I admit it freely and without reservation: My mind tends to wander during its idle moments.
My wife and I took a dip in the pool today to fend off the 100-degree heat and while soaking myself I began to ponder the post-Donald Trump era in U.S. politics.
First I shall stipulate, as if it needs stipulation, that I hope that era begins in January 2021 and not January 2025. We have an election coming up and as of this moment, the trend is looking good for the challenger, Joseph R. Biden Jr.
But … you know what they say about a week being like a lifetime in politics. Still, I cannot turn the mind-idle off.
What would happen if Donald Trump is staring at the reality of losing an election, that Biden has racked up enough Electoral College votes to win? Does he pick up the phone, call Biden and wish him well? Does he say, “You fought hard and well, Mr. President-elect. I will do what I can to assure a smooth transition”?
Then we have the issue of where Trump would go. One of these days — and I damn sure hope it’s soon — he’ll walk to the helicopter on the White House lawn and fly away. Will he go to Mar-a-Lago, Fla., or to Bedminster, or to Trump Tower? What will he and Melania discuss on their first full day as civilians?
This question perhaps is most maddening of all: Where does Donald Trump plan to build a presidential library? Even more puzzling is what in the world is going to be his overarching theme? Economic revival? Fighting disease? Seeking to kick illegal immigrants out of the country? Ending the Affordable Care Act? Ridding the nation of anything associated with President Barack Obama?
Former presidents often receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Obama bestowed it on Presidents Bush 41 and Bill Clinton. He didn’t do the same for President Bush 43, but I wish he had done so. Would a President Biden honor Donald Trump in this fashion? Hah! Not a chance, given the defamatory epithets that Trump has hurled at Biden.
Trump vowed to be a “different” kind of president. I suppose you could say he’s delivered on that promise in spades. I don’t know what kind of former president he will become. All I am hoping for at this moment of idle time is that we’ll know sooner rather than later.