President Gerald Ford told us our “long national nightmare” ended the moment in August 1974 when his predecessor resigned from office and jetted off to oblivion.
I am hoping for a return of a similar moment when we get the ballots counted in November. My sincere hope is that Joseph R. Biden Jr. gets many more votes than Donald J. Trump Sr., that he wins a sufficient number of Electoral College votes to be elected president and that the incumbent will start packing up his belongings and jet off somewhere far away from the White House.
The process could get cumbersome if Trump decides to declare the election is “rigged” or that a foreign power “stole” it from the people of this country. The irony of such a declaration would be remarkable, to be sure, given what happened in 2016 when the Russians attacked our electoral system. Trump collected fewer actual votes than Hillary Clinton but garnered enough electoral votes to become president.
It’s been a disastrous run ever since. Trump can boast, brag and bloviate all he wants about what a “fantastic” job he’s done. He hasn’t. He has made a mess of our international alliances, torched every possible norm associated with the presidency, alienated the nation from the rest of the world and behaved like the first-class boor we all knew he was when he declared his candidacy.
There’s far more at stake than just the presidency. I want to see the Senate change hands, from Republican to Democratic control. I want to see a newly elected president work with lawmakers of both parties, something Biden has been able to do while serving in the Senate and then for two terms as vice president.
You see, we have received a real-time lesson in how the presidency is far too big a responsibility for someone who requires on-the-job training. What’s more, that someone at least needs to understand the necessity of learning about history, about government and about the limitations of power inherent in the office he inherited. Donald Trump has no interest in any of that. None!
I want a return to good government. Not necessarily big government. Just a government that works.
I hope we get it in just a little less than four months from now. I don’t want to wish my life away, but I also hope that time between now and Election Day goes quickly. I am weary of the chaos.