosecutors are chomping at the bit to file.)  

So be nice to those folks who just lost their Santa Claus.  It’s going to take them a while to realize that the country was pretty damn great before trump, and that it’s a whole lot less great because of him.  They’ll either come around and join the rest of us in wiping the trump stain from our policies and our psyche, or they’ll crawl back into their holes of hate and despair waiting for the Easter Bunny to bail them out.

Three days, three hours, and fifty-one minutes….

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One Comment on “Spoiler Alert; Something to know about Santa and trump”

  1. marypc January 19, 2021 at 12:14 pm #

    LOVE this analogy! Now, if only Lindsey Graham stopped believing in Santa Claus…

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